What is a
TROPHY? The true heart of the hunt
Not getting what you want?
What your PH does not know
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contents 4 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE Volume 4 Issue 3
8 What is a TROPHY? The true heart of the hunt
20 Not getting what you want? What your PH does not know
40 African hunters of yesteryear The Maneating lions of Tsavo
48 Rookie Writers When things go right
74 Africa - the good news The good news from Africa
96 Make a Plan
The multifunctional binoculars
101 True North
Seen a painting of a naked man?
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What is a
TROPHY? The true heart of the hunt
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hilst walking around in the bush the other day enjoying the solitude that comes from walking alone in wild places, I happened to come across two old buffalo bulls. The thought had been running around in my mind of what constitutes a trophy and as I watched these two old moth eaten, battle scarred veterans, not more than a stones throw away I realized that my ideas on hunting trophies had changed over the past thirty years or so. Quite drastically so in fact.
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Perhaps it is the mellowing that comes with age or maybe a new perspective on life. I’m not quite sure which. Perhaps a combination of the two. The bulls were aware of me.
and headed off slowly into the sunset to wherever old buffalo go on a pleasant winters evening. Perhaps the buffalo too had been thinking about what constitutes a trophy?
Although the slight breeze was in my favour I was within range of their misty myopic vision. I could detect no sign of belligerence and left my rifle slung over my left shoulder. If anything, there was a resigned look about them, an expression which seemed to say “If you want to shoot us please get it over with”.
“I’m getting long in the tooth now - or more appropriately getting worn down in the tooth. Not much enamel left after twenty two odd buffalo summers and finding food that is tender enough to grind down fine enough to swallow is becoming quite a chore. Perhaps tomorrow might be my last sunrise perhaps not.
Yet I bore them no ill intent. If anything my desire to kill has waned significantly and it was enough for me to just hunker down quietly and respectfully watch these old men going about their somewhat arthritic and ungainly business.
I live each day as it comes. Thinking back on my life there have been good years and hard years.
The rheumy, red rimmed eyes seemed to focus with difficulty and after awhile they angled away slightly
Most of them hard. Humans have a saying: “Africa is not for sissies”. Humans are not right about most things but this saying of theirs is true. I remember as a young calf winter nights especially. Everyone says the bushveld is a Volume 4 Issue 3 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 11
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hot place and I could not agree more but the African bush can become bitterly cold in the early pre-dawn hours of July and August and I recall lying up close to my mother trying to get some warmth. And heat? Yes I have had my share of heat too. Scorching hot days when the herd searched for what scant shade there was to see out the heat of the day. What a relief it was when the lead bulls led us to water at days end. Thankfully seasonal pans and flowing rivers were never far from our feeding areas during the rainy season. It was different in the winter months. We had to range much further to find grazing and would often only drink every second and sometimes every third day. I recall the droughts I have lived through. The worst one lasted for almost three summers. It was an experience to be remembered and for the pain and discomfort of it best forgot. When the first rains broke the drought more than half the herd was no more. What remained of us looked like rugs hung over bags of bone and sinew. Yet I survived. Strangely enough the big bulls with bosses substantially more impressive than mine were some of the first to die. They seemed to lack endurance. It was often us “ordinary” bulls who would defend the herd in the darkest of nights against prides of marauding lions. The big bossed bulls would make a lot of noise but would make sure they were safely inside the lager of us ordinary guys. They seemed to be high on testosterone but pretty low on savvy and gumption when push came to shove. And I remember the long treks to find water when thirst would be an all compelling force driving the herd on through heat haze and choking red dust which would cake inside our nostrils and sting our eyes as our hooves churned up the powdery red clay on our relentless quest for dwindling water supplies. What relief it was to slake our burning thirst and to walk hock deep in what cool, muddy water we could find. But soon we would turn around and head back to our feeding areas which receded further and further away from our watering holes. Our trails to feeding areas and back to water were marked by bloated buffalo carcasses and over indulged vultures.
enough at one of the few remaining pools on the Shingwidzi River food would come to them. They had positioned themselves downwind from the water and as I led the thirsty herd down to drink I first became aware of them as they streaked out from behind a Lala palm thicket towards me. They were pretty inexperienced. The one tried to grab me around the throat and I sent her flying with a sweep of my horns. The other bit me on the cheek and tore my ear but ran off after I butted it to the ground. The second time lions tried to make a meal of me it was much worse. There were six of them. A male and five females. Two of the lions had moved upwind of me and as I caught the rancid scent of predator I turned and headed off in the opposite direction. I am wiser now but then I did not know that this was a favourite hunting strategy of the so called king of beasts. I walked straight into the ambush and suddenly there were lions all over, on and around me clawing and sinking their long canines deep into my flesh. It was a titanic struggle and two hours later the lions decided to give up. Two would be dead by morning: the one gored through to the lung the other hemorrhaging internally after it had felt the full weight of my body trampling it under iron hooves. But I had not come through unscathed. I stood trembling from exhaustion. Blood poured from deep wounds on my flank, rump, face, neck and shoulders. I felt weak and came close to losing consciousness. Walking slowly to a pool of nearby water I drank deeply. It was dark by now and the water was deliciously cool. It revived me somewhat and I determined to try and join up with the herd which had spooked when the lions had waylaid me. It was easy to follow the herd as they had splashed copious quantities of semi-liquid fear-induced dung along their flight path. It soon became apparent that I was too weak and found dense cover where I could try and rest and regain some strength.
What kept me going? I don’t know. Perhaps it was a sense of duty to protect the more vulnerable members of the herd. Lions nearly put an end to me on two occasions during that drought.
The next few days were very, very hard. The wounds on my body turned septic and a rampant fever transported me into a pain-filled world of semi-consciousness. I was aware of the sun rising and the heat and the thirst and then the sun setting.
On the first occasion two big lionesses nearly pulled me down. They had learned that if they waited long
Sunrise, heat, thirst… sunset. Sunrise, heat, thirst… sunset.
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After the third day I could smell the stink of my infected wounds and my misery was compounded by the Oxpeckers which pecked at the already painful flesh. I lost track of time but was aware of an all consuming thirst and somehow found my way to a waterhole where I slaked the raging thirst fire burning in my fever wracked body. I then lay down in the cool black mud of a wallow for two more days. It was a delicious balm to my aching wounds. About six or perhaps seven days after the lions had mauled me I took a turn for the better. The fever was gone, the pain in my wounds was subsiding and I had, for the first time in many days, an appetite. I was still stiff and sore but was able to rise up out of the mud and slowly head for a feeding area. That was in my fifteenth buffalo year. I had sired a number of progeny and felt no inclination to rejoin the herd of gossiping cows and boisterous youngsters and so began my year as a lone bull. It was a lonely year and I was happy to eventually join up with a small band of five old “dagga bulls”. We were close knit and experienced much in the way of hardship together which was made easier by the bond of companionship. Now only two of us remain. Two of the guys died of a coughing disease humans call bovine TB. They just wasted away. The oldest bull of our group was taken by lions and he just did not have the strength to fight them off. We tried to help and kept some of the lions at bay but there were just too many of them and when we heard the death rattle we knew there was little more we could do. We were shot at by poachers and gawked at by hunters who stared at us through binoculars. They
laughed and said “nah too small!” and then went on their merry hunters way to look for bosses that would get their names into the record books humans keep. Strange. Humans measure buffalo greatness by length of horn. We buffalo measure greatness by size of heart but we should not expect humans to know this. They are, after all, only human. And I must admit a year or two ago before my eyes had grown dim and I looked at my reflection in a clear pool of water I sure was no pretty picture. Must be even worse by now. Ears in tatters, bare patches on my face, white scars streaking my body, horns rounded and blunt and all but worn away by the battles of life. I chuckled a buffalo chuckle. Who would want a trophy like me? I have lived a full and adventure filled life and would in fact welcome a bullet to dispatch me quickly before I grow too weak and the pain I feel in my joints becomes too great. But who would bother “nah he’s too small and mangy!”” Old friend, if I was still a hunter, was thirty years younger, still had the inclination to kill, had the insight I now have, you would be the trophy I would want hanging on my wall. I used to have trophies hanging on my wall. I have taken them down. They were nothing more than proofs of manhood. Let those who have the need to prove themselves do so. It is their prerogative. If I could live my life again, I would measure my trophies by heart, not by inches - and the trophy would be a monument to your courage, stamina and endurance for having lived twenty two buffalo summers not to my ego or prowess as a hunter.
