Tents at Isiolo

Africa 1927

 Invited by George Eastman to accompany him to the headwaters of the Nile, Martin and Osa returned to Africa in January 1927. Traveling through the Egyptian cities of Alexandria, Cairo and Khartoum, the Johnsons enjoyed a leisurely trip on a luxurious steamer. From southern Sudan they traveled overland into the Congo basin and finally to Uganda. Parting with Eastman, the Johnsons traveled to the Ituri forest where they met the Mbuti for the first time. After shooting extensive amounts of film, they left determined to return and produce a complete film about the Mbuti.

Arriving in Nairobi in March, they moved on to the Serengeti where they engaged in a brief safari for promotional purposes. Martin and Osa were joined in July by three Boy Scouts from the United States who would write a book about their experiences of going on safari with the Johnsons while Martin wrote a series of articles about the trip for publication.

In August the Boy Scouts returned home and in the fall of 1928 Martin and Osa followed. Although they shot over 50,000 feet of film, it wasn’t enough for a full length feature film. Instead a movie was produced that highlighted their previous expeditions and ended with footage from this trip. Named “Across the World with Mr. and Mrs. Martin Johnson,” it premiered in January 1930.

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