ngorongoro crater

15 Old Films You Must Watch Before Going on an African Safari

Going on an African Safari is a special and a lifetime experience. Recently it has been popular for many travelers to visit Africa continent and especially the East African countries, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda.

This regions have a lot to offer for sighting and tourism in Africa. From the famous Serengeti plains which connect to MasaiMara in Kenya and to the unbroken caldera of Ngorongoro and high up to the roof of Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, East Africa host the best and famous destinations in Africa.

Many travelers especially those who have never been in Africa will always imagine how special and unique this regions looks like and those who have already visited the country will also wish to see how amazing and fascinating these attractions was look like in the old times.

Shizi Safaris is bringing you the old African safari film that will give you a picture of what East Africa resemble to in the old times. Below is the list of old Safari films explain about Africa.

The Snows of Kilimanjaro (1952), by Henry King.

Based on Hemingway's story. It was in East Africa that writer Harry Street (Gregory Peck) had once been happiest when he loved Cynthia Green (Ava Gardner). He returns with Helen (Suzan Hayward), his wife. The film was short around the Mount Kilimanjaro.

During a trekking via Western breach route,  Harry got seriously injured in the leg when he was rescue one of the porters who was captured by the hippo while crossing the river and later he sees himself dying while laying on the tent. Immobilized on his cot, in the heart of the bush, Harry recounts his adventurous life like a testament.

Helen discovers her husband's obsession with Cynthia. With a very short piece of news, Harry has managed to make a great movie with a reflection of love, the passage of time, and the powers of wildlife.

African Queen (1951), by John Huston.

An adventurer (Humphrey Bogart) carried on the small and fast naval ship (torpedo boat) together with an old Puritan maid (Katherine Hepburn) descend an East African river (Ulanga/Kilombero River), towards Lake Victoria, on a poor boat. At the start, they had a lot of violent from German.

But the trials, obstacles and crime of the trip bring them closer together, against the backdrop of the First World War exported to East Africa. At the last they were both taken to German and accused to be British spies and both sentenced to death.

Very harsh filming conditions (fevers, wild animals, mosquitoes.) It is also said that the team was supplied with human meat during the stay. Note that Katherine Hepburn wrote a book about this adventure.

Mogambo (1953), by John Ford.

With Grace Kelly, Ava Gardner and Clark Gable. Victor Marswell (Clark Gable) is the type of the "broussard" (man of bush), a coldheart loner who takes care of capturing animals (Gorilla) in Cong and to sell them to zoos in the Europe. One fine day, Eloise Kelly (Ava Gardner), known as "Honey Bear",  took a trip and arrives in the remotest part of Africa  and change her trip plans after meet Clark Gable.

Thereupon, arrive Linda Nordley (Grace Kelly), a lovely saint woman, and her husband, a stupid type anthropologist. Together, they go on a safari in the footsteps of gorillas. Victor Marswell finds himself fatally trapped between these two women (Eloise and Linda), opposed but attractive.

"It is easier to capture a beast than to catch a woman in his nets". Victor kept on capturing young Gorilla and finally agreed himself to have real love for Eloise (Honey Bear).

Shot in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, the film was an opportunity for John Ford, king of westerns, to take a vacation in the beautiful landscapes of East Africa. It was also a remake of Red Dust (La Belle de Saigon) with Clark Gable and the beautiful Jean Harlow.

Roots of Heaven, 1958, by John Huston.

Based on a novel by Romain Gary with a host of stars, Juliette Greco, Errol Flynn, Orson Welles, Trevor Howard, the great Eddie Albert, André Luguet and other French players. The tensions on the "set" during the shooting were very high. The film was also based on the elephant awareness. 

Eddie Albert received no news from his wife. Darryl Zanuck, the producer from Fox, was madly in love with Juliette Greco, but she rebuked him strongly. Errol Flynn was very weak from his alcoholism but still continued to drink.

Trevor Howard and Juliette Greco, who kissed in love scenes, actually hated each other deeply. Howard rinsed his mouth with whiskey after each kiss and Greco spat on the floor while celebrate. The whole team was ill, except Huston, a tireless director driven by his passion.

Huston was confiscating all of Flynn's vodka bottles to prevent him from drinking. One morning, when they began to eat oranges, a lot of oranges. The team was delighted with this sudden conversion, but surprised that Flynn was still drunk. In fact, the clever actor make a small hole in his oranges and fill it with vodka using a syringe.

Out of Africa (1985), by Sydney Pollack.

Based on the novel Out of Africa by Karen Blixen, a Danish writer. It is the almost exact cinematographic transcription of the novel. Meryl Streep who plays Karen Blixen and Robert Redford as Finch-Hatton are remarkable in the movie. Note the movie shot around the landscapes of Tanzania and especially those of the Ngorongoro Crater.

