Trapper Nat Coleman and government agent Ted Arnold come upon a plot to take over an African nation. Its leader, Caliph Abdul el Hamid, has been exiled from his country and replaced by a look-alike usurper allied with an unnamed foreign power. The Caliph intends to return but enemy agents Boris and Greg are out to stop him. Captain Africa a masked jungle lord, appears occasionally to aid Nat and Ted.
The main villain does not actually make an appearance anywhere in the entire serial.
John Hart as Captain Africa, masked government agent
Rick Vallin as Ted Arnold, government agent (and principal hero of the serial despite the title)
Ben Welden as Omar, the Caliph's servant and Nat Coleman's assistant (since rescuing him in the jungle)
June Howard as Princess Rhoda, the Caliph's daughter
Bud Osborne as Nat Coleman, an animal trapper involved in the plot through his assistant Omar
Paul Marion as Abdul el Hamid, exiled but legitimate Caliph
Lee Roberts as Boris, agent of a foreign power attempting to take over the Caliph's nation
Terry Frost as Greg, agent of a foreign power attempting to take over the Caliph's nation
Edward Coch as Balu, native ally of Captain Africa
Michael Fox as Prime Minister
It was conceived and filmed as a sequel to The Phantom (starring Tom Tyler). Well into production, Columbia found that its film rights to the comic strip had expired. King Features wanted more money than Katzman was willing to spend and negotiations broke down.
Hurried retakes and major re-editing followed, with John Hart now wearing an amended costume that only used part of the original Phantom outfit, with the addition of a leather aviator's cap and riding britches.
The new story featured a new hero, Captain Africa, who still bears a strong resemblance to The Phantom in both appearance and behavior.
The serial features heavy use of stock footage from earlier serials Jungle Menace (1937), The Desert Hawk (1944) and The Phantom (1943) itself. Footage from The Phantom was reduced when this stopped being a sequel. Only a few minutes of new material were included per chapter.
The serial was produced by legendary Hollywood cheapskate Sam Katzman. Serial producers often economized by including a "cheater" chapter, in which flashbacks to earlier chapters are shown instead of new scenes. The Adventures of Captain Africa audaciously uses four cheaters within its 15-chapter length. The frequent recaps were possibly necessitated by the hasty rewrites during production.
The Adventures of Captain Africa was Columbia's last Jungle serial.
The serial is today available on VHS, it is available on DVD from a company called Serial Bowl which specializes in movie serials.
Serial historian William C. Cline writes that The Adventures of Captain Africa is "an obvious remake of The Phantom, it contained many stock shots from the earlier release and at times seemed almost like a repeat run."