A. Radclyffe (Arthur Radclyffe) Dugmore.

Camera adventures in the African wilds; being an account of a four months' expedition in British East Africa, for the purpose of securing photographs of the game from life online

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Online LibraryA. Radclyffe (Arthur Radclyffe) DugmoreCamera adventures in the African wilds; being an account of a four months' expedition in British East Africa, for the purpose of securing photographs of the game from life → online text (page 1 of 18)
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CAMERA ADVENTURES
IN THE AFRICAN WILDS




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FLASHLIGHT PICTURE OF THE KING OF BEASTS. AT THE MOMENT THE PHOTOGRAPH WAS MADE

THE LION WAS TWELVE YARDS FROM THE AUTHOR AND HIS COMPANION, WHO

WERE ON THE GROUND BENEATH SOME THORN BUSH



CAMERA ADVENTURES
IN THE AFRICAN WILDS



BEING AN ACCOUNT OF A FOUR MONTHS' EXPEDITION

IN BRITISH EAST AFRICA, FOR THE PURPOSE

OF SECURING PHOTOGRAPHS OF

THE GAME FROM LIFE



BY



A. RADCLYFFE DUGMORE, F.R.G.S.

AUTHOR OF "BIRD HOMES," NATURE AND THE CAMERA," ETC.





WITH ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY PHOTOGRAPHS
FROM LIFE BY THE AUTHOR



NEW YORK
DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & COMPANY

IQIO



ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, INCLUDING THAT OF TRANSLATION
INTO FOREIGN LANGUAGES, INCLUDING THE SCANDINAVIAN



COPYRIGHT, IQIO, BY DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & COMPANY
PUBLISHED, FEBRUARY,



THE NEW YORK

PUBil:.' I9RAKY



ASTOR LENOX AND
TILDEN FOUWOATIONS

O >



COPYRIGHT,



, BY P. F. COLLIER & SON



THIS BOOK

IS AFFECTIONATELY DEDICATED

TO MY WIFE

WHO SHARED THE ANXIETIES OF THE JOURNEY
AND ENJOYED NONE OF ITS PLEASURES



''II'",

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ROUGH MAP SHOWING THE ROUTE OF THE EXPEDITION



. ; . . .' '

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CONTENTS



CHAPTER PAGE

I. Arriving at Mombasa and the Railway Journey

Through the Great Game Country to Nairobi . 3

Arranging the "safari," engaging porters and attending to the
preliminaries of the expedition.

II. Our First " Safari." Exciting Adventures with Rhi-
noceros ... 16

Carrying on the Olgerei River, 80 miles from the Kilimanjaro
Seeing zebra, giraffe, fringe-eared oryx, lesser kudu, hartebeest,
impala, water buck, Grant's and Thomson's gazelles.

III. From Nairobi to Donya Sabuk. Photographing a

Big Herd of Buffalo ... 34

Across the Athi Plains Immense herds of zebra, hartebeest,
impala and eland Also reedbuck, a pair of leopards and some
rhinoceros.

IV. From Donya Sabuk to the Yata Plains. Interesting

Experiences with Lions. Photographing Rhinoce-
ros and Other Animals by Daylight and Flashlight 46

Visiting a Wakamba village Crossing the Athi River First
sight of hippopotamus.

V. From the Yata Plains to Simba Camp, near Tana
River. Photographing Lions at Close Range by
Flashlight. Being Stalked by Two Lions in the
Daytime ........ 68

Interesting journey across the Thika River Difficulties in find-
ing water Great abundance of game.

vii



viii CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE

VI. On the Tana River. Photographing Giraffe, Hippo-
potamus, Crocodile and Other Animals . . 88

Amusing experience with the natives Beginning of the rainy
season Herds of baboons.

VII. From the Tana River to Meru. One-Hundred-Mile

March Over the Northern Slopes of Mount Kenia 106

Visit to Fort Hall and Nyeri Seeing much of the natives
Hard march over the hills Camping at a 10,000 feet eleva-
tion Difficulties in crossing mountain torrents Finding many
familiar flowers Game scarce .

