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

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...

The Mad, Bad and Dangerous Captain Francis Dugmore

The Mad, Bad and Dangerous Captain Francis Dugmore Francis Sandys Dugmore was born in Paddington, London, where he was baptised on 18 March 1839. He was the son of a barrister, William Dugmore, and his wife Mary Louisa. He was brought up in London and had three...

Retired Elephants

When a person thinks about animals living in South East Asia they automatically think “elephants”. This is truly the home of Asian elephants, but they are becoming increasingly rare in in the wild. On a recent visit to Cambodia, I learned that in the whole country...

Red Pelican Reviewed

Here’s a review of one of Old Africa’s most recent titles, Red Pelican. Houghton College is pleased to announce a new book by professor emeritus Jon Arensen.  The book, “The Red Pelican:  Life on Africa’s Last Frontier,” is the third in an unofficial...

Purkiss’s Parrot

Here’s a note on Olive Grey  who I wrote about in my November blog. A relative in Australia has kindly given me the place and date of Olive’s death. She died in Poona, India, on 20 October 1920 and was buried there on the following day. Purkiss’ Parrot William J...

More on Vladimir Verbi

I wrote a blog about the fascinating Vladimir Vassil Verbi in the Old Africa blog page on 20 February 2013. Since then, much new information has come in about the missionary, mainly from his daughter Mary, and the story is so fascinating that it is worth telling here....

An American Family in Amin’s Uganda

Book Review from the Madison Capital Times on Old Africa’s new book by Bert Adams. When Bert Adams packed up his family and left Madison for a two-year stay in the fledgling East African nation of Uganda in 1970, he took along a simple mantra. “From the day we...