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Major P.H.G. Powell-Cotton

In Unknown Africa: A Narrative of Twenty Months’ Travel and Sport in Unknown Lands and Among New Tribes

Hurst and Blackett


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First edition of the famed English explorer’s account of his travels through East Africa.

  • Major P.H.G. Powell-Cotton (English).
  • London: Hurst and Blackett, 1904.
  • Includes 204 reproductions from drawings by A. Forestier and the author’s photographs and two maps.
  • Octavo.
  • Bound in original cloth lettered in gilt on spine and upper board, upper board with gilt block of a giraffe’s head, spine with gilt block of a spear-carrying warrior.


Following a successful hunting trip in Abyssinia, Percy Powell-Cotton (1866-1940) traveled to British East Africa in 1902 in order to find a specimen of a five-horned giraffe recently discovered by Sir Harry Johnston. He pursued impalas, rhinoceroses and lions on the Athi River, crossed the Tana and lived among the Kikuyu, successfully hunting elephants, then collecting trophy kudus and lions on the Baringo Plain. He eventually found a five-horned giraffe on the outskirts of Masai territory. Reviewing the work in the Geographical Journal, Harry Johnston praised its descriptions and photographs of big game as well noting that "from a geographical point of view also Major Powell-Cotton's journey is a remarkable one. He covered a little new ground north of the explorations made by Macdonald and Austin, and south and west of the journeys of Wellby and Donaldson-Smith." (Czech p. 134).

Condition Report

Star iconVery Good
Like New

Endpapers replaced, repaired split to folding map.

Occasional spotting.


First Edition




Travel, topography and voyages, Illustrated, Modern first editions, History, British history, Zoology, Fine bindings

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