Tsavo

CBH Australia

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Hi, does anyone want to talk about Tsavo.
I believe its a National Park now.
Ive watched the Ghost and the Darkness a dozen time. I read the man eaters of Tsavo written by Colonel John Patterson who is depicted in the screen play

I like the scenery and the story.

Has anyone been there, is there anything of the original railway bridge, siding, quarry, camps etc?
 

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Never been there. I can say you'll learn a lot more with the addition of this book.
IMG_20190223_200127.jpeg
 

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I found that book online secondhand in hardcover. I ordered that and the Maeaters of Tsavo.
I just read a post here on Col. John Patterson and Tsavo in the famous hunters forum.
The railroad was destroyed by the Germans but part of the stone foundations remain. That’s a start to.what I was asking about Tsavo. If the damage was in the First World War it makes it 100 years ago so I’d say it’s deteriorated
 

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At the beginning of the war, it was disturbed and sabotaged.
But never destroyed, the resources were not available.
Because the troops of the German empire wanted to stop the supply of the British.
But more than a few broken tracks and one or the other bridge did not come out, especially as Lettow Vorbeck was only on the run since late 1915.
The Uganda Railway was completely on Kenyan territory.
Never in Tansania and never -one marvels- never in Uganda.
Regards
Foxi
(love the history of the UR)
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G'day CBH Australia

My father whilst serving in the Kenya Regiment (way before Uhuru) spent a lot of time in the area making army topographical maps in Tsavo, Taveta, Voi, Taita Hills, and Moshi. He was issued a Landrover Mk.1, together with a couple of Africans to assist. He absolutely loved Tsavo, preferring to sleep under the stars rather than under a fly tent. It was all wild then, devoid of roads, they were creating their own tracks by forcefully driving through the never ending thorn bush/scrub to get to their destinations. The land rover was roofless as the roof just got caught up in the overhanging thorns. He was not a big game hunter, but shot the smaller antelope species for the pot, he was forever coming across buffalo, rhino, and elephant. He had a .256 Mannlicher, and a .22 hornet.

In those days, wildlife took an instant disliking to any humans nearby, rhino charges occurring regularly every so many bends of the tracks. It must have been real fun. Anyhow, upon arrival at their targeted destination, it was the Africans job to hike to the nearest hills, with matches and a candle. Thereupon they would climb to the top of the hill, and light the candle after dark, whereupon my father had hiked to the top of another hill, by himself, unarmed, with his theodolite, which he would use to detect the lit candle held by the Africans on the opposite hill, sometimes the gap between the hills was in miles. This way he could measure out the lay of the land to assist in the creation of the topographical maps

Strange to me, he said he was never scared to be on top of the hill by himself in the dark without a rifle. He was living out n the scrub most of his life in those years. After independence, upon settling in Australia, he always used to laugh when the Aussies used to call hills 'Mountains' (the size of the African hills). Dad would jest, that isn't a mountain, African mountains rise above the clouds! The Aussies never got it.

I suppose the Aussie version of this, is when Texans are in awe of the sizes of their ranch in Texas, whereupon an Aussie will respond by saying that there are Aussie ranches larger than the whole of Texas.

Regards

Rob
 

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Tsavo.jpg

Hello Dinosaur.
Welcome in the best forum.

Intersting what you said about your fathers work.
Do you would some old pictures share with us ??

Regards from Munich- the other side of the world :)
 

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G'day Foxi

I have some old photos, I will do a search for them, but as my scanner is faulty I may be able to use a digital camera , though the quality may be poor. Regrettably they are not hunting photos, just small black and white ones of his survey trips and picnics. I discovered some of his maps that my grandfather brought to Australia, my dad was so pleased, the maps were beautiful quality colour maps, not just basic landlines in black and white, but sadly my father took them to his house in Queensland (Australia) to show a friend, and as my father has passed away, I am unable to locate the missing treasures. Shortly after my father passed away there was a mini hurricane in Brisbane which took the roof off my parents house the rain destroyed my of my families mementos.

