The History of Safari with Richard E Grant
The History of Safari with Richard E Grant (1x1)
Air date: Apr 28, 2010
For almost 100 years, big game hunters - from Theodore Roosevelt to the British Royal Family - came to British East Africa to bag the 'big five'. Now, luxury 'eco safaris' continue to drive its economy. It has been both East Africa's damnation and its salvation, that wildlife is the greatest natural resource it possesses.
Richard E Grant - who grew up in Swaziland - examines the controversial history of the safari. Exploring the world of the big game hunters and the luxury of today's safaris, he goes on a personal journey to experience how the beauty of the bush made Africa the white man's playground.
Plotting the major landmarks in the development of the safari, Grant uncovers a world of danger, glamour and gung-ho. He reveals how the safari was continually reinvented as explorers and ivory hunters were replaced by white settlers, guns gave way to cameras and direct British rule to independence.
He discovers how safari became one of the central constructs through which British rule over East Africa was imposed, provided the social touchstone for the white settlers and was eventually transformed by the glamour of Hollywood, the power of the dollar and the traveller's desire for an 'authentic African experience'.
As someone born and raised in the privileged world of the ex-pats, Grant takes an insider's perspective on the scandals and adventures of the elite class of Brits who ran the show. He meets their descendents and delves into the rich material archives of their family homes, discovering that for the remaining whites in the region this history is still very much alive.
As the trophy hunt became an icon of high society, everyone from Ernest Hemingway to British nobility and Hollywood stars were soon clamouring for a piece of the action. And as hunters decimated Africa's wildlife, they also surprisingly introduced the first conservation laws, if only to protect the supply of animals to shoot.
Embarking on safari himself, Grant experiences the be
- Premiered: Apr 2010
- Episodes: 1
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