Friday, 14 June 2013

Beaver Safari in Northern Rhodesia (1961)

The Press Officer, John Rogers, recently took these photographs of some of the places served by our Northern Rhodesian Beaver Service.

Royal Mail is delivered to the post boy by the pilot, Dave Harvey.
Mankoya, a delightful place situated on the banks of the Zambesi River.

Employed by our agent at Kalabo, this cook boy regularly unloads the Beaver.

Mankoya, the last port of call before Lusaka.
Sesheke and its "airport building", probably the smallest of any place served by CAA.

Father Emmanuel, our agent at Lukulu, with Father Alexander,
the head of a White Father Mission.

Mongu, with its unique runway. It is the only one of its kind in the world,
being made up of 3 million bricks.

Mongu's Station Supervisor, Peter Eggelston. 
 Peter, a keen bird watcher, has on aviary in his back garden containing many colourful birds. Peter is also a very fine shot.


Extracted and recompiled from the publication SCAAner of August 1961 which was made available to ORAFs by Dave Vermaak. Thank you Dave.

Thanks also to Nick Baalbergen for his assistance.

Please note that hyper links do work.

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At 16 June 2013 at 11:51 , Blogger Rhodesia Remembered said...

Dave Whitehead Writes:-

I hope you don’t mind - Correction for Eddie Norris or rather John Rogers – Mankoya is not on the banks of the Zambezi but way inland. The last port of call before Lusaka is usually Mumbwa.
Between Mankoya and Mumbwa is the Kafue. There is now a bridge across the Kafue HOOK but in my day the crossing was by a pontoon.

At 16 June 2013 at 11:55 , Blogger Rhodesia Remembered said...

Grannia O'Donell (Air Rhodesia) Writes:-

Wow some names I know there John Rogers – I worked for him in PR when I left Air Rhodesia. Dave Harvey lovely guy great to fly with too. Peter Eggelston – I wonder if he was related to Eric Eggelston who was one of the managers in traffic when I worked there in 1969.

At 20 June 2013 at 21:03 , Blogger Rhodesia Remembered said...

Peter Sheppard Writes

I saw this article and reviewed it with keen interest. I currently do a lot of work in the remote parts of the SADC region and especially Zambia.

3 years ago whilst doing my PPL course at Nelspruit, I had the wonderful opportunity of being taught the ground school part by Peter Knoble. Peter plied me with many experiences about his CAA days and Beaver flights into these remote places such as Mongu, Kalabo, Lukulu, Senanga, Shesheke. Now, when I fly there, Peters stories really bring new meaning to these places along with the Northern province and Malawi airstrips.

I have only been flying for the past 3 years and operate from Harare. I fly a new composite structure Glasair Sportsman from the USA, kitted out with a full glass cockpit - I often think of Peters stories of Navigation with ADF’s and some NDB’s in these far flung places and how GPS systems have made our lives so much easier. It was a great loss when Peter died and I am not sure if the adventures of the CAA beavers have been logged?

I have attached a photo of the glasair as we flying over Lake Kariba

Best regards and keep up the great work

Peter Sheppard

At 22 June 2013 at 11:33 , Blogger Rhodesia Remembered said...

Dave Stedman Writes:-

The stories relating to Beaver Safaris in N Rhodesia remind me of my own early childhood in Nyasaland. I remember the Beavers that serviced the little towns, government compounds and medical facilities.

Sometime in the ‘50s, I used to travel occasionally with my dad up the length of (the then) Lake Nyasa.

My dad was an engineer with NESCOM (Nyasaland Electricity Supply Commission). Three or four times a year he would travel up the lake to all the little power generating units (diesel?) as well as Zomba, Lilongwe and Port Jackson(?).

These were wonderful trips made possible by of the Beavers. Without the Beaver it would have meant days of driving. We stayed at various small hotels along the waters’ edge. Sometimes we’d go between two or three points by landrover …. exciting stuff of a 5-6 year old. The food at these hotels was always fresh fish and whatever had been shot for the pot – I presume legally!

We gradually got to know the pilots. On seeing something interesting on the ground, they’d just swoop down to about a thousand feet and examine the object of interest. Once we spotted poachers, called the rangers and circled until the poachers were caught. Imagine doing that today! I also remember, one summers day, making an unscheduled ‘drop’ of something possibly medicine – for a government “road camp”. The rainy season was so bad they couldn’t get in with landrovers everything was mud and all the rivers too high to negotiate.

My highlight was always being allowed to sit up front next to the pilot, and the lowlight – the flight from our last stop back into Blantyre. I’d cry my eyes out on disembarking the plane and always promised to return.

Thanks for the reminders!

At 27 June 2013 at 04:25 , Blogger Chris D Holland said...

As a young schoolboy in the mid 1950's I used to fly home from boarding school in Lusaka to Mankoya on Beavers. My Dad, Harry Holland, was the manager for Susman Brothers and Wolfson group stores in Mankoya and we lived there for a number of years. I remember the arrival of the aircraft was a highlight in the community as it brought with it specialities and goodies from Lusaka which you couldn't ordinarily obtain in this remote community. I was often invited to sit up front with the pilot and this was a real thrill for a young boy made even more so when the pilot swooped down for a little game viewing over the Kafue. Thanks for great memories!

At 30 January 2017 at 14:52 , Blogger Unknown said...

I don't know if anyone would care to get in touch with me - I worked for CAA in Mongu as it's station Manager 1959/60 ?? the year the Queen mother visited - Charlie Bell was the Radio Fella. I left for England a month or so after leaving Mongu and that's where I been ever since. You can get in touch with me via my web site I am the nephew of Dick Bailie who was the WNLA representative in Balovale - quite a well known character at the time. Angus Mackay worked for WNLA in Mongu I forget the name of the Main fella - I lived in one of their (WNLA's)cottages. Best wishes David Bailie - (was known as David Whitehead at the time)

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At 1 January 2018 at 18:02 , Blogger Unknown said...

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At 23 January 2018 at 17:37 , Blogger Unknown said...

I used to fly from Mongu to Lusaka between 1959 and 1962 when at Gilbert Rennie. Flights often in DC3s, but Beaver flights were special, with low-level game viewing over Kafue Park. In those days one could fly commercially almost anywhere in Zambia, but now more difficult!

At 19 June 2018 at 18:57 , Blogger Unknown said...

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