Cleve Cheney holds a bachelor of science degree in zoology and a master’s degree in animal physiology. He is a wilderness trail leader, rated field guide instructor and the author of many leading articles on the subjects of tracking, guiding, bowhunting and survival. Cleve has unrivalled experience in wildlife management, game capture and hunting, both with bow and rifle. Volume 4 Issue 3 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 15
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Not getting what you want?
What your PH does not know
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n 1926 John Alden Knight postulated some folklore he picked up in Florida and proceeded to attempt a refinement, giving it the name Solunar (Sol for sun and Lunar for moon). Knight compiled a list of 33 factors which influence or control day-to-day behavior of fresh and salt-water fish. Everything was taken into account that could possibly have any bearing on the matter. One by one the factors were examined and rejected. Three of them, however, merited further examination. They were sun, moon and tides. Surely the sun could have no effect since its cycle was the same day after day, whereas the observed activity periods of fish were apt to be present at most any time of the day or night.
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The moon had already been weighed and found wanting. Tides? Surely there could be no tidal movement in a trout stream. But the fact remained, however, that the tides had always guided saltwater fishermen to good fishing. Could it be that the prompting stimulus lay in the influence of the sun and moon which cause the ocean tides, rather than the actual tidal stages or flow? When the original research was being done only the approximate time of moon up - moon down were considered. Gradually, it became evident that there were also intermediate periods of activity that occurred midway between the two major periods. Thus the more evident periods were called major periods and the two intermediate periods, shorter in length, were called minor periods. One convincing experiment was when Dr. Frank A. Brown, a biologist at Northwestern University, had some live oysters flown to his lab near Chicago. Oysters open their shells with each high tide, and Dr. Brown wanted to see if this was due to the change in ocean levels or to a force from the moon itself. He put them in water and removed them from all sunlight. For the first week they continued to open their shells with the high tides from their ocean home. But by the second week, they had adjusted their shell-openings to when the moon was directly overhead or underfoot in Chicago.
... and large numbers. He examined approximately 200 of these catches. Over 90 percent were made during the dark of the moon (new moon) when the effects of of the periods appear to be greatest, and, more important, they were made during the actual times of the Solunar Periods. Initially, only the behavior of fish was considered. During 1935 to 1939 Knight made extensive studies of game birds and animals. As had been suspected, these also responded to the prompting stimulus of the periods.
PEAK DAYS It is now known that the sun and moon are the two major sources of the astral energies that daily bombard the Earth and all her life forms. The closer they are to you at any given moment, the stronger the influence. The day of a new or full moon will provide the strongest influence in each month.
The more evident periods were called major periods and the two intermediate periods, shorter in length, were called minor periods.
Knight first published his tables in 1936. Then, and today, one must calculate the precise times from each table taking into account the geographic location (east or west) of a base point (Time Zone), and adjusted for Daylight Savings Time when appropriate. Knightâ€™s tables are then rounded to the nearest 10 minutes. An example of the deviation in time in a particular state would be Texas. The time difference from El Paso on the western border and Hemphill on the eastern border is 51 minutes (Hemphill is 51 minutes earlier than El Paso).
PROVING THE THEORY To substantiate the theory, insofar as fish are concerned, John Alden Knight attempted a systematic inquiry to acquire complete details surrounding the capture of record catches. Both individual large fish
June always has more combined sun-moon influence than any other month. During a full moon, the sun and moon are nearly opposite each other and very few minutes pass without one or the other being in our sky. During a new moon, both bodies are in near-perfect rhythm traveling the skies together with their forces combined. Because of the interaction between the many lunar and solar cycles, no two days, months or years are identical.
PEAK TIMES When a period falls within 30 minutes to an hour of sunrise or sunset you can anticipate great action! When you have a moonrise or moonset during that period the action will be even greater. And, finally, when the above times occur during a new or full moon, you can expect the best action of the season!
LENGTH OF PERIODS Every fisherman knows that fish do not feed all the time. He knows, also, that for some reason fish often go on the feed and take most any offering, be it live bait or artificial. This sort of thing happens, according to John Alden Knight (the originator of the theory) during a period. To be sure, fish usually feed actively at sunrise and sunset, but generally, the real fishing of the day is at the odd hour feeding periods. If the Volume 4 Issue 3 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 23
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weather and feeding conditions are favorable the fish will be active for one to two hours.
by 90 or 270 degrees. The major periods occur when these forces are at 0 and 180 degrees apart.
WATCH THE BAROMETER
AREA COVERED BY THE TIMES
Intensity of activity also varies from day to day, according to conditions in general. If the barometer happens to be steady or rising, if the temperature is favorable (15 degrees higher than water temp) then long and active response to a period can be expected.
The times produced are known as equilibrium tide times, i.e., the times of low and high tides if the Earth were completely covered by water. Our program calculates the solar and lunar positions with an accuracy of .25 degrees allowing accuracy to be within 1 minute in time. The times will change one minute for each 12 miles east or west of the base point.
WATCH THE MOON Another thing to remember in dealing with the periods is that solunar influence will vary in intensity according to the position of the moon. The times of new moon (the dark of the moon), and there is no moon in the sky, is the time of maximum intensity.
There is one day each month (near the last quarter of the moon) on which there is no moonrise. This is normal and occurs because the moons average period between two rises and sets is approximately 24 hours and 50 minutes. Thus there will always be a day on which a moonrise (and a Solunar Time) will not fit. Note also that moonrise can occur at any time during the day or night.
Ocean tides reflect this intensity in their magnitude. This maximum will last about three days, and wildlife respond with maximum activity. Thereafter the degree of intensity tapers off until it is at its minimum during the third quarter phase of the moon. Salt-water anglers arResearch has gue that tides have a greater influence on fish feeding habits than the moon itself. shown that a It must be understood that the tides are natural day for governed by the phases and transit of the fish and many moon. Certain marine phenomena occur other animal with precise regularity during the lunar month and solar/lunar cycle. species differ
The quantities required for computing the times are elliptic longitudes of the Sun and Moon, the right ascension (RA) of the moon, and the local sidereal time of the observerâ€™s position.
BEST FISHING DAYS For those fishermen who enjoy fishing at sunrise and sunset, here are the absolute best dates to be on the water at your favorite spot. These are the Major or Minor Periods that fall near the times of Sunrise or Sunset during a Full or New Moon.
from our own. Research has shown that a natural day for fish and many other animal species differ from our own. Their biological clock appears to coincide with lunar time, which It has been documented that when this is the time that it takes for the moon to condition exists fish will bite on anything they see or reappear at a given point during one complete rotasmell. Limits are almost guaranteed provided there tion of the earth (an average of 24 hours and 53 are fish in the vicinity. minutes). This is called a Tidal Day and explains why Its no secret that fish and game tend to feed during the ocean tides are about an hour later each day dawn and dusk (sunrise and sunset). What amplifies and why most fish, fresh water species included, will feed up to an hour later (in relation to our solar clock) the activity is the effect of a moonrise or moonset plus the specific monthly periods of New (dark) and each day. Full (light) Moons. CALCULATING THE TIMES
The key to accurate Solunar Times is the ability to chart the relative solar and lunar positions with respect to a particular location. The major periods coincide with the upper and lower meridian passage of the resultant gravitational (tidal) force. The minor periods occur when these forces are rising or setting on either horizon, i.e., the right ascension of the resultant force and the local sidereal time vary
When the times coincide with a moon-rise or a moonset the action can be spectacular. Finally, a change in the local weather coinciding with the periods will further enhance the activity.
