The Albert N'Yanza, Great Basin of the Nile
Sir Samuel White Baker

Part 6 out of 9

receive us. Our force of 112 armed men could eat the country in the
event of a fight, provided that a large supply of ammunition were at
hand. The present store is sixty rounds for each man, which would not be

"FEB. 9th.--After endless discussions and repeated messages exchanged
with the king, he at length sent word that I was to come ALONE. To this
I objected; and, upon my starting with my men, the guide refused to
proceed. I at once turned back, and told the chief (our guide) that I no
longer wished to see Kamrasi, who must be a mere fool, and I should
return to my country. This created a great stir, and messengers were at
once despatched to the king, who returned an answer that I might bring
all my men, but that only five of the Turks could be allowed with
Ibrahim. The woman Bacheeta had told the natives that we were separate

"A severe attack of fever prevented me from starting. This terrible
complaint worries me sadly, as I have no quinine."

"FEB. 10th.--The woman Fadeela died of fever. I am rather better, and
the chief is already here to escort us to Kamrasi. After a quick march
of three hours through immense woods, we reached the capital--a large
village of grass huts, situated on a barren slope. We were ferried
across a river in large canoes, capable of carrying fifty men, but
formed of a single tree upwards of four feet wide. Kamrasi was reported
to be in his residence on the opposite side; but, upon our arrival at
the south bank, we found ourselves thoroughly deceived. We were upon a
miserable flat, level with the river, and in the wet season forming a
marsh at the junction with the Kafoor river with the Somerset. The
latter river bounded the flat on the east, very wide and sluggish, and
much overgrown with papyrus and lotus. The river we had just crossed was
the Kafoor; it was perfectly dead water, and about eighty yards wide,
including the beds of papyrus on either side. We were shown some filthy
huts that were to form our camp. The spot was swarming with mosquitoes,
and we had nothing to eat except a few fowls that I had brought with me.
Kamrasi was on the OTHER SIDE OF THE RIVER: they had cunningly separated
us from him, and had returned with the canoes. Thus we were prisoners
upon the swamp. This was our welcome from the King of Unyoro! I now
heard that Speke and Grant had been lodged in this same spot."

"FEB. 10th.--Ibrahim was extremely nervous, as were also my men; they
declared that treachery was intended, as the boats had been withdrawn,
and they proposed that we should swim the river and march back to our
main party, who had been left three hours in the rear. I was ill with
fever, also my wife, and the unwholesome air of the marsh aggravated the
disease. Our luggage had been left at our last station, as this was a
condition stipulated by Kamrasi: thus we had to sleep upon the damp
ground of the marsh in the filthy hut, as the heavy dew at night
necessitated shelter. With great difficulty I accompanied Ibrahim and a
few men to the bank of the river where we had landed yesterday, and,
climbing upon a white ant hill to obtain a view over the high reeds, I
scanned the village with a telescope. The scene was rather exciting;
crowds of people were rushing about in all directions, and gathering
from all quarters towards the river: the slope from the river to the
town M'rooli was black with natives, and I saw about a dozen large
canoes preparing to transport them to our side. I returned from my
elevated observatory to Ibrahim, who, on the low ground only a few yards
distant, could not see the opposite side of the river owing to the high
grass and reeds. Without saying more, I merely begged him to mount upon
the ant hill and look towards M'rooli. Hardly had he cast a glance at
the scene described, than he jumped down from his stand, and cried,
'They are going to attack us!' 'Let us retreat to the camp and prepare
for a fight!' 'Let us fire at them from here as they cross in the
canoes,' cried others; 'the buckshot will clear them off when packed in
the boats.' This my panic-stricken followers would have done, had I not
been present.

"'Fools!' I said, 'do you not see that the natives have no SHIELDS with
them, but merely lances?--would they commence an attack without their
shields? Kamrasi is coming in state to visit us.' This idea was by no
means accepted by my people, and we reached our little camp, and for the
sake of precaution we stationed the men in positions behind a hedge of
thorns. Ibrahim had managed to bring twelve picked men instead of five
as stipulated; thus we were a party of twenty-four. I was of very little
use, as the fever was so strong upon me that I lay helpless on the

In a short time the canoes arrived, and for about an hour they were
employed in crossing and recrossing, and landing great numbers of men,
until they at length advanced and took possession of some huts about 200
yards from our camp. They now hallooed out that Kamrasi had arrived! and
seeing some oxen with the party, I felt sure they had no evil
intentions. I ordered my men to carry me in their arms to the king, and
to accompany me with the presents, as I was determined to have a
personal interview, although only fit for a hospital.

Upon my approach, the crowd gave way, and I was shortly laid on a mat at
the king's feet. He was a fine-looking man, but with a peculiar
expression of countenance, owing to his extremely prominent eyes; he was
about six feet high, beautifully clean, and was dressed in a long robe
of bark-cloth most gracefully folded. The nails of his hands and feet
were carefully attended, and his complexion was about as dark a brown as
that of an Abyssinian. He sat upon a copper stool placed upon a carpet
of leopard skins, and he was surrounded by about ten of his principal

Our interpreter, Bacheeta, now informed him who I was, and what were my
intentions. He said that he was sorry I had been so long on the road,
but that he had been obliged to be cautious, having been deceived by
Debono's people. I replied, that I was an Englishman, a friend of Speke
and Grant--that they had described the reception they had met with from
him, and that I had come to thank him, and to offer him a few presents
in return for his kindness, and to request him to give me a guide to the
Lake Luta N'zige. He laughed at the name and repeated it several times
with his chiefs,--he then said, it was not LUTA, but M-WOOTAN
N'zige--but that it was SIX MONTHS' journey from M'rooli, and that in my
weak condition I could not possibly reach it; that I should die upon the
road, and that the king of my country would perhaps imagine that I had
been murdered, and might invade his territory. I replied, that I was
weak with the toil of years in the hot countries of Africa, but that I
was in search of the great lake, and should not return until I had
succeeded; that I had no king, but a powerful Queen who watched over all
her subjects, and that no Englishman could be murdered with impunity;
therefore he should send me to the lake without delay, and there would
be the lesser chance of my dying in his country.

I explained that the river Nile flowed for a distance of two years'
journey through wonderful countries, and reached the sea, from which
many valuable articles would be sent to him in exchange for ivory, could
I only discover the great lake. As a proof of this, I had brought him a
few curiosities that I trusted he would accept, and I regretted that the
impossibility of procuring porters had necessitated the abandonment of
others that had been intended for him.

I ordered the men to unpack the Persian carpet, which was spread upon
the ground before him. I then gave him an Abbia (large white Cashmere
mantle), a red silk netted sash, a pair of scarlet Turkish shoes,
several pairs of socks, a double-barrelled gun and ammunition, and a
great heap of first-class beads made up into gorgeous necklaces and
girdles. He took very little notice of the presents, but requested that
the gun might be fired off. This was done, to the utter confusion of the
crowd, who rushed away in such haste, that they tumbled over each other
like so many rabbits; this delighted the king, who, although himself
startled, now roared with laughter. He told me that I must be hungry and
thirsty, therefore he hoped I would accept something to eat and drink:
accordingly he presented me with seventeen cows, twenty pots of sour
plantain cider and many loads of unripe plantains. I inquired whether
Speke had left a medicine chest with him. He replied that it was a very
feverish country, and that he and his people had used all the medicine.
Thus my last hope of quinine was cut off. I had always trusted to obtain
a supply from the king, as Speke had told me that he had left a bottle
with him. It was quite impossible to obtain any information from him,
and I was carried back to my hut, where I found Mrs. Baker lying down
with fever, and neither could render assistance to the other.

On the following morning the king again appeared. I was better, and I
had a long interview. He did not appear to heed my questions, but he at
once requested that I would ally myself with him, and attack his enemy,
Rionga. I told him that I could not embroil myself in such quarrels, but
that I had only one object, which was the lake. I requested that he
would give Ibrahim a large quantity of ivory, and that on his return
from Gondokoro he would bring him most valuable articles in exchange. He
said that he was not sure whether "my belly was black or white,"--by
this he intended to express "evil or good intentions;" but that if it
were white I should of course have no objection to exchange blood with
him, as a proof of friendship and sincerity. This was rather too strong
a dose! I replied that it would be impossible, as in my country the
shedding of blood was considered a proof of hostility; therefore he must
accept Ibrahim as my substitute. Accordingly the arms were bared and
pricked; as the blood flowed, it was licked by either party; and an
alliance was concluded. Ibrahim agreed to act with him against all his
enemies. It was arranged that Ibrahim now belonged to Kamrasi, and that
henceforth our parties should be entirely separate.

It rained in torrents, and our hut became so damp from the absorption of
the marsh soil, that my feet sank in the muddy floor. I had fever daily
at about 3 P.M. and lay perfectly helpless for five or six hours, until
the attack passed off; this reduced me to extreme weakness. My wife
suffered quite as acutely. It was a position of abject misery, which
will be better explained by a few rough extracts from my journal:--

"FEB. 16th.--ALL MY PORTERS HAVE DESERTED, having heard that the lake is
so far distant; I have not one man left to carry my luggage. Should we
not be able to cross the Asua river before the flood, we shall be nailed
for another year to this abominable country, ill with fever, and without
medicine, clothes, or supplies.

"FEB. 17th.--Fever last night; rain, as usual, with mud accompaniment.
One of Kamrasi's headmen, whose tongue I have loosened by presents,
tells me that he has been to the lake in ten days to purchase salt, and
that a man loaded with salt can return in fifteen days. God knows the
truth! and I am pressed for time, while Kamrasi delays me in the most
annoying manner.

"Kamrasi came today; as usual, he wanted all that I had, and insisted
upon a present of my sword, watch, and compass, all of which I
positively refused. I told him that he had deceived me by saying that
the lake was so distant as six months' journey, as I knew that it was
only ten days. He rudely answered, 'Go, if you like; but don't blame me
if you can't get back: it is twenty days' march; you may believe it or
not, as you choose.' To my question as to the means of procuring
porters, he gave no reply, except by asking for my sword, and for my
beautiful little Fletcher rifle.

"I retired to my hut in disgust. This afternoon a messenger arrived from
the king with twenty-four small pieces of straw, cut into lengths of
about four inches. These he laid carefully in a row, and explained that
Speke had given that number of presents, whereas I had only given ten,
the latter figure being carefully exemplified by ten pieces of straw; he
wished to know 'why I did not give him the same number as he had
received from Speke?' This miserable, grasping, lying coward is
nevertheless a king, and the success of my expedition depends upon him."

"FEB. 20th.--Cloudy, as usual; neither sun, moon, nor stars will show
themselves. Fortunately, milk can be procured here. I live upon
buttermilk. Kamrasi came, and gave twenty elephants' tusks as a present
to Ibrahim. There is a report that Debono's people, under the command of
Ras-Galla, are once more at Rionga's; this has frightened him awfully."

