Missionaries not only went to Africa to achieve the conversion of non-Christians to Christianity, run schools and medical facilities. Many of them clearly did a lot of big game hunting and adventurous exploration journeys. Some missionaries used hunting to demonstrate to their superstitious converts that the natural world can only be understood through Christian faith and hunting for meat and man-eating predators are examples of God's grace to provide and protect.
Other missionary hunters would take a large number of African staff off on long hunting expeditions and fulfil their missionary duties by telling Bible stories to their 'captive audience' around the campfire or on the march. Many missionaries hunted purely for sport and excitement and often opted to go and spread the word in the best hunting areas, also utilising their areas for others to hunt, thereby bringing income for the mission.
Hans Van Nes Allen (1914 - 1991) was a young American hunter who, after listening to a missionary talking about Africa in his home town in Ohio, decided he must go there. He wangled a job as a mission helper and landed in Liberia where he started big game hunting.
I Found Africa by Van Nes Allen (1939) recounts the author's time in Liberia using a .405 Winchester to hunt elephant and other game. He proceeded up the Mafa River into the bush country where he bagged elephant and buffalo and had a near fatal encounter with a hippopotamus. Free eBook
William Holman Bentley (1855 - 1905) was an English missionary in the Congo.
Life On The Kongo by W Holman Bentley (1891) is an account of the author's the personal observations and those of others working in the Congo in 1885. This book was published as suitable for children as well as adults. Free eBook
Pioneering On The Congo by W Holman Bentley (1900). These 2 volumes document the pioneering work of travellers to the Congo between 1879 and 1899. During that time the Congo went from being unexplored to a fully charted region with government officers, traders and missionaries. As a foreign witness to this entire period, Bentley provides an authoritative account of the dramatic developments he observed in the Congo's geography, culture, religion and commerce. Free eBook Vol I Free eBook Vol II
Desmond Wright Bittinger (1905 - 1991) was an American missionary who worked for 8 years with the Church of the Brethren Mission in northern Nigeria.
The Soudan's Second Sun Up by Desmond W Bittinger (1938) is an account of the author's time as a missionary in what is now northern Nigeria on the sub-Saharan plateau west of Lake Chad and south of Timbuktu which was known as 'Soudan' at the time. There are plenty of episodes of hunting for buffalo, hippo and antelope.
William Henry Branson (1887 - 1961) was an American Seventh-day Adventist minister and administrator who became a missionary in Africa between 1920 and 1930.
Pioneering In The Lion Country by W H Branson (1938) is an account of the author's travels with Alnod Boger and two others doing missionary work and big game hunting through Angola, Belgian Congo and Zambia.
Missionary Adventures In Africa by W H Branson (1925)
Francois Coillard (1834 - 1904) was a French missionary and hunter who worked for the Paris Evangelical Missionary Society in Africa.
On The Threshold Of Central Africa: A Record Of Twenty Years' Pioneering Among The Barotsi Of The Upper Zambesi by Francois Coillard (1897) is an account of the experiences and adventures of this well-known missionary, with a description of the social and political status of the natives of Rhodesia and Zambesi at the close of the nineteenth century.
Sir Albert Ruskin Cook (1870 - 1951) was a British born medical missionary in Uganda and founder of Mulago Hospital and Mengo Hospital. Together with his wife, Katharine Cook (1863 - 1938), he established a maternity training school in Uganda. In 1899 he was joined at Mengo Hospital by his elder brother, John Howard Cook, also a medical doctor and they were the first to describe sleeping sickness in East Africa.
Uganda Memories 1897 - 1940 by Sir Albert R Cook (1945) covers the history and development of the colony, with a chapter on safari life in 1897. The author was Consultant Physician to the Kampala Hospital and to the C M S Mango Hospital in Uganda.
Daniel Crawford (1870 - 1926) was a Scottish missionary who spent 33 years in the Katanga region of Central Africa. Unlike many missionaries, he tried to see things from the side of the 'unsaved' African population. He coined the phrase 'thinking black' as the way for outsiders to learn the native population's logic and ways of expressing themselves if they wanted to understand them. He also believed Africans had the right to be spoken to in their own languages, so he learnt at least a dozen of the languages of the regions he travelled.