WATCH THE WEATHER For best results the tables must be used intelligently. Every day will not show a clear-cut reaction to a period. In the case of fish, barometric fluctuations, Volume 4 Issue 3 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 25
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particularly when the trend is down, often ruin fishing. All wildlife knows what to expect of the weather, and any bird, animal or fish can sense the approach of a storm. Cold fronts moving through drive all fish deeper and render them inactive. Adverse temperature, abnormal water conditions, all sorts of things will offset the effects of periods. However, every sportsman knows that it is beyond all reason to expect good fishing or hunting every day. The theory will point the way to the best in sport that each day has to offer, but in no sense is it a guarantee.
Applying the theory Full Moon or Dark Moon? Major and minor solunar periods? Which is best? Does any of this moon mumbo jumbo make any real sense nor does it actually work? These are legitimate questions asked by thousands of anglers each year, and they deserve concrete answers backed up by some bona-fide data. Yet as much as pro anglers endorse the effectiveness of moon charts and outdoor publications of every niche’ continue to print them, rarely does either source validate these solunar claims with data. It’s not hard to find a solunar table of some kind. Nearly every fishing publication today publishes some kind of monthly solunar table, moon chart, activity calendar, action graph, or other similar version. All of these tables, charts, and calendars claim to predict daily feeding activity of fish with accordance to moon and solar influences. Yet, I, like so many other anglers, rarely find any consistent correlation with most of these references. Finally, back in 1976, when I got into the fishing guide business full time, I really made it a point to compare my fishing catches to a number of solunar charts. Once I started logging my catches on a daily basis I developed a good data base. This finally put me in a position to compare hundreds of muskies, and thousands of bass and walleyes on a daily, monthly, and yearly basis to any printed solar/lunar reference. One of my key entries was the time of day. I figured a daily entry of fish activity would finally give me a mound of fishing data to compare with the various solar/lunar references on a given
day to day basis. What followed convinced me that certain solar/lunar criteria simply had little or no daily influence. Basically, I became so frustrated and disappointed with the lack of any real consistent correlation to most of the popular magazine charts today that I gave up on them completely. They simply did not work. I actually caught far more fish when they weren’t supposed to bite. And when good fish and game activity did coincide, which was less than 10% of the time, it was plainly obvious that it actually had much more to do with the local weather changes than any predicted major or minor solunar period. You would have thought that my accumulated research would have cured me from ever looking at a solunar chart again, but it did just the opposite. Why? Because I ended up discovering a certain solar/lunar influence that really did work. In fact, it worked so well that it was hard to believe at first. My daily fishing logs had surely disputed the commonly accepted correlations, but they just as surely pointed to indisputable evidence that a “certain” solar/lunar factor was really important. Yes, I had flipped 180 degrees on the entire solar/lunar deal. I went from totally disbelieving to being totally convinced. In fact, I eventually got to the point where I myself began to predict the most probable daily, monthly and even yearly times when the biggest fish were most apt to bite. And what’s even more incredible, was that I was right almost every single time! But perhaps what was even more unbelievable to me was that everyone else had missed this simple but really absolutely true key. The real secret, I discovered, to solar/lunar influences on a daily basis was nothing more than knowing when the sun and moon rose and set on a 24 hour basis. That’s right, it was simply a matter of knowing, to the minute, when the sun came up and went down, and when the moon came up and went down each and every day. My 21 year old fishing log revealed without question that fish were active during a 90 minute window surrounding each one of these four daily influences. Now, I realize this sounds overly obvious, but I told you it would. Most of the solar/lunar charts, tables and graphs you see depicted in today’s
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publications do not reveal nor coincide with these four vital factors. 1) sun rise, 2) sun set, 3) moon rise, and 4) moon set. Yet it doesn’t take an astrologist to figure out how important the rise and set of the sun and moon has to be. It’s certainly no secret that feeding movements of both fish and game have been traditionally accepted as key during dawn and dusk -- this correlates with sun rise and sun set. Moon rise and set is a bit more tricky to key in on though since they can often occur at mid day or mid night. Overcast weather can also make it impossible to see a moon rise or set, and of course a dark/new moon is not visible to begin with. The other “super secret” my logs revealed was the predictable frequency of big fish catches during the peak moon phases of full and new moon. Specifically, a lot more big muskies, walleyes, and bass were taken right on the scheduled calendar day of both the full or new (dark) moon peak, and continued for a three to five day stretch afterwards. In other words, if the full moon peak is on June 10th, June 10 thru 15 have great potential for trophies. Backing up a bit, the four daily factors previously discussed (the rise and set of both the sun and moon) inside each one of these predictable monthly moon peaks (four days on the back side of the full or new moon) further nails it down. In other words, you want to plan your fishing trips to hit the peak of the full or new moon. Then you want to be on your favorite big fish spots during the daily rise and set of both the sun and the moon. The Third Factor 28 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE Volume 4 Issue 3
Finally, my logs revealed a third factor that really adds impact to this entire solunar secret. That unpredictable third influence is local weather. Whenever a local weather change coincides with the daily rise or set of either the sun or the moon, during a peak monthly moon period, big things happen in bunches. Big things meaning big fish. For example, give me a severe summer T-storm right at sunset, and just before moon rise during the new moon period and it’s almost a sure bet that that I’m going to bag big muskies or the year’s biggest catch of lunker walleyes. Or just as good -- put me on a steep rocky shoreline with some spawning ciscoes right at the start of a snow storm in the late fall just after sunrise and right before moon set during a full moon period. Big muskies, big pike, big walleyes and big lakers will be snappin’. Could there be a fourth factor? Absolutely. In fact, there might even be a 5th or 6th. However, an easyto-detect 4th factor of influence that adds even more impact to an already good situation is a change in the photoperiod, or laymen’s terms -- a change in season. Photoperiodism is actually the measured ratio of daylight to darkness. The most drastic changes in the photoperiod occur in the spring and fall, but minidifferences are detected inside all seasons which are quickly detected thru their eyes and transmitted to their pituitary gland. The responses to these changes in the photoperiod trigger sexual responses such as reproduction and the development of eggs. This, in turn, also triggers increased movement and feeding binges by normally less active trophy fish.
I do realize how controversial my comments on solunar table validity may seem to some, but the facts speak for themselves. My data clearly points to sun rise, sun set, moon rise and moon set as the most important factors. The simple rise and set of both the sun and moon has far more impact than any other daily sun or moon position. That is, bar none, the single most important daily triggering factor of both fish and game. Monthly peaks in both the full and new moon are a second factor definitely worth considering. When fish of all sizes are feeding infrequently due to a prolonged streak of bad local weather conditions, that small “window” of three to four days right after the actual moon peaks, full or new, may be the only time that the largest fish of any species is truly catchable. Fishing during the daily rise or set of the sun and moon during these key monthly moon phases is paramount. Weather is also a legitimate third factor, and helps to elevate the impact of the daily rise and set of the sun or moon. It further elevates the entire realm of big fish possibilities when all three factors happen at relatively the same time. A changing weather pattern combined with a good monthly moon phase and rise or set of either sun or moon can activate some major movement from big fish.
If all of these things happen during a good photoperiod, look out! This is when the biggest fish of the year are generally caught. If you are serious about taking such a fish, I’d suggest you start really paying attention to the real scoop on moon phases!
