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An African Safari

Identifier: Film Collection no. 3

Scope and Contents

Filmed during the AMNH Central African Expedition, 1948. Starting at Cape Town and going round the southern tip of Africa up to Mombasa, Kenya, the AMNH Central African Expedition, led by AMNH director of preparation and installation James Lippitt Clark, then traveled through Nairobi, the Mountains of the Moon in the Ruwenzori Range in Uganda and Zaire, Ripon Falls (Uganda), Bagasson (Congo) and Stanleyville (now Kisangani in Zaire), all north of Lake Victoria, then to Uganda, the Belgian Congo (now Zaire) and Congo. The film opens with a map showing the route. Expedition activities follow, including fording rivers, setting up camp, cooking, baking bread, and ironing, all photographed at Campsite #4 in Narok, Kenya. The Masai people are shown tending their cattle, which includes milking and bleeding. The Masai dung-covered dwellings are seen, as are the moran, or warrior strata of the Masai, with their shields and swords. Pygmies cook, smoke, sing, and dance. The expedition filmed many different species of animals: mammals, including giraffes (courtship behavior), lions, zebras, buffaloes, elephants, leopards, cattle, rhinoceroses, hippopotamuses, warthogs, jackals, waterbucks, impalas, kobs, topis, bushbucks, Thomson's gazelles, Grant's gazelles and wildebeests; birds, including egrets, crowned cranes (courtship behavior), storks, vultures, hammerkops, hawks, bustards and pelicans; insects, including ants and various ant nests, termites, termite queens and termite nests, butterflies, and grasshoppers; reptiles, including a python, and a turtle; and invertebrates in the form of millipedes and a snail.


  • 1948


Language of Materials



1 Film Reel (80 minutes) : silent, color ; 16 mm.

2 Videocassettes (U-Matic (80 minutes)) : silent. color ; 3/4 in.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

3/4 in., U-Matic.


References: Clark, James Lippitt. Report of the Central African Expedition of the American Museum of Natural History. New York : 1947-1948. Typescript. Clark, James Lippitt. Central African Expedition, American Museum of Natural History [Field Diary]. [1948]. Ms.


Original format: 16mm. print; incomplete.


Murl Deusing, photographer

An African Safari, 1948
Iris Lee
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
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Repository Details

Part of the Museum Archives at the Gottesman Research Library Repository

American Museum of Natural History
200 Central Park West
New York NY 10024 USA
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