‘He led a singularly adventurous and fascinating life, with just the right alternations between the wilderness and civilization.’
Teddy Roosevelt, 1917
This book tells the story of an adventurer, hunter and naturalist in late nineteenth-century Africa, who would inspire novelists such as Rider Haggard and Wilbur Smith. The book describes Selous’ extraordinary adventures, which included elephant-hunting, diamond-prospecting and an early expedition to found Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) in the European scramble for Africa. The book also examines Selous’ relationships with other influential people of the time, including Robert Baden-Powell, Frederick Russell Burnham, Cecil Rhodes, King Lobengula of the Ndebele, and American President Teddy Roosevelt.
In Big Game Hunter Norman Etherington paints a skilful portrait of a complex man who started as an elephant hunter but who eventually founded some of the first game reserves in Africa and was acclaimed by both the National History Museum and the Royal Geographical Society for his collections and discoveries.
Selous, who was killed by a German sniper bullet in Tanganyika in the First World War, was one of the world’s great adventurers.