CONCLUSION It goes without saying that if there are no fish or game present, you will not be successful. Plan your days on the water or in the field so that you are where the game is most likely to be during the periods. We hope that we have been able to improve your understanding of the theory - and how you can use it to improve your angling success. But always remember ... the best time to go fishing ... is whenever you can and always practice catch and release. Trust me -- thousands of entries in my fishing logs can’t be wrong. This stuff really works! Click here to subscribe to Joe Payne’s Solunar Times to get your own schedule or visit www.solunar.com
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African hunters of yesteryear
The African hunters of days gone by have had experiences few hunters have today. In those days, the game was much more plentiful and regulations were non-existent. Hunting was more dangerous in those days - no chopper evacuation when clawed up by a wounded leopard and no protection against marauding tribesmen. We can learn something from them. In this series, we feature some of the writings of the hunters that came before us and who hunted in an era we think of with nostalgia. 40 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE Volume 4 Issue 3
The Maneating lions of
THE ATTACK ON THE GOODS WAGON
by Lieut.-Col. J. H. Patterson, D.S.O.
All this time my own tent was pitched in an open clearing, unprotected by a fence of any kind round it. One night when the medical officer; Dr. Rose, was staying with me, we were awakened about midnight by hearing something tumbling about among the tent ropes, but on going out with a lantern we could discover nothing. Daylight, however, plainly revealed the â€œpugâ€? marks of a lion, so that on that occasion I fancy one or other of us had a narrow escape. Warned by this experience, I at once arranged to move my quarters, and went to join forces with Dr. Brock, who had just arrived at Tsavo to take medical charge of the district. We shared a hut of palm leaves and boughs, which we had constructed on the eastern side of the river, close to the old caravan route leading to Uganda; and we had it surrounded by a circular boma, or thorn fence, about seventy yards in diameter, well made and thick and high. Volume 4 Issue 3 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 41
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Our personal servants also lived within the enclosure, and a bright fire was always kept up throughout the night. For the sake of coolness, Brock and I used to sit out under the verandah of this hut in the evenings; but it was rather trying to our nerves to attempt to read or write there, as we never knew when a lion might spring over the boma, and be on us before we were aware. We therefore kept our rifles within easy reach, and cast many an anxious glance out into the inky darkness beyond the circle of the firelight. On one or two occasions, we found in the morning that the lions had come quite close to the fence; but fortunately they never succeeded in getting through. By this time, too, the camps of the workmen had also been surrounded by thorn fences; nevertheless the lions managed to jump over or to break through some one or other of these, and regularly every few nights a man was carried off, the reports of the disappearance of this or that workman coming in to me with painful frequency. So long, however, as Railhead Camp -- with its two or three thousand men, scattered over a wide area -- remained at Tsavo, the coolies appeared not to take much notice of the dreadful deaths of their comrades. Each man felt, I suppose, that as the man-eaters had such a large number of victims to choose from, the chances of their selecting him in particular were very small. But when the large camp moved ahead with the railway, matters altered considerably. I was then left with only some few hundred men to complete the permanent works; and as all the remaining workmen were naturally camped together, the attentions of the lions became more apparent and made a deeper impression. A regular panic consequently ensued, and it required all my powers of persuasion to induce the men to stay on. In fact, I succeeded in doing so only by allowing them to knock off all regular work until they had built exceptionally thick and high bomas round each camp. Within these enclosures fires were kept burning all night, and it was also the duty of the night-watchman to keep clattering half a dozen empty oil tins suspended from a convenient tree. These he manipulated by means of a long rope, while sitting in safety within his tent; and the frightful noise thus produced was kept up at frequent intervals during the night in the hopes of terrifying away the man-eaters. In spite of all these precautions, however, the lions would not be denied, and men continued to disappear. When the railhead workmen moved on, their hospital camp was left behind. It stood rather apart from
the other camps, in a clearing about three-quarters of a mile from my hut, but was protected by a good thick fence and to all appearance was quite secure. It seemed, however, as if barriers were of no avail against the â€œdemonsâ€?, for before very long one of them found a weak spot in the boma and broke through. On this occasion the Hospital Assistant had a marvellous escape. Hearing a noise outside, he opened the door of his tent and was horrified to see a great lion standing a few yards away looking at him. The beast made a spring towards him, which gave the Assistant such a fright that he jumped backwards, and in doing so luckily upset a box containing medical stores. This crashed down with such a loud clatter of breaking glass that the lion was startled for the moment and made off to another part of the enclosure. Here, unfortunately, he was more successful, as he jumped on to and broke through a tent in which eight patients were lying. Two of them were badly wounded by his spring, while a third poor wretch was seized and dragged off bodily through the thorn fence. The two wounded coolies were left where they lay, a piece of torn tent having fallen over them; and in this position the doctor and I found them on our arrival soon after dawn next morning. We at once decided to move the hospital closer to the main camp; a fresh site was prepared, a stout hedge built round the enclosure, and all the patients were moved in before nightfall. As I had heard that lions generally visit recently deserted camps, I decided to sit up all night in the vacated boma in the hope of getting an opportunity of bagging one of them; but in the middle of my lonely vigil I had the mortification of hearing shrieks and cries coming from the direction of the new hospital, telling me only too plainly that our dreaded foes had once more eluded me. Hurrying to the place at daylight I found that one of the lions had jumped over the newly erected fence and had carried off the hospital bhisti (water-carrier), and that several other coolies had been unwilling witnesses of the terrible scene which took place within the circle of light given by the big camp fire. The bhisti, it appears, had been lying on the floor, with his head towards the centre of the tent and his feet neatly touching the side. The lion managed to get its head in below the canvas, seized him by the foot and pulled him out. In desperation the unfortunate water-carrier clutched hold of a heavy box in a vain attempt to prevent himself being carried off, and dragged it with him until he was forced to let go by its being stopped by the side of the tent. He then caught hold of a tent rope, and clung tightly to it until it broke. As soon as the lion managed to get him Volume 4 Issue 3 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 43
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clear of the tent, he sprang at his throat and after a few vicious shakes the poor bhisti’s agonising cries were silenced for ever. The brute then seized him in his mouth, like a huge cat with a mouse, and ran up and down the boma looking for a weak spot to break through. This he presently found and plunged into, dragging his victim with him and leaving shreds of torn cloth and flesh as ghastly evidences of his passage through the thorns. Dr. Brock and I were easily able to follow his track, and soon found the remains about four hundred yards away in the bush. There was the usual horrible sight. Very little was left of the unfortunate bhisti -- only the skull, the jaws, a few of the larger bones and a portion of the palm with one or two fingers attached. On one of these was a silver ring, and this, with the teeth (a relic much prized by certain castes), was sent to the man’s widow in India. Again it was decided to move the hospital; and again, before nightfall, the work was completed, including a still stronger and thicker boma. When the patients had been moved, I had a covered goodswagon placed in a favourable position on a siding which ran close to the site which had just been abandoned, and in this Brock and I arranged to sit up that night. We left a couple of tents still standing within the enclosure, and also tied up a few cattle in it as bait for the lions, who had been seen in no less than three different places in the neighbourhood during the afternoon (April 23). Four miles from Tsavo they had attempted to seize a coolie who was walking along the line. Fortunately, however, he had just time to escape up a tree, where he remained, more dead than alive, until he was rescued by the Traffic Manager, who caught sight of him from a passing train. They next appeared close to Tsavo Station, and a couple of hours later some workmen saw one of the lions stalking Dr. Brock as he was returning about dusk from the hospital. In accordance with our plan, the doctor and I set out after dinner for the goods-wagon, which was about a mile away from our hut. In the light of subsequent events, we did a very foolish thing in taking up our position so late; nevertheless, we reached our destination in safety, and settled down to our watch about ten o’clock. We had the lower half of the door of the wagon closed, while the upper half was left wide open for observation: and we faced, of course, in the direction of the abandoned boma, which, however, we were unable to see in the inky darkness. For an hour or two everything was quiet, and the deadly silence was becoming very monotonous and oppressive, when suddenly, to our right,
a dry twig snapped, and we knew that an animal of some sort was about. Soon afterwards we heard a dull thud, as if some heavy body had jumped over the boma. The cattle, too, became very uneasy, and we could hear them moving about restlessly. Then again came dead silence. At this juncture I proposed to my companion that I should get out of the wagon and lie on the ground close to it, as I could see better in that position should the lion come in our direction with his prey. Brock, however, persuaded me to remain where I was; and a few seconds afterwards I was heartily glad that I had taken his advice, for at that very moment one of the man-eaters -- although we did not know it -- was quietly stalking us, and was even then almost within springing distance. Orders had been given for the entrance to the boma to be blocked up, and accordingly we were listening in the expectation of hearing the lion force his way out through the bushes with his prey. As a matter of fact, however, the doorway had not been properly closed, and while we were wondering what the lion could be doing inside the boma for so long, he was outside all the time, silently reconnoitring our position. Presently I fancied I saw something coming very stealthily towards us. I feared, however, to trust to my eyes, which by that time were strained by prolonged staring through the darkness, so under my breath I asked Brock whether he saw anything, at the same time covering the dark object as well as I could with my rifle. Brock did not answer; he told me afterwards that he, too, thought he had seen something move, but was afraid to say so lest I should fire and it turn out to be nothing after all. After this there was intense silence again for a second or two, then with a sudden bound a huge body sprang at us. “The lion!” I shouted, and we both fired almost simultaneously -- not a moment too soon, for in another second the brute would assuredly have landed inside the wagon. As it was, he must have swerved off in his spring, probably blinded by the flash and frightened by the noise of the double report which was increased a hundredfold by the reverberation of the hollow iron roof of the truck. Had we not been very much on the alert, he would undoubtedly have got one of us, and we realised that we had had a very lucky and very narrow escape. The next morning we found Brock’s bullet embedded in the sand close to a footprint; it could not have missed the lion by more than an inch or two. Mine was nowhere to be found. Thus ended my first direct encounter with one of the man-eaters.
