Frederick Selous

(1851—1917) hunter and explorer

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British hunter. As a young man, Frederick Courtenay Selous wanted to be like David Livingstone, the Scottish missionary and explorer. Instead, he became the most famous hunter of his generation. Born in London on December 31, 1851, and educated at Rugby, Selous forwent studies in medicine and emigrated to South Africa in 1871, specifically to launch a career as a big-game hunter. He went to Matabeleland where he met Chief Lobengula, who laughed heartily when he heard that Selous wanted to hunt elephants and said, “You are only a boy. Have you come to hunt tiny antelopes?” The Matabele despot was later heard to comment, “Selous is a young lion.” Selous's early years were filled with danger—he once was lost for several days in the bush and later barely escaped being killed by an elephant. Selous became famous with the publication of his book, A Hunter's Wanderings in Africa (1881), which covered his experiences between 1871 and 1880. A talented writer and public speaker, Selous in his African Nature Notes and Reminiscences (1905) cemented his reputation as the best of African naturalist writers.


From The Oxford Companion to World Exploration in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: World History.

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