Feb. 21st.-This morning Kamrasi was civil enough to allow us to quit the
marsh, the mosquito-nest and fever-bed where we had been in durance,
and we crossed to the other side of the Kafoor river, and quartered in
M'rooli. I went to see him, and, after a long consultation, he promised
to send me to the lake tomorrow. I immediately took off my sword and
belt, and presented them to him, explaining that, as I was now convinced
of his friendship, I had a pleasure in offering my sword as a proof of
my amicable feeling, as I thus placed the weapon of self-defence in his
hand, and I should trust to his protection. As a proof of the temper of
the blade, I offered to cut through the strongest shield he could
produce. This delighted him amazingly. I now trust to be able to reach
the junction of the Somerset with the M-wootan N'zige at Magungo, and
from thence to overtake Ibrahim at Shooa, and to hurry on to Gondokoro,
where a boat will be waiting for me from Khartoum.

"Ibrahim and his men marched this morning, on their return to Karuma,
leaving me here with my little party of thirteen men.

"Should I succeed in discovering the lake I shall thank God most
sincerely. The toil, anxiety, the biting annoyances I have daily been
obliged to put up with in my association with the Turks, added to our
now constant ill-health, are enough to break down the constitution of an
elephant. Every day I must give!--to the Turks, give!--to the natives,
give! If I lend anything to the Turks, it is an insult should I ask for
its return. One hasty word might have upset my boat; and now, for twelve
months, I have had to talk, to explain, to manage, and to lead the
brutes in this direction, like a coachman driving jibbing horses. Hosts
of presents to Ibrahim, combined with a vivid description of the
advantages that he would secure by opening a trade with Kamrasi, at
length led him to this country, which I could not have reached without
his aid, as it would have been impossible for me to have procured
porters without cattle. The porters I have always received from him as
far as Karuma for a payment of six copper rings per head for every
journey. I have now arranged that he shall leave for me thirty head of
cattle at Shooa; thus, should he have started for Gondokoro before my
arrival at Shooa, I shall be able to procure porters, and arrive in time
for the expected boat.

"Up to this day astronomical observations have been impossible, a thick
coat of slate colour obscuring the heavens. Tonight I obtained a good
observation of Canopus, giving latitude 1 degree 38 minutes N. By
Casella's thermometer I made the altitude of the Somerset at M'rooli
4,061 feet above the sea, showing a fall of 65 feet between this point
and below the falls at Karuma in a distance of 37 miles of latitude.

"Just as Ibrahim was leaving this morning I was obliged to secure the
slave Bacheeta as interpreter, at the price of three double-barrelled
guns to purchase her freedom. I explained to her that she was now free,
and that I wished her to act as interpreter during my stay in Unyoro;
and that I would then leave her in her own country, Chopi, on my return
from the lake. Far from being pleased at the change, she regretted the
loss of the Turks, and became excessively sulky, although my wife decked
her out with beads, and gave her a new petticoat to put her in a good

"Feb. 22d.--Kamrasi promised to send me porters, and that we should
start for the lake today, but there is no sign of preparation; thus am I
delayed when every day is so precious. Added to this trouble, the woman
that I have as an interpreter wall not speak, being the most sulky
individual I ever encountered. In the evening Kamrasi sent to say he
would give a guide and porters tomorrow morning. It is impossible to
depend upon him."

After some delay we were at length honoured by a visit from Kamrasi,
accompanied by a number of his people, and he promised that we should
start on the following day. He pointed out a chief and a guide who were
to have us in their charge, and who were to see that we obtained all
that we should require. He concluded, as usual, by asking for my watch
and for a number of beads; the latter I gave him, together with a
quantity of ammunition for his guns. He showed me a beautiful
double-barrelled rifle by Blissett, that Speke had given him. I wished
to secure this, to give to Speke on my return to England, as he had told
me, when at Gondokoro, how he had been obliged to part with that and
many other articles sorely against his will. I therefore offered to give
him three common double-barrelled guns in exchange for the rifle. This
he declined, as he was quite aware of the difference in quality. He then
produced a large silver chronometer that he had received from Speke. "It
was DEAD," he said, "and he wished me to repair it." This I declared to
be impossible. He then confessed to having explained its construction,
and the cause of the "ticking," to his people, by the aid of a needle,
and that it had never ticked since that occasion. I regretted to see
such "pearls cast before swine," as the rifle and chronometer in the
hands of Kamrasi. Thus he had plundered Speke and Grant of all they
possessed before he would allow them to proceed.

It is the rapacity of the chiefs of the various tribes that renders
African exploration so difficult. Each tribe wishes' to monopolize your
entire stock of valuables, without which the traveller would be utterly
helpless. The difficulty of procuring porters limits the amount of
baggage thus a given supply must carry you through a certain period of
time; if your supply should fail, the expedition terminates with your
power of giving. It is thus extremely difficult to arrange the
expenditure so as to satisfy all parties, and still to retain a
sufficient balance. Being utterly cut off from all communication with
the world, there is no possibility of receiving assistance. The
traveller depends entirely upon himself, under Providence, and must.
adapt himself and his means to circumstances.



The day of starting at length arrived; the chief and guide appeared, and
we were led to the Kafoor river, where canoes were in readiness to
transport us to the south side. This was to our old quarters on the
marsh. The direct course to the lake was west, and I fully expected some
deception, as it was impossible to trust Kamrasi. I complained to the
guide, and insisted upon his pointing out the direction of the lake,
which he did, in its real position, west; but he explained that we must
follow the south bank of the Kafoor river for some days, as there was an
impassable morass that precluded a direct course. This did not appear
satisfactory, and the whole affair looked suspicious, as we had formerly
been deceived by being led across the river in the same spot, and not
allowed to return. We were now led along the banks of the Kafoor for
about a mile, until we arrived at a cluster of huts; here we were to
wait for Kamrasi, who had promised to take leave of us. The sun was
overpowering, and we dismounted from our oxen, and took shelter in a
blacksmith's shed. In about an hour Kamrasi arrived, attended by a
considerable number of men, and took his seat in our shed. I felt
convinced that his visit was simply intended to peel the last skin from
the onion. I had already given him nearly all that I had, but he hoped
to extract the whole before I should depart.

He almost immediately commenced the conversation by asking for a pretty
yellow muslin Turkish handkerchief fringed with silver drops that Mrs.
Baker wore upon her head: one of these had already been given to him,
and I explained that this was the last remaining, and that she required
it .... He "must" have it .... It was given.

He then demanded other handkerchiefs. We had literally nothing but a few
most ragged towels; he would accept no excuse, and insisted upon a
portmanteau being unpacked, that he might satisfy himself by actual
inspection. The luggage, all ready for the journey, had to be unstrapped
and examined, and the rags were displayed in succession; but so wretched
and uninviting was the exhibition of the family linen, that he simply
returned them, and said "they did not suit him." Beads he must have, or
I was "his enemy." A selection of the best opal beads was immediately
given him. I rose from the stone upon which I was sitting, and declared
that we must start immediately. "Don't be in a hurry," he replied; "you
have plenty of time; but you have not given me that watch you promised
me." .... This was my only watch that he had begged for, and had been
refused every day during my stay at M'rooli. So pertinacious a beggar I
had never seen. I explained to him that, without the watch, my, journey
would be useless, but that I would give him all that I had except the
watch when the exploration should be completed, as I should require
nothing on my direct return to Gondokoro. At the same time, I repeated
to him the arrangement for the journey that he had promised, begging him
not to deceive me, as my wife and I should both die if we were compelled
to remain another year in this country by losing the annual boats in
Gondokoro. The understanding was this: he was to give me porters to the
lake, where I was to be furnished with canoes to take me to Magungo,
which was situated at the junction of the Somerset. From Magungo he told
me that I should see the Nile issuing from the lake close to the spot
where the Somerset entered, and that the canoes should take me down the
river, and porters should carry my effects from the nearest point to
Shooa, and deliver me at my old station without delay. Should he be
faithful to this engagement, I trusted to procure porters from Shooa,
and to reach Gondokoro in time for the annual boats. I had arranged that
a boat should be sent from Khartoum to await me at Gondokoro early in
this year, 1864; but I felt sure that should I be long delayed, the boat
would return without me, as the people would be afraid to remain alone
at Gondokoro after the other boats had quitted.

In our present weak state another year of Central Africa without quinine
appeared to warrant death; it was a race against time, all was untrodden
ground before us, and the distance quite uncertain. I trembled for my
wife, and weighed the risk of another year in this horrible country
should we lose the boats. With the self-sacrificing devotion that she
had shown in every trial, she implored me not to think of any risks on
her account, but to push forward and discover the lake---that she had
determined not to return until she had herself reached the "M'wootan

I now requested Kamrasi to allow us to take leave, as we had not an hour
to lose. In the coolest manner he replied, "I will send you to the lake
and to Shooa, as I have promised; but, YOU MUST LEAVE YOUR WIFE WITH ME!"
At that moment we were surrounded by a great number of natives, and my
suspicions of treachery at having been led across the Kafoor river
appeared confirmed by this insolent demand. If this were to be the end
of the expedition I resolved that it should also be the end of Kamrasi,
and, drawing my revolver quietly, I held it within two feet of his
chest, and looking at him with undisguised contempt, I told him that if
I touched the trigger, not all his men could save him: and that if he
dared to repeat the insult I would shoot him on the spot. At the same
time I explained to him that in my country such insolence would entail
bloodshed, and that I looked upon him as an ignorant ox who knew no
better, and that this excuse alone could save him. My wife, naturally
indignant, had risen from her seat, and, maddened with the excitement of
the moment, she made him a little speech in Arabic (not a word of which
he understood), with a countenance almost as amiable as the head of
Medusa. Altogether the Mise en Scene utterly astonished him; the woman
Bacheeta, although savage, had appropriated the insult to her mistress,
and she also fearlessly let fly at Kamrasi, translating as nearly as she
could the complimentary address that Medusa had just delivered.

Whether this little coup de theatre had so impressed Kamrasi with
British female independence that he wished to be off his bargain, I
cannot say, but with an air of complete astonishment, he said, "Don't be
angry! I had no intention of offending you by asking for your wife; I
will give you a wife, if you want one, and I thought you might have no
objection to give me yours; it is my custom to give my visitors pretty
wives, and I thought you might exchange. Don't make a fuss about it; if
you don't like it, there's an end of it; I will never mention it again."
This very practical apology I received very sternly, and merely insisted
upon starting. He seemed rather confused at having committed himself,
and to make amends he called his people and ordered them to carry our

His men ordered a number of women, who had assembled out of curiosity,
to shoulder the luggage and carry it to the next village, where they
would be relieved. I assisted my wife upon her ox, and with a very cold
adieu to Kamrasi, I turned my back most gladly on M'rooli.