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Rookie Writers CLICK HERE
Get our RSS feed CLICK HERE Don’t you just hate it when large international magazines refuse to publish the work of budding new authors? “Give us a list of where your articles were published and we will consider you.” they write in their demoralising emails. Everybody has to start somewhere. Talk about Catch 22. Well, enough is enough. We feel rookie writers need to get a chance to strut their stuff, so we negotiated with The Ultimate Field Guide to sponsor a Rookie Writer article in our next couple of issues to help those authors who are not famous - yet. So here it is - the first Rookie Writer article. Read them and vote for your favorite. You may just help to launch the next Wilbur Smith on a writing career.
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When things go
right Peter Garvin
ny experienced hunter will tell you that there are a number of ingredients necessary to ensure a successful hunting safari in Africa. Obviously, operating in a well populated wildlife area, with the right equipment and the help of experienced and hardworking staff are major factors, but in addition to this, every safari requires a healthy dose of good luck to ensure overall success.
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Recently I had the privilege of hunting for the second time with Clanton Lindsay from Kosciusko, Mississippi. Clanton had hunted with us five years previously when Rob and Barry Style of Buffalo Range Safaris put together a hunt for him in the Chiredzi River Conservancy, South Eastern Zimbabwe. Clanton’s first safari was a success and he left having secured most of the animals that he intended to shoot. On his return home, he immediately set about planning his next hunt with us and decided on booking an elephant bull hunt for 2009. His plans however, all fell apart when he seriously injured his back and was no longer able to walk without suffering excruciating agony. Although the injury was still a major problem, after two years of recovery he felt that he had to give it a try, and once again made plans to come to Zimbabwe. I have to admit I had mixed feelings when I met Clanton in Victoria Falls, prior to driving out to our hunting area in the Kazuma Forest to start a 15 day elephant/sable hunt in October, 2011. It was good to see him again, but I wasn’t too sure how easy it was going to be to find a decent elephant bull at that time of the year, without the ability of tracking them on foot for some distance. Clanton had already resigned himself to shooting the first 40lb bull he saw, a real shame considering there was the potential to shoot a much bigger bull in this prime area. Setting out the first morning, we decided to drive the boundary roads to get an idea of what movement there was coming in from Botswana and the nearby Kazuma Pan National Park. Water was the major factor in bull movement with the heat at this time of the year and there were several waterholes in the hunting block that traditionally attracted big bulls. It was not long before we bumped into our first group of seven bulls along the Botswana boundary. A quick look at them satisfied me that there wasn’t anything to get too excited about, the biggest carrying ivory about 30lbs/side. We continued our drive and after a few hours picked up tracks of another group of bulls crossing the road. A couple of these bulls had enormous feet, well worn on the outside of the back pad, indicating older animals with the potential of carrying some good ivory. They had come up from the Matetsi River, crossed our boundary approximately ten hours previously and were walking in a north westerly direction back towards the Botswana boundary. I was concerned that they had already passed through the forest because it wasn’t much more that 8 kms to the opposite boundary, but since they weren’t walking directly
towards it, I decided to try and cut their tracks again by driving every road in that direction. It wasn’t long before we picked up new tracks on the next road we moved down and it soon appeared that they were walking in a specific direction, making it easier for us to anticipate which road they would cross next. As we leapfrogged each block we soon started to see signs that we were catching up to them. It was uncanny how they appeared to be walking towards the exact area we saw the seven bulls earlier on that morning. On the last road that ran parallel with the Botswana boundary however, we were unable to find any further sign and I was beginning to feel that we had lost them. By now it was after midday and very hot, and seeing that the road we were on headed towards camp, we decided to drive back and take a break for a few hours. It was then, as we rounded the next corner, that the trackers frantically started tapping on the roof with excited whispers of “ndlovu, ndlovu”. Looking around I noticed to our left a group of about 5 bulls, already moving out from under the shade of a large pod mahogany tree and walking away from us towards the Botswana border. At a first quick glance, there appeared to be nothing big and at this stage I was sure that it was the same group we had seen earlier in the morning. Not knowing when we were next going to get another opportunity to approach a group of bulls so close to the vehicle, I suggested to Clanton that we try follow them on foot for a short distance to ensure we had seen them all. With the wind a little unpredictable at that time of the day I decided to walk a wide loop around them and come in from the Botswana side where they would least likely pick up our scent. After about a km or so, I felt Clanton would soon reach his limit so we started angling back towards where I thought they would be. It wasn’t long before we came across a large group standing in a clearing under the shade of another grove of mahoganies. Leaving the trackers behind, Clanton and I slowly and quietly approached to within 30 metres of the group and this time we were stunned to see at least 20 of them, all bulls and all in one place! It was then that I realised that the two groups must have joined together and we had the potential of finding a good bull if we were patient enough to pick out the best one there, and lucky enough to have the wind stay in our favour. Very slowly Clanton and I crouched down and moved Volume 4 Issue 3 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 51
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to within 20 metres to a spot where we would try and assess all the ivory – not easy when so many of them are huddled together in one place! We immediately saw two bulls that stood out, their backs and the top of their heads rising above the others. Initially both sets of tusks were hidden by other animals, but after a few minutes one of the big bulls on the edge of the group and to our right moved his head and stepped out from behind a smaller bull. Instantly, Clanton and I looked at each other. No words were necessary. This magnificent animal had two thick shafts of ivory stretching out 3 feet or more from the edge of the lip. A quick estimate, I said to Clanton that they would definitely go 55lbs per side, quite possibly 60. The dilemma I was now faced with of course was the time factor – we still had 14 and half days to hunt elephant and with this sort of movement, could well bump into something bigger. I said to Clanton that we still needed to look at the other big bull in the group, mainly as an excuse to stall for time while I pondered on our chances of finding a better trophy. I could see Clanton was more than happy to walk away with this bull, but any PH will tell you that 14 days can be very long time to hunt one sable! We waited for a while longer until the big bodied animal in the middle of the group shifted his head and exposed 2 very short but thick tusks – 50lbs a side. Clanton immediately pointed out that the first bull was bigger and it was about time we shot it because he had a problem with his walking. He was absolutely right of course, so we quickly moved into position for a brain shot. I had seen this man shoot before and knew that the bullet would land where he intended it to. Because he was shooting a .470
double, I instructed him to use the second barrel on the shoulder if there was any indication of the animal not immediately succumbing to the brain shot. The big bull stood quietly, every now and then shifting his weight from one foot to another, drowsy in the midday heat, the absolute silence broken only by an occasional deep stomach rumble and the sound of ears flapping. The heat, dust and silence seemed to intensify incredibly in those few seconds that it took Clanton to lift his rifle and take a bead on a point just in front of the ear hole. I lifted my .458 as insurance in the event that something did go wrong. The last thing we needed was this bull rushing off in a cloud of dust, surrounded by 19 other bulls! With the retort of the .470, pandemonium broke loose and out of the corner of my eye I saw bulls pushing each other in a desperate scramble to get out of there. My focus however was on Clanton’s bull and I was relieved to see on impact, the animal’s back legs collapse before the rest of his body crashed to the ground – a sure sign of a brain shot. Not taking anything for granted however, Clanton quickly put in an insurance shot before we gave ourselves the luxury of walking up to the magnificent animal to admire his tusks. As it turned out, Clanton’s elephant had tusks that weighed 59 and 62 lbs respectively. There was no question that we were very fortunate to secure such a good bull on the first morning of the safari, particularly in light of the dilemma we faced with walking long distances. Little did we know however, that this was just the beginning and that Clanton would go on to have the safari of a lifetime.
