Academic journal article African Research & Documentation

Memories of a Scientist: The Carp Expedition to the Save River in Zimbabwe and Mozambique

Academic journal article African Research & Documentation

Memories of a Scientist: The Carp Expedition to the Save River in Zimbabwe and Mozambique

Article excerpt

Memories of a Scientist: the Carp Expedition to the Save River in Zimbabwe and Mozambique, by William Büttiker-Otto. Basel: Basler Afrika Bibliographien 2008, 70 pp. + DVD. ISBN 978-3-905758-08-5. CHF 24.40.

There are echoes of an earlier era in this brief memoir. It charts an expedition to the south-eastern corner of Zimbabwe in 1950, in which a number of scientists pursued a variety of interests in botany, zoology, entomology, ornithology, and others. In this very pluralism, together with its lack of modern technological aids and research methods, it seems like a throwback. The nickname of the expedition, the Sabi patrol, also reflects this atavism. But while slight, this is a fascinating account and one which brought back memories for me. I have visited the area in which the research was conducted, now part of the Gona-re-Zhou game park of Zimbabwe, and I briefly knew one expedition member, Professor Wild, who held the chair of botany at the University of Rhodesia at the time I worked there in the early 1970s.

Büttiker-Otto also attempts some consideration of the local people of the region, notably their diets and mode of exploitation of their environments. This is supplemented by the DVD which is a compilation of film taken by the author during his participation in the expedition. …

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