VIII. Our Stay at Meru. Interesting Native Dances. From
Meru Through Dominuki's Country to the North-
ern Guaso Nyiro ....... 122

The Meru Wa-Kikuyu, splendid type of people Hunt for
elephants Crater Lake Visits and presents from the natives.

IX. The Northern Guaso Nyiro. Abundance of G me:
Gerenuk, Oryx, Grevy's Zebra and Giraffe. Find-
ing and Photographing the Giant Bush Pig . . 140

Wonderful park-like camping country Fine climate and good
fishing Vulturine and common guinea fowl.

X. From the Northern Guaso Nyiro Back to Simba Camp.
Difficulties of Finding the Way Without Guides
or Trails ...... . 159

Through waterless country and dense forests Getting separated
from the "safari" Heavy rains View of Mt. Kenia.

XL Simba Camp. Seeing Twelve Lions in One Night.
Making Flashlight Photographs of Them at Nine
Yards . . . . . . . . .170

Lack of water, discouraging conditions, good luck at last
Exciting experience with lions.



CONTENTS ix

CHAPTER PAGE

XII. From Simba Camp Back to Nairobi. Photographing
Wildebeest, Zebra and Other Game. Some Excite-
ment with Buffalo. The End of the Four Months'
"Safari" 182

Finding lion dens Visit to Ju ja Farm and Karaite Finding
one of Roosevelt's buffalo.

XIII. How to Arrange a Trip to British East Africa. Its

Cost and Equipment 196

XIV. Photographic Hints and Outfit 226

List of the More Important Game Found in British

East Africa and Uganda 230



ILLUSTRATIONS

Flashlight Picture of the King of Beasts . . Frontispiece
Rough Map Showing the Route of the Expedition . Page vi

FACING PAGE

1 he Commonest Animals of the East African Plains, Grant's

Zebra and Coke's Hartebeest ..... 5

The Author and His Masai Guide 8

Athi River Station 12

A Herd of Tame Ostrich 12

A Pair of Rhino Disturbed During Their Sleep . . . 16

A Pair of Rhino Meditating a Charge . . . . 16
Rhinoceros Turning, after Seeing Its Mate Fall from a

Shot 16

A Rhino Getting Ready for His Noonday Sleep . . 16

A Charging Rhino ........ 16

Rhinoceros Photographed at a Distance of Fifteen Yards
When Actually Charging the Author and His Com-
panion .......... 1 6

A Pair of Rhino When They First Discovered the Author . 16

One of the Same Pair of Rhino in the Act of Charging . 16

Telephotograph of Mt. Kilimanjaro 16

Telephotograph of a Herd of Grant's Gazelle . . . 16
Herd of Grant's Gazelle, the Third One from the Right

Carrying What is Probably a Record Pair of Horns . . 16

Herd of Coke's Hartebeest on the Dry Bed of the Olgerei River 16

xi



xii ILLUSTRATIONS

Telephotograph of Coke's Hartebeest in the Olgerei River . 18

Grant's Zebra Digging for Water in the Sandy Bed of the

Olgerei River 20

Rhinoceros in the Act of Charging. Photograph Made at

About Ten or Twelve Yards 29

Telephotographs of Wart Hogs, Olgerei River . . . 31

Young Grant's Gazelle ....... 36

A Young Grant's Gazelle Hiding ...... 36

Herd of Buffalo on Donya Sabuk ...... 38

Part of the Same Herd of Buffalo Shown on the Previous Plate 43

A Group of Buffalo Resting Among Dense Bush ... 45

Flashlight Picture of Coke's Hartebeest .... 48

Flashlight of a Herd of Coke's Hartebeest Coming to Drink . 50
Flashlight Photograph of Coke's Hartebeest at a Water Hole

in the Yata Plains ........ 54

Spotted Hyena Coming to the Water to Drink ... 59

Three Telephotographs of a Rhino ..... 63

The Same Rhino as Shown on the Previous Plate, Photo-
graphed with a Single Lens and Greatly Enlarged . . 65
Our Only Visitors One Night were Two Scavengers a
Spotted Hyena and a Jackal, which Came to Feed on
the Dead Zebra ........ 65

The Same Lion as Shown in Frontispiece, but Photographed

from a Different Position ...... 68

"The King is Dead" 77

Coke's Hartebeest Photographed from a Blind ... 80
Telephoto of a Coke's Hartebeest. The Animal Suspects