Peter has been hunting dangerous game throughout Zimbabwe as a fully qualified Professional hunter since 1987 and can be contacted at email@example.com
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The BorderLine Walk is in support of antipoaching efforts for Black Rhino in the SavĂ¨ Valley. Initiated by Hunters for Zimbabwe, the walk will be 3066 kilometers long: 813 kilometers along the Botswana border, 797 km. along Zambia, 225 km. along South Africa, and finally 1231 km. along the Mozambique border. The BorderLine Walk will be widely covered by the media and progress will be published on the African Expedition Magazine and tracked on Google Earth.
The BorderLine walk will support anti-poaching efforts to prevent this from happening again: a young black rhino caught in a poacherâ€™s snare. This baby died a few days after this photograph was taken. 54 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE Volume 4 Issue 3
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David Hulme is a Zimbabwean writer and professional wanderer who spends most of his time searching for new stories and country, never staying too long in any one place.â€™
FOLLOW THEIR PROGRESS ON GOOGLE EARTH
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Support Hunters for Zimbabwe by buying David Hulme’s great new book, Shangaan Song. Proceeds from the sale of this book will be used to support the BorderLine Walk – a foot journey of approximately three thousand kilometers along Zimbabwe’s border. The BorderLine Walk is an initiative aimed at raising awareness for Hunters for Zimbabwe, an organization whose primary objective is the advancement of Zimbabwean people and wildlife.
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JimmyJimmy and Anne Whittall on the day I found him 62 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE Volume 4 Issue 3
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News courtesy www.sagoodnews.co.za
Africa - the good news
The good news from Africa
The Emerging Shift from Charity to Capital Investment in Africa The global economic recession isn’t going away any time soon. It will likely be worse than 2008 with the Euro debt hanging over us, the U.S. slow recovery, and China’s growth also slowing (but still strong). There is no magic bullet for what is ailing the world and the pain will be felt for a long time. However, just because there are economic crises doesn’t mean there isn’t money and resources available to invest in Africa. There are many people and organizations sitting on cash and resources looking for solid opportunities in which to invest. I think of a recent story by the Associated Press on Ajay Piramal, an Indian billionaire, who is sitting on cash from sales of his pharmaceutical firm because he cannot find good investments in India. His issue was transparency in large transactions, which is a wake-up call for anyone looking for an investor. Transparency is important. Another issue is identifying these opportunities and connecting investors to good investments. In the 74 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE Volume 4 Issue 3
case of African SMEs, the Missing Middle Initiative of the World Economic Forum (WEF), and originally spearheaded by the South African Chamber of Commerce in America (SACCI), demonstrated that there were many SME institutions, but still funding of SMEs was a gap in the ecosystem. Many more organizations are rising to fill this void. Funding and capacity organizations, like GroFin, provide both funding and technical capacity support to SMEs. Standard Bank has developed innovative solutions targeting the SME market recently and found growing success. Nexii has created an exchange board called iX for impact investment in sustainable social enterprises whether for-profit or nonprofit. And there is even the first seed investment fund for tech entrepreneurs in Africa launching in 2012 called the Savannah Seed Investment Fund. Some of these platforms, like iX and Savannah Seed Investment Fund, can be used by investors to identify good investment opportunities with transparency. iX works like a stock exchange (with many other types of offerings) so individuals even with small budgets can easily purchase stocks in an enterprise. Another platform is VC4Africa, which connects entrepreneurs and investors focused on opportunities in Africa.
This space will continue to evolve aggressively over the next 10 years, so this should stimulate growth of capital investment into African enterprises at all levels. However, there is still a huge pool of funds allocated elsewhere both in formal and informal structures – charity. This is where the conversation gets a little sensitive for some in the audience. The debate over trade versus aid has reached new levels. I can say I am definitely for this movement. However, it is not to say that some charity and aid work is not highly beneficial. There are thousands of great NGOs doing necessary work and impactful work, so we don’t want to take away from that work. On the other hand, there is a lot of traditional models of charity that haven’t been revamped in decades, asking us to help with the same problems. I am going to personalize this now, so that you don’t think I am just an outside observer. I grew up in a very giving family. My parents still give more than almost anyone I know, both in their personal time and resources. When I was in my twenties and early 30s like many Americans, I saw the commercials on TV for poor children around the world and I sent monthly donations to assist the children and got progress reports. This is a “good” thing to do. However, when I began doing research on Africa and subsequently moved to South Africa, I began to realize that this was not the “right” thing to do. Each year funds are sent to help children but creating economically sustainable communities is not a priority, so the communities become dependent instead of interdependent, or independent, and able to help others. Many of these children can end up on the streets when they become adults because there is not enough gainful employment or academic opportunities for them. When I came to South Africa, this is the very scenario I was hoping to correct. I started working with a group of homeless teenage boys in Sandton, South Africa. They used to live and camp out next to the McDonald’s in Sandton in the lot that was replaced by a large office complex at the corner across from Investec. They obviously needed clothing, food, and housing, but I wasn’t naïve enough to think that doing just that would solve their problems. In fact, I had to find another solution as it was difficult in winter to find space for older teenage boys in the local shelters. I got so frustrated because, even with my connections, I couldn’t seem to find something temporary with the
goal of getting them in school and working. Then, one day a friend from church suggested having the boys make custom cards to earn income. At first, I wasn’t too excited about the idea but after a few professionals said they liked the cards I figured there was enough of a market at least to support my small group of teens, which now included a few young girls. It ran well as long as I was fully involved. The teens were required to come to school two to three days a week. We held it at the Sandton Public Library thanks to the generosity of the Head Branch Librarian and I was the teacher, seeing as my Master’s degree is in education and I had some experience working with at-risk youth. If they came to school, they were allowed to work and earn money. In two weeks, several of my boys got off the street, paying for their own place, food, clothes, and transport. I then knew this was the “right” direction. Out of this experience, I still work on developing for-profit ventures that are both economically sustainable and address social issues because through this process we can break poverty and dependency. But I can thankfully say that I am not the only one. People who have been working in development are getting tired of seeing the same problems. In an interview with Richard Schroeder, President of First Step in Sierra Leone, he shared that he had worked in microfinance for 15 years and didn’t feel it adequately addressed poverty. Instead, he and his team developed the first special economic zone in Sierra Leone which is bringing local jobs, economic opportunity to communities across Sierra Leone, and a platform that Sierra Leone can use to attract foreign businesses and investors. And First Step happens to be a for-profit subsidiary of World Hope International (WHI), a Christian humanitarian agency. They have successfully synergized the strengths and mandate of a non-profit with a for-profit venture that can stimulate economic sustainability throughout Sierra Leone and for WHI as well. On another front, many non-profit organizations are feeling the economic pinch not only because of the economic crisis but also competition. Everywhere you look, a new non-profit needing support is coming to tap the same pool of resources already out there. Also, givers are looking more strategically at their giving. This is where the wave of capital investment will come from. As traditional givers decide to become investors, the capital investment pool for Africa, and other emerging regions, will grow draVolume 4 Issue 3 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 75
matically and quickly. Imagine trillions of dollars flowing to capital investment from this resource pool. It can be scary for NGOs not on the right side of the equation, but promising for everyone else. By Lauri Elliott, Source: Afribiz
