Daktari

 

Daktari was a US TV series which was shown between 1966 and 1969. It featured Dr. Marsh Tracy, a vet at the fictional Wameru Study Centre for Animal Behaviour in East Africa. The show follows the work of Dr. Tracy, his daughter Paula, and his staff, who frequently protect animals from poachers and local officials. Tracy's pets, a cross-eyed lion named Clarence and a chimpanzee named Judy, were also popular characters.

I always enjoyed Daktari, I guess it was the Americans cashing in on the 'Born Free' movie and the interest it generated in westerners living in the African Jungle and caring for the wildlife in the face of dastardly ivory hunters and local ignorance etc, in the days when that was OK. However while Born Free featured Land Rovers all through, there were none that I remember in Daktari (nor Dodge Kew Fargo or Bedford TK trucks as featured in versions of the Corgi Daktari set) The vehicle which starred in Daktari was a good old US Jeep Wagoneer, a big normal control pick-up and it was painted in black and white zebra stripes. I guess the Corgi Landy was green to avoid breaching some sort of copyright. There were two gift sets based on the series, the first featuring a Land-Rover pickup with the green zebra finish and sundry figures which came out in 1967 (GS7) and the Giant Daktari Gift Set (GS14) was released in 1969 with the contents of the first set plus recoloured versions of the Bedford TK Giraffe transporter and the Dodge Kew Fargo Livestock truck, there were also giraffe and elephant figures, only the Giraffe truck is shown below.

However when I went travelling in southern Kenya with my family in 2012, living and walking with the Maasai in the Loita Hills on the Tanzania border, they drove us around in their seriously battered Defender 110 Station Wagon, named the Beast. I am a very experienced off-road driver and have owned and off-roaded many Land Rovers. I bow in awe to the Maasai Warriors, they really know how to get anywhere in a Land Rover and not a Toyota Land Cruiser in sight anywhere - it had to be Land Rover for the warriors. By the way staying with the Maasai was amazing and I remain in contact with a number of the warriors (now elders mostly) via Facebook. They are warm, generous, tough and enterprising people who are determined to embrace change, educate their children and be self-sufficient and not rely on foreign aid. I have a photo of my son sitting at a table with a Maasai Warrior in full fig with spear, they are both in deep concentration as my lad updates the firmware on the Warrior's Blackberry.

In 1998 Corgi revived Daktari and released a small set with the Land-Rover, the lion and the chimp.

 

1967 1969 1998
Corgi Toys GS7a; Daktari Set; Land Rover Spun Hubs, Plastic Figures Corgi Toys 503; Bedford TK Giraffe Transporter; Yellow With Giraffe Pattern Back From The Daktari Gift Set Corgi Classics 07104; Land-Rover Series 2 109; Daktari TV Series
Corgi Toys GS7a; Daktari Set; Land Rover Spun Hubs, Plastic Figures Corgi Toys 503; Bedford TK Giraffe Transporter; Yellow With Giraffe Pattern Back From The Daktari Gift Set Corgi Classics 07104; Land-Rover Series 2 109; Daktari TV Series

 


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Last Edit: 15/06/2022 Page Added 13/06/2022