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John Alfred Jordan Books

John Alfred Jordan (1857 - 1933) was a British traveller, big game hunter and trader. He was also the most notorious ivory poacher along the borders of German East Africa. He killed forty crocodiles in one day on Lake Victoria and hunted for the 'Elephant Stone'.

"My Africa is gone, said Jordan. If I knew it like a book it is now an old book, and its pages are yellow. I have seen a thousand elephants herded in the Semiliki Valley in the noon sun. Their trunks hanging idle, only their ears moving against the flies. I have killed forty crocodile in one day on Victoria Nyanza. I killed crocodile because I hated them, not just for the three rupees a head that the Germans were paying. Nothing else I killed like that."

W Robert Foran wrote in 'A Cuckoo In Kenya' about arresting Jordan for ivory poaching, after which Jordan was convicted, given 6 months' hard labour in Mombasa jail, his ivory confiscated and finally he was deported to Bombay.

An interesting 1932 newspaper article written by John Alfred Jordan about the existence of mythical African beasts and his experience of seeing one in 1905 near a river bank in the Loita area.

John Alfred Jordan
John Alfred Jordan (right) with Edgar Beecher Bronson

John Alfred Jordan
John Alfred Jordan with Edgar Beecher Bronson

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Elephants And Ivory: True Tales Of Hunting And Adventure by John Alfred Jordan (1956) are the true tales, as told to John Prebble, of a professional hunter and an inveterate ivory poacher.

The Elephant Stone

The Elephant Stone by John Alfred Jordan (1959) as told to George Leith, is the autobiography of 'Mongaso, 'the man who is always moving'. Jordan was an adventurer and hunter who travelled extensively throughout Africa in the early years of the twentieth century. He was obsessed with the search for the Elephant Stone, a "precious gem to be had from the skull of a tuskless bull elephant".


Mongaso: Man Who Is Always Moving: The Story Of An African Hunter by John Alfred Jordan (1956) is the account of the African experiences of hunter John Alfred Jordan as told to John Prebble. His story begins before World War One and he only left for England 25 years later when, as he said, "rotten with malaria" another year in Africa would have killed him. This is 'Elephants And Ivory' published with a different title.

Hunting Big Game

Hunting Big Game by John Alfred Jordan (1956) include such tales about a cunning man-eating lion, trading for ivory, man-eating crocodiles, attacks by wild dogs, a wandering elephant hunt and shooting hippopotamus for meat.

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Page Updated: Oct 2020

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