Elephant Hunting in East Equatorial Africa
By Arthur H. Neumann
Of the books in this list, this work by Arthur Neumann is now perhaps the most rare in the original. As stated in the sub-title, it is an account of three years’ ivory-hunting under Mount Kenya and among the Ndorobo savages of the Lorogi Mountains, including a trip to the north end of Lake Rudolph. At the time of which he wrote, these parts were unvisited by hunters.
Born in 1850, son of an English rector, Neumann sailed for Natal at eighteen, and with his brother engaged in growing cotton and tobacco on the Umvoti, dug gold in the Transvaal and traded in Swaziland; and, in 1879, served in the Zulu War. He then travelled and hunted extensively around the Limpopo and Sabi rivers.
His ambition to hunt elephants professionally was fired when, as a employee of Sir William Mackinnon’s chartered company in 1890, he reconnoitered a proposed railway to Lake Victoria – a region that was a hunter’s paradise. The years 1893-96 took him from Mombasa, across Mount Kenya to Lake Rudolf and back, shooting on the way, elephant, rhinoceros, hippopotamus and many types of thin skinned game animals. Then followed an interlude of service in the Anglo-Boer War when he took part in the relief of Ladysmith. The war over, he returned to the Mount Kenya area, and in 1903 and 1904 he ranged through the Lorian Swamp, Turkana, and northern Gwaso Nyiro.
Both Lyell and Millais praised his hunting skills. He was, too, a keen lepidopterist, and obtained specimens of three new species of butterfly belonging to the genera Mylothris, Catachrysops and Mycalesis,one of which, Mylothris neumanni was named after him. These are illustrated in a colour plate.
The book which ranks high in the corpus of African hunting literature is richly illustrated with plates by artists Millais, Caldwell and Lodge; and the author’s photographs.