Through Jade's Eyes

This blog is about the fictional character, Jade del Cameron (, and the historical time period in which she lives.

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I'm the author of the Jade del Cameron historical mystery series set in 1920's Africa. Lots of action, intrigue, mystery and a dash of romance. Follow me at *The audio link (view complete profile) is an interview by Baron Ron Herron (9/17/2009, Santa Barbara {CA} News-Press Radio, KZSB, AM 1290

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Going on Safari - Part 2

Martin and Osa Johnson discovered that motorcars had some decided advantages over oxen when going on safari. Martin discusses these in his book, Camera Trails In Africa. He observes that oxen, mules, and ponies are useless when you travel in any region inhabited by the tsetse-fly. The animals are very likely to sicken and die, leaving the traveler stranded. He also notes that travel with these animals is impossible in the rains. The ground becomes a bog and the animals are incapable of pulling the wagons through the mire.

The motorcar could go faster than the pack animals and they could travel off road as well. The Johnsons relied on them in their practice treks North of Nairobi and especially in their long safari to Mount Marsabit in the Northern Frontier. The cars sometimes needed help fording the rivers, but they proved themselves very useful. Even then, the Johnson’s used ox carts to haul fuel and cache it at several key locales.

But Martin admits that there are limits even to where his Fords can go, places with no roads. In these places, the only means is on foot with an army of porters carrying provisions. It is in the use of porters that modern safaris differed from the old days. By the end of the war, the Bureau of Native Affairs had set rules for both the hirer and the porters.


As a side note, I have most recently gained access to microfilm copies of the East Africa Standard, a daily Nairobi newspaper. In particular, I’m viewing 1920 and 1921. Recently I found an article written by a lady who went on safari in late1920. I hope to pull excerpts of it and other tidbits of colony life for future blogs.

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