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Cowboy in Africa


ABC Network
1967 - 1968
60 Minutes

Chuck Connors starred as James "Jim" Sinclair, a world-champion rodeo rider who was hired to run a Kenyan game ranch and teach modern methods of animal domestication to the local Masai tribes.

Others friends of Jim Sinclair included:

  • Ronald Howard as Wing Commander Howard Hayes, the retired British air force officer who brought Sinclair to Kenya to rope and herd the many animals on his ranch, including antelope, buffalo, wildebeest and zebra. Hayes came upon the idea of taking the wild out of animals when he met a docile zebra (nicknamed "Pajama Tops").
  • Tom Nardini as John Henry, Jim's Navajo Indian assistant and blood brother.
  • Gerald Edwards as Samson, an orphaned ten-year-old Kikuya boy who hung out with Tom and Jim as they roamed the ranch and managed the wildlife.

Chuck Connors as Jim Sinclair - COWBOY IN AFRICA
Jim Sinclair

Besides dealing with lions, and tigers and Masai, Oh My! Jim and John encountered these other adventures:

  • Jim tries to save a wounded rhinoceros.
  • A nomadic chief  forces ranchers to herd horses for his tribe.
  • Jim attempts to get local children educated in a school.
  • John searches for Jim when his airplane crashes.
  • Jim is suspicious of sports promoter who is operating a African game rodeo in which Jim has reluctantly agreed to participate.
  • Jim clashes with a game hunter over his brutal hunting style.
  • Mercenaries rob and pillage the settler's properties, including the O'Neills, fiery newcomers who are out for revenge.
  • A Kenyan leader is exploiting a cattle disease epidemic.


TRIVIA NOTE: The series is based on  the Ivan Tors movie Africa, Texas Style (1967), starring Hugh O'Brien as Jim Sinclair. Tom Nardini who played John Henry in the film reprised his role in the ABC series. In the movie, John Mills appeared as Wing Commander Hayes and Charles Malinda played Sampson.

The series was filmed in Africa and  Africa, U.S.A., an animal park in southern California. The theme was composed by Malcolm Arnold.

An ABC advertisement described Jim Sinclair as "a man as tough and unbeatable as the American West that spawned him!"

Obituaries: Chuck Connors: 11/10/1992; Ronald Howard: 12/19/1996.

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