The country was a vast flat of grass land interspersed with small
villages and patches of sweet potatoes; these were very inferior, owing
to the want of drainage. For about two miles we continued on the banks
of the Kafoor river; the women who carried the luggage were straggling
in disorder, and my few men were much scattered in their endeavours to
collect them. We approached a considerable village; but just as we were
nearing it, out rushed about six hundred men with lances and shields,
screaming and yelling like so many demons. For the moment, I thought it
was an attack, but almost immediately I noticed that women and children
were mingled with the men.

My men had not taken so cool a view of the excited throng that was now
approaching us at full speed, brandishing their spears, and engaging
with each other in mock combat. "There's a fight!---there's a fight! "my
men exclaimed; "we are attacked! fire at them, Hawaga." However, in a
few seconds I persuaded them that it was a mere parade, and that there
was no danger. With a rush, like a cloud of locusts, the natives closed
around us, dancing, gesticulating, and yelling before my ox, feigning to
attack us with spears and shields, then engaging in sham fights with
each other, and behaving like so many madmen. A very tall chief
accompanied them; and one of their men was suddenly knocked down, and
attacked by the crowd with sticks and lances, and lay on the ground
covered with blood: what his offence had been I did not hear. The entire
crowd were most grotesquely got up, being dressed in either leopard or
white monkey skins, with cows' tails strapped on behind, and antelopes'
horns fitted upon their heads, while their chins were ornamented with
false beards, made of the bushy ends of cows' tails sewed together.
Altogether, I never saw a more unearthly set of creatures; they were
perfect illustrations of my childish ideas of devils--horns, tails,
and all, excepting the hoofs; they were our escort! furnished by Kamrasi
to accompany us to the lake. Fortunately for all parties the Turks were
not with us on that occasion, or the satanic escort would certainly have
been received with a volley when they so rashly advanced to compliment
us by their absurd performances.

We marched till 7 P.M. over flat, uninteresting country, and then halted
at a miserable village which the people had deserted, as they expected
our arrival. The following morning I found much difficulty in getting
our escort together, as they had been foraging throughout the
neighbourhood; these "devil's own" were a portion of Kamrasi's troops,
who considered themselves entitled to plunder ad libitum throughout the
march; however, after some delay, they collected, and their tall chief
approached me, and begged that a gun might be fired as a curiosity. The
escort had crowded around us, and as the boy Saat was close to me, I
ordered him to fire his gun. This was Saat's greatest delight, and bang
went one barrel unexpectedly, close to the tall chief's ear. The effect
was charming. The tall chief, thinking himself injured, clasped his head
with both hands, and bolted through the crowd, which, struck with a
sudden panic, rushed away in all directions, the "devil's own" tumbling
over each other, and utterly scattered by the second barrel which Saat
exultingly fired in derision as Kamrasi's warlike regiment dissolved
before a sound. I felt quite sure, that in the event of a fight, one
scream from the "Baby," with its charge of forty small bullets, would
win the battle, if well delivered into a crowd of Kamrasi's troops.

That afternoon, after a march through a most beautiful forest of large
mimosas in full blossom, we arrived at the morass that had necessitated
this great detour from our direct course to the lake. It was nearly
three-quarters of a mile broad, and so deep, that in many places the
oxen were obliged to swim; both Mrs. Baker and I were carried across on
our angareps by twelve men with the greatest difficulty; the guide, who
waded before us to show the way, suddenly disappeared in a deep hole,
and his bundle that he had carried on his head, being of light
substance, was seen floating like a buoy upon the surface; after a
thorough sousing, the guide reappeared, and scrambled out, and we made a
circuit, the men toiling frequently up to their necks through mud and
water. On arrival at the opposite side we continued through the same
beautiful forest, and slept that night at a deserted village, M'Baze. I
obtained two observations; one of Capella, giving lat. 1 degrees 24
minutes 47 seconds N., and of Canopus 1 degree 23 minutes 29 seconds.

The next day we were much annoyed by our native escort; instead of
attending to us, they employed their time in capering and dancing about,
screaming and gesticulating, and suddenly rushing off in advance
whenever we approached a village, which they plundered before we could
arrive. In this manner every place was stripped; nor could we procure
anything to eat unless by purchasing it for beads from the native
escort. We slept at Karche, lat. 1 degree 19 minutes 31 seconds N.

We were both ill, but were obliged to ride through the hottest hours of
the sun, as our followers were never ready to start at an early hour in
the morning. The native escort were perfectly independent, and so
utterly wild and savage in their manner, that they appeared more
dangerous than the general inhabitants of the country.

My wife was extremely anxious, since the occasion of Kamrasi's
"proposal," as she was suspicious that so large an escort as three
hundred men had been given for some treacherous purpose, and that I
should perhaps be waylaid to enable them to steal her for the king. I
had not the slightest fear of such an occurrence, as sentries were
always on guard during the night, and I was well prepared during the

On the following morning we had the usual difficulty in collecting
porters, those of the preceding day having absconded, and others were
recruited from distant villages by the native escort, who enjoyed the
excuse of hunting for porters, as it gave them an opportunity of
foraging throughout the neighbourhood. During this time we had to wait
until the sun was high; we thus lost the cool hours of morning, and it
increased our fatigue. Having at length started, we arrived in the
afternoon at the Kafoor river, at a bend from the south where it was
necessary to cross over in our westerly course. The stream was in the
centre of a marsh, and although deep, it was so covered with thickly
matted water-grass and other aquatic plants, that a natural floating
bridge was established by a carpet of weeds about two feet thick: upon
this waving and unsteady surface the men ran quickly across, sinking
merely to the ankles, although beneath the tough vegetation there was
deep water. It was equally impossible to ride or to be carried over this
treacherous surface; thus I led the way, and begged Mrs. Baker to follow
me on foot as quickly as possible, precisely in my track. The river was
about eighty yards wide, and I had scarcely completed a fourth of the
distance and looked back to see if my wife followed close to me, when I
was horrified to see her standing in one spot, and sinking gradually
through the weeds, while her face was distorted and perfectly purple.
Almost as soon as I perceived her, she fell, as though shot dead.

In an instant I was by her side; and with the assistance of eight or ten
of my men, who were fortunately close to me, I dragged her like a corpse
through the yielding vegetation, and up to our waists we scrambled
across to the other side, just keeping her head above the water: to have
carried her would have been impossible, as we should all have sunk
together through the weeds. I laid her under a tree, and bathed her head
and face with water, as for the moment I thought she had fainted; but
she lay perfectly insensible, as though dead, with teeth and hands
firmly clenched, and her eyes open, but fixed. It was a coup de soleil.

Many of the porters had gone on ahead with the baggage; and I started
off a man in haste to recall an angarep upon which to carry her, and
also for a bag with a change of clothes, as we had dragged her through
the river. It was in vain that I rubbed her heart, and the black women
rubbed her feet, to endeavour to restore animation. At length the litter
came, and after changing her clothes, she was carried mournfully forward
as a corpse. Constantly we had to halt and support her head, as a
painful rattling in the throat betokened suffocation.

At length we reached a village, and halted for the night. I laid her
carefully in a miserable hut, and watched beside her. I opened her
clenched teeth with a small wooden wedge, and inserted a wet rag, upon
which I dropped water to moisten her tongue, which was dry as fur. The
unfeeling brutes that composed the native escort were yelling and
dancing as though all were well; and I ordered their chief at once to
return with them to Kamrasi, as I would travel with them no longer. At
first they refused to return; until at length I vowed that I would fire
into them should they accompany us on the following morning. Day broke
and it was a relief to have got rid of the brutal escort. They had
departed, and I had now my own men, and the guides supplied by Kamrasi.

There was nothing to eat in this spot. My wife had never stirred since
she fell by the coup de soleil, and merely respired about five times in
a minute. It was impossible to remain; the people would have starved.
She was laid gently upon her litter, and we started forward on our
funeral course. I was ill and broken-hearted, and I followed by her side
through the long day's march over wild parklands and streams, with thick
forest and deep marshy bottoms; over undulating hills, and through
valleys of tall papyrus rushes, which, as we brushed through them on our
melancholy way, waved over the litter like the black plumes of a hearse.
We halted at a village, and again the night was passed in watching. I
was wet, and coated with mud from the swampy marsh, and shivered with
ague; but the cold within was greater than all. No change had taken
place; she had never moved. I had plenty of fat, and I made four balls
of about half a pound, each of which would burn for three hours. A piece
of a broken water-jar formed a lamp, several pieces of rag serving for
wicks. So in solitude the still calm night passed away as I sat by her
side and watched. In the drawn and distorted features that lay before me
I could hardly trace the same face that for years had been my comfort
through all the difficulties and dangers of my path. Was she to die? Was
so terrible a sacrifice to be the result of my selfish exile?

Again the night passed away. Once more the march. Though weak and ill,
and for two nights without a moment's sleep, I felt no fatigue, but
mechanically followed by the side of the litter as though in a dream.
The same wild country diversified with marsh and forest. Again we
halted. The night came, and I sat by her side in a miserable hut, with
the feeble lamp flickering while she lay as in death. She had never
moved a muscle since she fell. My people slept. I was alone, and no
sound broke the stillness of the night. The ears ached at the utter
silence, till the sudden wild cry of a hyena made me shudder as the
horrible thought rushed through my brain, that, should she be buried in
this lonely spot, the hyena would . . . disturb her rest.

The morning was not far distant; it was past four o'clock. I had passed
the night in replacing wet cloths upon her head and moistening her lips,
as she lay apparently lifeless on her litter. I could do nothing more;
in solitude and abject misery in that dark hour, in a country of savage
heathens, thousand of miles away from a Christian land, I beseeched an
aid above all human, trusting alone to Him.

The morning broke; my lamp had just burnt out, and, cramped with the
night's watching, I rose from my low seat, and seeing that she lay in
the same unaltered state, I went to the door of the hut to breathe one
gasp of the fresh morning air. I was watching the first red streak that
heralded the rising sun, when I was startled by the words, "Thank God,"
faintly uttered behind me. Suddenly she had awoke from her torpor, and
with a heart overflowing I went to her bedside. Her eyes were full of
madness! She spoke; but the brain was gone!

I will not inflict a description of the terrible trial of seven days of
brain fever, with its attendant horrors. The rain poured in torrents,
and day after day we were forced to travel, for want of provisions, not
being able to remain in one position. Every now and then we shot a few
guinea-fowl, but rarely; there was no game, although the country was
most favourable. In the forests we procured wild honey, but the deserted
villages contained no supplies, as we were on the frontier of Uganda,
and M'tese's people had plundered the district. For seven nights I had
not slept, and although as weak as a reed, I had marched by the side of
her litter. Nature could resist no longer. We reached a village one
evening; she had been in violent convulsions successively--it was all
but over. I laid her down on her litter within a hut; covered her with a
Scotch plaid; and I fell upon my mat insensible, worn out with sorrow
and fatigue. My men put a new handle to the pickaxe that evening, and
sought for a dry spot to dig her grave!