Danger, and is Uncertain of Its Whereabouts ... 80



ILLUSTRATIONS xiii

Telephotograph of Three Water-buck .... 84
One of a Pair of Lions Which Stalked the Author in Broad

Daylight 86

Large Herd of Giraffe Near the Tana and Thika Rivers . 91

Large Herd of Giraffe and Grant's Zebra .... 93
Herd of Giraffe Photographed at a Distance of about 375

Yards with the Telephoto 96

Marabou Storks on the Banks of the Tana River ... 96

A Young Dik-dik Found Near the Thika River ... 96

Hippopotamus in the Tana River ...... 96

Studies of Hippo in the Tana River . . 96

Young Hippopotamus Asleep on the Bank of the Tana River . 96

The Tana River, Showing Hippopotamus in the Foreground . 96
On the Tana River. Hippopotamus on the Rock and in

the Water 96

Immature Hippopotamus and a Crocodile .... 96

Some Old Hippopotamus Asleep in the Tana River . . 96

An Immature Hippopotamus in the Tana River . . 98

Telephotograph of a Large Crocodile on the Tana River . 100

On the Road Between Fort Hall and Nyeri ... 109
Our Camp Near the Ambori River, on the Northwest Slopes

of Mt. Kenia . in

Mt. Kenia with a Fresh Fall of Snow Covering the Entire

Upper Range ... 113

Type of the Park-like Country Through Which We Marched

on Our Way to Meru 114

Our "Safari" Crossing the Open Country on North Side

of Mt. Kenia . . 116



xiv ILLUSTRATIONS

Example of Vegetation Near the Streams of Mt. Kenia . 118

Coming to the Dance at Meru Which Was Given for Our

Benefit 123

Dance of the Meru Wa-Kikuyu . . . . . .125

Dance of the Meru Wa-Kikuyu . . . . . .127

Young Meru Kikuyu Girls (About Twelve Years Old) . . 128

A Meru Kikuyu Man and Girl 128

Meru Wa-Kikuyu Belles in their Holiday Dress . . .128

Types of Meru Wa-Kikuyu Warriors . . . . ' . 128

Photographing Under Difficulties 128

The Natives of Meru Were More Interested in the Reflex

Camera than in Anything We Possessed .... 128

Wa-Kikuyu Girls Filling Gourds with Water near Meru . 128

The Samburu Masai Method of Using a Donkey . . . 130
Dominuki's Men were Ordered by Their Chief to Bring Us

Firewood ......... 130

Kikuyu Mother and Child 132

Village of the Samburu Masai ...... 134

Samburu Masai and Their Cattle ...... 139

In a Masai Village ........ 139

On the Banks of the Northern GuasoNyiro River . . . 141

Our Camp on the Banks of the Northern Guaso Nyiro . . 143

Natives Crossing the Northern Guaso Nyiro .... 144

Oryx (Beisa) Near the Northern Guaso Nyiro . . .144
Herd of Oryx (Beisa) and Grant's Gazelle During the Noon-
day Rest ......... 144

Herd of Grevy's Zebra 144

A Pair of Grevy's Zebra, Near the Guaso Nyiro . . . 144



ILLUSTRATIONS xv
A Grevy's Zebra Which at One Time Came so Close that With

the Telephoto He More Than Covered the Plate . . 144

Grant's Zebra, Near the Guaso Nyiro 144

Grevy's Zebra, and Grant's Zebra. Two Telephotos Showing

the Difference in the Markings of the Two Species . . 144
Part of a Herd of Forty-five Giraffe and some Oryx, Near the

Guaso Nyiro 144

Telephotographs of a Gerenuk Near the Northern Guaso

Nyiro .......... 144

The Forest Hog or Giant Bush Pig 146

Impala Jumping ......... 148

Telephotograph of Impala, Near the Guaso Nyiro . . . 148

Telephotograph of a Pair of Vulturine Guinea Fowl . . 150
Two Telephotographs of a Vulture . . . . .152

Telephoto of an Egyptian Goose on the Guaso Nyiro . . 155
The Natural Flower Garden on the Banks of the Northern