Importing Food from Africa to the USA Before doing business in a foreign country, it is critical that you know all that you can about the market. This valuable bit of information will undoubtedly save you time, money, and energy. Selva Pillay, with GLX Delivery Solutions, found this out the hard way when he moved from South Africa to the United States and brought with him spectacular arts and crafts to sell in the American market, “I felt that I could bring products here and market them to the US market. I was very confident at that time. I felt that whatever we brought to the US would be a success. Not knowing this market, not knowing what they need, (and) how it works, was a huge setback for me.” After experimenting with arts and crafts, Pillay decided that he would form his business around importing and selling foods from Africa. This time, before he shipped any food to the United States, he did research to find out what kinds of items would be well received. After Pillay decided what he wanted to sell, he targeted the vegan/vegetarian market in California, where he is based. Pillay says that he was urged by some to go straight to Trader Joes, Whole Foods, and other large national chains. Instead, he started contacting mom and pop stores to carry his products. This was a tactical move that he made in order to build up a reputation 76 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE Volume 4 Issue 3
and credibility for his products before entering larger markets. Once his products became popular, he was able to branch out to some of the larger local grocery stores like Farmer Joe’s and Andronico’s in San Francisco. “I started working with the medium and larger sized chain stores,” Pillay explains. “Then, I started focusing on the very large independents, like Rainbow Grocery in San Francisco. [The trade is] a very close knit family. They know each other and they know their competitors. Once they realize that the competition has the product, they want to carry it as well. Using that method, I was able to get into bigger areas where I had people like Costco and Whole Foods looking at the product.” Aside from finding someone to carry your product, there are numerous other obstacles that you will face when importing foods, or other goods, to the United States. These issues can range from freight costs and clearing customs to dealing with the FDA and getting their approval. Pillay says that this initial stress can pay off in the long run though, “The work is really mindboggling in the initial stages, but what you must understand is the US has a fantastic system of doing things correctly the first time and then replicating the process. If you are prepared to invest in those hardships, in the first instance, once you reach the stage where your product becomes known in this marketplace and it’s a regular selling product, it becomes a business that runs on its own. The challenge is that you have do it correctly initially.” And finally, Pillay says, “It’s about 80% research and 20% selling your product in the market. It’s easy to sell product here because the market’s always engaged in new products… they’re always looking at new opportunities… The struggle is for you to understand that it (your product) has to stand apart from the competition. They’re not looking for mediocre, they’re looking for the best of the best.” Source image by Calliope, Source: Afribiz
The Rise of New Wealth in Africa As I completed this article, the Economist wrote a story retracting its “hopeless” tag on Africa and said it is the “hopeful” continent. The article also shared that Oprah Winfrey (worth $3 billion) is no longer the richest person of African descent, but Aliko Dangote (worth $13.8 billion) of Nigeria is. How things have changed. I think this is a perfect introduction to this piece. In 2011, ten of the richest Africans have a combined worth of approximately $47 billion. While this represents stores of wealth and not annual income, it is still staggering that only a few people have wealth greater than annual revenue generated in many countries in the world. There isn’t a problem that individuals have accumulated such wealth, actually. It’s a good sign that Africa is on the move. In fact, it is not only a few Africans on the continent who are becoming wealthier. The African middle class (including lower middle and high middle) numbered about 313 million, or 34.3% of Africa’s population, in 2010, according to the African Development Bank (AfDB). This represents almost three times the number of people that were considered middle class in 1980. The challenge still remains that the economic growth that fueled economies globally in the last decade was by and large unequal – the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer (or going nowhere). This unfortunately is also the case in many parts of Africa. While there are many reasons for this, some are rooted in the weaknesses in the current free market/ capitalist economic models. I have suggested before that free market/capitalist economic models need to evolve to provide economic opportunity for all. Current models still too often allow a few to control markets and opportunities. However, redistribution of, or state-dominated, wealth is not the answer, creation of new wealth is.
So, where does all this new wealth come from? First, I want to return to other pieces that I did in this series, “Emerging Shifts in Africa.” The increased world population and increased consumption will make commodities – mineral, metal, and agriculture – extremely valuable. Because Africa has an abundance of natural resources, proper strategy and implementation should make sure that Africa develops much more of this wealth. While Africa, because of both internal and external influences, has not lived up to its potential, better overall governance, more savvy leadership, more vocal and active citizens, etc. are increasingly directing Africa to the right course. However, the next ten years will be volatile not just for Africa, but for the world. Next we can look to two key population segments in Africa that have heretofore been marginalized – youth and indigenous nations. African youth is one of the fastest growing population segments and represents a huge consumer market. Second, indigenous nations sit on a lot of the arable land for agriculture and from which minerals are extracted (this varies from country to country). Businesses will eventually seek out the opportunities represented by these groups, and like natural resources, if the human capital is developed, the wealth will follow. Also, technology and innovation will have a lot to do with it. As ICT infrastructure continues to grow on the continent, people will be able to tap into more knowledge, connections, and resources to improve their livelihoods. To catalyze this potential, researchers, like Lucienne Abrahams and Mark Burke of the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa, are informing government policy by urging government to support the potential in “home” economies. The ICT sector will bring new wealth to more people in the industry as we have seen in Western markets, but more importantly ICT is one of the enablers for creating and collaborating on new innovations. It still sticks out in my mind how through crowdsourcing with the public, a Canadian company discovered minerals worth several hundred million on land they Volume 4 Issue 3 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 77
already owned. Then, there are intangible assets, including intellectual property. Intangible assets are the fastest growing asset class. Companies actually account for intangible assets in their book value. On the S&P 500, the intangible value of companies as a percentage of market capitalization has doubled every ten years while tangible book value decreased (based on 2005 data). Africa has not been sufficiently represented in building wealth from intangible assets as Western markets. Unfortunately, most countries are not welldiversified within primary sectors like mining and agriculture, much less secondary (e.g., manufacturing), tertiary (e.g., services), and quaternary (e.g., intellectual) sectors. There is a lot of innovation in mobile and web platforms emerging across the continent. However, South Africa is the leading country on the continent for secondary, tertiary, and quaternary sectors. All of these sectors beyond primary are diversified. Recent examples include a new affordable and modularized defense airplane called the AHRLAC; solar-powered, containerized, connected school by Samsung; and a portable waste plant. More broadly, Africans are excellent at what is called “work-around” innovations. They solve problems with what they have access to and what they can afford. One of our clients in Africa purchased a used incubator from the United States for about $20,000, which is beyond what most small-scale African farmers can afford. A Kenyan farmer developed an affordable small incubator for the small-scale farmer market. This innovation will help small-scale farmers increase the production of eggs and chickens to serve local markets, which have sufficient demand, and thereby increasing their incomes. As more of these “workaround” innovations become commercialized, there will be an increase in wealth as well. Also, Africans already hold a lot of intangible assets, even intellectual property, in their indigenous knowledge and heritage. What has been difficult is protecting it and understanding the value it brings to others outside of African communities, so as not to be exploited and be able to develop the value into a commercialized product. The sources of new wealth already mentioned are logical observations, leading to a new future in Africa if the continent stays on track. But there are other sources of new wealth – a change in what is considered most valuable and the ability to trade in con78 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE Volume 4 Issue 3
