The Ghost And The Darkness

2006 africa-72“It won’t work. Nothing works here. Tsavo is the worst place in the world.”

Tsavo means “The Land of Slaughter.” I can assure you that had I known that I probably would have chosen a different project to work on.

The Lion Project (where we saw no lions), was located in Tsavo. Going in, I was aware of the legends of the Man Eaters of Tsavo, a lineage of lions that would hunt and eat humans. They were said to be the rulers of the night in Tsavo. I was also aware of the Ghost and the Darkness. Those were the two lions that are now on display at the Field Museum in Chicago.

One of the stranger things about these lions was they were male lions. In most cases, it is the lionesses that do the hunting. Many things were off about these two male lions that the locals were convinced they were not lions, but devils stalking the land to ensure the white man did not come to rule over Evil’s land.

The past of the land did not scare, but intrigued me. Knowing that Tsavo is known as the Hell of Africa, I would probably not return.

The movie is quite good when it comes to scenery and depicting the story of the building of the bridge. It was not historically accurate when it came to the stars of the story, the lions. The man eaters of Tsavo are, by lineage, maneless lions. Neither males nor females (obviously) grew manes, no matter their age. Every lion in this movie has, not just a mane, but a huge mane. I realize this may have been done to make the lion look more fierce. To me though, the fact that the man eaters were maneless just furthered the strangeness of that line of lions.

It is amazing researching the story. Maybe I should have researched it ahead of time. Then, I may have chosen a different program, which would have been for the better.

Maybe on a non Lion Project I might have seen lions.