Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Readings of a Couch Potato - The Wanderings of an Elephant Hunter by WDM Bell

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Leaky Waders, Sep 19, 2010.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Leaky Waders

    Leaky Waders Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2003
    Messages:
    828
    Location:
    Content listed as posted by me may have been edite
    All I can say is WOW!

    My wife bought this book for me a couple of weeks back as well as some other African Hunting books.

    Last night I started reading it, and finished it in a second sitting today.

    What a pioneer! Venturing to foreign lands amidst slavers, questionable governments, kings and plain old regular native people...having safari porters killed by crocs and drownings. Bloodbrothers with wealthy natives, exploring a river that seemed mythical and all the while hunting elephants for their ivory and feeding scores of people along the trek.

    He actually spent some time in Djibouti...I spent nearly 8 months there a little while back. Maybe I walked in some of the same streets and countryside that Bell walked...kind of cool.

    Anyways, a neat book that others may appreciate.
     
  2. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2003
    Messages:
    8,724
    Bell was a mans man and a cut above even in those brave and heady days of British imperialism. And that is saying something.

    I've always thought that hunting ivory in those days would have been an incredible experience. Imagine doing it in malarial ridden areas with no anti malarial drugs, no antibiotics, very basic medical knowledge and truculent natives wanting to kill you at every turn.

    It really is amazing any of those guys survived at all.
     
  3. dogrunner

    dogrunner Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2006
    Messages:
    1,187
    Location:
    E/Cntrl Fla.
    Double your pleasure and get a copy of Taylors "African Rifles and Cartridges" as well as "Pondoro".
     
  4. Sky

    Sky Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2010
    Messages:
    2,927
    Location:
    Texas
    Probably one of the most prolific international writers is a guy from South Africa named Wilber Smith. I have read all of his works and can not praise his writing style and historical fictional novels enough.
     
  5. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2003
    Messages:
    8,724
    Yep Wilbur is a great fiction writer. Pondoro and Bell aren't fiction writers. Well not intentionally anyway. Pondoro definitley had a flare for the dramatic.
     
  6. JMtoolman

    JMtoolman Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2009
    Messages:
    12
    When you finish those, look for the six books on man eaters by Jim Corbett!!!!
     
  7. desidog

    desidog Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2008
    Messages:
    2,300
    Is there any record of how many went and did not return? That would be an interesting ratio. Of course, in those days with communication being what it was, I'm sure some who went were not recorded, and some who said they were going went somewhere else.

    I was recently reading something on Bell; and that he had smokeless powder, as contrasted to the Swahilis with BP. Can anyone tell me what he did for ammo? Did he bring a whole lot of cartidges, or was he casting and reloading in a tent?
     
  8. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2003
    Messages:
    8,724
    Desidog,

    He brought tins of packed ammo and pre arranged shipments of fresh supplies and ammo at bigger settlements. Same as many of the elephant hunters of the day.

    As far as ratio's I can't give you a solid number but the fatality rate was pretty high and most of the professional elephant hunters were not publicly known so they would simply disappear and the story of their demise may or may not make it back to the towns. But it wasn't big news.

    Most of the ivory hunters had an agent in town that took care of much of the supply needs. Many had bank drafts out with various gun makers and outfitters so that they could order ammo and rifles and supplies and have them delivered. By the time Bell was in Africa many of the larger gun makers had outlets in the African colonies so getting supplies shipped to the bush took weeks or months rather than years. Remember in Bell's time there was already a fairly extensive rail system through many parts of Africa.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2010
  9. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2002
    Messages:
    23,648
    Location:
    Los Anchorage
    A fair number died in the sticks, and an even larger number returned with various tropical diseases that crippled them for life. They became a part of the landscape of imperial Europe. Rimbaud makes reference to them with the famous line: "féroces infirmes retour des pays chauds"--fierce invalids back from hot countries. They show up as standard characters in period mysteries as well.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page