The sun had risen when I woke. I had slept, and, horrified as the idea
flashed upon me that she must be dead, and that I had not been with her,
I started up. She lay upon her bed, pale as marble, and with that calm
serenity that the features assume when the cares of life no longer act
upon the mind, and the body rests in death. The dreadful thought bowed
me down; but as I gazed upon her in fear, her chest gently heaved, not
with the convulsive throbs of fever, but naturally. She was asleep; and
when at a sudden noise she opened her eyes, they were calm and clear.
She was saved! When not a ray of hope remained, God alone knows what
helped us. The gratitude of that moment I will not attempt to describe.

Fortunately there were many fowls in this village; we found several
nests of fresh eggs in the straw which littered the hut; these were most
acceptable after our hard fare, and produced a good supply of soup.

Having rested for two days, we again moved forward, Mrs. Baker being
carried on a litter. We now continued on elevated ground, on the north
side of a valley running from west to east, about sixteen miles broad,
and exceedingly swampy. The rocks composing the ridge upon which we
travelled due west were all gneiss and quartz, with occasional breaks,
forming narrow valleys, all of which were swamps choked with immense
papyrus rushes, that made the march very fatiguing. In one of these
muddy bottoms one of my riding oxen that was ill, stuck fast, and we
were obliged to abandon it, intending to send a number of natives to
drag it out with ropes.

On arrival at a village, our guide started about fifty men for this
purpose, while we continued our journey. That evening we reached a
village belonging to a headman, and very superior to most that we had
passed on the route from M'rooli: large sugarcanes of the blue variety
were growing in the fields, and I had seen coffee growing wild in the
forest in the vicinity. I was sitting at the door of the hut about two
hours after sunset, smoking a pipe of excellent tobacco, when I suddenly
heard a great singing in chorus advancing rapidly from a distance
towards the entrance of the courtyard. At first I imagined that the
natives intended dancing, which was an infliction that I wished to
avoid, as I was tired and feverish; but in a few minutes the boy Saat
introduced a headman, who told me that the riding ox had died in the
swamp where he had stuck fast in the morning, and that the natives had
brought his body to me. "What!" I replied, "brought his body, the entire
ox, to me?" "The entire ox as he died is delivered at your door,"
answered the headman; "I could not allow any of your property to be lost
upon the road. Had the body of the ox not been delivered to you, we
might have been suspected of having stolen it." I went to the entrance
of the courtyard, and amidst a crowd of natives I found the entire ox
exactly as he had died. They had carried him about eight miles on a
litter, which they had constructed of two immensely long posts with
cross-pieces of bamboo, upon which they had laid the body. They would
not eat the flesh, and seemed quite disgusted at the idea, as they
replied that "it had died."

It is a curious distinction of the Unyoro people, that they are
peculiarly clean feeders, and will not touch either the flesh of animals
that have died, neither of those that are sick; nor will they eat the
crocodile. They asked for no remuneration for bringing their heavy load
so great a distance; and they departed in good humour as a matter of

Never were such contradictory people as these creatures; they had
troubled us dreadfully during the journey, as they would suddenly
exclaim against the weight of their loads, and throw them down, and bolt
into the high grass; yet now they had of their own free will delivered
to me a whole dead ox from a distance of eight miles, precisely as
though it had been an object of the greatest value.

The name of this village was Parkani. For several days past our guides
had told us that we were very near to the lake, and we were now assured
that we should reach it on the morrow. I had noticed a lofty range of
mountains at an immense distance west, and I had imagined that the lake
lay on the other side of this chain; but I was now informed that those
mountains formed the western frontier of the M'-wootan N'zige, and that
the lake was actually within a march of Parkani. I could not believe it
possible that we were so near the object of our search. The guide
Rabonga now appeared, and declared that if we started early on the
following morning we should be able to wash in the lake by noon!

That night I hardly slept. For years I had striven to reach the "sources
of the Nile." In my nightly dreams during that arduous voyage I had
always failed, but after so much hard work and perseverance the cup was
at my very lips, and I was to drink at the mysterious fountain before
another sun should set--at that great reservoir of Nature that ever
since creation had baffled all discovery. I had hoped, and prayed, and
striven through all kinds of difficulties, in sickness, starvation, and
fatigue, to reach that hidden source; and when it had appeared
impossible, we had both determined to die upon the road rather than
return defeated. Was it possible that it was so near, and that tomorrow
we could say, "the work is accomplished?"

The 14th March.--The sun had not risen when I was spurring my ox after
the guide, who, having been promised a double handful of beads on
arrival at the lake, had caught the enthusiasm of the moment. The day
broke beautifully clear, and having crossed a deep valley between the
hills, we toiled up the opposite slope. I hurried to the summit. The
glory of our prize burst suddenly upon me! There, like a sea of
quicksilver, lay far beneath the grand expanse of water,--a boundless
sea horizon on the south and southwest, glittering in the noonday sun;
and on the west, at fifty or sixty miles' distance, blue mountains rose
from the bosom of the lake to a height of about 7,000 feet above its

It is impossible to describe the triumph of that moment;--here was the
reward for all our labour--for the years of tenacity with which we had
toiled through Africa. England had won the sources of the Nile! Long
before I reached this spot, I had arranged to give three cheers with all
our men in English style in honour of the discovery, but now that I
looked down upon the great inland sea lying nestled in the very heart of
Africa, and thought how vainly mankind had sought these sources
throughout so many ages, and reflected that I had been the humble
instrument permitted to unravel this portion of the great mystery when
so many greater than I had failed, I felt too serious to vent my
feelings in vain cheers for victory, and I sincerely thanked God for
having guided and supported us through all dangers to the good end. I
was about 1,500 feet above the lake, and I looked down from the steep
granite cliff upon those welcome waters--upon that vast reservoir
which nourished Egypt and brought fertility where all was wilderness--
upon that great source so long hidden from mankind; that source of
bounty and of blessings to millions of human beings; and as one of the
greatest objects in nature, I determined to honour it with a great name.
As an imperishable memorial of one loved and mourned by our gracious
Queen and deplored by every Englishman, I called this great lake "the
Albert N'yanza." The Victoria and the Albert lakes are the two Sources
of the Nile.

The zigzag path to descend to the lake was so steep and dangerous that
we were forced to leave our oxen with a guide, who was to take them to
Magungo and wait for our arrival. We commenced the descent of the steep
pass on foot. I led the way, grasping a stout bamboo. My wife in extreme
weakness tottered down the pass, supporting herself upon my shoulder,
and stopping to rest every twenty paces. After a toilsome descent of
about two hours, weak with years of fever, but for the moment
strengthened by success, we gained the level plain below the cliff. A
walk of about a mile through flat sandy meadows of fine turf
interspersed with trees and bush, brought us to the water's edge. The
waves were rolling upon a white pebbly beach: I rushed into the lake,
and thirsty with heat and fatigue, with a heart full of gratitude, I
drank deeply from the Sources of the Nile. Within a quarter of a mile of
the lake was a fishing village named Vacovia, in which we now
established ourselves. Everything smelt of fish--and everything looked
like fishing; not the "gentle art" of England with rod and fly, but
harpoons were leaning against the huts, and lines almost as thick as the
little finger were hanging up to dry, to which were attached iron hooks
of a size that said much for the monsters of the Albert lake. On
entering the hut I found a prodigious quantity of tackle; the lines were
beautifully made of the fibre of the plantain stem, and were exceedingly
elastic, and well adapted to withstand the first rush of a heavy fish;
the hooks were very coarse, but well barbed, and varied in size from two
to six inches. A number of harpoons and floats for hippopotami were
arranged in good order, and the tout ensemble of the hut showed that the
owner was a sportsman.

The harpoons for hippopotami were precisely the same pattern as those
used by the Hamran Arabs on the Taka frontier of Abyssinia, having a
narrow blade of three-quarters of an inch in width, with only one barb.
The rope fitted to the harpoon was beautifully made of plantain fibre,
and the float was a huge piece of ambatch-wood about fifteen inches in
diameter. They speared the hippopotamus from canoes, and these large
floats were necessary to be easily distinguished in the rough waters of
the lake.

My men were perfectly astounded at the appearance of the lake. The
journey had been so long, and "hope deferred" had so completely sickened
their hearts, that they had long since disbelieved in the existence of
the lake, and they were persuaded that I was leading them to the sea.
They now looked at the lake with amazement--two of them had already
seen the sea at Alexandria, and they unhesitatingly declared that this
was the sea, but that it was not salt.

Vacovia was a miserable place, and the soil was so impregnated with
salt, that no cultivation was possible. Salt was the natural product of
the country; and the population were employed in its manufacture, which
constituted the business of the lake shores--being exchanged for
supplies from the interior. I went to examine the pits: these were about
six feet deep, from which was dug a black sandy mud that was placed in
large earthenware jars; these were supported upon frames, and mixed with
water, which filtering rapidly through small holes in the bottom, was
received in jars beneath: this water was again used with fresh mud until
it became a strong brine, when it was boiled and evaporated. The salt
was white, but very bitter. I imagine that it has been formed by the
decay of aquatic plants that have been washed ashore by the waves;
decomposing, they have formed a mud deposit, and much potash is combined
with the salt. The flat sandy meadow that extends from the lake for
about a mile to the foot of the precipitous cliffs of 1,500 feet,
appears to have formed at one period the bottom of the lake--in fact,
the flat land of Vacovia looks like a bay, as the mountain cliffs about
five miles south and north descend abruptly to the water, and the flat
is the bottom of a horseshoe formed by the cliffs. Were the level of the
lake fifteen feet higher, this flat would be flooded to the base of the

I procured a couple of kids from the chief of the village for some blue
beads, and having received an ox as a present from the headman of
Parkani in return for a number of beads and bracelets, I gave my men a
grand feast in honour of the discovery; I made them an address,
explaining to them how much trouble we should have been saved had my
whole party behaved well from the first commencement and trusted to my
guidance, as we should have arrived here twelve mouths ago; at the same
time I told them, that it was a greater honour to have achieved the task
with so small a force as thirteen men, and that as the lake was thus
happily reached, and Mrs. Baker was restored to health after so terrible
a danger, I should forgive them past offences and wipe out all that had
been noted against them in my journal. This delighted my people, who
ejaculated "El hamd el Illah!" (thank God!) and fell to immediately at
their beef.