Guaso Nyiro 157

Our "Safari" Going up the Foothills of Mt. Kenia . . 159
The "Safari" Taking a Rest During the March up the Foot-
hills of Mt. Kenia 161

Mount Kenia from the Northern Foothills . . . .162

Telephoto of Mt. Kenia 164

Long Distance Telephotographs of Eland on the Northern

Slopes of Mt. Kenia 168

Our Water Supply at Simba Camp 170

Telephotograph of a Herd of Impala Feeding . . .170
Building the Thorn "Boma" for Protection Against Attacks

from Lions While Making Flashlight Pictures . . 173



xvi ILLUSTRATIONS

Front View of the Same "Boma" Completed . . . 173

Lioness Approaching Kill . . . . . . .175

Lioness Coming to Her Kill . . . . . . .176

A Lioness About to Commence Her Dinner . . . .178

Another View of the Same Lioness . . . . .180

Female Grant's Gazelle and Her Fawn 182

Telephoto of Wildebeest or Brindled Gnu, Athi Plains . . 184
The Entrance to a Series of Lions' Dens . . . .184

Telephoto of Grant's Zebra at Juja, on the Athi Plains . . 187
Coke's Hartebeest at Kamite . . . . . .189

Large Herd of Coke's Hartebeest at Kamite, on their Way

to Water 189

Immense Herd of Grant's Zebra and Coke's Hartebeest on

Their Way to Water 191

The Dense Papyrus Through Which We Went in Search of

Colonel Roosevelt's Wounded Buffalo . . . .193

Setting the Flashlight ........ 226

The Reflex Camera Equipped with Telephoto Lens . . 226
Pictures of Hippo Made With n-inch Lens, with Single 18-
inch Lens, and with Telephoto ..... 228



INTRODUCTION

THERE should always be some valid excuse for offering a book
to the public, some reason for swelling the list of books, which grows
only too rapidly. The preservation of the wild animals is the excuse
I offer for attempting this volume, and may the reader pardon the
many shortcomings and forgive all errors. I want to appeal to the
lovers of sport, and perhaps to those who consider themselves as such,
but whose only claim is the insatiate love for killing which charac-
terizes their idea of sport. I offer no information as to how animals
should be shot there are books enough on that subject rather
how sport may be attained without the use of the rifle. For many
years shooting was one of my greatest pleasures. Having been
brought up from the time I was nine years of age to the use of fire-
arms, I considered the man who did not shoot a very inferior person -
he was, in fact, unmanly. But as the years went by I became more
and more deeply interested in natural history. The idea of killing
for the sake of killing lost its fascination. Further, it seemed wrong
and foolish, inasmuch as it destroyed the very creature that afforded
the opportunity of study. The life of any animal, be it bird or beast,
is far more interesting and useful than the study of its dead body.
This is not an original idea, and I am by no means alone in my
views on this subject, for I know many men who a few years ago
devoted their holidays to shooting, but who to-day find far greater
pleasure and interest in hunting with the camera. Unquestionably



xvu



xviii INTRODUCTION

the excitement is greater, and a comparison of the difficulties makes
shooting in most cases appear as a boy's sport. The efficiency of
the modern rifle greatly reduces the chance of failure, and con-
quently places the balance of chance too much in the sportsman's
hands, while the difficulties of photography are lessened almost
yearly by the invention of better and more simple devices, with the
result that pictures which hitherto were practically unobtainable
are to-day becoming common. It will be but a few years before
we shall see clubs and societies formed for the advancement of natural
history photography. In fact, an important and wide-spreading
one is only now being organized, and before the year is past it will
probably be an accomplished fact. What effect it will have remains
to be seen, but we shall see the day when men will be as proud to
write its letters after their names as they are to-day of the letters
of some of the existing distinguished scientific societies. Photo-
graphic hunting, besides being one of the keenest of sports, affords
the greatest possible opportunity of studying the life of wild animals,
and has the advantage in the fact that for the camera hunter there
is no close season, and all wild animals and birds are game for the
photographic bag. But the man with the camera who enters the
game land during the legal close season has already run against
opposition from the shooting fraternity. Either in Maine or New
Brunswick they have been trying to pass a law prohibiting camera
hunting, especially flashlight work, on the ground that it makes
the animals so wild that when the season opens the sportsman finds
his game too difficult to stalk.

