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Publisher's Summary

A little over 100 years ago, East Africa was terra incognita to most whites: a land largely unmapped, sparsely settled by Europeans, and teeming with wildlife. It was the hunter-adventurer's paradise, and by the early 20th century, a small, lionhearted clan of explorers and big-game hunters began leading safaris there for money. They became the legendary White Hunters of Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, men who led manifold adventurers in pursuit of the world's biggest, most dangerous, and most sought-after game.

White Hunters is a nostalgic and densely-packed history of these men and their adventures, from the turn of the century until the 1970s when politics, a growing population, civil strife, and concern about species destruction intervened. Brian Herne has written a virtual and anecdotal Who's Who of White Hunters, crammed with the details of hundreds of hunts and the dozens of men who led them.

©1999 Brian Herne (P)1999 Blackstone Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

"A rich portrait of a magnificent landscape, its animal inhabitants and some of its most reckless human interlopers." (Publishers Weekly)
"An authoritative and colorful study of African safaris that will appeal to armchair adventurers and history buffs alike." (Wall Street Journal)

What listeners say about White Hunters

Average Customer Ratings
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An excellent book!

I really enjoyed this book. The author has his own first hand experience in hunting dangerous big African game. The research and knowledge is well spread out amongst the many chapeters. An enthralling and exciting read with many poignant reminders on conservation and protection of the land and animals of Africa. Thank you Brian and Robert for a fantastic book

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awesome

a great listen. with a unique insight into hunting and the African way of life in the early part of last century

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Good storytelling.

I really enjoyed that novel. I found the narrator engaging and the story entertaining.

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Amazing.

For all hunters and lover’s of African experiences this is a must read. It was a joy to listen to.

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Amazing!

This is a remarkable true account of both hunting and conservation in Africa over time.

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magnificent

This story has been very well researched and the narration is first class. A most fascinating story - very compelling!

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Favourite listen thus far

Fantastic in both content and entertainment. The Narrator was unbelievably good, best Ive heard yet; over many a book.

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Brilliant

Could not put it down great detail of the history of white hunters and an overview of Africa through out its changing times

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  • Stephen
  • 12-01-2007

A fascinating account ....

Having lived in Africa and hunted I found this reading evocative of a time now past and, sadly, of lands now devastated by war & famine.
It is a fascinating account, beautifully read, of a lifestyle that is now just a part of the history of colonial Africa. I would heartily recommend this book to anyone who has the remotest interesting in hunting, whether in Africa or elsewhere.

15 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 20-01-2008

Must Read

This is a must read for anyone interseted in Big Game hunting past and present and is not just a score board of animals killed. It gives a great insight into the Africa of the first half of the 20th century. If you enjoy reading Capstick then this is for you. The author has a vast knowledge of his subject and I highly recommend this title

8 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • JH
  • 08-01-2010

White Hunter, tales of Gentlemen Adventurers

If you are interested in tales of high adventure, safaris and big game hunting in Africa, this is a book for you.

"White Hunters" details the adventures, lives and often deaths of some of Africa's explorers, white professional hunters, and characters from a period of African history which can no longer be experienced.

Having heard or read of some of the individuals portrayed in the book it was fascinating to hear of more of their exploits. Some of the individuals in the book are still alive but fewer each year. It is fascinating to meet these adventurers in person as well as in this book.

Listening to the safaris and big game hunting exploits brings forth "the smell of cordite in the morning" from their double rifles firing cigar sized Nitro Express cartridges.

Audible bring us more books like this one.



6 people found this helpful

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  • Steyn
  • 01-09-2011

Great history

This is actually a history lesson presented as a story - I enjoyed it until the end.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Kira
  • 10-09-2021

Little more than glorification of poaching!

Sad and despicable! Typical colonial savagery disguised as heroism. Remove this book from Audible ASAP!

3 people found this helpful

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  • Trip Williams
  • 22-05-2016

Like re-visting old friends...

