An African love affair

It has been many years since I travelled through Africa.

I grew up reading Daktari,

then watching the TV series of the same name.

Bart Jason (Ross Hagen), Paula Tracy (Cheryl Miller), Mike makula (Hari Rhodes), Dr Marsh tracy (Marshall Thompson), Jenny Jones (Erin Moran), Clarence, Judy
Dr Marsh Tracy (Marshall Thompson, Judy, Jack Dane (Yale Summers)
Paula Tracy (Cheryl Miller), Clarence, Dr Marsh Tracy (Marshall Thompson)
Clarence the cross-eyed lion

I read everything to do with George and Joy Adamson,

The movie - Born Free

Elsa the lioness,

On the African plains - Virginia McKenna, George Adamson, Bill Travers and Joy Adamson

and Born Free.

I was first in line at the cinema to watch the movie.

The soundtrack still brings tears to my eyes.

Now go buy the whole movie – it is a classic and worth having at home.

I was obsessed with anything that drew a picture, for me, of that mysterious continent.

At school my projects were about the Kalahari Bushmen,

Kalahari Bushmen

Mount Kilimanjaro,

Mt Kilimanjaro

or the Sahara.

Leopard in the Sahara Desert

The television was quickly turned to Tarzan after school,

Oh was I happy when we got colour !

or to watch the Sunday afternoon feature movie, especially when Tarzan the Apeman was on.

Johnny Weissmuller was the first in a line of Tarzans I fell for.
Lex Barker was another...
But my biggest crush was on this man - Ron Ely - never missed an episode !

From a small child to adulthood I gathered and hoarded The Phantom comic books and novels.

The Phantom by

With a tiny torch I would haul them out at night and treasure each word, each drawing, each adventure.

The place I headed for when I left for my big OE was – yes – Africa.

I arrived in Johannesburg at 1.30 am.

The airport was closing.

I was 30 minutes from the city.

I was alone.

My hotel had given away my room.

I couldn’t have been happier.

For months I travelled through countries I had dreamed about.

I smelled the dirt, tasted the rains, listened to wind as it brought the old tales with it.

Africa was – and will always be a love affair for me.

The earth, the people, the animals.

When I found this video – it sang to me of a time of adventure.

It also sang to the part of me that feels a kinship with the creatures I share this world with.

So I wanted to share the video – and hopefully the feeling with you.



  1. That movie at the end is noble. Great musical accompanyment. You can probably understand my pet peeve when tv shows put lions and tigers together in the show. The two live on completely different continents.

    Reading a book by tiny torchlight. I did that too. 🙂 It was how I first read the book ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ it was so good I read it in one sitting, cramped by the night light till 2 am on a school day.


    1. It is a statement in itself that movie. It was what actually started the post – though I did digress at times. i’ll have to find that book now. 🙂


    1. Thanks Sherry – I will look for that book. It sounds like it is something I would love to read. Great to hear you found something you liked here – looking forward to hearing what you think on other posts. 🙂


  2. Hi Jo,

    I came across your blog and the wonderful photo of the Kalahari bushmen family. Would it at all be possible for me to use this photo in one of our publications (Namibia Holiday & Travel: We will of course credit you if it’s ok with you.
    Best regards


  3. I loved Born Free and Daktari too – in fact, I just started a Fan Site for Daktari at I read Joy Adamson’s books, cried buckets when Elsa finally died, loved the cubs, saw the movie, bought the soundtrack, etc. So Daktari, of course, was a natural choice. I wanted to be Joy and I wanted to be Paula. Thanks for this great post.


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