Melissa Shales looks back through history. At a time before we could go on safari or see photos, what must a giraffe have looked like in the streets of Europe?
The most famous of the 19th-century ‘great white hunters’, Selous helped make safari fashionable and lay the foundation stones of African conservation. Melissa Shales looks at his life.
I can remember howling with laughter the first time I met a flush toilet surrounded by a grass enclosure in a bush camp and a tent neatly shaded by a thatched roof to stop the canvas rotting. After a childhood spent wandering National Park campsites in our tatty old family tent, the world of the upmarket safari camp seemed inexpressibly funny.
Everyone knows the name David Livingstone. There’s a town named after him in Zambia, a museum dedicated to him in Scotland. His house in Zanzibar is a tourist site, as is his grave in Westminster Abbey, and the place where his heart was buried under a tree at Ilala in Zambia.
Teddy Roosevelt’s African expedition (1908-10) redefined the safari and put the continent on the tourist map. His celebrity pulling power helped create an industry that has helped sustain Africa’s wildlife ever since.