Ndovu's Last Journey

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The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest
"Ndovu's Last Journey"
Episode no. H00616-94016
Airdate August 30, 1996
Chief locations Tanzania, Serengeti National Park 35.04E, 3.51S (N/A miles)
Vehicle(s) Quest Rover
Writer(s) Michael Ryan
Peter Lawrence
Guest roles Michael Benyaer (Gottlos / Soldier)
Frank Welker (Ndovu / Lion / Jackal)
Dorian Harewood (Officer)
Brock Peters (Masai)
Tristan Rogers (Hawkins)
Episode sequence Rage's Burning Wheel <--> Manhattan Maneater
Other episodes

Jonny, Jessie and Hadji track an elephant, Ndovu, as it returns to the elephants' graveyard; poachers and the Tanzanian border patrol arrive in pursuit.

Plot Summary


Riding in the Quest Rover

On the plains of the Serengeti, an elephant storms through a placid scene with a poacher's jeep in tow. Two men in the jeep tail the elephant, and one downs it with a shot from his rifle. The elephant struggles to stand, but the hunter kills it with a second shot. As the hunter stands over his quarry, his aide leaves the jeep and revs a chainsaw to cut off the elephant's ivory tusks.

Act One

The Tanzanian patrol camp

Jonny, Race, and Dr. Quest tear across the Serengeti in a Quest Rover, armed with cameras. They drive astride a pack of gazelles and take several pictures. The gazelles enter a forested area, so Dr. Quest tries to cut around the watering hole and rejoin the pack. Along the way, they stop and find the dead elephant, resolving to notify the game rangers. Rumbling is heard from the nearby watering hole, and Race orders the group back into the jeep. A massive elephant emerges and gores the jeep, knocking it into a large tree; the group climb up as the elephant completely destroys the vehicle. Jonny takes several pictures, but falls; the elephant runs up to kill him, but suddenly freezes in placidity as Jonny's reflection appears in his eye. A cloud of dust envelops the elephant, which seems to become a Masai elder; he informs Jonny that the elephant, Ndovu, recognized him as a spirit he knew and the past and selected him to accompany his journey to the burial ground of his ancestors. The Masai describes the prophecy of white men who bring hunger and guns, and ruminates that Ndovu chose Jonny as a friendly spirit among white people.

That night, Race repairs the Quest Rover while Jonny tries to convince Hadji and Jessie to go with him to track Ndovu. The three agree and set out, laying out sleeping bags near a watering hole after making distance. In the morning, Ndovu wakes them with blasts of water from his trunk, while Race and Benton discover the three have left. Ndovu sets out towards the graveyard, but Jonny nearly falls into a spiked pit in pursuit. He discovers the poachers riding towards Ndovu through his viewfinder, and the three re-cover the spiked pit in hopes the poachers will fall into it. The plan succeeds, throwing the hunter from the vehicle and nearly knocking the driver unconscious; the hunter decides to continue on foot. Dr. Quest and Race meanwhile drive in search of their progeny. Ndovu swims through a pond, but Jonny, Jessie, and Hadji realize the hunter has launched a small boat and is taking aim. They swim underneath the boat and overturn it as Ndovu reaches the far bank. That evening, the three watch the plains from a rocky outcropping; a Tanzanian border patrol convoy speeds to their position after their scout assumes they're poachers. The patrol realizes they're just kids and makes camp with the intent to return them to their parents the following day. However, the hunter surrounds their position with gasoline and starts a huge fire.

Act Two

The poachers confront the Quests

The fire engulfs the camp, setting several of the Tanzanian border patrol guards on fire as they try to stamp it out. Jonny, Jessie, and Hadji help smother the flames where they can. Dr. Quest and Race blow through the wall of flames in the Quest Rover, and all parties load up in vehicles to escape. The following day, the border patrol officer thanks Dr. Quest, but admonishes the kids to leave the matter of the poacher to them. The Quests resume their photography drives, but Jonny spots the Masai man pointing across the plains, and Hadji is able to convince Dr. Quest with a wise quip to resume the tracking of Ndovu. Jonny, Jessie, and Hadji jump out to follow the elephant through thick growth, but the Quest Rover breaks down when Race and Benton try to follow. Jonny and the others stumble into the elephant's graveyard, filled with ivory and skeletons; Race and Dr. Quest also enter—led at gunpoint by the poachers. They hit Race and prepare to execute the Quest family, but Ndovu roars from behind to crush the driver and throw the hunter upon impaling tusks. Ndovu then collapses; Jonny runs to his side and cries as Ndovu wraps his trunk around him. The Quest team depart the following day, resolving to keep the secret of the graveyard. Hadji postulates that the Masai and Ndovu were one and the same as a vision of them bids them farewell.



Jonny mourns Ndovu
  • Jonny - "National Geographic, here comes Jonny Quest!"


  • Dr. Quest - "But before you even ask your next question, the answer is no."
  • Race - "The elephant's graveyard, Benton. Jonny could prove it really exists."


  • Race - "I guess the more pressing question is, can we make this hunk of junk run, or is it ready for the Quest Rover graveyard?"


  • Hadji - "The paradox of karmic fate is the razor's edge between predestined reality and active choice."
  • Jessie - "I guess that means we're going with you."


  • Hadji - "Old Ndovu just strolled on by."
  • Jessie - "I guess that proves he's smarter than we are."


  • Hadji - "Follow knowledge like a sinking star beyond the utmost bound of human thought."
  • Dr. Quest - "To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield."


  • Race - "C'mon, Benton! Don't be showing your age on me now!"
  • Dr. Quest - "Easy for you to say!"


  • Dr. Quest's hair is all dark and no gray.


  • Peter Lawrence grew up in Zambia, and authored Fishing for Crocodiles to recount his childhood experiences.
  • Ndovu's destruction of the Quest Rover evoked rising elephant aggression, a troubling phenomenon that's emerged in African and Asian settings due to human land encroachment.
  • The lines Hadji and Dr. Quest recite are from the Tennyson poem "Ulysses".
  • The Quest Byte features Virtua Cycle education.
  • This episode was released on laserdisc with The Darkest Fathoms as "Journey to the Serengeti".

From: Episodes