Martin and Osa Johnson: Egypt from the Air Abu Simbel #2
The original photo used for this poster is from the final leg of Martin and Osa Johnson's "Capetown to Cairo" African Flying Safari. In this shot, Abu Simbel is shown in its original location; it was later moved to preserve it from flooding.
The sea voyage to Cape Town, South Africa, lasted from December 31, 1932, to January 23, 1933. They reached Nairobi, Kenya, on February 8, 1933, despite 4,400 miles of dense fog, heavy rains, mountainous terrain, and expensive, but nearly useless maps.
Using Nairobi as a base of operations they were able to coordinate their trips across East Africa. This safari was quite a departure from their earlier ones; with a small African ground crew, they were able to establish a series of basic airfields at strategic points allowing them to reach remote areas of Africa without the large number of porters required in previous safaris.
Using newly constructed runways in central Kenya at Nanyuki the Johnsons’ party, in January 1934, became the first to fly over Mt. Kenya and film it from the air. Similarly, they used as a runway the dry lake bottom of Lake Amboselli in southern Kenya to film Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Because of concern for Osa’s health the Johnsons decided to conclude their trip. They left Nairobi on July 15, 1934, for London following the Nile River to Egypt, then across north Africa and France. They returned to New York City on August 9 aboard the S.S. Manhattan.
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