That is a blast from the past photo, honestly I have never seen that one on the net before, nor in publications elsewhere, thank you for sharing it. I am guessing it is Tsavo station?

It brings back a story about my great uncle who who in the Kings African Rifles during the northern campaign against the Italians. He was taking his African troops on a train (location ??) , and the troops were fresh out of the Bundu, had never seen a train, nor station before, and they were absolutely fascinated in the coin operated toilet doors, so much so, that they fed all their coins into the latch, just to see it open and close. The train was soon to depart and my great uncle rallied the troops, and heard commotion coming from some lagging troops, they had ripped the toilet doors of their hinges and shoved them on the train when boarding themselves. It turned out, that they had fed their entire pay through the door locking devices, and they weren't aware that their coins were not to be returned, hence the door removal. it would have been a sight for sure.

Regard

Rob
 

Foxi

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G'day Foxi


It brings back a story about my great uncle who who in the Kings African Rifles during the northern campaign against the Italians. He was taking his African troops on a train (location ??) , and the troops were fresh out of the Bundu, had never seen a train, nor station before, and they were absolutely fascinated in the coin operated toilet doors, so much so, that they fed all their coins into the latch, just to see it open and close. The train was soon to depart and my great uncle rallied the troops, and heard commotion coming from some lagging troops, they had ripped the toilet doors of their hinges and shoved them on the train when boarding themselves. It turned out, that they had fed their entire pay through the door locking devices, and they weren't aware that their coins were not to be returned, hence the door removal. it would have been a sight for sure.

Regard

Rob

Genius.These are stories, if you make them up, nobody would believe you.
Share the old pics so you can.
You'll have a huge fan base
 

Kouprey

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Hello CBH!
If you are interested in Tsavo, please also check out the book by Peter Beard "The End of the Game". Lots of photos of old Tsavo, the maneaters, Patterson's scrapbooks, etc. I suggest you buy the new updated version of this book, more photos in it.
And read what happened to the elephants at Tsavo Park... tragic story.

I also recommend the books by Dennis Holman about the Tsavo Game Warden and PH Bill Woodley: "Massacre of the Elephants", "Elephants at Sundown", "The Elephant People".

Regards: Kouprey
 

Dinosaur

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G'day Kouprey

Peter Beards book "The End of the Game" is an excellent book, and just for the illustrations, I couldn't recommend it highly enough. I bought it purely for the photos, he captures old Africa in a nutshell. At the time of purchase, there were photos that I had never come across before, great photos of Tsavo and and other great white hunters, the book is superb, for not only historians, but also features the bad management of some of our wildlife.

I have also a copy of Peter Beard's book call "Eyelids of the Morning" about hunting crocodiles in Kenya's Lake Rudolf, which is also an interesting book, in it's on right.

Bill Woodley was one of my fathers greatest friends, Dad would regularly visit Bill Woodley and assist him on during his Warden activities. Dad said that Bill was one of the nicest fellas that he had the pleasure to have met and my father really missed his field trips with Bill in Tsavo. My father was a lot younger than Bill, and like Bill he served in the Kenya Regiment during the end years of 'The Emergency', and was always telling me the stories how Bill and his colleagues successfully infiltrated the Mau Mau's secret ceremonies whilst dressing up as a local tribesmen. Bill was extremely fluent in the local languages and mannerisms, and he and his colleagues were some of the bravest men whom you could ever have met.

There was another book written by Rick Ridgeway, called 'The Shadow of Kilimanjaro: On Foot Across East Africa', which tells stories of Bill Woodley, and his family, which is worth a read.

This book was given to my dad as a gift from a good friend, it actually pulled my dad out of his shell, as my father missed Kenya so much that he would never talk about it to anyone, that was until he read this book, it brought Tsavo back to him, and to mention his friend Bill was even more special. Only then did my father start telling me of his youthful years.

Only problem is that my father then started speaking Kikuyu to me, regrettably I only know a few words of uptown Swahili (Nairobi Swahili) not the true proper/coastal Swahili, which my father spoke fluently. My father learnt proper Swahili in the Regiment, as part of their training.

