In 1898, the British were building a railway line between Mombasa in Kenya and Uganda. At the Tsavo River in Kenya where a bridge needed to be built, the project was suddenly interrupted by two man-eating lions that targeted the camps of the workers. Over a period of about nine months, the lions killed scores of people.
These lions were deliberately hunting people, preferring humans over any other prey, and they seemed to have supernatural abilities in evading all attempts to stop them. Colonel J.H. Patterson, the chief engineer in charge of the project, finally managed to eliminate them. "The Man-Eaters of Tsavo" is his riveting account of the events, in the first part of the book. The rest of the work describes various hunting expeditions in East Africa. The story of the man-eating lions has been adapted to film three times, the most recent being The Ghost and the Darkness of 1996.