Film: 5318

Places + Locations | 1930 | Silent | B/W


This epic film is the record on film of a 13,000 mile journey over tracks, unmade roads, rivers and jungle terrain from South Africa to Egypt by the Court Treatt Expedition. Filmed over a long period of time from the late 1910's to the mid 1920's.

The expedition includes a woman and they travel in two 1920's style trucks. The first place they visit is Zimbabwe, which is a small strongly fortified area which natives treat as taboo. On the way to the next place of interest a cattle ranch with long-horned cattle. The cows are put through a cattle dip which prevents foot and mouth disease etc. The half-way mark is the roaring spectacle of Victoria Falls, which are twice the height of Niagara and 600 yards across. One and a half miles away passing trains get wet from spray caused by Victoria Falls. Spectacular scenes.
Later a war-time camp of Native Regulars who 'never let you down' is shown. Crossing a deep and swift flowing river by raft, is followed by a visit to a native village. The village leaders have 'Holy Feet' which may never touch the ground. Scenes of mat weaving on a large scale.

The two trucks are slowed down by the jungle which must be hacked down to provide a road at the rate of 100ft an hour. Scenes of the encampment with tents etc. Torrential rain washes away a bridge so natives repair it with branches and the vehicles are soon on their way again. Lake Tanganyika scenes.
The lady member of the expedition cleans and loads her rifle. A safari returns to the expedition, having killed an elephant (not shown) for food as well as ivory. A one in three (?) hill causes a problem until native labour en masse pulls the trucks onto level ground, but in the process an axle shaft is bent, so repairs are done on the spot. Axle is removed and stripped and the shaft straightened over a fire. The mascot monkey gets and unwelcome bath. The first crossing of the River Nile has problems when the truck cannot get up the steep bank, so natives push and pull the truck up the bank. After a speedy trip over the desert flats, another river crossing is undertaken. This is photographed from the opposite bank. The trucks are hauled with ropes and disappear under the water re-appearing as the waters become shallow again. These are crocodile infested waters. However both lorries are soon heading for Egypt. On the final leg they see a traditional wedding with the bride travelling on a decorated bull. Groom arrives astride his charger dressed for battle. Wedding procession heads for the tiny church. Scenes of the Nile Valley and Egypt and the avenue of rams and tombs of the Pharaohs', ruins shown. Animals featured during this film include, zebras, lions and vultures. Python in a tree and tsetse fly close ups. Centipede. Furry spiders and flamingo, giraffes, impala and elephants. Lorries have spoked wheels. Very nice scene of a huge steam locomotive.

To request more details on this film, please contact us quoting Film number 5318.