Like all colonials, although my father spoke fluent Swahili, he still preferred to call Kenya, 'Keen-ya', it was just the local thing to do.

Kouprey, thank you for providing the titles of the other books about Bill, I look forward to sourcing a copy, it's greatly appreciated.

Regards

Rob
 

Foxi

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thank you so much,for the pics, also for the stroy about Bill Woodley and your fahter.
The car in the first pic is a Williys Jeep ?
 

Dinosaur

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thank you so much,for the pics, also for the stroy about Bill Woodley and your fahter.
The car in the first pic is a Williys Jeep ?

G'day Foxi,

It's the British version of a jeep, it's a Land Rover MK I, the roofs were removable.

If you want to see one in action, please watch the movie, 'The Gods Must Be Crazy', you will laugh your head off.

Regards

Rob
 

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Interesting stuff and good to see an old thread resurrected
 

Kouprey

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G'day Kouprey

Peter Beards book "The End of the Game" is an excellent book, and just for the illustrations, I couldn't recommend it highly enough. I bought it purely for the photos, he captures old Africa in a nutshell. At the time of purchase, there were photos that I had never come across before, great photos of Tsavo and and other great white hunters, the book is superb, for not only historians, but also features the bad management of some of our wildlife.

I have also a copy of Peter Beard's book call "Eyelids of the Morning" about hunting crocodiles in Kenya's Lake Rudolf, which is also an interesting book, in it's on right.

Bill Woodley was one of my fathers greatest friends, Dad would regularly visit Bill Woodley and assist him on during his Warden activities. Dad said that Bill was one of the nicest fellas that he had the pleasure to have met and my father really missed his field trips with Bill in Tsavo. My father was a lot younger than Bill, and like Bill he served in the Kenya Regiment during the end years of 'The Emergency', and was always telling me the stories how Bill and his colleagues successfully infiltrated the Mau Mau's secret ceremonies whilst dressing up as a local tribesmen. Bill was extremely fluent in the local languages and mannerisms, and he and his colleagues were some of the bravest men whom you could ever have met.

There was another book written by Rick Ridgeway, called 'The Shadow of Kilimanjaro: On Foot Across East Africa', which tells stories of Bill Woodley, and his family, which is worth a read.

This book was given to my dad as a gift from a good friend, it actually pulled my dad out of his shell, as my father missed Kenya so much that he would never talk about it to anyone, that was until he read this book, it brought Tsavo back to him, and to mention his friend Bill was even more special. Only then did my father start telling me of his youthful years.

Only problem is that my father then started speaking Kikuyu to me, regrettably I only know a few words of uptown Swahili (Nairobi Swahili) not the true proper/coastal Swahili, which my father spoke fluently. My father learnt proper Swahili in the Regiment, as part of their training.

Like all colonials, although my father spoke fluent Swahili, he still preferred to call Kenya, 'Keen-ya', it was just the local thing to do.

Kouprey, thank you for providing the titles of the other books about Bill, I look forward to sourcing a copy, it's greatly appreciated.

Regards

Rob
Hello Rob!

Thanks for sharing your Dad's memories with us! So great to hear from the old colonials! I would have loved to hunt in Kenya in those times...

By the way: I read that Peter Beard was found dead in a forest in Montauk not long ago... I love his books, a strange mixture of art / gore / adventure / safari history. Beard said in an interview, that he was involved with game cropping an shot hundreds of game...

Holman's books are great reading. He also did the biography about Eric Rundgren called "Inside Safari Hunting" and did the book with "Snake Man" Ionides. But please beware: I think that "Massacre" and "Elephant People" are nearly the same books, the former is the American Edition. "Elephants at Sundown" is the second part of Woodley's life story. It deals a lot with the WaLiangulu people, who shot a thousands elephants in Tsavo. With poisoned arrows!! And how Bill Woodly and David Sheldrick got in touch with the tribe and converted them to their side.
In Brian Herne's book "White Hunters", Bill Woodley is also mentioned several times.

