Animal Collecting With Gerald Durrell Click photo for larger view. Gerald Durrell in a canoe on the Cross River, near Mamfe Me, Gerald Durrell and local hunters holding eggs of an African python. The female python, brooding its eggs, had been discovered by the hunters beneath the rocky outcrop behind us and they had removed the eggs before we reached the site. The road between Mamfe and Bamenda could become almost impassable during the rainy season. The countryside in the Bamenda/Bafut region consisted of rolling grassland and mountains. Many crops were grown here by the local villagers and farmers. Our main destination in Cameroon was Bafut which Durrell had visited before and which he wrote about in his book ‘The Bafut Beagles’. We stayed in the Fon of Bafut’s rest house, pictured here. Once the word had gone out to the local people that we were buying animals, we were sometimes inundated by people who brought small rodents, reptiles and other animals to us in calabashes (locally grown dried fruits or gourds). Gerald Durrell holding a black-footed mongoose among yet more calabashes full of small animals. Note the necks of the gourds plugged with local leaves to prevent the escape of the occupants. A brow-leaf or African giant toad (Amietophrynus superciliaris), a beautiful creature found in the Bamenda highland area. A nose-horned viper (Bitis nasicornis), another species found fairly commonly in the Bamenda highlands. It is so called because of the elongated ‘horns’ on the nose. Small animals were called ‘beef’ in the local pidgin English. Here people on the steps of the rest house are being paid for the animals they had brought to us for sale. I am holding a young patas monkey (Erythrocebus patas) and a young spot-nosed guenon (Cercopithecus nictitans). Durrell with a patas monkey (Erythrocebus patas) and cherry-crowned mangabey (Cercocebus torquatus). Young black-footed mongoose (Bdeogale nigripes). Young spot-nosed guenon (Cercopithecus nictitans) and mona monkey (Cercopithecus mona). Bafut scene. Bafut market. Another market scene in Bafut. The town of Bamenda is situated on an escarpment with a back-drop of wooded mountains Gerald Durrell and his then wife Jacquie (foreground) in Bamenda market. We spent the trip living in very spartan conditions. The Fon of Bafut. He first became famous in Durrell’s earlier book ‘The Bafut Beagles’. The Fon’s compound viewed from the rest house where we stayed while in Bafut. An expatriate working in Cameroon offered us this young female chimpanzee, but first we had to entice it into a crate! Here Durrell is starting that process. Come on in here! It took a long time…… The beautiful landscape in the Ndop region. Two boy drummers, Bafut. Young girl with baby and calabash, Bafut Young boys bringing ‘beef’ for sale, Bafut. Children with drummer, Bafut. One of our lorries laden with cages full of small mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians as we prepare to leave Bafut for the coast and the return to the UK on a banana boat. I have just (Sept 2014) found this battered photo of me (in pyjamas), Gerry Durrell and his wife Jacquie, inspecting some of our animals on the veranda of the Fon's Rest House in Bafut, Cameroon. This photo (1957, source unknown) was later given to me by Douglas Botting, Durrell's biographer.