This film is held by the Imperial War Museum (ID: MGH 6599).


The film begins with close-ups of individuals accompanying the Thaws on their trip. "Tom" "Major Anderson" "Bakari - Head Man" "Fahaji - Gunbearer" "Salim - Gunbearer" "Transafrica Safari presents BLACK MAJESTY Recorded by RCA Photophone" Production credits. "Definitely not passed by the board of censors"A short text outlines the expedition's route and claims the film contains pictures of native kingdoms never before photographed. Portraits of individuals on the trip "Peggy" "Larry" "Juma - Gunbearer" "Abdula - Head Driver & Mechanic" "Masengi - Driver" "Burkaridi - Driver" "Mwinyifaki - Skinner & Assistant Cameraman" "Aron Kiza - Cook" "'John' - Personal Boy" "Kombo - Personal Boy"

A map traces the route the expedition will follow. A general view of Algiers and the port (November 1936). The Thaws arrive on the SS Vulcania and are met by Major Anderson (a white hunter) and a team he has selected from Kenya. Their car and luggage is unloaded from the ship. Street scenes of Algiers. The expedition trucks are loaded. The convoy heads out of Algiers through the hills to Laghouat ? Tents are pitched near the city walls. The oasis of El Golea, Algeria. Scenes of the village and mosque. A camel butcher and the market. The expedition drive through the desert, stopping for a picnic. A camel train. Camp is set up at In Sala. Peggy and Larry meet some Foreign Legion Officers. The safari heads south across the desert, through the Hoggar (Ahaggar) Mountains. Fort Laperrine, a military post under the command of French Captain Legin ? in Tamanrasset. Memorial plaque to Henri LaPerrine, Peacemaker of the Sahara. A parade of African soldiers under the command of the French Foreign Legion. Troops on camels. The expedition vehicles get stuck in sand. The party meet King Omenotel ?, ruler of all Tuareg (Tawarek or Tawarik), and about a hundred of his followers. Peggy, Larry and others have lunch in the King's tent. Peggy and Larry show him around their vehicles and all their mod-cons. They record the King's voice on a gramophone. [gap in images on the VHS] Drummers and dancers. A camel dance. Peggy & Larry's adventures camping in the desert. Agades. The mosque, a jewellery maker. Tuareg warriors stage a duel. Ramadan procession and prayers. On to Zinder in the south Sahara, escorted into the town by one of the Sultan's horseman. Peggy and Larry meet the Sultan. Into British Nigeria. Camp at Kano. Two hundred horsemen escort Peggy and Larry to meet the Emir (chief). Prisoners of the Emir. A beggar outside the palace. The chief wearing ostrich feather shoes. Garoua, Cameroon. The Sultan and his harem. The dance of the virgins - young women stage ths dance for the camera. Peggy and Larry join a hunt for the pygmy elephant in dense jungle. Christmas at the Thaw's camp in the Cameroon bush. They catch their elephant. A pet chimpanzee is brought to the camp and is taught to eat with a spoon, smoke a cigarette and drink a bottle of Scotch. [gap in images on the VHS] Kribi, on the coast. Peggy swims while Larry watches for sharks with his rifle. Peggy fishing in the river. Northwards crossinga river on a raft made from several canoes. On to Rei Bouba. The expedition is greeted by a mounted escort and taken to the palace of King Lamido Bouba Jamaha ? (before World War One Rei Bouba was German, then on Aug 5 1914 sided with alliance so was given autonomy.) Peggy and Larry meet the King and present him with presents. They are shown to their compound and stay overnight. Presents from their host are brought to them. Rei Bouba soldiers on horseback, wearing chainmail armour and using English-style longbows. Public appearance of the King. Parades through the village. The safari moves on to Bongor in French Equitorial Africa. They are greeted by the locals called Bananas, who dance around the truck. Peggy and Larry survey the tall, conical mud huts. Portraits of indiviuals. Shots of Tom the cameraman filming the local people, and a shot of a young woman holding a clapperboard reading 'Trans-Africa Safari. Hogan. Roll No. 59'. Fort Archambault in French Equitorial Africa where the females insert large discs into their lips. The ceremony of wife buying. A young woman inserts a film can into her lip. The marriage bargain is celebrated with a dance. Niapu in the Belgian Congo. Country of the Mangbetu ? people. Close-ups of the long-headed women. King Yapu ? resides over a court of justice. The King dances, followed by the rest of the villagers. Peggy and Larry throw cigarettes to the villagers from their truck. The Ituri Forest, Pet Bucknam ?, an anthropologist studying the pygmies. Shots of the pygmies setting up camp and scenes of their way of life. The Belgian Government Elephant Park at Gangala Na Bodio, for the domestication of the African elephant. The park is under the direction of Captain Pierre Overman? of the Belgian Army. An elephant is tracked down, captured and taken back to the park. The tame elephants are trained by boys working at the park. The expedition heads southward around the Mountains of the Moon into Uganda. Rainy season has begun leaving extremely muddy roads. Journey's end at Nairobi. Shot of the expedition arriving in the city. Peggy and Larry say goodbye to their team and head home on an Imperial Airways bi-plane. "The End"

A travelogue following an American millionaire and his wife on their tour through central Africa between November 1936 and April 1937.




Technical Data

Running Time:
95 minutes
Film Gauge (Format):

Production Credits

Production Countries:
United States of America
musical score
Stout, Mrs (Edward)
Hogan, Tom