Hunting Africa pp 134-158 | Cite as

‘To Make a Fetish of Roughing It’: Reimagining Hunting in the Age of Safaris, 1900–1914

  • Angela Thompsell
Part of the Britain and the World book series (BAW)


The participation of women hunters, and perhaps even more so that of honeymooning couples, necessarily altered the image of big game hunting in Africa. A graver challenge to the reputation of hunting as a sport, however, arose from the ability of the average sportsman or woman to make a relatively short safari in East Africa and return to Britain laden down with impressive trophies, including those of lions, rhinoceros and even an elephant or two. How difficult or dangerous could African hunting be if every sportsman and woman seemed guaranteed of success? Even worse, some of the most respected hunters of the day claimed that real hunting was still extremely difficult, but what these vacationing hunters were doing was simply shooting animals. Without the knowledge of African animals and ecologies that could only come from several years’ experience, they argued, those who came to Africa to hunt on vacation, no matter how keen, could do no more than shoot the animals to which their Somali guide or White Hunter had led them.1 One did not need to read the critiques of veteran hunters, either, to sense the growing gap between the idealized culture of rugged, frontier hunting and the rhetoric of domesticated comfort and ease emerging out of the safari industry. A 1907 article in the Daily Express, entitled ‘Lions at Three a Penny’, played on the accounts of a tourism promoter to the point of making a safari in British East Africa sound like a tame, prefabricated experience.


African Nature Hunting Ground Manly Restraint Hunting Expedition Venture North 
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Copyright information

© Angela Thompsell 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Angela Thompsell
    • 1
  1. 1.The College at BrockportSUNYUSA

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