I'm showing my age, but I was lucky enough to have several Great Uncles that were Missionaries and "Adventurers" back in the VERY EARLY 1900's... They all loved traveling and learning new cultures so much, they ALL passed away "Over seas, traveling" at very old ages (a little over "100 years old" is about the norm for my family, with decent health right up to the end). Their (VERY old) antebellum homes here in the deep south are FILLED with "Things they picked up while traveling around the world" (if you think inheriting, and trying to modernize, a three story Antebellum Home 'would be fun', trust me, it IS NOT! ;) ). As a kid, I'd listen to them telling their "latest adventures", scattered with stories of "when I wasn't much older than you, I ___". I especially loved their older stories about Africa and the Far East (etc), like the "Races in British East Africa" in the early 1900's, and riding "The Lunatic Line", and seeing wild animals strolling down Main Street, etc. I was delighted to hear Mr. Herne telling the same basic stories, just from someone else's point of view. I used to be a bit skeptical about some stories my Great Uncles would tell, like: "I'm not kidding, she rode her horse right into the hotel and started shooting bottles!", which is one of the things Mr. Herne talks about in this book.

There are a LOT of books written about the same adventurers in Africa, from varying viewpoints, but this book contained some little known facts about countries, people, cultures, that you may not have ever heard about before.

3 people found this helpful

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  • JOHN MININGER
  • 17-07-2012

a Civilization gone with the wind

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would recommend it to anyone who ever laid in a tent at night reading the adventures of J.A. Hunter by flashlight and fantasizing of someday owning a Holland & Holland D/B .500 Nitro Express

What did you like best about this story?

The history of professional hunters in East Africa.

Any additional comments?

A great read.
I now want to go back and re-read Hunter by Hunter, Bell of Africa, and all the adventures of Kenneth Anderson.
This was a good accounting of the “heroes” that I remember reading as a kid growing up in the 60s. I would recommend it to anyone who ever laid in a tent at night reading the adventures of J.A. Hunter by flashlight and fantasizing of someday owning a Holland & Holland D/B .500 Nitro Express.

But it was also bittersweet. I couldn’t help but be reminded somewhat of the forward from a very famous 1939 movie:
“There was a land of Cavaliers and Cotton Fields called the Old South. Here in this pretty world, Gallantry took its last bow. Here was the last ever to be seen of Knights and their Ladies Fair, of Master and of Slave. Look for it only in books, for it is no more than a dream remembered, a Civilization gone with the wind.”

3 people found this helpful

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  • Claycnst
  • 05-03-2016

Five star

It's a five star for me. It's a history book, but very opinionated. Almost all of the White Hunters get killed or mauled.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Tim
  • 02-02-2011

White Hunters

Well worth the credit! Although I've traveled to over 25 countries, I've never been to Africa (it's on my bucket list), and this book rekindled my wish to visit that part of the world. Although mainly about big game hunting, and the fascinating people involved in that arena, this book is also about Africa. I enjoyed the non-hunting historical background info that was interwoven in this story. I have only "hunted" with a camera for the past 25 years, but I thoroughly enjoyed this book. However, if you have no interest whatsoever in hunting, or in Africa, you may want to pass on this one. One last note: I found the narrator to be excellent, and very easy to listen to.

2 people found this helpful

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  • matthew
  • 01-12-2021

Short Enthralling Chapters

This book is broken into 40+ chapters chronologically from the inception of Safari hunting in Africa. Mostly it focuses on Kenya, Tanzania and a bit on Uganda. The accounts of hunts as they led up to killing lions, buffalo, elephants and other animals are very detailed. One can imagine the dense grass thickets that wily cats hid in to often reverse the humans advantage and many times the hunters were gored, killed or forced to retreat up a tree. There is a bit at the end about how the desire for ivory soared in Asia and led to the mass killing of elephants for 20 years. By banning ivory trafficking it sure seems like the price increased significantly. Anyway, there were far too many characters to keep the relationships straight,nevertheless this was an excellent listen and since it was part of Audible Plus it was a bonus for me. Why Audible can create an Audible Unlimited model is lost on me. When my trial is over I will continue with Scribd, which pulled me away from expensive Audible for several years. Come on Jeff give customers what they want. You are already filthy rich.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Ben Waddams
  • 01-05-2011

Excitement and Tragedy go hand-in-hand

White Hunters is a nostalgic insight into the lives of some of the most influential hunters and conservationists to shape the reputation and history of East Africa.