At sunrise on the following morning I took the compass, and accompanied
by the chief of the village, my guide Rabonga, and the woman Bacheeta, I
went to the borders of the lake to survey the country. It was
beautifully clear, and with a powerful telescope I could distinguish two
large waterfalls that cleft the sides of the mountains on the opposite
shore. Although the outline of the mountains was distinct upon the
bright blue sky, and the dark shades upon their sides denoted deep
gorges, I could not distinguish other features than the two great falls,
which looked like threads of silver on the dark face of the mountains.
No base had been visible, even from an elevation of 1,500 feet above the
water level, on my first view of the lake, but the chain of lofty
mountains on the west appeared to rise suddenly from the water. This
appearance must have been due to the great distance, the base being
below the horizon, as dense columns of smoke were ascending apparently
from the surface of the water: this must have been produced by the
burning of prairies at the foot of the mountains. The chief assured me
that large canoes had been known to cross over from the other side, but
that it required four days and nights of hard rowing to accomplish the
voyage, and that many boats had been lost in the attempt. The canoes of
Unyoro were not adapted for so dangerous a journey; but the western
shore of the lake was comprised in the great kingdom of Malegga,
governed by King Kajoro, who possessed large canoes, and traded with
Kamrasi from a point opposite to Magungo, where the lake was contracted
to the width of one day's voyage. He described Malegga as a very
powerful country, and of greater extent than either Unyora or Uganda.
. . . South of Malegga was a country named Tori, governed by a king of
the same name: beyond that country to the south on the western shore
no intelligence could be obtained from any one.

The lake was known to extend as far south as Karagwe; and the old story
was repeated, that Rumanika, the king of that country, was in the habit
of sending ivory-hunting parties to the lake at Utumbi, and that
formerly they had navigated the lake to Magungo. This was a curious
confirmation of the report given me by Speke at Gondokoro, who wrote:
"Rumanika is constantly in the habit of sending ivory-hunting parties to

The eastern shores of the lake were, from north to south, occupied by
Chopi, Unyoro, Uganda, Utumbi, and Karagwe: from the last point, which
could not be less than about two degrees south latitude, the lake was
reported to turn suddenly to the west, and to continue in that direction
for an unknown distance. North of Malegga, on the west of the lake, was
a small country called M'Caroli; then Koshi, on the west side of the
Nile at its exit from the lake; and on the east side of the Nile was the
Madi, opposite to Koshi. Both the guide and the chief of Vacovia
informed me that we should be taken by canoes to Magungo, to the point
at which the Somerset that we had left at Karuma joined the lake; but
that we could not ascend it, as it was a succession of cataracts the
whole way from Karuma until within a short distance of Magungo. The exit
of the Nile from the lake at Koshi was navigable for a considerable
distance, and canoes could descend the river as far as the Madi.

They both agreed that the level of the lake was never lower than at
present, and that it never rose higher than a mark upon the beach that
accounted for an increase of about four feet. The beach was perfectly
clean sand, upon which the waves rolled like those of the sea, throwing
up weeds precisely as seaweed may be seen upon the English shore. It was
a grand sight to look upon this vast reservoir of the mighty Nile, and
to watch the heavy swell tumbling upon the beach, while far to the
southwest the eye searched as vainly for a bound as though upon the
Atlantic. It was with extreme emotion that I enjoyed this glorious
scene. My wife, who had followed me so devotedly, stood by my side pale
and exhausted--a wreck upon the shores of the great Albert lake that
we had so long striven to reach. No European foot had ever trod upon its
sand, nor had the eyes of a white man ever scanned its vast expanse of
water. We were the first; and this was the key to the great secret that
even Julius Caesar yearned to unravel, but in vain. Here was the great
basin of the Nile that received EVERY DROP OF WATER, even from the
passing shower to the roaring mountain torrent that drained from Central
Africa towards the north. This was the great reservoir of the Nile!

The first coup d'oeil from the summit of the cliff 1,500 feet above the
level had suggested what a closer examination confirmed. The lake was a
vast depression far below the general level of the country, surrounded
by precipitous cliffs, and bounded on the west and southwest by great
ranges of mountains from five to seven thousand feet above the level of
its waters--thus it was the one great reservoir into which everything
MUST drain; and from this vast rocky cistern the Nile made its exit, a
giant in its birth. It was a grand arrangement of Nature for the birth
of so mighty and important a stream as the river Nile. The Victoria
N'yanza of Speke formed a reservoir at a high altitude, receiving a
drainage from the west by the Kitangule river, and Speke had seen the
M'fumbiro mountain at a great distance as a peak among other mountains
from which the streams descended, which by uniting formed the main river
Kitangule, the principal feeder of the Victoria lake from the west, in
about the 2 degrees S. latitude: thus the same chain of mountains that
fed the Victoria on the east must have a watershed to the west and north
that would flow into the Albert lake. The general drainage of the Nile
basin tending from south to north, and the Albert lake extending much
farther north than the Victoria, it receives the river from the latter
lake, and thus monopolizes the entire headwaters of the Nile. The Albert
is the grand reservoir, while the Victoria is the eastern source, the
parent streams that form these lakes are from the same origin, and the
Kitangule sheds its waters to the Victoria to be received eventually by
the Albert, precisely as the highlands of M'fumbiro and the Blue
Mountains pour their northern drainage direct into the Albert lake. The
entire Nile system, from the first Abyssinian tributary the Atbara in N.
latitude 17 deg. 37 min. even to the equator, exhibits a uniform
drainage from S.E. to N.W., every tributary flowing in that direction to
the main stream of the Nile; this system is persisted in by the Victoria
Nile, which having continued a northerly course from its exit from the
Victoria lake to Karuma in lat. 2 degrees 16' N. turns suddenly to the
west and meets the Albert lake at Magungo; thus, a line drawn from
Magungo to the Ripon Falls from the Victoria lake will prove the general
slope of the country to be the same as exemplified throughout the entire
system of the eastern basin of the Nile, tending from S.E. to N.W.

That many considerable affluents flow into the Albert lake there is no
doubt. The two waterfalls seen by telescope upon the western shore
descending from the Blue Mountains must be most important streams, or
they could not have been distinguished at so great a distance as fifty
or sixty miles; the natives assured me that very many streams, varying
in size, descended the mountains upon all sides into the general

I returned to my hut: the flat turf in the vicinity of the village was
strewn with the bones of immense fish, hippopotami, and crocodiles; but
the latter reptiles were merely caught in revenge for any outrage
committed by them, as their flesh was looked upon with disgust by the
natives of Unyoro. They were so numerous and voracious in the lake, that
the natives cautioned us not to allow the women to venture into the
water even to the knees when filling their water jars.

It was most important that we should hurry forward on our journey, as
our return to England depended entirely upon the possibility of reaching
Gondokoro before the end of April, otherwise the boats would have
departed. I impressed upon our guide and the chief that we must be
furnished with large canoes immediately, as we had no time to spare, and
I started off Rabonga to Magungo, where he was to meet us with our
riding oxen. The animals would be taken by a path upon the high ground;
there was no possibility of travelling near the lake, as the cliffs in
many places descended abruptly into deep water. I made him a present of
a large quantity of beads that I had promised to give him upon reaching
the lake; he took his departure, agreeing to meet us at Magungo with our
oxen, and to have porters in readiness to convey us direct to Shooa.

On the following morning not one of our party could rise from the
ground. Thirteen men, the boy Saat, four women, and we ourselves, were
all down with fever. The air was hot and close, and the country
frightfully unhealthy. The natives assured us that all strangers
suffered in a similar manner, and that no one could live at Vacovia
without repeated attacks of fever.

The delay in supplying the boats was most annoying; every hour was
precious; and the lying natives deceived us in every manner possible,
delaying us purposely in the hope of extorting beads.

The latitude of Vacovia was 1 degree 15 min. N.; longitude 30 degrees 50
min. E. My farthest southern point on the road from M'rooli was latitude
1 degree 13 minutes. We were now to turn our faces towards the north,
and every day's journey would bring us nearer home. But where was home?
As I looked at the map of the world, and at the little red spot that
represented old England far, far away, and then gazed on the wasted form
and haggard face of my wife and at my own attenuated frame, I hardly
dared hope for home again. We had now been three years ever toiling
onwards, and having completed the exploration of all the Abyssinian
affluents of the Nile, in itself an arduous undertaking, we were now
actually at the Nile head. We had neither health nor supplies, and the
great journey lay all before us.

Notwithstanding my daily entreaties that boats might be supplied without
delay, eight days were passed at Vacovia, during which time the whole
party suffered more or less from fever. At length canoes were reported
to have arrived, and I was requested to inspect them. They were merely
single trees neatly hollowed out, but very inferior in size to the large
canoes on the Nile at M'rooli. The largest boat was thirty-two feet
long, but I selected for ourselves one of twenty-six feet, but wider and

Fortunately I had purchased at Khartoum an English screw auger 1 1/4
inch in diameter, and this tool I had brought with me, foreseeing some
difficulties in boating arrangements. I now bored holes two feet apart
in the gunwale of the canoe, and having prepared long elastic wands, I
spanned them in arches across the boat and lashed them to the auger
holes. This completed, I secured them by diagonal pieces, and concluded
by thatching the framework with a thin coating of reeds to protect us
from the sun; over the thatch I stretched ox-hides well drawn and
lashed, so as to render our roof waterproof. This arrangement formed a
tortoise-like protection that would be proof against sun and rain. I
then arranged some logs of exceedingly light wood along the bottom of
the canoe, and covered them with a thick bed of grass; this was covered
with an Abyssinian tanned ox-hide, and arranged with Scotch plaids. The
arrangements completed, afforded a cabin, perhaps not as luxurious as
those of the Peninsular and Oriental Company's vessels, but both rain-
and sun-proof, which was the great desideratum. In this rough vessel we
embarked on a calm morning, when hardly a ripple moved the even surface
of the lake. Each canoe had four rowers, two at either end. Their
paddles were beautifully shaped, hewn from one piece of wood, the blade
being rather wider than that of an ordinary spade, but concave in the
inner side, so as to give the rower a great hold upon the water. Having
purchased with some difficulty a few fowls and dried fish, I put the
greater number of my men in the larger canoe; and with Richarn, Saat,
and the women, including the interpreter Bacheeta, we led the way, and
started from Vacovia on the broad surface of the Albert N'yanza. The
rowers paddled bravely; and the canoe, although heavily laden, went
along at about four miles an hour. There was no excitement in Vacovia,
and the chief and two or three attendants were all who came to see us
off; they had a suspicion that bystanders might be invited to assist as
rowers, therefore the entire population of the village had deserted.

At leaving the shore, the chief had asked for a few beads, which, on
receiving, he threw into the lake to propitiate the inhabitants of the
deep, that no hippopotami should upset the canoe.

Our first day's voyage was delightful. The lake was calm, the sky
cloudy, and the scenery most lovely. At times the mountains on the west
coast were not discernible, and the lake appeared of indefinite width.
We coasted within a hundred yards of the east shore; sometimes we passed
flats of sand and bush of perhaps a mile in width from the water to the
base of the mountain cliffs; at other times we passed directly
underneath stupendous heights of about 1,500 feet, which ascended
abruptly from the deep, so that we fended the canoes off the sides, and
assisted our progress by pushing against the rock with bamboos. These
precipitous rocks were all primitive, frequently of granite and gneiss,
and mixed in many places with red porphyry. In the clefts were beautiful
ever-greens of every tint, including giant euphorbias; and wherever a
rivulet or spring glittered through the dark foliage of a ravine, it was
shaded by the graceful and feathery wild date.

