The Eastman Party was the largest motor safari to leave Nairobi up to that time. It had, at one time, 13 cars, 80 natives, 28 camels and 5 mules. It would split into smaller expeditions and spend intervals in Nairobi, as much for constant car and truck repair as for refreshment. The group traveled approximately 4,000 miles, which, considering the terrain and the cars of that time, was a lot of ground.
|The complete party (but not all of the natives are pictured)|
Dr. Audley Stewart's presence was of great importance, not just because he treated wounds (sometimes with the "new" antiseptic, Mercurochrome), but also because he was treating everyone for malaria with six grains of quinine every night.
|Dr. Audley Stewart|
|Osa Johnson with a nest of ostrich eggs|
But Osa was out on the hunts, too, and helping Martin with the filming of the hunt, which was of special interest to Eastman.
|Martin's "new" car, one he outfitted for filming|
By August of 1926, the party was in agreement that they had bagged enough trophies, and that the rest of the trip should focus on filming.
At that time, there were three African tribes that still hunted lions by spear — the Lumbwa and their allies, the Naudi and the Masai. These tribes hunted lions to protect their livestock, and Eastman, Akeley and the Johnsons realized that it was a way of life that would be gone within a generation. They wanted to record a lion hunt, and Johnson especially wanted good footage of a lion charging towards his auto. That was not an easy task because lions, particularly those in danger, want to stick to the thick cover of the donga (a donga is a shallow gulch that consists of thick brush and high grass).
|Is it dead yet?|
|Celebrating the killed lion|
Osa and Martin Johnson stayed in Africa after George Eastman went home, and they made many more visits to Africa, shooting documentaries. They both learned to fly, and one of their documentaries became the first in-flight movie. Osa wrote I Married Adventure, which was the biggest selling non-fiction book of 1940. Today you can visit the Martin and Osa Safari Museum in Chanute, Kansas, Osa's hometown.
Carl Akeley, the famous sculptor and taxidermist, was in an accident during the safari that ripped his chest muscles. He died later the same year in the Congo, from a fever.
Daniel E. Pomeroy donated his trophies to the American Museum of Natural History, of which he was a big supporter.
On March 14, 1932, Dr. Audley D. Stewart made the announcement that George Eastman had committed suicide. In the six years after the safari, Eastman's health had declined radically.