Rowland Ward’s Records of Big Game

Thirtieth Edition


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For more than two-and-a-half years the production team at Rowland Ward Ltd. has been hard at work preparing the 30th edition of its iconic Records of Big Game.  In order to create an “entirely new” record book, this one on African game animals, we decided to implement the following: We have included photos of the highest scoring heads, based upon a strict policy of ethics and aesthetics; we have made the book “user friendly” by completely reorganizing the layout of the book according to traditional methods used by naturalists and hunters as well as by biological kinship; we have created—with particular pride we might add—83 new maps featuring over 200 varieties of African game animals that illustrate accurate, current game distributions in great detail and full color; and, finally, we have completely reshaped the table of contents and index to make the search for a specific species easy to do. 

In addition to our internally scanned and paper records, this edition also contains information from two significant private archives, one in the United Kingdom and the other in the United States. Dating from 1897 to 1971, these archives yielded a great deal of information on the Rowland Ward company from the time when it was first based in London, at 166 Piccadilly. Included in these were old albums, measurements, articles, photos, notes and ledgers by James Rowland Ward, and notes from Richard Lydekker, the most eminent biologist of the Victorian era.  Many significant historical photos and a great deal of measurement data were unearthed, all of which have been featured in the new edition. In total, the Africa volume of Rowland Ward’s Records of Big Game now lists in excess of 40,000 records dating back to 1840.

This new edition also includes 14 new world records in these categories:  zebra duiker, Damara dik-dik, Bates pygmy antelope, Harar dik-dik, common nyala, common waterbuck, Cape eland, Shoan bushbuck, blue wildebeest, island sitatunga, water chevrotain, brown hyena, mountain nyala, and southern impala. In addition there is a new No. 3 Nile buffalo as well as dozens of new top-ten heads.  You’ll find several new elephant entries with tusks in excess of 130 pounds per side, and, while these were not shot in recent times, they had never previously been recorded. Also newly recorded is a lesser kudu of more than 33 inches that was shot in Tanzania.

Of great interest to hunters will be our recovery of long lost photos of very large heads from the past: four elephants with tusks of over 150 pounds per side; a mountain nyala with 44-plus-inch horns; and James C.  Rous’s much-debated greater kudu. This kudu was shot in 1916 but photographed, with the hunter and the mounted head, amazingly only after World War II. In all, the archives yielded over 325 images, making this edition the best illustrated ever.  Some other photos never seen before include the world-record northern white rhino; the Nos. 1 and 3 southern white rhinos; Frederik Selous’s southern white rhino; the Nos. 1, 3, 4, and 5 black rhinos; 5 of the top-twenty elephants, including the world record; 5 of the 15 largest mountain nyalas ever recorded; 2 top-ten leopards; 2 top-ten lions; and 4 top-fifteen Cape buffaloes. (Look for our new ranking method for the three larger buffalo varieties in Africa—Cape, Nile, and Central African; we now add the sum of the two bosses and the spread.)  

Established in 1892 in London, Rowland Ward’s Records of Big Game is the oldest record-book series in the world and this new edition is its best ever!

To buy the 30th edition from our sister company World Wide Hunting Books please click here.