If ever I have met a person who meets the description of this title, it is George, the greatest hunter (Okinini Obuomofuo). 40 years he lived in Africa, of which he has spent nearly every weekend in the bush.
A special bond is between us, we found friendship in the early days.
This event took place on a Sunday morning, 1987. I remember the time well it was 08.00AM. As usual we left our homes 03.00 AM, with all the gear strapped in our jeep. Going early meant we would find the “Adanko”, the wild Togo Hare in abundance.
Driving in the bush is always an adventure, as George used to put it :” Respect the regulations of respecting”. Whatever the words, in tangible English it was similar to : ” respect the bush, heed to its laws”. This was always necessary as you never knew what you will encounter in the Savanna.
On a dark night, all around us, our Jeep’s light beams shining far, we rolled into the Savanna, jumping and rolling over Termite hills. Always on the lookout for game, driving was not easy. One has to concentrate on both terrain and a possible encounter with game.
George is a Master in hunting, the “Okinini Obuomomfo”, the greatest hunter, as he was called by the natives. We all knew the villagers, the chiefs, the Fulanis (cattle herders).
During the course of night, George shot his first hare, then a second. The grass had been burnt down, the bush fires still smoldering near and in the distance. All the land had a burnt scent, the ashes flying high when we passed the trail..
Daylight breaks, the sun rising with a deep orange on the Horizon, the bush awakes. Only those who have witnessed such event can understand the immense passion one develops for the bush. Nothing can compare to this spectacle, a powerful display of our Nature.
As always George prepares our coffee,and we listen to the sounds of Nature all around us. Unforgettable sounds.
From 06.00AM we hunt Stone Partridges,they normally invade the Cassava plantations and cause devastation there. Because of this, the farmers are always happy when George appears. 5 partridges fly and George gets all of them out of the sky.
By 07.30AM the sun is rising, the temperatures increase. We walk through the Cassava field. We are drenched in sweat by the time we are on our way home.
My friend has taken over the drivers seat, his 12 bore shotgun placed on his right in a specially made V – shaped holder. I sit on the back seat, high above and enjoy a good view of the surroundings, the real reason of going to the bush.
Swerving right, left in order to avoid the Termite hills which can knock out your suspension. I am used to it, my shotgun across my knees.
In an instance I hear a sharp hissing sound, strange to me, the jeep still moving. In a rapid action, my friend has grabbed his 12 bore, the vehicle running at normal speed, the steering wheel free. Rapidly I hear 2 shots, after which the hissing sound stopped.
The last moment before the shots rang out, I noticed the large, (Image) black Cobra, 6 feet long at least, its head erect, bloated, the head turned towards us, yet moving away with great speed.
The hissing sound is a warning to would be predators. Not for George in whom she found her match, full speed. from the jeep, splitting her in to half, killing the Cobra instantly.
I was like mesmerized, could not say a word. In a split second the event. was over, the snake lay dead. We can not say what ones feeling should be, but I was stunned by 2 things : The hissing sound of the Cobra and the incredible speed at which the shots rang out.
The years have passed, George has retired and I go no longer to the bush. In those days, he would tell me :” One day you will sit in the rocking chair, and your grand children will come and ask you, tell us how it was in the bush, you and this hunter, the “Okinini Obuomomfo”, the greatest of all Hunters … George..
I will honor him throughout my life for giving me wisdom. May god bless him.
from : Hunting in the African bush, H.R..
About the Author
thirty years on different continents