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The Wanderings of an Elephant Hunter Hardcover – March 10, 2004

4.5 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 187 pages
  • Publisher: Safari Press (March 10, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1571572244
  • ISBN-13: 978-1571572240
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 1 x 10.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,557,375 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jerry Jaleel on March 21, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Walter Dalrymple Maitland (W.D.M.) Bell(1880-1951) roamed Africa for a quarter of a century between 1897 and 1922. His main interest there was to collect ivory, and it was much easier back then, as safaris and safari outfitters were uncommon. The elephants and other African animals had no cause to fear men, and shots from the rifles were rare except those made by slave raiders. The best part was that there were plenty of elephants with tusk weighing 100 lbs or more on each side. Bell took full advantage of the situation.

Armed with low calibre rifles, he ventured into the elephant country on foot, and knowing the vital spots of the elephants, he drove the bullets right into their brain, heart or lungs causing instant death to the animals. The bullets were cheap, perhaps a box of 20 for a shilling. But the ivory collected from one elephant brought a luxury life, and Bell collected virtually tons of ivory during his wanderings in Africa, especially an area known as Karamojo (see Bell's 2nd book 'Karamojo Bell' published in 1949)

According to a biographer, Bell was 'arguably the greatest ivory hunter: Certainly the last'. Wanderings of an Elephant Hunter was Bell's first book, originally published by Macmillan in 1923. It contained several sketches and paintings prepared by Bell 'on the spot'. This reprint by Safari Press also reproduced all the illustrations and art works from the original edition, and to me it is much superior in quality than the ones published by Neville Spearman, London.

**For additional reading: please consult BELL OF AFRICA
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Format: Hardcover
This being the first of Bell's three books it was also my first title on the subject of elephant hunting. A testament to it's quality would be that even today, twenty years after the purchase and roughly eighty years after it was written, I often revisit these pages. The chapters on hunting rifle, shooting angles, adventures in Uganda and previously undiscovered country in western and central Africa are classic Africana. I am not alone in my fascination as Walter Bell continues to be among the most recognizable names in big game hunting today a full one hundred years after his first safari. His accomplishments with the rifle continue to be the standard by which all others are compared. Considering the number of sportsman who visit the continent, this is quite an accomplishment. Unlike Karamojo Safari and Bell of Africa, this book is strictly a collection of articles that were written for a local outdoor magazine in Scotland. In them, Bell describes the equipment, hunting techniques and shooting angles he used to become the most successful elephant hunter of the era. Even though these chapters address a vast range of topics Bell never drifts far from the pure hunting experience he strives to describe. He lived the life of an elephant hunter during that brief point in history when it was still a feasible profession to take up. The sensations associated with leading a heavily ivory laden safari out of the deepest jungles of Africa must have been truly magnificent. Fortunate we are that Bell took the time to put down his rifles and pick up his pen.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an excellent narration by the premiere elephant hunter of the early 20th Century. This extraordinary man presents adventures as simple matters of fact, as calmly as if he were recounting a normal day's work in some office. There is droll, and I believe "unintended" humor throughout the book. He gives a glimpse into the everyday life and perils of a short-lived profession that became a staple of early Hollywood adventure movies. Karamojo Bell was a master hunter who believed that the size of the bullet was not nearly as important as the placement of the shot. He hunted elephants with calibers that would only seem suitable for deer in today's hunting circles.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
W.D.M. Bell was one of the premier "great white hunters" who ventured into unknown parts of savage Africa. He learned how to best deal with the various native tribes in short order, which is the principle reason he achieved his "fame" and successes in the bush. Mr. Bell admired Selous' hunting and communication methods with Africans in areas where no "white man" has ever been seen. And, he had the wherewithal to put to paper his exceptionally dangerous adventures, so others interested in African big game hunting and travelling could learn from his successes and failures. This book is very well written and is much easier to read (editing of the digital scan from print is nearly flawless) than most of the historic African hunting books on digital format. Also, he writes with a hint of humor even in the face of danger, which makes this read quite entertaining. I highly recommend this volume for anyone who enjoys studying the ways and means of big game hunting in the "golden age" of the Dark Continent. My only regret is that this is Bell's only book available on Kindle. Cheers!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoy reading about hunting in Africa back in the "old days", early 1900's. A combination of hunting and exploring new country, not
to mention having to deal with strange people, learn new languages, etc. It was a ruff difficult experience to say the least. Overall, a
very educational book about a unique place and time.
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