Source: International Trucks, power Gatti-Hallicrafters Expedition, part 1
Reprinted by Wino, PA0ABM
A BULLETIN issued by the Saturday Evening Post last spring carried the heading "Gatti Couldn't Speak English, So He Wrote It." The Post continued: "When the Italian-born explorer Attilio Gatti arrived in the United States in 1930 he had 19 well-chosen words at his command and 9 others not so well chosen. He was recovering from blackwater lever, his 7th African Expedition had just gone bust, and he was broke. Yet, in the years bridging that time and the present, Gatti bas written dozens of books and hundreds of articles in the English language. His second article for the Post, 'Trial by Fire,' appears in the current issue." (Mar. 12,1949) This is the Gatti who, in the following pages, tells the story of his eleventh venture into Africa. The exploit will be told and retold in articles for the leading magazines and in detail in a book or two to join the volumes on the "5-foot shelf' of adventure in which Attilio Gatti has unfolded his long career devoted to exploration and travel in Africa.
In this booklet the author outlines, for International Harvester, the beginnings of this final venture and the story of the eight MAIN CAMPS in British East Africa. The expedition completed this year was sponsored by the Hallicrafters Company to test the outer boundaries of short-wave radio experimentation. The trucks, a fleet of 8 bearing the famous Triple-Diamond emblem-were selected by Gatti on the basis of his past experience with Internationals. For the duration of the expedition they were serviced as necessary by the International Harvester branch at Nairobi, B.E.A.
Many of our readers will recall the glamorous "Jungle Yachts" of 1938-40-the elaborate trailers, streamlined as units with International truck chassis, which served as the nucleus of the 10th Gatti-African Expedition. In that supposedly "final" venture Commander Gatti and his gallant wife toured the Belgian Congo. The Jungle Yachts, joined together in camp as a de luxe 5-room apartment on wheels, served as headquarters while the expedition 's personnel sought out the secrets of the dim heart of Africa. The story of that expedition was told in an International Harvester motion picture which bas been shown to three million people, and also in various illustrated volumes written by the Gattis; Kamanda, Killers AII, and South of the Sahara, published by McBride; Saranga, the Pygmy, serialized by the Ladies' Home Journal and issued in book form by Charles Scribner's Song; Here is Africa, Meditrrranean Spotlights, and Here is the Veld, published by Scribner's.
The adventures of the current expedition have also been recorded in motion pictures. A full-color film produced by International Harvester is now ready for showing to dealers' audiences and to many types of civic organizations on request.
Readers of the following account may be guided by the itinerary in the map on pages 12 and 13, in which the explorer routes his party of fifty and their complex equipment from disembarkation at Mombasa to the big-game headquarters center at Nairobi. Short-wave radio enthusiasts around the world, who listened intently for the call 1etters of the five Gatti-Hallicrafters stations in Kenya, Tanganyika and Uganda, will recall the place-names of the African camps. . . Kwale . . . Kilerna. . . Arusha . . . Narwa . . . Fort Portal. . . Nanga Point. . . Nakuru . . . Destro Farm, Nairobi.
There are mystic implications in the language of Africa for most stay-at-home Americans who are bound by the trails of "civilization" and who take their foreign travels from the screen or printed word. For the explorer and adventurer who has spent 15 years on African soil
the memories are personal and keen. They take him beyond the coastlines, across the Sahara from the north, from the west deep into the Congo, from the eastern ports to the interior.
Commander Gatti became a United States citizen four years ago. He and his wife, American-born, have established a permanent home on the U. S.- Canadian border at the top of Vermont. The setting, as the accompanying pictures show, is a far cry from the equatorial jungle. The tiny Pygmies and the giant Watussi warriors are far away. The crocodile- infested tropic swamp, the prowling lion, the elusive bongo and okapi are of little concern to the settled natives of New England.
Can Gatti join with his untraveled neighbors and be content? He is certain that he can-perhaps his wife is very certain. But Gatti failed in staying put in 1938, and again in 1947. In 1956, after another 9-year cycle of inactivity is complete, he will be only "sixty years older than when he was born" (see next page). In that year-or any year, beginning now- in the cold white winter silence of Derby Line, Gatti may see, as in a dream, the hundred thousand flamingoes in a flash of brilliant plumage rising from the soda-saturated waters of Nakuru Lake. And begin to plan his 12th Safari.