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Professional Hunter Biographies

Professional Hunter biographies feature books written about specific legendary old-time professional hunters.

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Lucia Adams

Wahoga : Bror Blixen in Africa

Wahoga : Bror Blixen in Africa by Lucia Adams (2019) is another book about the life of Bror von Blixen-Finecke. It is a gossip-filled book written by an author who appears to know little about big game hunting in this era. There is a tone throughout the book of disapproval of hunting and of the "international social elite" who hunted with Blixen. "He organized every detail of opulent safaris for the Prince of Wales, the Vanderbilts, and the wealthiest Americans and titled British between the wars. This contributed to the decimation of wildlife in East Africa in the face of the growing conservation movement. He was also a market hunter of ivory in Kenya, Tanganyika, and the Congo." Reading Blixen's own book 'African Hunter' is recommended rather than this one.

Ulf Aschan

The Man Whom Women Loved: The Life Of Bror Blixen

The Man Whom Women Loved: The Life Of Bror Blixen by Ulf Aschan (1986) is the biography of Bror Blixen, husband to Isak Dinesen, archetypal hero for Ernest Hemingway and a romantic figure of mythic passions for women and adventure. Bror Blixen led a life that exceeded his legend. The author is Blixen's godson.

A Lifetime Safari

A Lifetime Safari by Ulf Aschan (2012) is an autobiography of the author's life in Kenya where he was an apprentice PH with his father Kris Aschan, who was an apprentice to Bror Blixen, who was Ulf Aschan's godfather. This book may be unavailable.

Elizabeth Balneaves

Elephant Valley

Elephant Valley: The Adventures Of J McGregor Brooks, Game And Tsetse Officer, Kariba by Elizabeth Balneaves (1962) is the unusual story of a Rhodesian Game and Tseste Supervisor, Joe McGregor Brooks, originally from Scotland, who spent his spare time running a private animal rescue service in a home-made raft, and of the Tonga people, flooded out of their old villages by the Kariba Dam. These people were the responsibility of Joe McGregor Brooks and after he made the acquaintance of the author, she told both his story, the story of the Tonga and the story of the many animals who affected them both.

Monty Brown

RJ: Richard John Cuninghame 1871 - 1925: Naturalist, Hunter, Gentleman

RJ: Richard John Cuninghame 1871 - 1925: Naturalist, Hunter, Gentleman by Monty Brown (2004) is the incredible biography of one of the pioneer African hunters, who planned and accompanied such men like Theodore Roosevelt, Stewart Edward White, Carl Akeley, Prince William of Sweden, Guy Babault, R L Scott and a host of others. Richard Cuninghame hunted throughout Africa. His various expeditions took him from the Cape of Good Hope to Cairo. He was not only a first class professional hunter and guide but also an accomplished zoologist and artist and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

Where Giants Trod: The Saga Of Kenya's Desert Lake

Where Giants Trod: The Saga Of Kenya's Desert Lake by Monty Brown (1989) is a beautifully produced and extremely well-researched account of early expeditions to Lake Rudolf and the nomadic tribes of the area.

Hunter Away: The Life And Times Of Arthur Henry Neumann 1850 - 1907

Hunter Away: The Life And Times Of Arthur Henry Neumann 1850 - 1907 by Monty Brown (1993). Arthur Neumann will always be remembered as one of the greatest elephant hunters in sporting history. This definitive biography is a delightful study of Neumann and the other intrepid characters who broke trails in East Africa in bygone days.

Haven Under The Hills

Haven Under The Hills: A Kenya Vignette by Monty Brown (2001) explores the inseparable background of the Aberdare Country Club and the Ark tourist lodges of Kenya. It looks at the history and characters involved in the stages of development of the 1930's elegant Aberdare Country Club and the Ark, built 30 years later deep in the Aberdare forest.

Lawrence Earl

Lawrence Earl met South African Bryan Dempster (b.1926) and heard his true story about hunting crocodiles for a living in the hope of starting a crocodile farm in Nyasaland.

Crocodile Fever

Crocodile Fever by Lawrence Earl (1954) is Bryan Dempster's 'true' life story as a hunter of crocodiles and other big game.