Great numbers of hippopotami were sporting in the water, but I refused
to fire at them, as the death of such a monster would be certain to
delay us for at least a day, as the boatmen would not forsake the flesh.
Crocodiles were exceedingly numerous both in and out of the water;
wherever a sandy beach invited them to bask, several monsters were to be
seen, like trunks of trees, lying in the sun. On the edge of the beach
above high-water mark were low bushes, and from this cover the
crocodiles came scuttling down into the water, frightened at the
approach of the canoe. There were neither ducks nor geese, as there were
no feeding-grounds: deep water was close to the shore.

Our boatmen worked well, and long after dark we continued our voyage,
until the canoe was suddenly steered to the shore, and we grounded upon
a steep beach of perfectly clean sand. We were informed that we were
near a village, and the boatmen proposed to leave us here for the night,
while they should proceed in search of provisions. Seeing that they
intended to take the paddles with them, I ordered these important
implements to be returned to the boats, and a guard set over them, while
several of my men should accompany the boatmen to the reported village.
In the meantime, we arranged our angareps upon the beach, lighted a fire
with some drift-wood, and prepared for the night. The men shortly
returned, accompanied by several natives, with two fowls and one small
kid. The latter was immediately consigned to the large copper pot, and I
paid about three times its value to the natives, to encourage them to
bring supplies on the following morning.

While dinner was preparing, I took an observation, and found our
latitude was 1 degree 33 minutes N. We had travelled well, having made
16 minutes direct northing.

On the first crowing of our solitary cock, we prepared to start;--the
boatmen were gone!

As soon as it was light, I took two men and went to the village,
supposing they were sleeping in their huts. Within three hundred paces
of the boats, upon a fine turfy sward, on rising ground, were three
miserable fishing huts. These constituted the village. Upon arrival, no
one was to be found: the natives had deserted. A fine tract of broken
grassland formed a kind of amphitheatre beneath the range of cliffs.
These I scanned with the telescope, but I could trace no signs of man.
We were evidently deserted by our boatmen, and the natives had
accompanied them to avoid being pressed into our service.

On my return to the canoes with this intelligence, my men were quite in
despair: they could not believe that the boatmen had really absconded,
and they begged me to allow them to search the country in the hope of
finding another village. Strictly forbidding any man to absent himself
from the boats, I congratulated ourselves on having well guarded the
paddles, which there was no doubt would have been stolen by the boatmen
had I allowed them to remain in their possession. I agreed to wait until
3 P.M. Should the boatmen not return by that hour, I intended to proceed
without them. There was no dependence to be placed upon these
contradictory natives. Kindness was entirely thrown away upon them. We
had Kamrasi's orders for boats and men, but in this distant frontier the
natives did not appear to attach much importance to their king:
nevertheless, we were dependent upon them. Every hour was valuable, as
our only chance of reaching Gondokoro in time for the boats depended
upon rapidity of travelling. At the moment when I wished to press
forward, delays occurred that were most trying.

Three P.M. arrived, but no signs of natives. "Jump into the boats, my
lads!" I cried to my men; "I know the route." The canoes were pushed
from the shore, and my people manned the paddles. Five of my men were
professional boatmen, but no one understood the management of paddles
except myself. It was in vain that I attempted to instruct my crew. Pull
they certainly did; but--ye gods who watch over boats!--round and
round we pirouetted, the two canoes waltzing and polking together in
their great ball-room, the Albert N'yanza. The voyage would have lasted
ad infinitum. After three hours' exertion, we reached a point of rock
that stretched as a promontory into the lake. This bluff point was
covered with thick jungle to the summit, and at the base was a small
plot of sandy beach, from which there was no exit except by water, as
the cliff descended sheer to the lake upon either side. It poured with
rain, and with much difficulty we lighted a fire. Mosquitoes were in
clouds, and the night was so warm that it was impossible to sleep
beneath the blankets. Arranging the angareps upon the sand, with the raw
oxhides as coverlets, we lay down in the rain. It was too hot to sleep
in the boat, especially as the temporary cabin was a perfect mosquito
nest. That night I considered the best plan to be adopted, and resolved
to adapt a paddle as a rudder on the following morning. It rained
without ceasing the whole night; and, at break of day, the scene was
sufficiently miserable. The men lay on the wet sand, covered up with
their raw hides, soaked completely through, but still fast asleep, from
which nothing would arouse them. My wife was also wet and wretched. It
still rained. I was soon at work.

Cutting a thwart in the stern of the canoe with my hunting-knife, I
bored a hole beneath it with the large auger, and securely lashed a
paddle with a thong of raw hide that I cut off my well-saturated
coverlet. I made a most effective rudder. None of my men had assisted
me; they had remained beneath their soaked skins, smoking their short
pipes, while I was hard at work. They were perfectly apathetic with
despair, as their ridiculous efforts at paddling on the previous evening
had completely extinguished all hope within them. They were quite
resigned to their destiny, and considered themselves as sacrificed to

I threw them the auger, and explained that I was ready to start, and
should wait for no one; and, cutting two bamboos, I arranged a mast and
yard, upon which I fitted a large Scotch plaid for a sail. We shoved off
the boat; fortunately we had two or three spare paddles, therefore the
rudder paddle was not missed. I took the helm, and instructed my men to
think of nothing but pulling hard. Away we went as straight as an arrow,
to the intense delight of my people. There was very little wind, but a
light air filled the plaid and eased us gently forward.

Upon rounding the promontory we found ourselves in a large bay, the
opposite headland being visible at about eight or ten miles' distance.
Should we coast the bay it would occupy two days. There was another
small promontory farther in shore; I therefore resolved to steer direct
for that point before venturing in a straight line from one headland to
the other.

Upon looking behind me, I observed our canoe consort about a mile
astern, amusing herself with pointing to all parts of the compass--the
lazy men not having taken the trouble to adapt the rudder as I had
ordered them.

We travelled at about four miles an hour, and my people were so elated
that they declared themselves ready to row, without assistance, to the
Nile junction. The water was perfectly calm, and upon rounding the next
promontory I was rejoiced to see a village in a snug little bay, and a
great number of canoes drawn up on the sandy beach, and others engaged
in fishing. A number of natives were standing on the sand close to the
water's edge, about half a mile from us, and I steered directly towards
them. Upon our close approach, they immediately sat down, and held up
their paddles above their heads; this was an unmistakeable sign that
they intended to volunteer as boatmen, and I steered the boat upon the
beach. No sooner had we grounded, than they rushed into the water and
boarded us, most good-humouredly pulling down our mast and sail, which
appeared to them highly absurd (as they never use sails); and they
explained that they had seen on the other side the headland that we were
strangers, and their chief had ordered them to assist us. I now begged
them to send six men to the assistance of the lagging canoe; this they
promised to do, and, after waiting for some time, we started at a
rattling pace to pull across the wide bay from point to point.

When in the centre of the bay we were about four miles from land. At
this time a swell set in from the southwest. While at Vacovia I had
observed, that although the mornings were calm, a strong wind generally
arose at 1 P.M. from S.W. that brought a heavy sea upon the beach. I was
now afraid that we should be subject to a gale before we could reach the
opposite headland, as the rising swell betokened wind from the old
quarter, especially as dark thunderclouds were gathering on the western

I told Bacheeta to urge the rowers forward, as our heavy canoe would
certainly be swamped in the event of a gale. I looked at my watch: it
was past noon, and I felt sure that we should catch a south-wester by
about one o'clock. My men looked rather green at the ominous black
clouds and the increasing swell, but exclaimed, "Inshallah, there will
be no wind." With due deference to their faith in predestination, I
insisted upon their working the spare paddles, as our safety depended
upon reaching the shore before the approaching storm. They had learnt to
believe in my opinion, and they exerted themselves to their utmost. The
old boat rushed through the water, but the surface of the lake was
rapidly changing; the western shore was no longer visible, the water was
dark, and innumerable white crests tipped the waves. The canoe laboured
heavily, and occasionally shipped water, which was immediately baled out
with gourd shells by my men, who now exclaimed, "Wah Illahi el kalam
betar el Hawaga sahhe!" (By Allah, what the Hawaga says is true!) We
were within about a mile and a half of the point for which we had been
steering, when we could no longer keep our course; we had shipped
several heavy seas, and had we not been well supplied with utensils for
baling, we should have been swamped. Several bursts of thunder and vivid
lightning were followed by a tremendous gale from about the W.S.W.
before which we were obliged to run for the shore.

In a short space of time a most dangerous sea arose, and on several
occasions the waves broke against the arched covering of the canoe,
which happily protected her in a slight degree, although we were
drenched with water.

Every one was at work baling with all their might; I had no idea that
the canoe could live. Down came the rain in torrents, swept along with a
terrific wind; nothing was discernible except the high cliffs looming
through the storm, and I only trusted that we might arrive upon a sandy
beach, and not upon bluff rocks. We went along at a grand rate, as the
arched cover of the canoe acted somewhat as a sail; and it was an
exciting moment when we at length neared the shore, and approached the
foaming breakers that were rolling wildly upon (happily) a sandy beach
beneath the cliffs. I told my men to be ready to jump out the moment
that we should touch the sand, and to secure the canoe by hauling the
head up the beach. All were ready, and we rushed through the surf, the
native boatmen paddling like steam engines. "Here comes a wave; look
out!" and just as we almost touched the beach, a heavy breaker broke
over the black women who were sitting in the stern, and swamped the
boat. My men jumped into the water like ducks, and the next moment we
were all rolled in confusion on the sandy shore. The men stuck well to
the boat, and hauled her firmly on the sand, while my wife crawled out
of her primitive cabin like a caddis worm from its nest, half drowned,
and jumped upon the shore. "El hamd el Illah!" (thank God!) we all
exclaimed; "now for a pull--all together!" and having so far secured
the boat that she could not be washed away, I ordered the men to
discharge the cargo, and then to pull her out of the lake. Everything
was destroyed except the gunpowder; that was all in canisters. But where
was the other canoe? I made up my mind that it must be lost, for
although much longer than our boat, it was lower in the water. After
some time and much anxiety, we perceived it running for the shore about
half a mile in our rear; it was in the midst of the breakers, and
several times I lost sight of it; but the old tree behaved well, and
brought the crew safe to the shore.

Fortunately there was a village not far from the spot where we landed,
and we took possession of a hut, lighted a good fire, and wrapped
ourselves in Scotch plaids and blankets wrung out, while our clothes
were being dried, as there was not a dry rag in our possession.

