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The Great Tanganyika Diamond Hunt James Platt

The Great Tanganyika Diamond Hunt

James Platt

Published June 1st 2007
ISBN : 9789080780842
Paperback
444 pages
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 About the Book 

The East African country of Tanganyika in 1960 was something of a backwater of the British Empire in which the traditional character of wild Africa still held pride of place. Concurrently however, the winds of political change were, not least in theMoreThe East African country of Tanganyika in 1960 was something of a backwater of the British Empire in which the traditional character of wild Africa still held pride of place. Concurrently however, the winds of political change were, not least in the countrys urban centres, promoting an ever-accelerating headlong rush towards a state of national independence or uhuru. It was against a backdrop of transition between the old and the new Africa that a nation-wide campaign of exploration aimed at discovering deposits of diamonds was carried out in Tanganyika under the auspices of the countrys fabled diamond producer, Williamson Diamonds Limited. The campaign involved the mobilisation of thousands of African workers and a few hundred specially engaged white supervisors into a nation-wide network of field camps, many of them set up in remote regions of trackless bush where the only rules were subject to vagaries of climate, the incidence of tsetse flies and the rights of passage of prolific numbers of big game. The white supervisors were as raw in matters pertaining to bush craft as they were wet behind the ears. Their complement contained more than its fair share of misfits, cowboys, adventurers, opportunists and gung-ho celebrants. This book tells their story as it was seen through the eyes of one among them who wouldnt have missed a minute of the experience. The like of such a campaign will never be seen again.