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Africans and the Zebra – Alternative History


Here’s a thought that has been bugging me for a while. Why did the Africans never domesticate the Zebra? Or the Elephant come to that?

There are some fairly good reasons put forward as to why this did not happen. The main one is that in Africa, the cradle of humanity, humans and Zebras etc evolved alongside each other for millennia. As such, the larger mammals –  herbivores included – developed a ‘fear’ of the human predator.

Imagine however, if one civilisation had managed to tame the Zebra and breed it, using it as cavalry. The Zulus, for example, were fearsome warriors in their time. If they had cavalry, just how much of Africa could they have conquered. Or, if one of their enemies had cavalry, would it have spelt the end of the Zulus?

I mentioned elephants at the start, but what really floats my boat is the idea of RHINO-based cavalry. Yes, they are short sighted and incredibly temperamental, but just think of the sight a line of charging Rhino would make as they slammed into their enemy’s ranks.

All of this, of course, gives me plenty of food for thought!

About mattsylvester

Father of two beautiful daughters and married to the beautiful Karen, Matthew has been reading and writing fantasy and science fiction since he first read the Hobbit at the age of 7.

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