More Stories from East Africa's past for you to enjoy

Early white settlers from Britain in Trans-Nzoia

  Early White Settlers from Britain in Trans-Nzoia   Mrs Gladys Hoey reached the plateau in 1913, arriving with her father in an ox wagon. Her future husband, Cecil, later a breeder of racehorses, had reached the Nzoia river in 1904 when on a hunting expedition....

World War I Battlefield Tour – Maktau Cemetery

World War I Battlefield Tour Taita Taveta August 2014 Part two Maktau Railway Station and Cemetery In August 2014 I travelled with my daughter Malindi and a group of Old Africa readers on a tour of World War I battlefield sites. James Willson acted as our guide. After...

The Founding of Kitale

There is a map of the Trans Nzoia area in 1908, which showed numerous potential farms delineated by metal beacons stuck in the ground. A survey had been done to encourage white settlers to come to the area. Kitale appeared as a rectangle three miles by two, but in...

New review on The Red Pelican

Jon Arensen’s book is not only a good read; it is engaging and provocative, telling the heart-warming story of a man who has dedicated his entire life to God. The man’s name is Dick Lyth. And his story reveals that he was truly blessed with a...

Endless Horizons, now available in Paperback!

See larger image Endless Horizons (Paperback) By (author): Michael Prettejohn Endless Horizons covers 100 years of the Prettejohn family in Kenya. This book starts in 1904 when Jock 'Black' Harries came to Uganda with the King's Africa Rifles, moves on to Jock's...

Alone in the Desert

Our safari company tried out a new route from the southeastern end of Lake Turkana to Marsabit National Park through the Koroli Desert. We were halfway across the 30 mile sandy stretch of the Koroli Desert, and the driver had not seen another vehicle all morning and...

J.H.Patterson, author of The Man-Eaters of Tsavo

Many of you will have heard of John Henry Patterson, the man who shot the man-eating lions threatening the workers on the Mombasa-Lake Victoria railway line. He was in charge of building the railway bridge across the Tsavo River when the lions went on their murderous...

Locating a Lion

My mother Shelina Popat worked in the Maasai Mara in tourism as a 22-year-old. One day a VIP guest, a middle-aged woman, arrived from England. She was very eager to see a lion. After her first game drive, the woman went to Shelina and explained that she really wanted...

The Rarest Thing on the Coast

As a child, our family often spent holidays at the Mnarani Club in Kilifi. One vacation in the 1960s the Club, managed in this days by Monty and Peggy Hayes, organised a scavenger hunt for all of us children. As we raced around collecting things for our list, we...

Taita – Taveta Battlefield Tour

World War I  Old Africa Battlefield Tour Taita-Taveta August 2014  Part One – Voi  We met up in Voi on Saturday afternoon, August 23, 2014, with other members of our Old Africa group touring the World War I battlefield sites in Taita-Taveta. James Willson,...

Nairobi’s First Stripper

About the year 1948, Nairobi had one very popular nightclub called the 400 Club that, with new management, changed its name to The Travellers Club. The new manager sought the permission of the Michael O’Rourke, the then Commissioner of Police, to employ a professional...

Florence, Lady Delamere

Last month I talked about why the 3rd Lord Delamere decided to settle in Kenya. He brought with him his new wife, Florence, daughter of the Earl of Enniskillen, a member of a prominent Ulster family. How did this very young member of the Irish aristocracy fare?...

What Brought Lord Delamere to Kenya?

What brought Lord Delamere to Kenya? Why would a young lord abandon his extensive estate in England and come to East Africa in 1899? Hugh Cholmondeley, educated at Eton, inherited the barony of Delamere and the Vale Royal estate in Cheshire when he was only seventeen,...

Another good review of The Red Pelican

The Red Pelican by Jon Arensen was recently reviewed in mini-SITREP, the newsletter of the Kenya Regiment. Eric Calonius wrote the review. Here it is. I just finished The Red Pelican-and what a great read it is! There’s not a memoir in my recent memory that I enjoyed...

A.S. Rogers, Controversial British Official

A.S. Rogers, Controversial British Official Alexander Stuart Rogers was a less than satisfactory official used by the British during their early days in East Africa. He had been born in Peshawar, India (now Pakistan), on 13 November 1862, to a family which originated...

Stuart Watt, Part II

A very interesting book has just been published, telling the story of the coming of Goans to East Africa. Many of you will remember Goan clerks, but how did the group obtain a monopoly of such positions, and what else did they do? The answers lie in A Railway Runs...

Stuart Watt, Eccentric Missionary at Machakos

Interestingly, I had an email about the subject of last month’s blog, about Captain Dugmore, which reads: ‘I have Captain Dugmore’s home service helmet to the 64th Foot, which can be dated to 1878-1881. It has his name and regiment written in the interior and...