We could procure nothing to eat, except a few dried fish that, not
having been salted, were rather high flavoured. Our fowls, and also two
pet quails, were drowned in the boat during the storm; however, the
drowned fowls were made into a stew, and with a blazing fire, and clean
straw to sleep upon, the night's rest was perhaps as perfect as in the
luxury of home.

On the following morning we were detained by bad weather, as a heavy sea
was still running, and we were determined not to risk our canoes in
another gale. It was a beautiful neighbourhood, enlivened by a
magnificent waterfall that fell about a thousand feet from the
mountains, as the Kaiigiri river emptied itself into the lake in a
splendid volume of water. This river rises in the great marsh that we
had crossed on our way from M'rooli to Vacovia. In this neighbourhood we
gathered some mushrooms--the true Agaricus campestras of Europe--
which were a great luxury.

In the afternoon the sea subsided, and we again started. We had not
proceeded above three miles from the village, when I observed an
elephant bathing in the lake; he was in water so deep, that he stood
with only the top of his head and trunk above the surface. As we
approached, he sunk entirely, only the tip of his trunk remaining above
the water. I ordered the boatmen to put the canoe as close to him as
possible, and we passed within thirty yards, just as he raised his head
from his luxurious bath.

I was sorely tempted to fire, but remembering my resolve, refrained from
disturbing him, and he slowly quitted the lake, and entered the thick
jungle. A short distance beyond this spot two large crocodiles were
lying upon the beach asleep; but upon the approach of the canoe they
plunged into the water, and raised their heads above the surface at
about twenty-five paces. I was uncertain about my Fletcher rifle, as it
had been exposed to so much wet; therefore, to discharge it, I took a
shot at the nearest crocodile just behind the eye. The little rifle was
in perfect order--thanks to Eley's "double waterproof central
firecaps," which will resist all weathers--and the bullet striking the
exact spot, the great reptile gave a convulsive lash with his tail, and
turning on his back, with his paws above the water, he gradually sunk.
The native boatmen were dreadfully frightened at the report of the
rifle, to the great amusement of their countrywoman, Bacheeta, and it
was with difficulty that I persuaded them to direct the canoe to the
exact spot. Being close to the shore, the water was not more than eight
feet deep, and so beautifully clear, that I could, when just above the
crocodile, perceive it lying at the bottom on its belly, and distinguish
the bloody head that had been shattered by the bullet. While one of my
men prepared a slip-knot, I took a long lance that belonged to a
boatman, and drove it deep through the tough scales into the back of the
neck; hauling gently, upon the lance I raised the head near to the
surface, and slipping the noose over it, the crocodile was secured. It
appeared to be quite dead, and the flesh would be a bonne-bouche for my
men; therefore we towed it to the shore. It was a fine monster, about
sixteen feet long; and although it had appeared dead, it bit furiously
at a thick male bamboo which I ran into its mouth to prevent it from
snapping during the process of decapitation. The natives regarded my men
with disgust as they cut huge lumps of the choicest morsels and stowed
them in the canoes; this did not occupy more than a quarter of an hour,
and hurrying on board, we continued our voyage, well provided with meat
--for all who liked it. To my taste nothing can be more disgusting than
crocodile flesh. I have eaten almost everything; but although I have
tasted crocodile, I could never succeed in swallowing it; the combined
flavour of bad fish, rotten flesh, and musk, is the carte de diner
offered to the epicure.

That evening we saw an elephant with an enormous pair of tusks; he was
standing on a hill about a quarter of a mile from the boats as we
halted. I was aided to resist this temptation by an attack of fever: it
rained as usual, and no village being in the neighbourhood, we
bivouacked in the rain on the beach in clouds of mosquitoes.

The discomforts of this lake voyage were great; in the day we were
cramped in our small cabin like two tortoises in one shell, and at night
it almost invariably rained. We were accustomed to the wet, but no
acclimatisation can render the European body mosquito-proof; thus we had
little rest. It was hard work for me, but for my unfortunate wife, who
had hardly recovered from her attack of coup de soleil, such hardships
were most distressing.

On the following morning the lake was calm, and we started early. The
monotony of the voyage was broken by the presence of several fine herds
of elephants, consisting entirely of bulls. I counted fourteen of these
grand animals, all with large tusks, bathing together in a small shallow
lake beneath the mountains, having a communication with the main lake
through a sandy beach; these elephants were only knee deep, and having
been bathing they were perfectly clean, and their colossal black forms
and large white tusks formed a beautiful picture in the calm lake
beneath the lofty cliffs. It was a scene in harmony with the solitude of
the Nile Sources--the wilderness of rocks and forest, the Blue
Mountains in the distance, and the great fountain of nature adorned with
the mighty beasts of Africa; the elephants in undisturbed grandeur, and
hippopotami disporting their huge forms in the great parent of the
Egyptian river.

I ordered the boatmen to run the canoe ashore, that we might land and
enjoy the scene. We then discovered seven elephants on the shore within
about two hundred yards of us in high grass, while the main herd of
fourteen splendid bulls bathed majestically in the placid lake,
showering cold streams from their trunks over their backs and shoulders.
There was no time to lose, as every hour was important: quitting the
shore, we once more paddled along the coast.

Day after day passed, the time occupied in travelling from sunrise to
midday, at which hour a strong gale with rain and thunder occurred
regularly, and obliged us to haul our canoes ashore. The country was
very thinly inhabited, and the villages were poor and wretched; the
people most inhospitable. At length we arrived at a considerable town
situated in a beautiful bay beneath precipitous cliffs, the grassy sides
of which were covered with flocks of goats; this was Eppigoya, and the
boatmen that we had procured from the last village were to deliver us in
this spot. The delays in procuring boatmen were most annoying: it
appeared that the king had sent orders that each village was to supply
the necessary rowers; thus we were paddled from place to place, at each
of which the men were changed, and no amount of payment would induce
them to continue with us to the end of our voyage.

Landing at Eppigoya, we were at once met by the headman, and I proposed
that he should sell us a few kids, as the idea of a mutton chop was most
appetizing. Far from supplying us with this luxury, the natives
immediately drove their flocks away, and after receiving a large present
of beads, the headman brought us a present of a sick lamb almost at the
point of natural death, and merely skin and bone. Fortunately there were
fowls in thousands, as the natives did not use them for food; these we
purchased for one blue bead (monjoor) each, which in current value was
equal to 250 fowls for a shilling. Eggs were brought in baskets
containing several hundreds, but they were all poultry.

At Eppigoya the best salt was produced, and we purchased a good
supply--also some dried fish; thus provisioned, we procured boatmen, and
again started on our voyage.

Hardly had we proceeded two hundred yards, when we were steered direct
to the shore below the town, and our boatmen coolly laid down their
paddles and told us that they had performed their share, and that as
Eppigoya was divided into four parts under separate headmen, each
portion would supply rowers!

Ridiculous as this appeared, there was no contesting their decision; and
thus we were handed over from one to the other, and delayed for about
three hours in changing boatmen four times within a distance of less
than a mile! The perfect absurdity of such a regulation, combined with
the delay when time was most precious, was trying to the temper. At
every change, the headman accompanied the boatmen to our canoe, and
presented us with three fowls at parting; thus our canoes formed a
floating poultry show as we had already purchased large supplies. Our
live stock bothered us dreadfully; being without baskets, the fowls were
determined upon suicide, and many jumped deliberately overboard, while
others that were tied by the legs were drowned in the bottom of the
leaky canoe.

After the tenth day from our departure from Vacovia the scenery
increased in beauty. The lake had contracted to about thirty miles in
width, and was decreasing rapidly northward; the trees upon the
mountains upon the western shore could be distinguished. Continuing our
voyage north, the western shore projected suddenly, and diminished the
width of the lake to about twenty miles. It was no longer the great
inland sea that at Vacovia had so impressed me, with the clean pebbly
beach that had hitherto formed the shore, but vast banks of reeds
growing upon floating vegetation prevented the canoes from landing.
These banks were most peculiar, as they appeared to have been formed of
decayed vegetation, from which the papyrus rushes took root; the
thickness of the floating mass was about three feet, and so tough and
firm that a man could walk upon it, merely sinking above his ankles in
the soft ooze. Beneath this raft of vegetation was extremely deep water,
and the shore for a width of about half a mile was entirely protected by
this extraordinary formation. One day a tremendous gale of wind and
heavy sea broke off large portions, and the wind acting upon the rushes
like sails, carried floating islands of some acres about the lake to be
deposited wherever they might chance to hitch.

On the thirteenth day we found ourselves at the end of our lake voyage.
The lake at this point was between fifteen and twenty miles across, and
the appearance of the country to the north was that of a delta. The
shores upon either side were choked with vast banks of reeds, and as the
canoe skirted the edge of that upon the east coast, we could find no
bottom with a bamboo of twenty-five feet in length, although the
floating mass appeared like terra forma. We were in a perfect wilderness
of vegetation: On the west were mountains of about 4,000 feet above the
lake level, a continuation of the chain that formed the western shore
from the south: these mountains decreased in height towards the north,
in which direction the lake terminated in a broad valley of reeds.

We were told that we had arrived at Magungo, and that this was the spot
where the boats invariably crossed from Malegga on the western shore to
Kamrasi's country. The boatmen proposed that we should land upon the
floating vegetation, as that would be a short cut to the village or town
of Magungo; but as the swell of the water against the abrupt raft of
reeds threatened to swamp the canoe, I preferred coasting until we
should discover a good landing place. After skirting the floating reeds
for about a mile, we turned sharp to the east, and entered a broad
channel of water bounded on either side by the everlasting reeds. This
we were informed was the embouchure of the Somerset river from the
Victoria N'yanza. The same river that we had crossed at Karuma, boiling
and tearing along its rocky course, now entered the Albert N'yanza as
dead water! I could not understand this; there was not the slightest
current; the channel was about half a mile wide, and I could hardly
convince myself that this was not an arm of the lake branching to the
east. After searching for some time for a landing place among the
wonderful banks of reeds, we discovered a passage that had evidently
been used as an approach by canoes, but so narrow that our large canoe
could with difficulty be dragged through--all the men walking through
the mud and reeds, and towing with their utmost strength. Several
hundred paces of this tedious work brought us through the rushes into
open water, about eight feet deep, opposite to a clean rocky shore. We
had heard voices for some time while obscured on the other side of the
rushes, and we now found a number of natives, who had arrived to meet
us, with the chief of Magungo and our guide Rabonga, whom we had sent in
advance with the riding oxen from Vacovia. The water was extremely
shallow near the shore, and the natives rushed in and dragged the canoes
by sheer force over the mud to the land. We had been so entirely hidden
while on the lake on the other side of the reed bank that we had been
unable to see the eastern, or Magungo shore; we now found ourselves in a
delightful spot beneath the shade of several enormous trees on firm
sandy and rocky ground, while the country rose in a rapid incline to the
town of Magungo, about a mile distant, on an elevated ridge.

