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What attracts ‘Hunters’ to Africa?

Like most men of a certain age, I grew up with stories of adventure. Whether that was the first hand accounts of my Grandfathers from his time in Burma with the Chindits or the fictional stories I read in those little Commando comic books, which refreshingly are still going today. In listening and reading those stories, you are emersed into a different world that stimulates your own thirst for adventure!

Adventure, the desire to discover, experience new things and challenge ones self to achieve something is still what drives most of us. Yes, we are lucky enough today to have the ability to travel immense distances at will, we can almost go anywhere we like. But, why is it that Africa as a hunting destination is still so popular today as it has ever been and why is it often at the top of most peoples bucket list of things to experience? It may be the challenge of being able to hunt one of the big five or the superb plains game hunting that is on offer? I personally think the attraction of visiting Africa runs deeper than that and it is difficult to put a finger on what it is. Africa as a continent has a magic that I don’t think can be rivalled by any other continent.

To discover Africa is certainly not a new thing, with famous explorers like Livingstone, Speke, Burton and Stanley (amongst others) doing exactly that during the middle of the 19th Century. They didn’t do so to hunt, they did it to discover and for the sheer hell of the adventure. It was only late in the 19th century, a period dubbed ‘the scramble for Africa’ did the prime objective of discovery give way to the desire to conquer new territories.

Most of the famous adventurers I mention above were from very humble beginnings. Livingstone, a Scot born into a textile working family and grew up in a single room with his parents and four siblings. Stanley, born John Rowlands had a terrible start to life, abandoned by his mother and spent most of his youth in workhouses. Regardless of their upbringing, all of them had one thing in common, they all had something to prove and the fact we still talk and write about them today, arguably proves they did exactly that.

At Horton & Sons, we have clients from all walks of life, however most of those who come to us to get equipped for an African adventure have a similar story. They are generally self made people who have a certain grit, guile and determination to succeed in life, a trait those earlier African adventurers had in spades.

It is why we’ve started our Adventurers Podcast , to talk to people who have had an adventure in life. We have some amazing guests lined up, including Gary Clark (who spent 50 years in the gun trade in a variety of roles) and ‘Dave’, an ex Marine and SBS (Special Boat Services) operative who I’ve know personally for some 25 years. Join Dan and I as we natter to some very interesting characters from all walks of life.


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