Fishing on the Zambezi
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Fishing on the Zambezi ca. 1953-55
We begin this featured bit of home movie with my brother Timothy running around in Lederhosen. It was filmed at our home in Pretoria, South Africa. We lived in Pretoria while my father was a member of the air crew of the aircraft assigned to the U.S. Embassy. My father would have purchased the Lederhosen one of the times the plane was taken to Geneva Switzerland for annual maintenance. I remember Dad saying that they were free to travel for about two weeks. Whenever our father pointed his movie camera at us, my brother and I usually performed one of three actions: run in circles, pretend to fight, or climb a tree. My brother chose to run around in this solo performance. He looks to be around four years old so this would have been filmed in 1954. I am now thankful that I didn’t get Lederhosen as well. This short immediately preceded the fishing trip on the film reel and we thought it would be a humorous short subject to lead into the feature.
This piece of film is labeled only “Fishing on the Zambezi” and was filmed between 1953 and 1955. Since the Zambezi is the fourth largest river in Africa (2,574 km) and stretches from Zambia to Mozambique on the Indian Ocean, this isn’t very precise. My father flew into many airports along the path of the Zambezi which further complicates pinpointing the location. The fish you see on the pole are tiger fish. Tigers are common so they are not much help in identifying the location. A Google search on “tiger fishing” shows that they are still a popular sport fish. One web site says that the “Tigers are strong and fast and come from the wrong side of the tracks.” Tigers are edible though bony.
My father is the man filmed by himself and wearing a blue jacket. I noticed that his safari hat has a band which would place the trip after a safari he was on in 1952. If anyone knows if he is wearing an Air Force L2A flight jacket that would help me with the date since that jacket was stolen from customs in Geneva.
I going to make an educated guess that this fishing trip took place on the upper Zambezi which is above Victoria Falls. My father was in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) many times and hunted there. I’ve looked web sites that feature tiger fishing on the Zambezi and I much prefer what I see here. I’m not sure how I would feel if I was fishing there myself but I love the boat they used. I think of Humphrey Bogart and the African Queen. Now you see modern houseboats and fishing boats. Toward the end of the film a native in uniform is seen on the bank.
If anyone can identify the uniform please leave a comment. If I know where the film was made I can figure out the date from other records.
For more from the Lundys’ collection of home movies of Africa, please click the “Africa” category on the right. And be sure to check out our File Directory for a link to a full-resolution version of the complete home movie featured in this post, available from the Internet Archive.