Hunting the Spiral Horns – Bongo & Nyala – The Elite African Trophies, edited by Peter Flack, is the fifth and final book in a five-book series covering all thirty spiral-horn species and subspecies that are recognized by both Rowland Ward and SCI. This book is designed to be the definitive book on hunting the two bongo subspecies and the common and the mountain nyala.
Although it was the western bongo that was first brought to the attention of science (probably by William Ogilby), most of the early sport-hunting accounts are of the eastern or Kenya bongo. Who was the first sportsman to shoot a Kenya bongo remains a point of debate, but Kermit Roosevelt was among the earliest when he ventured with his father into Africa in 1909. In recent times some hunters and scientists have divided the western bongo into two varieties because distinct populations exist both east and west of Nigeria. Bongos are generally considered the hardest animals in Africa to hunt when dogs are not used to track them.
The mountain nyala was the last large mammal to be discovered by science in Africa, and the honor of that discovery fell to Maj. Ivor Buxton, hence the animal’s scientific name Tragelaphus buxtoni. The mountain nyala only inhabits the highlands of Ethiopia. It was the eminent British naturalist Richard Lydekker who first described the animal; he called it a “spotted kudu.” Hunting a mature bull has always been one of the great challenges of African hunting, and so it remains to this very day. Permits are very expensive and scarce as hen’s teeth.