NITRO EXPRESS: AFRICA'S BLACK DEATH
Author: Mark Sullivan, Professional Hunter
Publisher: Nitro Express, Jul 2004
Sullivan's first documentary safari film from 1990; features over 20 buffalo kills either in complete hunts or in hi-lite footage along with three magnificently maned lion. Filmed in what is now the "famous" Moyowosi Game Reserve. DVD, 62 min.
I have been a professional hunter in Tanzania, East Africa since 1990; the year I made my first documentary safari film, Africa's Black Death. Since its introduction to the world, Africa's Black Death has become the largest selling dangerous game hunting film of all time. The events depicted in that movie, more specifically the blood-on-the-shoes buffalo charge, have forever changed me life.
The movie legends are made of, Africa's Black Death, features over 20 buffalo kills either in complete hunts or in hi-lite footage along with three magnificently maned lion. Never before have audiences been entertained with so much great footage in a single movie. Black Death is forever a part of history.
Black Death was filmed in what is now the "famous" Moyowosi Game Reserve. But, back then the Moyowosi was a little known and seldom visited hunting block. On any given day I would routinely see a thousand buffalo or more in a days hunting. Great maned lion of 10 years of age and older were considered common and every client got one. Unique to the Moyowosi, the lions there seldom fed off a bait. Instead, because game was so plentiful, these big cats simply preferred "fresh" meat to any smelly, "old" bait that I might have offered.
The famous Black Death buffalo charge is a charge for all time. It was the morning of August 16, 1990 when my client Roy Barnes and I drove out from camp in what was to become one the greatest days of my life.
Even though this was my first year as a professional hunter, I knew how I wanted to hunt. I believed in certain things then as I still believe in those same things today. The ethics and discipline I bring to the sport of hunting have not changed.
Rather than shooting the bull in the back as he lay on the ground, I realized I had once again been afforded the opportunity to practice dangerous game hunting my way. I would walk up and let the wounded Cape buffalo decide how he is to die. By doing so, I knowlingly and willingly was offering my life in return. One thing is for certain, you cannot walk up to a wounded and greatly pissed- off Black Death if you are not first prepared to die yourself. You can only do what I did then and as I have done every hunting season since, if you are prepared to pay the ultimate price; your very life on this Earth.
The Black Death charge is the ultimate hunters' thrill. Enjoy it to the max, I have.