Thinking Black: 22 Years Without A Break In The Long Grass Of Central Africa by Daniel Crawford (1913) covers an area from Angola, Congo, Rhodesia and Mozambique where the author travels as a missionary. Free eBook
Back To The Long Grass: My Link With Livingstone by Daniel Crawford (1923) where he retraces David Livingstone's last journey to the Luapula River, sharing a wealth of information about the land and the people.
Modern Exploration, Sport And Travel: A Record Of Adventure, Exploration & Sport In All Parts Of The World, Derived From Personal Accounts By The Explorers, Travellers & Sportsmen by Norman J Davidson (1921)
The Romance Of Missionary Pioneers by Norman J Davidson (1900)
The Romance Of Modern Pathfinders by Norman J Davidson (1925). Interesting descriptions of exploration, adventure & sport in all parts of the world from accounts by the pioneers themselves.
Moffat Of Africa: A Zealous Missionary And A Brave Pioneer by Norman J Davidson (1926) is an account of the life of Robert Moffat (1795 - 1883) who was a Scottish Congregationalist missionary to Africa and father-in-law of David Livingstone.
Modern Travel: A Record Of Exploration, Travel, Adventure And Sport In All Parts Of The World During The Last Forty Years Derived From Personal Accounts From The Travellers by Norman J Davidson (1921) Free eBook
Johannes Christiaan Du Plessis (1868 - 1935) was a South African theologian, author and missionary who made several long expeditions into the heart of Africa.
Thrice Through The Dark Continent: A Record Of Journeyings Across Africa During The Years 1913-16 by J Du Plessis (1917) is an interesting travel account by a Dutch Reformed Church minister and noted early African traveller and author in the Gold Coast, Nigeria, Cameroon, Belgian Congo, east Africa and southern Africa. He also did some hunting on his travels. Free eBook
A Thousand Miles In The Heart Of Africa: A Record Of A Visit To The Mission-Field Of The Boer Church In Central Africa by J Du Plessis (1905) is an account of the author's journey which took him through, what are now, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi. Free eBook
Thomas Broadwood Johnson (1870 - 1909) was a British missionary in Uganda and the first white man to complete the Ruwenzori circuit. He died in Uganda of blackwater fever aged 39.
Tramps Around The Mountains Of The Moon: And Through The Back Gate Of The Congo State by Thomas Broadwood Johnson (1909) Free eBook
Dr James Johnston (1851 - 1921) was a British missionary, photographer, doctor and explorer. He created his own mission in Jamaica and took six Jamaicans to help him on his journey across central Africa from west to east to cross the continent and rediscover David Livingstone's mission. Johnston's book and photographs record the journey and his observations on many things but particularly overly ambitious missionaries.
Reality Versus Romance In South Central Africa by James Johnston (1893) is an account of a journey across the continent from Benguella on the West through the Bike, Ganguella, Barotse, the Kalahari Desert, Mashonaland, Manica, Gorgonza, Nyasa, the Shire Highlands, to the mouth of the Zambesi on the east coast. The author himself fitted out his expedition at his own cost which left him free to relate the truth as he saw it. His 4500 mile journey, mostly on foot, took 20 months. Free eBook
Johann Ludwig Krapf (1810 - 1881) was a German missionary in East Africa who played an important role in exploring East Africa with his colleague Johannes Rebmann (1820 - 1876), who was the first European to see Mount Kilimanjaro in 1848. Krapf and Rebmann were the first Europeans to set eyes on Mount Kenya in 1849. The accounts of snow-capped mountains in Africa were received with scepticism in Europe.
Travels, Researches, And Missionary Labors During An Eighteen Years' Residence In Eastern Africa: Together With Journeys To Jagga, Usambara, Ukambani, Shoa, Abessinia and Khartum, And A Coasting Voyage From Mombaz To Cape Delgado by Johann Ludwig Krapf (1860) is an important work of African exploration, both for its wealth of ethnographic detail and for the geographical discoveries made on the expedition, including the snow-capped Mount Kenya. Krapf's companion, Rebmann, had sighted Kilimanjaro the previous year. His original 2 volume memoir, 'Reisen In Ost-Afrika' was published in 1858. Free eBook
Emily Booth Langworthy (b.1884) was the daughter of the radical missionary Joseph Booth. Her book offers insight into Joseph Booth's influence over several important African figures, including John Chilembwe, who was a servant in their home in Nyasaland, acting as cook and carer of 9 year old Emily. Chilembwe (1871 – 1915) went on to become a pastor, educator and today is still regarded as a hero of independence in Malawi.