I am not a hunter, but a conservationist and naturalist. Hunting is an imporatnt, indeed crucial, component of conservation in Africa and this audiobook chronicles the events that led to the beginings of Wildlife Conservation, the National Parks service and today's Photo Safaris. But it is more than this, 'White Hunters' is a rolling adventure story, pockmarked with passion, intrigue, excitment and tragedy.

I must admit, I was hoping for a 'Capstick-style' series of adventures and was initially slightly disappointed with the all-too-brief descriptions of wildlife encounters, but as I got into the book, it became clear that, like my fellow reviewer here, no additional sensationalism was needed.

I have only given this a 4/5, because I ocassioanlly wished there was additional detail to go with the Safari Adventures, and although that would make the book double its already-long-length, it would be even more of a joy.

This is an audiobook for those interested in Colonial History, Hunting, Wildlife, Real Adventure and most importantly, Africa.

Ben Waddams

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • J. Baker
  • 17-09-2009

Brilliant Book

This unabridged insight into the history of big game hunting takes you straight to the heart of Africa, once famous names like Carr-Hartley and Selous are bought to life by the fantastically clipped colonial tones of the narrator. Unlike authors of the genre such as Capstick it doesn't over dramatise the events, they don't need it, it simply sets the scene and tells the story. Despite being written by a "Big White Hunter" it sympathetically deals with the socio-political issues that shaped much of Africa and that where ultimately to do more damage to the pursuit of big game than any poacher ( or well meaning conservationalist) ever could. A simply superb epithet to a bye gone age.

1 person found this helpful

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  • the60sthrowback
  • 13-07-2022

magnificent

without a doubt one of the best audio books I have ever heard. Vance/Whitfield reads it like he wrote it and is one of the best narrators I have ever had the pleasure of listening to.

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  • Pete
  • 14-01-2022

pronounce the name of the places an name properly

Great stories but had to stop listening due to the miss pronounced names and place. Do your research please.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Tim Weston
  • 28-10-2021

wonderful story of real life adventure

This is the story of adventure, risk and nature from the begining of african hunting. wonderfully told

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Tomaszek
  • 17-10-2021

One of the very best adventure, history books.

One of the very best adventure, history books. The audio format adds to this book and it is read with a wonderful accent and engagement. Also paints a picture how and why hunting is so important for conservation.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Goronwy-Wyn
  • 14-10-2021

A very well written account.

Having worked in Kenya for a few years in the early 90s my wife and i spent hrs re examining all of the places we had been to as they cropped up in the book. The overwhelming thought we had is just how accurate the prologue was.
Where is the space for wild life now?

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  • Stefan Wright-Cole
  • 18-03-2020

Fascinating

Easily one of the best books I've ever listen to (3 times in full)
Narrator perfectly suits it. A fascinating look into the lives of big game hunters, poachers, conservationists and safaris in Africa

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  • Gregg Howard
  • 25-07-2019

utterly excellent book with brilliant narration

listened to this book with my boyfriend during a very long journey driving from Namibia all across Botswana and back. My boyfriend is a keen hunter and was transfixed from the get go. as was I. we now drive the last leg back in darkness without too many words between us as we ponder upon what was a thought provoking and riveting listen. I would highly recommend it to anyone who has come thus far to read the reviews.

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  • Frodo & Co
  • 20-04-2014

wildlife passion as it was enjoyed

What made the experience of listening to White Hunters the most enjoyable?

When you've got the hunting passion, this is a lovely historical revival of how things were in Africa. In a different era. Hard and harsh, crude and rude, enjoying the tales of a wide variety of hunter: many great and respectful and some just silly and stupid.
In all a lovely book to enjoy part of these past passions.

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