African safari stories

Extracts from Joe Lucas' journal on his African Safari adventures in the 1950's and 1960's.
A beer drinking dog, bedroom on fire, aircraft landing wheels down or not, missionaries on motor bikes, sheer drops and struck dead by a lightening flash!

[2] WW2 dogfight – Before the Safari days

A quick scan and I became pack leader on spotting them: twenty plus Dornier 17’s, heading for Bristol. This was a WW2 dogfight unfolding before my eyes.
Beautiful blue undersides paled into the matching autumn sky, but black crosses stared from the wings.
Crackle of gunfire revealed just three Hurricanes weaving around…

[3] A Gift of Marbles

The beaming proprietor began counting cool objects into my sweaty outstretched palms.
No – NOT CHANGE! Seven clicks as each kissed its neighbour, eight little spheres of gleaming glass with whorls of white on blue, green, red or amber, two of each hue. One per gallon MARBLES…

[5] 1950’s Mosal – Kurdish delight but very dangerous

The tarmac soon gave way to dust in 1950’s Mosal, but it was halfway through the day, about 70 miles on before foothills replaced the plains. Further on and well into the mountains my driver seemed happier, now in his own country, so I raised the subject of the bullet hole that starred my half of the divided windscreen. Apparently, recently in this valley, his passenger in my seat was an Arab police chief…

[9] Wallowing Hippopotamus

1962 Luangwa Valley Game Reserve. Hippopotamus live near the lodge where I spent the night. All day they laze and wallow in the pool. At night they graze on the fresh green grass around the lodge…

[12] East African Colonialism out in the bush

East African Colonialism; In Africa their simple tiny churches were much better attended than ours and, despite poverty and hardships, had a touching faith, humility and inner confidence.
Mission training was its basis. Throughout East Africa, every known Christian denomination had a station somewhere.
Priests and lay brothers – always known as ‘White Fathers’ – tore about the roads on motor bikes…