Catalogue - Reprints (Africana - Hunting)

Trekking the Great Thirst
By Lieut. Arnold W. Hodson

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T. Fisher Unwin, London, 1912.

Reprints: xxxvi, 342pp., 85illus., 4 maps; new colour frontispiece, and new Foreward by Prof. R.S. Roberts.

ISBN (Std) 0 86920 263 4, (Dlx) 0 86920 262 6

Trekking the Great Thirst was first published in book form in 1912, much of it having originated as contemporary articles written for sporting and other popular magazines. It deals mainly with journeys and hunting expeditions of the author in Bechuanaland Protectorate (Botswana) in the years 1904-1919.

His duties as a policeman and magistrate took him into the most remote parts of the territory, one of the his missions being the Damaraland frontier at the time of the Herero and Nama Wars in German South-West Africa. He was also much involved in trying to reconcile conflicts between tribal chiefs. His several political missions, on which his narrative runs, cover a most important period of the history of Botswana, and his account gives an informative picture of the character of the people, their mode of living, and the harshness of the waterless regions with their great trackless distances.

One of his journeys, in 1906, was made in the company of Sir Ralph Williams, Resident Commisioner, and was from Serowe to Livingstone and the Victoria Falls via Lake Ngami. Four years later Hodson organised a hunting trip for High Commissioner Selborne, from Pandamatenga to Selous' old camp on the Mabebe Flats and on to the Chobe. This chapter is contributed by Frederick Vaughan Kirby, who wrote In the Haunts of Wild Game.

The hunting highlights of the book are reminscent of the descriptions of game given by such early sportsmen as Gordon Cumming (1850) and Kirby (1896).

Hodson became in turn Governor of the Falkland Islands (1926), Sierra Leone (1930), and the Gold Coast (1934). He was knighted in 1934.

He was the author of several books, two of them dealing with hunting expeditions in Abyssinia.

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