Bill Woodley surely was a great man who died way too soon.

Best wishes: Kouprey
massacre.jpg
1990 Bill_Bongo 1.jpg
1995 Obituary.jpg
elephant_people.jpg
 

Dinosaur

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Hello Rob!

Thanks for sharing your Dad's memories with us! So great to hear from the old colonials! I would have loved to hunt in Kenya in those times...

By the way: I read that Peter Beard was found dead in a forest in Montauk not long ago... I love his books, a strange mixture of art / gore / adventure / safari history. Beard said in an interview, that he was involved with game cropping an shot hundreds of game...

Holman's books are great reading. He also did the biography about Eric Rundgren called "Inside Safari Hunting" and did the book with "Snake Man" Ionides. But please beware: I think that "Massacre" and "Elephant People" are nearly the same books, the former is the American Edition. "Elephants at Sundown" is the second part of Woodley's life story. It deals a lot with the WaLiangulu people, who shot a thousands elephants in Tsavo. With poisoned arrows!! And how Bill Woodly and David Sheldrick got in touch with the tribe and converted them to their side.
In Brian Herne's book "White Hunters", Bill Woodley is also mentioned several times.

Bill Woodley surely was a great man who died way too soon.

Best wishes: Kouprey
View attachment 345699 View attachment 345700 View attachment 345701 View attachment 345702


Hi Kouprey, sorry about the extremely delayed response, as I am still a novice with viewing my Alert screen, I must have missed your response. :(

Wow, thank you for posting all the articles on Bill, as I haven't seen those before, I have done various net searches, and have only managed to find the odd article other than details on the Mau Mau Pseudo forces during 'The Emergency'. I am really grateful. When I visited my uncle in Kenya in the mid 1980's, I begged him to take me to Tsavo, but he successfully distracted me by saying, that it was extremely dangerous during that period as the Somali Shifta had been not only slaughtering elephants at Tsavo, but had been causing havoc by firing on passers by using the Nairobi/Mombasa Road, which is the main road through Tsavo. There was a lot of hush hush going on during that year, raids from the shifta, corrupt Tanzanian soldiers crossing the border and killing a bus load of american tourists was kept quiet too. Only the local Kenyans knew about it.

I did manage to go to Tsavo twice, but via an overnight train from Nairobi to Mombassa, and back again at a later date. Regrettably we could not get off the train at Tsavo, and it was pitch black in darkness. I was told at that time that this was the only train that went through Tsavo and it wasn't in daylight, even on the way back to Nairobi. I did see the Voi area before nightfall it was thick thorn bush similar to Tsavo.

Once again, thank you for the articles.

Regards
Rob
 

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Hi, does anyone want to talk about Tsavo.
I believe its a National Park now.
Ive watched the Ghost and the Darkness a dozen time. I read the man eaters of Tsavo written by Colonel John Patterson who is depicted in the screen play

I like the scenery and the story.

Has anyone been there, is there anything of the original railway bridge, siding, quarry, camps etc?

I have been to Tsavo but it was many years ago. We didn't spend any time looking for any of the locations mentioned in Patterson's book. It would be interesting to find the spots now.

My memories of Tsavo is that it was not overly impressive. The land was fairly flat, thorn scrub ran right up to the road, it was scorching hot during the day and there was a dearth of animals to be found. As a NP it worked great for the elephants, but for game viewing it was poor compared to most NP's at the time.

@Dinosaur I absolutely love your father's photos. Thanks for sharing them with us. Did your father draw the map showing Tsavo/Kilimanjaro? I love looking at that map. One thing I find interesting is the map shows Kilimanjaro at 19,563' , now it is 19,341'. I would doubt that cartographers would be so far off only 60 years ago and wonder if much of the difference is glacier melt.

I also see you have hunted Kenya. Was this prior to the 1978 shutdown on mammals or have you hunted birds more recently. It is my understanding they have shut bird hunting down as of 5 or so years ago. We would love to see your Kenya hunting photos as well.
 

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