Africa. Does any word in hunting elicit as powerful of a response? Here are seven quotes from some of hunting’s most influential sportsmen on what it means to them—and, by extension, all of us.
“I speak of Africa and golden joys; the joy of wandering through lonely lands; the joy of hunting the mighty and terrible lords of the wilderness, the cunning, the wary, and the grim.”
– Theodore Roosevelt
“I never knew of a morning in Africa when I woke up and was not happy.”
– Ernest Hemingway, Green Hills of Africa
“. . . the sparkling torrential rains, the sweeping thunderstorms, the grass fires creeping over the veld at night like snakes of living flame, the glorious aspect of the heavens, now of a spotless blue, now charged with the splendid and many-colored lights of sunset, and now sparkling with a myriad stars, the wine-like taste of the air upon the plains, the beautiful flowers in the bushclad kloofs—all these things impressed me so much that, were I to live a thousand years, I never should forget them.”
– H. Rider Haggard, Autobiography
“One of the first sweet and novel pleasures a man can experience in the wilds of Africa is the almost perfect independence; the next is the almost perfect indifference to all earthly things outside his camp, and that, let people talk as they may, is one of the most exquisite, soul-lulling pleasures a mortal may enjoy.”
– H.M. Stanley, quoted by J. Martin Miller, Hunting Big Game in the Wilds of Africa
“Safaris are rather like snowflakes and women. No two are quite alike.”
– Peter Hathaway Capstick, Safari: The Last Adventure
“As an expert shot and hunter of some experience, he was more than justified in seeing Africa on a hunting safari instead of merely as a tourist. His hopes were not so much to pile up trophies as to participate genuinely in the African way of life. A hunter on a hunting trip can better achieve this than a tourist with four cameras.”
– Peter Beard, End of the Game
“I am one of the last of the old-time hunters. The events I saw can never be relived. Both the game and the native tribes, as I knew them, are gone. No one will ever see again the great elephant herds led by old bulls carrying 150 pounds of ivory in each tusk. No one will ever hear again the yodeling war cries of the Masai as their spearmen swept the bush after cattle-killing lions. Few indeed will be able to say they have broken into country never before seen by a white man. No, the old Africa has passed, and I saw it go.”
– John A. Hunter, as quoted in Bartle Bull’s Safari: A Chronicle of Adventure
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