The animal pictures throughout this book are direct photographic
reproductions of the original photographs. There has been no



INTRODUCTION xix

retouching or faking of any description. In many instances the
pictures are enlarged somewhat in order to show the animals to
better advantage, and to allow for the loss of fine detail caused by
the engraving mesh. The distance at which some of the photographs
were made is guessed at, and is consequently only approximate,
while others, such as those of the lion and rhinoceros, were in most
cases actually measured. It is scarcely necessary to add that, unless
otherwise specified, all the animals were photographed in their
natural state, at large, and entirely free from fences or other restric-
tions.

In conclusion I wish to acknowledge the many courtesies extended
to me during my expedition. Particularly are my thanks due to
Lieutenant-Governor Jackson, C. R. W. Lane, Provincial Com-
missioner of Kenia, E. B. Horn, District Commissioner of Meru,
and A. B. Perceval, and to James L. Clark, who was my companion
throughout the trip, and to whose courage and coolness I owed many
of my opportunities for photographing the more dangerous animals.
He frequently risked his life to help in the work which was so inter-
esting to both of us, and the results of which will, I hope, be of
interest to those who see this volume.

A. RADCLYFFE DUGMORE.

GUERNSEY
September gth, 1909.



CAMERA ADVENTURES
IN THE AFRICAN WILDS



CHAPTER I

ARRIVING AT MOMBASA AND THE RAILWAY JOURNEY THROUGH THE
GREAT GAME COUNTRY TO NAIROBI

A GOOD many years ago the writings of Sir Samuel Baker inspired
me with a keen desire to visit the country where game was so abun-
dant that to see thousands of heads roaming the great plains was as
common a sight as seeing rabbits playing outside their warrens in
England. Some years later a brother of mine made a march from
Mombasa to Uganda, and wrote about seeing game so plentiful
that two thousand or three thousand head in a herd was a com-
mon everyday sight, and I wanted still more to see this animal
paradise. When the Uganda railway was opened, about nine years
ago, it seemed to us who were unfamiliar with the country, that the
days of great sights of game were numbered, and with regret I thought
of the opportunities for obtaining photographic records of the animal
life that were gone forever. But to my surprise, friends returning
from the country told me that most kinds of game were as plentiful
as ever, and that, though the railroad ran directly through some of
the very best parts of the country, it had in no way interfered with
this abundance. In fact, the tales they told of what one could
see directly from the train windows made me wonder whether
the heat (or supposed heat) of this part of the tropics had not
affected their brains. But their stories received corroboration
from all sides, and when Schillings's book, "Flashlights in the

3



4 CAMERA ADVENTURES

Jungle," appeared, I saw photographic proof of what I had heard
and read, and I definitely decided to start for British East Africa
just as soon as I had acquired a little more knowledge in the difficult
subject of animal photography. Practice alone could give this
knowledge. For several years I had hunted in the forests of Eastern
North America, using the camera where formerly I had used the
rifle, and I continued practising until within two weeks of leaving
for this land of promise. I had soon learnt that the devising of a
camera suitable for the varying conditions of the work was of vital
importance, inasmuch as there was nothing on the market that would
serve the purpose. Several were good in their way, but each had its
defects. I had several cameras built, and so gradually evolved the
weapon which would, I hoped, prove thoroughly efficient. Armed
with this, and a complete outfit for developing and printing in the
field, to say nothing of an elaborate electric flashlight device, I left
New York toward the end of November as happy as a boy at the idea
that at last my hopes were about to be realized. A short stay in
England enabled me to complete certain details of outfit, and then,
crossing to Marseilles, I embarked for British East Africa. The
trip by way of Naples and the Red Sea was as uneventful as the
modern steamship travel usually is the same mixture of passengers,
about whom one hazards guesses as to age, nationality, name, pro-
fession and distinction, the same stopping at ports where the natives
try to sell cheap Birmingham machine-made objects, represented as
Eastern hand-made, and these with the usual unexciting diversions
helping to pass the time. On board were many Britishers and
Americans who were going after big game, so we had much in com-
mon, and spent the evenings exchanging ideas on outfit and other,



JOURNEY THROUGH THE GAME COUNTRY 5
to us, interesting topics. Crossing the line was the only bit of dis-
sipation in which we indulged, the usual lathering, shaving and
ducking producing no end of amusement.