Vivian James

Louis Woodruff was an ex-railway guard who became a professional hunter with Safariland Ltd after World War II. Bryan Coleman was apprenticed to Woodruff and remembers he "...was tough but taught me a lot. He loved a South African brandy called Mellow Wood. It sure mellowed him all right!" Read 'White Hunters' by Brian Herne

Two Buffaloes: The Life And Times Of A Professional Hunter

Two Buffaloes: The Life And Times Of A Professional Hunter by Vivian James (2013), Louis Worth Woodruff was a professional hunter on the plains and in the forests of Kenya, Uganda and Tanganyika during the first half of the last century.

Trouble By The Ton by Dr Charles B Stacy is a Hunter's Journal article which features Louis Woodruff who guided his elephant hunt in Kenya.

G F V Kleen

Bror Blixen: The Africa Letters

Bror Blixen: The Africa Letters edited by G F V Kleen(1987) is an account of Bror Blixen's experiences as big-game hunter and safari leader in East Africa during the 1920s and '30s. Blixen was a larger-than-life settler and safari leader who many believe was Ernest Hemingway's model for the masculine heroes in his books. These letters from Blixen to family and friends, written between 1913 and 1936, were translated by Kleen, who was a nephew of Blixen and lived with him and his second wife, Cockie, in Africa. Much of the content is on hunting - mostly for elephants.

Margaret Lane

Margaret Lane, Dowager Countess of Huntingdon (1907 - 1994) was a British author and journalist whose works included books about Beatrix Potter and the naturalist, hunter and herpetologist, C J P Ionides.

Life With Ionides

Life With Ionides by Margaret Lane (1963) is a biography of the reclusive hunter, game warden, naturalist, author and herpetologist, C J P Ionides. The author stayed with him in his remote jungle hut filled with deadly mambas and puff adders in Tanganyika.

The Snake Man: Life Of C J P Ionides

The Snake Man: Life Of C J P Ionides by Margaret Lane (1988)

A Calabash Of Diamonds: An African Treasure Hunt

A Calabash Of Diamonds: An African Treasure Hunt by Margaret Lane (1961) is the true story of a secret treasure hunt in the Portuguese African territory of Mozambique. In 1959, armed with an old map, the author and her husband embarked on a gruelling expedition in search of a cache of uncut diamonds buried in the grave of an African chief.

Gordon Makepeace

Safari Sam

Safari Sam by Gordon Makepeace (1933) are the recorded experiences of 'Safari Sam' following a long interview by Makepeace, a journalist. Sam evidently spent much time in the Northern Rhodesian bush and relates incidents of encounters with rhinoceros, lion, leopard and crocodile, as well as conversation with a veteran elephant hunter.

Capetown To Stockholm

Capetown To Stockholm: A Chevrolet Adventure by Gordon Makepeace (1929) is a scarce account of the Chevrolet Expedition (Makepeace and 4 others in one Chevrolet sedan and one Chevrolet truck) organised by General Motors South African Ltd, based at Port Elizabeth. It left Cape Town in March 1928 and arrived in Stockholm December 1928, while Central and East Africa were in full flood, taking in South Africa, Tanganyika, Kenya, Uganda, Sudan, Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Turkey, the Balkans, Switzerland, France, England and Sweden. Makepeace states early in the book, "The bush is no fosterer of friendships. I have known men start off together as bosom friends on a journey through the African bush, and come back hating each other with a great bitterness."

Horace S Mazet

Horace Sawyer Mazet (1903 - 2002) was an American author who served in the US Navy and US Marines as an aviator during World War II. Between 1955 and 1964, he explored remote parts of Kenya and French Equatorial Africa, recalling his adventures in short stories. He was a photographer and sound engineer for the movie company which took African background film for the Tarzan movies and also served as a Hollywood extra and stuntman. He also wrote about sharks and shark fishing.

Wild Ivory

Wild Ivory by Horace S Mazet (1971). The true story of Fernie - the last of the old elephant hunters - a man forced to turn outlaw and fight to survive in a savage land. Horace Mazet undertook several safaris in East Africa and befriended a white hunter named Fernie whose parents were pioneer settlers in Kenya. Fernie became a white hunter, specializing in elephant hunting but he loses his professional hunter's status due to a bureaucratic frame-up and is forced to become an ivory poacher in order to earn enough money to clear his name. This is Fernie's story of survival in the African bush, pitting his wits against men and wild animals. Though this book is billed a being a 'true story', some sources believe it is a novel.