This Africa Was Mine by Emily Booth Langworthy (1950) is the story of the author's childhood in Nyasaland (now Malawi) as the daughter of the missionary, Joseph Booth.
Tony W Lawman was a British colonial officer and journalist in the 1950s in Zambia, formerly Northern Rhodesia.
The Long Grass by Tony Lawman (1958) is the memoir of a Northern Rhodesian colonial officer with many accounts of big game hunting and discussion about the formation of the Rhodesian colonies. It describes John Harrison Clark's establishment of a private empire in formerly Portuguese territory. The author also describes Sir Roy Welensky's political career as prime minister of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland.
From The Hands Of The Wicked by Tony Lawman (1960) is a meticulously researched account of Frederick Stanley Arnot's missionary journey in 1881 to 1888. It is a gripping story of a lone missionary's adventures and his ideals of service. Events include the death of Livingstone, the race for conquest between Rhodes' men from the south and King Leopold's mercenaries from the north; the rise and fall of Mushidi and the raising of the Congo Free State flag over Katanga; the 'scramble' for the rest of the Congo, the horror of slave raids, the blood-lust of African kings, the inter-tribal wars and witchcraft. From the existing records, Mr Lawman has pieced together this amazing account of Arnot, the almost unknown hero who, in his own way, was as much part of Central Africa's destiny as David Livingstone himself.
Albert Bushnell Lloyd (1871 - 1946) was a British missionary in Uganda, Church of England clergyman, explorer and keen big game hunter. He arrived in Uganda in 1894, and was sent to Kabarole in 1896. In 1897 he visited Kampala and was detained there by the Sudanese Mutiny and by illness. He returned to Toro in 1898 and was shortly afterwards sent on leave for health reasons. He travelled by the Congo route, and published an account of his journeys in a book 'In Dwarf Land And Cannibal Country'. His unflattering account of Belgian rule drew angry comments. On his return he went to Bunyoro and in 1903 undertook a safari to Acoli. In 1904 he opened the mission at Keyo, Acoli. The following year he left for England, this time travelling by the Nile route. His experiences in Acoli, Bunyoro and on this journey are recounted in 'Uganda To Khartoum'.
In Dwarf Land And Cannibal Country: A Record Of Travel And Discovery In Central Africa by Albert B Lloyd (1899) is the account of the author's journey from Zanzibar to the heart of the Belgian Congo. Lloyd was originally posted to Africa as a missionary, after his post was finished he decided to travel to the Western coast through the Congo, rather than return directly to England. Free eBook
Uganda To Khartoum: Life And Adventure On The Upper Nile by Albert B Lloyd (1906) is a fascinating and well written account of a missionary's travels and adventures in Africa. The work is especially well illustrated with many photographs. It depicts many of his most interesting experiences during a long residency in northern Uganda. "For ten years he has laboured as a missionary in the western parts of the Uganda Protectorate; and last year he returned for the second time on furlough to this country. The natural way of coming home, whether from Toro or Unyoro, would have been by the Victoria Nyanza and Mombasa on the east coast; but with his missionary zeal Mr. Lloyd combines a large measure of that spirit of adventure which is the heritage of Englishmen." Includes plenty of hunting. Free eBook
Robert Hamill Nassau (1835 - 1921) was an American Presbyterian missionary to the Ogowe region of West Africa, which later became Gabon.
In An Elephant Corral And Other Tales Of West African Experiences by Robert Hamill Nassau (1912). Tales and experiences of West Africa, includes gorilla hunting, native life, vampires and psychic mystery. Free eBook
Joseph Hankinson Reading (1849 - 1920) was the secretary and treasurer of the Gabon and Corisco Mission and acting commercial agent for the USA.
