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Death in the Jesse

BEING ATTACKED AND killed by an enraged elephant is an horrific way to die. In 1972 at the time of this incident, was a Rhodesian Department of National Parks & Wildlife Management game ranger. My area of responsibility was the Zambezi Valley’s Urungwe CHA (Controlled Hunting Area) which, back then, had three alphabetically named hunting camps fronting the Zambezi river; A, B and C Camp.

The CHA was a vast area stretching eastwards from Kariba gorge downstream along the Zambezi river to the Zambia/Rhodesia border hamlet of Chirundu, and then south from there inland to the Zambezi escarpment. It was wild, remote, and unforgiving country. Spread across the central area and running west to east was a tract of almost impenetrable jesse thickets, known as the Sharu jesse.

The vegetation surrounding this vast jesse thicket was mainly mopane woodland, a mix of canopy forest and coppiced shoulder-high scrub mopane. Within the whole there were scattered waterholes, muddy and seasonal.

and bulls within the Urungwe CHA wasn’t difficult. However, to be successful usually meant

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