Some hunters go to Africa to collect animals; others go to have a change of scenery and a simple vacation away from it all; few, however, go to gain extensive experience in hunting big game in Africa for the sheer thrill of it. Pierre Decoster is one of the few. Decoster is interested in more than just Africa’s game; he’s interested in its culture, people, and in being on a continent that is by all counts fifty years behind the rest of the world. These are the magnets that have drawn the author back again and again.
Decoster has hunted in East and West Africa and along the great Zambezi River, and he has kept clear of game farms that offer “fast food”-type of hunts. The literary results are all the richer for it as the author takes us from sunrises to sunsets as he pursues the giant eland not once, twice, or three times but numerous times simply because they are a challenge to hunt and live in difficult-to-reach places. He’s walked countless miles after lion and buffalo to counterbalance the blisters he received from long walks after eland.
During one of his earliest African hunts, he wounded a large male lion in the C.A.R., and he pursued it with only a brave tracker till the moment of truth arrived and the lion charged. When the hunter ended up on the ground with the dead lion on top of him, his tracker remarked, “In Africa, boss, the earth is often the color of blood.” And there was not only lion blood making the soil red. . . . This hunt only increased Decoster’s desire for more Africa.
Breath of Africa relates Decoster’s memories of forty years of traveling and hunting in Africa for lion, buffalo, leopard, waterbuck, kudu, eland, elephant, and just about every other creature legal to hunt. Unlike many big-game hunting books, Decoster’s tales of his safaris and expeditions are tinged with romanticism and nostalgia. Let this multifaceted man share his unconventional vision of Africa and its traditions as he transports you to exotic locales, telling tales that are rich with vividly described scenes that evoke all the resplendent colors and hues of the Dark Continent.
Not sold in Bookstores.