The Ogowe Band: A Narrative Of African Travel by Joseph H Reading (1890) includes accounts of visits to Liverpool and the Canary Islands. It gives light-hearted accounts of steamer travel, African Christmas dinners and monkeys pulling down telegraph wires. On a more serious note are the missionary experiences on the gold and slave coasts, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Gabon and an account of drunkenness among the natives with a reprimand to America for sending rum to Africa. Free eBook
A Voyage Along The Western Coast Of Newest Africa: A Description Of Newest Africa, Or The Africa Of To-day And The Immediate Future by Joseph H Reading (1901) describes his travels in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Gold Coast, the Niger Delta and Soudan, Old Calabar, the Congo Valley and the Congo River to Gabon. His primary interest is the potential for commercial development and much attention is given to natural resources and factors that might influence their exploitation in the future. Free eBook
Charles Henry Robinson (1861 - 1925) was a Cambridge scholar and canon missioner of Ripon who, during the 1890s, published several books on the language, literature and culture of the Hausa people. His books were written to serve the needs of missionaries, colonial staff and army officers who wished to communicate with the local people of the Niger and northern Nigeria regions.
Hausaland Or Fifteen Hundred Miles Through Central Soudan by Charles Henry Robinson (1896) is the account of Robinson's travels in Africa in order to undertake a scientific study of the Hausa language. He set out from Tunis in 1894, sailing round the west African coast and travelling up the Niger to Kano, where he spent three months. Free eBook
Nigeria: Our Latest Protectorate by Charles Henry Robinson (1900) is about northern Nigeria with emphasis on the Hausa people, their customs & culture, malaria and the prospects of Mohammedanism in Africa. Free eBook
William John Waterman Roome (1865 - 1937) was a British architect, missionary and author. In 1911 he first went to Africa to visit missionary stations in the Sudan. In 1914 he gave up his architectural practice to make a second visit to Africa and in 1916 joined the staff of the British and Foreign Bible Society in Kampala. During the following years he travelled vast distances in Africa on foot and by bicycle, collecting ethnographic material in addition to his missionary activities.
Tramping Through Africa: A Dozen Crossings Of The Continent by William J W Roome (1930) is an account from notes taken during Roome's twelve separate crossings of the African continent in all four directions. Among other places, Roome goes up Kilamanjaro, across Tanganyika, into the Congo forests and through Nyasaland into Rhodesia. Roome says... "An African traveller is supposed to carry firearms, and one of the questions most frequently asked me has been, what guns do you carry? I have never carried any nor ever felt in need of them."
More books by William J W Roome
Alfred James Swann was a mariner, lay missionary in the Lake Tanganyika and later, Senior Resident Magistrate of the Nyasaland Protectorate.
Fighting The Slave Hunters In Central Africa by Alfred J Swann (1910) "A Record Of Twenty-Six Years Of Travel And Adventure Round The Great Lakes And Of The Overthrow Of Tip-Pu-Tib, Rumaliza And Other Great Slave-Traders." With some tales of big game hunting. Free eBook
Richard Tjader (1869 - 1919) was a Swedish American big game hunter and later, a self-styled chaffeur-driven missionary in Africa. In 1907 he collected over 500 African trophy specimens for the Museum of Natural History , plus one live rhino for the Bronx Zoo.
Dr Leonard John Vanden Bergh was an American catholic missionary. He did his missionary work in Uganda from 1896 to 1905. When he returned to the US, he found his experiences of African natives were not wholly believed by his audiences. So he resolved to return, taking a still and movie camera which would prove he was not exaggerating. He arrived in Mombasa in 1919 and travelled via Lake Victoria and the Nile to Mahagi in the Congo.
On The Trail Of Pygmies by Dr Leonard John Vanden Bergh (1921) records the author's ethnographic observations on the Wanyika, Wakamba, Wakikuyu, Masai and Kavirondo, as well as Mambutu pygmies. The book is based on his journey from Mombasa through Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and the Congo Basin during 1919. It also includes a chapter on Masai lion hunting. Free eBook
John Henry Weeks (1861 - 1924) was a British missionary, anthropologist and African explorer. He belonged to the Baptist mission and arrived in the Congo, which later became the Congo Free State, only two years after Henry Morton Stanley. He was an important witness and chronicler the colonial exploitation of the Congo by the Belgians under King Leopold II.
Among Congo Cannibals by John H Weeks (1913) is an account of the author's experiences of 30 years in the Congo (1882 to 1912) - 15 years with the Boloki people and 15 years elsewhere in the Congo. It is not a record of missionary life but a description of the African native people including their mythology, superstition and witchcraft. Free eBook