The Leopard Hunts in Darkness


Wilbur Smith


  • Doubleday
  • New York
  • 1984
  • English
  • Paperback
  • 576 pages


Following Rhodesia's independence (and its renaming as Zimbabwe), some white people left the country. One of those exiles is Craig Mellow, who now lives in New York. However, he misses his homeland, so he decides to return and buys back his family's farm. Within the country there is a re-emergence of ancient tribal rivalries, African pitted against African. The Matabele man named Tungata is now a government minister. Inadvertently Craig gets caught up in tribal politics. Fungabera, a Shona man, dupes Craig into framing Tungata for an ivory-poaching racket. Then Fungabera turns on Craig by accusing him of being a CIA agent and confiscating the farm he had bought.


[Smith] deftly evokes not only the horrific but also the beautiful, particularly the lush landscape of Africa. ―The Washington Post


Wilbur Addison Smith is a South African novelist specialising in historical fiction about the international involvement in Southern Africa across four centuries, seen from the viewpoints of both black and white families.