cepts – that will re-map the entire globe . They will shape the “New Africa” more than any other source of wealth. An example of a change in what is considered valuable is the carbon market. The issues of climate change are dominating global discussions and governance, resulting in the development of the concept of carbon offsets – those who create too many carbons pay those who offset the carbon gases. Africans manage a good portion of the natural resources that support the environment in which all people live. As we speak, projects involving African communities in sustainable development, like reforestation, bring new revenue into those communities. People who have been pitied and recipients of aid now have the power to create a foundation for a sustainable future and become architects of their own destinies. There are also traces of trading in concepts. The world is in a transitional state from transacting in physical assets to intangible assets – social capital, concepts, knowledge, and others. We see platforms like Innovation Exchange on which people get paid by major companies for the best innovative idea and social currency, but it is a very fragmented landscape. In order for this to explode, the value in ideas must be as easy to quantify and exchange as cash. Imagine anyone in Africa, or anywhere, who has an innovative idea that someone finds of value can get paid in a transactional currency. This is a transformation of the principle of bartering, which is only a shadow of what this could be. I have been pondering this problem for a long time. As an entrepreneur myself, there is always the continual struggle to get sufficient capital to establish and grow a new venture, which is our core business. Having gone through the creation of several brands, we have developed a process for transforming ideas into tangible, profitable ventures. Yet, we have hundreds of ideas that are useful solutions for different markets that we cannot develop because of capacity tied to the amount of resources we have available. In this new paradigm, we would be paid for these ideas, increasing our wealth and providing additional capital to the ventures we want to develop. Some consider this a little far-fetched, so I haven’t written about it until this time. Everything changed when I read, “Opportunism: How to Change the World – One Idea at a Time,” by Shraga Biran. For the first time, I see a framework that could be executed from a policy and structural level, which means
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that implementation can follow. He says of this emerging economic paradigm, “value of an opportunity is so great that it must be understood as a positive asset – not a means to create wealth but a form of wealth in itself.” When we are speaking of an economy based on ideas, however, it is not about vague or broad ideas for the most part. It is focused around an opportunity. Opportunity is something that someone sees that others have overlooked and make it something of value. In business and to me, this represents a sustainable business model which provides value to a market and for which they are willing to pay. It is putting pieces together so that the sum of the pieces is greater than the individual pieces (and something that can be leveraged to do more). To a great degree, this type of economy cannot exist until many people in a society see themselves as creators instead of just workers. According to Biran, “…a creator uses his human capital: the accumulation of individual intelligence, education, expertise, and imagination to discover or create wealth. This person cannot be replaced, but can be assisted by new knowledge industries.”
study of African international students in the United States, many whose parents became successful professionals but still with moderate means, express their desire to become entrepreneurs and go back to Africa to make a difference. They want to develop wealth for themselves and for others. And finally, if this is the seed of the African youth generation, this means they will be able to multiple the wealth on the continent in infinite ways that could never have been conceived before this generation. Biran summarizes how this can be done very well, “The shift from physical to intellectual property as a growing component in the economy also creates an almost infinite source of dynamism, because – unlike natural resources such as fossil fuels, newly opened prairie, or even the grains of sand that are processed into silicon chips – the human intellect never runs out.” What does all of this have to do with business in Africa? If firms do not capture these waves of change, they will find themselves left behind on the continent. By Lauri Elliott, Source: Afribiz
While not at full thrust, the shift is beginning to occur with African youth. In a small
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Hardwear for the bush
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Itâ€™s a bad child who does not take advice. One must talk little and listen much. Peace is costly but it is worth the expense. Volume 4 Issue 3 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 89
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Make a Plan
Hints and advice are given in good faith to be of help in emergencies. The writer as well as the publisher, personnel and agents concerned does not accept any responsibility for any injury, accident or damages that might arise from the use of any of the hints. 96 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE Volume 4 Issue 3
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The multifunctional binoculars CLICK HERE to buy your copy of Make a Plan now for only $8.50
A nature lover or hunter normally have a binocular close by – usually a good one. Of course, here is always a debate which product or reinforcement is the best, but for the following purpose any make will be good enough. Apart from the obvious uses such as watching animals, birds and stars, the binocular can also be adapted for the following: • Make a fire: If you have a lens, sunlight or even one of those new 1500 candlelight spot lights, then you can start a fire. A binocular, directed to the sun, will collect sunlight on its lenses and focus the energy on the point where the eye usuallu will be. The heat there gets enormously high and will easily light tinder. That is why a person must never look at the sun directly through the binocular • Microscope: A microscope is very handy in the veld especially if you want to investigate something small, want to see a thorn in your finger or a small crack on the cartridge case. An upsidedown binocular works excellently for this. You look through the big lens and bring the object to the focus point at the bottom lens and see, your binocular is doing the work of a microscope. • Zoom lens for a camera: Maybe there is a zebra that you want to photograph with your digital camera but he is far away and the function that allows you to zoom in is not enough. Take your binocular, focus on the object and then place the lens of the camera carefully just at the back of the eyepiece of the binocular. Hold the two together, aim on the zebra, look in the display and take your photo with the camera that is looking through the binocular. If your hands are steady, it will work fine though picture quality might be poor.
Dr Wallace Vosloo is an Engineer and Scientist by profession. His family has lived in Africa since 1696 and he has a deep love for the continent. He is a practical outdoorsman and loves traditional hunting, axe and knife throwing, longbow shooting, black powder rifle- and cannon shooting, salt and fresh water fly fishing and tracking. The art of survival is Wallace’s main field of interest and his passion is to transfer these old forgotten skills to young hunters.
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Your African safari is a unique experience. Now you can document your hunt day by day and revisit those exciting times for years to come. 31 Full days of journaling space with vital information: ●● safari clothing ●● personal item checklists ●● health and first aid ●● mammal identification information with photographs, tracks, dung and SCI and Rowland Ward qualification minimums.
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Know how to administer CPR. Deal with dangerous animals up close. Identify and treat bites from snakes, spiders and scorpions. Know the right emergency numbers to dial in an emergency – it’s all there. A must-have item for every serious hunter. Sturdy PlastiCoil binding for durability and easy opening, 110 pages, 6.0 x 9.0 in. Full color covers and cream interior printed in black and white.
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True North Seen a painting of a naked man?
God gave Eve a beautiful form and a beautiful spirit. She expresses beauty in both. Better, she expresses beauty simply in who she is. Like God, it is her essence. Stasi and I just spent a weekend together in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where we wandered for hours through art galleries and gardens, looking for those works of art that particularly captured us. Toward the afternoon of our second day Stasi asked me, “Have you seen one painting of a naked man?” The point was startling. After days of looking at maybe a thousand pieces of art, we had not seen one painting devoted to the beauty of the naked masculine form. Not one. (Granted, there are a few examples down through history . . . but only a few.) However, the beauty of Woman was celebrated everywhere, hundreds of times over in paintings and sculptures. There is a reason for this. For one thing, men look ridiculous laying on a bed buck naked, half covered with a sheet. It doesn’t fit the essence of masculinity. Something in you wants to say, “Get up already and get a job. Cut the grass. Get to work.” For Adam is captured best in motion, doing something. His essence is strength in action. On the other hand, and bear with us a moment, Eve just doesn’t look right in a scene of brutal combat, or chopping a tree down. From time immemorial, when artists have tried to capture the essence of Eve they have painted her (or photographed her, or sculpted her) at rest. There is no agenda here, no social stigmatizing or cultural pressure. This is true across all cultures and down through time. What have the artists seen that we have not? Eve speaks something differently to the world than Adam does. Through her beauty. (Captivating , 36-37)
Published on Jan 12, 2012
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