It All began here in Africa,
By the turn of the nineteenth century, Europe had ‘’discovered’’ Africa. The European powers were awakened to the potential of the vast continent by pioneering explorers who ventured into the interior for the first time. Britain’s Royal Geographical Society sponsored a number of early expeditions in Africa, including those of John Speke, Dr. David Livingstone to find source of the river Nile (eventually traced to Lake Victoria), later being the first ever to see the Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, and that of Sir Harry Johnstone to survey mount Kilimanjaro. Karen Blixen was one of the many new settlers who captured the great appeal of safari life. Her home typified the architecture and interior style of colonial Kenya in the 1920s. What followed these finds became to be known as the ‘‘scramble for Africa.’’ The Eastern strip of the continent was considered a particular prize because of its significant natural wealth, rich in its abundant alien resources and wildlife. The British possession included Rhodesia (later Zimbabwe) and British East Africa, which comprised Kenya, Uganda and Zanzibar. Germany held Tanganyika (later Tanzania), and Portuguese settled Mozambique. Madagascar meanwhile became a French colony in 1986. Most of East Africa was colonized in the years between 1895 and 1915, and impact in the home territories was significant. The ‘’dark continent’ ’as it was dubbed, promised misery and excitement in an age when the naïve and elemental spirit of tribal existence was a recurring theme in art and literature, and a popular topic for debate at upper class for soirees.
Africa became the adventure playground of wealth and eccentric, and Africa attracted a stream of largely British adventurers and explorers as the century progressed.
Early Safari were organized purely for allowing Europeans the thrill and pleasure of hunting, with local guides undertaking the tracking hauling of baggage. The 1930s heralded a New type of Safari. Using Motorcars, and for the purpose of taking photographs. More than a century after the first safari expedition brought European into direct contact with the wilds of Africa, out of pleasure rather than necessity, the lure of the experience endures. Moreover the imagery associated with the safari has in itself come to be symbolic of something more: the flickering of a hurricane lamp casting a shadow against the canvas walls of a tent; soft swathes of fine mosquito netting shrouding a camp bed; a folding table set with white linen and silverware in the shade of solitary flame trees; vast stretches of savanna turning gold in the evening sun; the pattern of zebra moving together on the horizon; and the warm glow of a campfire beyond which the bush resonates with the language of wildlife. The travellers who captured these images, through their snapshots and writings, evoked a life of both pleasure and adventure, of element living in an extraordinary place.
It is the British of east Africa who made the safari their own, spurred by a life of both sport and adventure. Out of the hardship of travel across difficult terrain in pursuit of their goal, they created an experience of great luxury and sensuality. This ability to imbue any environment no matter how alien, with comfortable elements of English living had already been well established in India. There, in the course of building their empire, the British created a highly romantic way of life. They used native materials to reproduce the furnishing objects evolved an elegant pattern for living that emerged the exotic appeal to local materials and objects with the comfort of the classic British home.
Although the word ‘’safari’’ simply meant a journey, or trip, in the Swahili language, it was much more than that to the expatriate elite who adopted the term to describe their adventures in the Kenyan wilds. most satisfying and the most anticipated moment of the safari was on return to the camp as sundown, where cocktails would be waiting on a table laid for dinner with the white linen and silverware. Likewise, those settlers that left Africa to return back home after most Africa Country’s got Independence they took with them elements of a new interior style, including many of the items associated with the safari—the folding furniture, the pale lightweights fabrics, and the African handicrafts.
The East of Africa was the backbone land of safari development. Kenya solely is known as the “land of the original safari”. Today it is one of the few African states that offer a truly authentic African safari experience…giving a natural flashback of the past. A safari in Kenya will allow you the unique opportunity to experience its traditional way of life, tribes in ancient styled and coloured garments, farming and living in a truly rural environment. It has the wildlife, the culture and the landscapes.
Block by block and curtesy of the safari pioneers in Africa has led to today’s Luxury safari lodges, open 4×4 safari vehicles/land rovers, amazing wildlife viewings, air ballooning and much more. What one could not experience or even dream of 100 years ago, it is certainly done today.