Shark! Shark!: The Thirty-Year Odyssey Of A Pioneer Shark Hunter by William E Young & Horace S Mazet (1933)

Tigers Of The Sea by Charles G Muller & Horace S Mazet (1946)

Shark Fishing Off The Great Barrier Reef by Horace S Mazet (1957)

Eagles In The Sky by Lt Col Horace S Mazet (1946)

John Pollard

John Pollard (b.1914) was a British writer who wrote a number of books on his travels in Africa and his friendship with white hunter, Raymond Hook. During World War II he served as an officer with the Devonshire Regiment and the King's African Rifles in Italian Somaliland, Abyssinia, Kenya and Uganda.

Raymond Hook (1893 - 1968) was a white hunter who specialised in the high altitude hunting near Mount Kenya, using zebroids as pack animals. Hook bred zebroids by crossing zebras with donkeys.

African Zoo Man: The Life-Story Of Raymond Hook

African Zoo Man: The Life-Story of Raymond Hook by John Pollard (1963) is the biography of hunter Raymond Hook of Nanyuki who was an eccentric and fascinating character. He had taken cheetahs to England to breed and race, he's searched for the legendary spotted lion, he bred zebra with donkeys to create the zebroid. For all his eccentricity he was an intelligent scholar and an expert in bushlore.

Adventure Begins In Kenya

Adventure Begins In Kenya by John Pollard (1957) is about the quest for the golden peregrine on Mount Kenya with episodes of hunting, finding flora and fauna, much on Raymond Hook (to whom the book is dedicated), being charged by rhino and similar Kenya adventures. This book precedes 'Africa For Adeventure'.

Africa For Adventure

Africa For Adventure by John Pollard (1961) is a scarce title with much on big-game hunting. It continues Pollard's account of his African travels to Abyssinia, British and Italian Somaliland, the Sudan, Uganda and Natal. He also renewed his acquaintance with Raymond Hook.

The Long Safari

The Long Safari by John Pollard (1967) is an account of a 2000 mile safari from Kenya to the Red Sea.

Maximilian Von Rogister

Momella: An African Game Paradise

Momella: An African Game Paradise by Maximilian Von Rogister (1955) is the story of Margarete Trappe (1884 - 1957), the original owner of Momella and the first woman to become a professional hunter in East Africa. Momella was an unusual farm set high up on the eastern slopes of Mount Meru in Tanzania in an area that teemed with game of all kinds. The author was an employee of Margarete Trappe and her husband and this book includes his observations of the local people and his big game hunting.

Oliver Walker

The Hippo Poacher

The Hippo Poacher by Oliver Walker (1967) is the biography of Tom Dunn, 'the most notorious hippo poacher in Zululand', son of John Dunn, King Cetewayo's white Prime Minister and a Zulu princess. Tom's colourful adventures take place during a vanished era, before sugar-cane and timber came to dominate the bush. Oliver Walker's sympathetic narrative recreates the green Zululand of footpath and kraal and of the abundant big game that enabled Tom Dunn, a true nomad, to wander at will. The story was narrated to the author by Domenic Dunn, Tom's brother.

Alan Wykes

Snake Man: Story of C J P Ionides

Snake Man: Story of C J P Ionides by Alan Wykes (1960) is a biography of Ionides, the Tanganyika Game Warden, one-time poacher, big game hunter and a world renowned herpetologist who spent a lifetime in the remote Tanganyikan bush. His collection of record trophy animals are still displayed at the Nairobi Museum.
Read Ionides' autobiography 'A Hunter's Story'

Nimrod Smith: A Profile Of T Murray Smith

Nimrod Smith: A Profile Of T Murray Smithby Alan Wykes (1961) is a biography of T Murray Smith who was one of the most sought after professional hunters of his time in East Africa.
Read T Murray Smith's autobiography 'The Nature Of The Beast'

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Page Updated: 2023

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