Catalogue - Reprints (Africana - Hunting)

African Hunting
By William Charles Baldwin

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Richard Bentley, London, 1863, (second edition).

Reprint: xxii, 451pp., 47 illus., 1 map, new Introduction by Gary W. Clendennen

ISBN (Std) 0 86920 227 8, (Dlx) 0 86920 228 6

Baldwin has a honoured place in the gallery of Africa's white hunters of the nineteenth century. Arriving at Durban in 1851, he became one of this continent's great travellers, journeying between 12000 and 15000 miles with his wagons during the last three years of his wanderings. In 1860 he earned the distinction of becoming the second known non-African to reach the Victoria Falls on the Zambezi River.

Soon after his arrival in Natal, Baldwin joined a party, to Zululand, of eleven men led by 'Elephant' White. Some went to the Pongolo river after elephant, and the others, including Baldwin, to St. Lucia Bay to shoot hippo. He was one of the four survivors of the expedition.

In 1854 he hunted in the Amatonga country and three years later, after a second journey to Zululand, he crossed into the Transvaal where he was offered some 3000 acres of land, for the price of a plough, in the area which is now the Witswatersrand.

His first attempt to visit Mzilikazi's country, present-day Zimbabwe, having failed, he set off the following year for Ngamiland but found the Transvaal and the Orange Free State at war. He was arrested on charge of smuggling ammunition and had nearly all his powder and lead confiscated. He reached Lake Ngami on 11 June1858 after having killed, on the Botletle river, his first elephant in his six years in Africa. On his trip to the Zambezi two years later he and his companions bagged sixty-one elephants.

Clendennen writes: "For those who relish the joy of the chase, the fragrance of coffee over the evening camp-fire, and the intricate counterpoint of the African symphony, Baldwin has written a classic. Through its pages parades a seemingly inexhaustible menangerie of the land, from the smallest ducks to the mightiest elephants - with Baldwin and his companions in hot pursuit."

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