Out of Africa was one of the best safari commercials film for Tanzania and Kenya, and wonderfully conveyed the wideness and beauty of the African savannah. A magical light cover the whole film and spread out the memory of those who watch for a long time. The music is superb, like these wild immensities.

On the Road to Nairobi (1988) by Michael Radford.

With Hugh Grant, Gretta Scacchi, Charles Dance, Sarah Miles, John Hurt, Trevor Howard and Geraldine Chaplin. A host of excellent actors to narrate a criminal fact that occurs at the good times of the colony. A jealous husband, a powerful aristocrat, kills his wife's lover.

The progression of the “drama", the trial and its outcome are an opportunity to paint an ironic and not very accommodating picture of British colonial society in Kenya between the two wars: boredom, mundane alcoholism, vanity, cuckolding, social parasitism of the rich, while that the Africans work extremely hard and hunker down. Beautiful landscapes of the White Highlands, especially around Lake Naivasha.

Gorillas in the Mist (1988), by Michael Apted.

This film pays tribute to Dian Fossey, whose adventure in Africa serves as a common thread in the story. Out of love for gorillas in Rwanda and Congo, Dian Fossey (Sigourney Weaver) landed in Congo in 1963. They were hunted by poachers and he got Expelled, Sigourney Weaver as she carried out her research defence alone in the Rwanda's primary forest. By dint of tenacity, passion and courage, she managed to save this species threatened with extinction by poachers. Their work has reduced poaching. But its end remains a mystery.

Sheena, Queen of the Jungle (1984), by John Guillermin.

With Tanya Roberts. Who was quoted as "Tarzan woman", and sent to a remoteness tribe as a blessing from above. It is an average adventure film. Kenya partly served as the setting for the film. In particular, beautiful scenes shot in Hell's Gate National Park, near Lake Naivasha.

White Hunters, Black Hearts (1990), by Clint Eastwood.

From the history of the shooting of the film African Queen. If you can remember, that in fact, Huston was obsessed with elephant hunting around Victoria Falls. Finally, when he had the opportunity to kill one, he gave up and stop doing it. About ten years later, he made a film in defense of elephants (the famous Racines du Ciel) in Zimbabwe.

Stanley and Livingstone (produced in 1940), by Henry King.

With Spencer Tracy, Walter Brennan, Nancy Kelly, Charles Coburn and Sir F. Hardwicke. Good film on the historic meeting of the two men. It was a personal project of Darryl Zanuck who was the head of production at 20 Century Fox. It should be noted that the film was shot in a studio in Hollywood, but the shooting scenes in East Africa (especially in Kenya) were real. New technology allowed duplication in the lab production.

The Last Safari (1967), by Henry Hathaway.

With Stewart-Granger. A story of hunters around the land of Kenya who used an airplane from Norway which was painted in zebra stripes. 

The Cry of Freedom (Cry Freedom, 1987), by Richard Attenborough.

Film on the assassination of Steve Bicko, the great black leader and a head of Black Consciousness Movement. With Kevin Kline, Denzel Washington and Zakes Mokae. The film, which of course could not be made in South Africa, was shot in Kenya and Zimbabwe due to political violence in South Africa at that time. The film explain the failure of South African government which make up apartheid.

The Carnival of the Gods (1958), by Richard Brooks.

On the Mau-Mau revolt. With Rock Hudson and Sydney Poitier. A white settler has his foster brother, his best friend, in the Mau-Mau camp in Kenya. Old themes of the humanist R. Brooks: friendship, the contradictions of life, inexorable destiny.

The Mines of King Solomon (1951), by Compton Bennett.

With Stewart Granger who went to African to find the famous mines and on his way he died while behind his wife Deborrah Kerr hire a hunter to find them. Hell's Gate National Park served as the backdrop for some scenes. Along the way, they save a black prince who, in turn, in the end saves them. Archetypal adventure film.

Hatari (1962), by Howard Hawks.

With John Wayne, Etsa Martinnelli and Gérard Blain. The film was shot in Arusha National Park, Tanzania. History of hunters (Momella Game Company) who capture animals for zoos. John Wayne sees a female journalist arrive who will publicity them in all this world. Of course, he will fall in love with her.

It is probably one of the most beautiful films that have been shot on Africa (extraordinary use of space and landscapes) with action comedy. Once ation they were chasing a rhino and end up hit one of the character, Kurt and they take him t hospital in Arusha. 

Going on a safari to East Africa is a pleasure experience. Planning an African Safari need time and careful narrate of where you want to go, where to stay, which agency to use, best time to visit and what to bring with you when you go on a safari. At Shizi Safaris we help all travellers around the world to fulfil their safari dream in East Africa. Kindly reach us for the best custom made wildlife safari tours. 

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