Seventeen days from the time we left Marseilles saw us entering
Kilindini, the beautiful harbor of Mombasa. On the shores the
low forts, almost hidden by the tangle of vines, barely suggested
their presence, and brought up memories of the past turbulent his-
tory of this " Isle of War," which is the translation of Kiswa Mvita,
the native name for the Island. It is doubtful whether any place of
its size has seen more dissension, more treachery, more fighting,
and more shocking cruelty than this palm grove island, where Arab,
Portuguese and indigenous native fought continuously for mastery
as far back as history leaves any record. Even the Chinese seem to
have had something to say about it in the dark days of the' early
Christian era. Finally England in her efforts to suppress the slave
trade entered the scene of trouble; now she not only has virtual con-
trol of Mombasa, but has also leased the ten-mile coastal strip
between the German boundary and Jubaland as a natural pro-
tection of the East African concession, which was granted to the
British East African Association by Seyid Barghash in 1887. In
1894-5 British protectorate was proclaimed over what is now British
East Africa and Uganda. What a contrast the place exhibits to
what has gone before! To-day the only fighting is that which takes
place periodically between the passengers of the incoming steamers
and the Customs, for the sportsman is so dull that he positively refuses
to see why the duty on his rifle should be regulated, not by its cost,
of however ancient a date of purchase, but by the value of that same
kind of weapon as sold by the dealer in East Africa. For the same



6 CAMERA ADVENTURES

sportsman argues (foolishly, perhaps, for how should we, the uniniti-
ated, know ?) that the retail price of that rifle in East Africa represents,
besides the customary cost of transportation and rather large profit
expected by those who labor in foreign climes, the 10 per cent, duty
that has been paid. However, that is mere detail, and we may even
hope to see this peculiar condition change for the better before
very long.

We landed from the steamer after thoroughly enjoying the unex-
pected pleasure of having to haul out our own luggage from the
steamer's stifling baggage room, and see to its being put in boats
and taken ashore. We learned that the train started the following
day at about noon, but that we should be able to get our things ashore
and through the Customs in so short a time as twenty-six hours was,
of course, absurd. So we put up at, or rather with, the best hotel in
the town, and perspired freely while we fumed and fretted in true
British style until the second day following. The courteous hospi-
tality of the Mombasa Club quite saved us from even thinking we
were having a rough time of it, but we were glad beyond words when
at the last moment it became certain that we should catch the train
on the second day, and when the time arrived we sat down with a
feeling of relief to fully enjoy the comforts of the roomy, well-designed
railway carriage, which, built on the plan of those in India, is thor-
oughly well-suited to the conditions of the tropical climate. Warm
blankets we had been strongly advised to take. It scarcely seemed
possible that we should need them, as during the first few hours after
leaving the heat made us decidedly uncomfortable, and the cooling
drinks with which we had provided ourselves lasted only too short a
time. We were even reduced to drinking the cool milk from the



JOURNEY THROUGH THE GAME COUNTRY 7
green cocoanuts purchased from natives at the railway station.
The first part of the journey was as tropical as one might wish.
Tall cocoanut palms waved their rustling branches over the dark,
dense mango trees, which afforded welcome shade to the small
thatched huts of the Swahili native. Bush-like beans, castor plants,
sweet potatoes, yams and maize grew luxuriantly in the small clear-
ings. Surrounding these gardens was the usual dense tropical
vegetation, where birds, jewel-like in their iridescent plumage,
darted here and there in quest of food. Some would, like the gor-
geous butterflies, take their toll of honey, or perhaps tiny insects, from
flowers as brilliant as themselves, while others, less dainty, preyed


1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Online LibraryA. Radclyffe (Arthur Radclyffe) DugmoreCamera adventures in the African wilds; being an account of a four months' expedition in British East Africa, for the purpose of securing photographs of the game from life → online text (page 1 of 18)