THIS small volume contains some of the letters I have received during the last thirty years or more from well-known big-game hunters and field-naturalists, many of whom have now passed away.
They were so interesting to me that I thought they might interest others who have shot in wilder Africa. Moreover, they describe conditions which are no longer possible considering the way many parts of that continent have been opened up since the Great War.
Whether the spread of a so-called civilization is a good thing I do not wish to discuss, but I know there are many men, including myself, who would prefer the older times when things were less complicated and conventional.
Many people are now going in for photography more than shooting, and in a way this is a good thing as it will naturally help to conserve the game. It is, however, a much less risky amusement to take animals’ pictures—I mean dangerous animals—than to try to kill them, for game such as lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard and rhinoceros are seldom dangerous until they are wounded and followed up in thick cover. Some people may doubt this statement, but it is nevertheless true, as all experienced hunters can vouch.