My first question was concerning the riding oxen. They were reported in
good order. We were invited to wait under a tree until the presents from
the headmen should be delivered. Accordingly, while my wife sat under
the shade, I went to the waterside to examine the fishing arrangements
of the natives, that were on an extensive scale. For many hundred feet,
the edges of the floating reeds were arranged to prevent the possibility
of a large fish entering the open water adjoining the shore without
being trapped. A regular system of baskets were fixed at intervals, with
guiding fences to their mouths. Each basket was about six feet in
diameter, and the mouth about eighteen inches; thus the arrangements
were for the monsters of the lake, the large bones of which, strewed
about the vicinity, were a witness of their size. My men had just
secured the half of a splendid fish, known in the Nile as the "baggera."
They had found it in the water, the other portion having been bitten off
by a crocodile. The piece in their possession weighed about fifty
pounds. This is one of the best fish in the lake. It is shaped like the
perch, but is coloured externally like the salmon. I also obtained from
the natives an exceedingly good fish, of a peculiar form, having four
long feelers at the positions that would be occupied by the limbs of
reptiles; these looked like rudiments of legs. It had somewhat the
appearance of an eel; but, being oviparous, it can have no connexion
with that genus. The natives had a most killing way of fishing with the
hook and line for heavy fish. They arranged rows of tall bamboos, the
ends stuck firmly in the bottom, in a depth of about six feet of water,
and about five or ten yards apart. On the top of each was a lump of
ambatch-wood about ten inches in diameter. Around this was wound a
powerful line, and, a small hole being made in this float, it was
lightly fixed upon the point of the bamboo, or fishing rod. The line was
securely attached to the bamboo, then wound round the large float, while
the hook, baited with a live fish, was thrown to some distance beyond.
Long rows of these fixed rods were set every morning by natives in
canoes, and watchers attended them during the day, while they took their
chance by night. When a large fish took the bait, his first rush
unhitched the ambatch-float from the point of the bamboo, which,
revolving upon the water, paid out line as required. When entirely run
out, the great size and buoyancy of the float served to check and to
exhaust the fish. There are several varieties of fish that exceed 200
lbs. weight.

A number of people now arrived from the village, bringing a goat, fowls,
eggs, and sour milk, and, beyond all luxuries, fresh butter. I delighted
the chief, in return for his civility, by giving him a quantity of
beads, and we were led up the hill towards Magungo.

The day was beautifully clear. The soil was sandy and poor, therefore
the road was clean and hard; and, after the many days' boating, we
enjoyed the walk, and the splendid view that lay before us when we
arrived at Magungo, and looked back upon the lake. We were about 250
feet above the water level. There were no longer the abrupt cliffs,
descending to the lake, that we had seen in the south, but the general
level of the country appeared to be about 500 feet above the water, at a
distance of five or six miles, from which point the ground descended in
undulations, Magungo being situated on the summit of the nearest
incline. The mountains on the Malegga side, with the lake in the
foreground, were the most prominent objects, forming the western
boundary. A few miles north there appeared to be a gap in the range, and
the lake continued to the west, but much contracted, while the mountain
range on the northern side of the gap continued to the northeast. Due
north and northeast the country was a dead flat, and far as the eye
could reach was an extent of bright green reeds, marking the course of
the Nile as it made its exit from the lake. The sheet of water at
Magungo being about seventeen miles in width, ended in a long strip or
tail to the north, until it was lost in the flat valley of green rushes.
This valley may have been from four to six miles wide, and was bounded
upon its west bank by the continuation of the chain of mountains that
had formed the western boundary of the lake. The natives told me that
canoes could navigate the Nile in its course from the lake to the Madi
country, as there were no cataracts for a great distance, but that both
the Madi and the Koshi were hostile, and that the current of the river
was so strong, that should the canoe descend from the lake, it could not
return without many rowers. They pointed out the country of Koshi on the
west bank of the Nile, at its exit from the lake, which included the
mountains that bordered the river. The small country, M'Caroli, joined
Malegga, and continued to the west, towards the Makkarika. The natives
most positively refused to take me down the Nile from the lake into the
Madi, as they said that they would be killed by the people, who were
their enemies, as I should not be with them on their return up the

The exit of the Nile from the lake was plain enough, and if the broad
channel of dead water were indeed the entrance of the Victoria Nile
(Somerset), the information obtained by Speke would be remarkably
confirmed. Up to the present time all the information that I had
received from Kamrasi and his people had been correct. He had told me
that I should be about twenty days from M'rooli to the lake; I had been
eighteen. He had also told me that the Somerset flowed from Karuma
direct to the lake, and that, having joined it, the great Nile issued
from the lake almost immediately, and flowed through the Koshi and Madi
tribes. I now saw the river issuing from the lake within eighteen miles
of Magungo; and the Koshi and the Madi countries appeared close to me,
bordering it on the west and east. Kamrasi being the king, it was
natural that he should know his own frontier most intimately; but,
although the chief of Magungo and all the natives assured me that the
broad channel of dead water at my feet was positively the brawling river
that I had crossed below the Karuma Falls, I could not understand how so
fine a body of water as that had appeared could possibly enter the
Albert lake as dead water. The guide and natives laughed at my unbelief,
and declared that it was dead water for a considerable distance from the
junction with the lake, but that a great waterfall rushed down from a
mountain, and that beyond that fall the river was merely a succession of
cataracts throughout the entire distance of about six days' march to
Karuma Falls. My real wish was to descend the Nile in canoes from its
exit from the lake with my own men as boatmen, and thus in a short time
to reach the cataracts in the Madi country; there to forsake the canoes
and all my baggage, and to march direct to Gondokoro with only our guns
and ammunition. I knew from native report that the Nile was navigable as
far as the Madi country to about Miani's tree, which Speke had laid down
by astronomical observation in lat. 3 degrees 34 minutes; this would be
only seven days' march from Gondokoro, and by such a direct course I
should be sure to arrive in time for the boats to Khartoum. I had
promised Speke that I would explore most thoroughly the doubtful portion
of the river that he had been forced to neglect from Karuma Falls to the
lake. I was myself confused at the dead water junction; and, although I
knew that the natives must be right--as it was their own river, and
they had no inducement to mislead me--I was determined to sacrifice
every other wish in order to fulfil my promise, and thus to settle the
Nile question most absolutely. That the Nile flowed out of the lake I
had heard, and I had also confirmed by actual inspection; from Magungo I
looked upon the two countries, Koshi and Madi, through which it flowed,
and these countries I must actually pass through and again meet the Nile
before I could reach Gondokoro. Thus the only point necessary to swear
to, was the river between the lake and the Karuma Falls.

I had a bad attack of fever that evening, and missed my star for the
latitude; but on the following morning before daybreak I obtained a good
observation of Vega, and determined the latitude of Magungo 2 degrees 16
minutes due west from Atada or Karuma Falls. This was a strong
confirmation that the river beneath my feet was the Somerset that I had
crossed in the same latitude at Atada, where the river was running due
west, and where the natives had pointed in that direction as its course
to the lake. Nevertheless, I was determined to verify it, although by
this circuitous route I might lose the boats from Gondokoro and become a
prisoner in Central Africa, ill, and without quinine, for another year.
I proposed it to my wife, who not only voted in her state of abject
weakness to complete the river to Karuma, but wished, if possible, to
return and follow the Nile from the lake down to Gondokoro! This latter
resolve, based upon the simple principle of "seeing is believing," was a
sacrifice most nobly proposed, but simply impossible and unnecessary.

We saw from our point at Magungo the Koshi and Madi countries, and the
Nile flowing out of the lake through them. We must of necessity pass
through those countries on our road to Gondokoro direct from Karuma via
Shooa, and should we not meet the river in the Madi and Koshi country,
the Nile that we now saw would not be the Nile of Gondokoro. We knew,
however, that it was so, as Speke and Grant had gone by that route, and
had met the Nile near Miani's tree in lat. 3 degrees 34 min. in the Madi
country, the Koshi being on its western bank; thus, as we were now at
the Nile head and saw it passing through the Madi and Koshi, any
argument against the river would be the argumentum ad absurdum. I
ordered the boats to be got ready to start immediately.

The chief gave me much information, confirming the accounts that I had
heard a year previous in the Latooka countries, that formerly cowrie
shells were brought in boats from the south, and that these shells and
brass coil brackets came by the lake from Karagwe. He called also
several of the natives of Malegga, who had arrived with beautifully
prepared mantles of antelope and goatskins, to exchange for bracelets
and glass beads. The Malegga people were in appearance the same as those
of Unyoro, but they spoke a different language.

The boats being ready, we took leave of the chief, leaving him an
acceptable present of beads, and we descended the hill to the river,
thankful at having so far successfully terminated the expedition as to
have traced the lake to that important point Magungo, which had been our
clue to the discovery even so far away in time and place as the distant
country of Latooka. We were both very weak and ill, and my knees
trembled beneath me as we walked down the easy descent. I, in my
enervated state, endeavouring to assist my wife, we were the "blind
leading the blind;" but had life closed on that day we could have died
most happily, for the hard fight through sickness and misery had ended
in victory; and, although I looked to home as a paradise never to be
regained, I could have lain down to sleep in contentment on this spot,
with the consolation that, if the body had been vanquished, we died with
the prize in our grasp.

On arrival at the canoes we found everything in readiness, and the
boatmen already in their places. A crowd of natives pushed us over the
shallows, and once in deep water we passed through a broad canal which
led us into the open channel without the labour of towing through the
narrow inlet by which we had arrived. Once in the broad channel of dead
water we steered due east, and made rapid way until the evening. The
river as it now appeared, although devoid of current, was an average of
about 500 yards in width. Before we halted for the night I was subjected
to a most severe attack of fever, and upon the boat reaching a certain
spot I was carried on a litter, perfectly unconscious, to a village,
attended carefully by my poor sick wife, who, herself half dead,
followed me on foot through the marshes in pitch darkness, and watched
over me until the morning. At daybreak I was too weak to stand, and we
were both carried down to the canoes, and, crawling helplessly within
our grass awning, we lay down like logs while the canoes continued their
voyage. Many of our men were also suffering from fever. The malaria of
the dense masses of floating vegetation was most poisonous; and upon
looking back to the canoe that followed in our wake, I observed all my
men sitting crouched together sick and dispirited, looking like departed
spirits being ferried across the melancholy Styx. The river now
contracted rapidly to about 250 yards in width about ten miles from
Magungo. We had left the vast flats of rush banks, and entered a channel
between high ground, forming steep forest-covered hills, about 200 feet
on either side, north and south: nevertheless there was no perceptible
stream, although there was no doubt that we were actually in the channel
of a river. The water was clear and exceedingly deep. In the evening we
halted, and slept on a mud bank close to the water. The grass in the
forest was very high and rank; thus we were glad to find an open space
for a bivouac, although a nest of mosquitoes and malaria.

On waking the next morning, I observed that a thick fog covered the
surface of the river; and as I lay upon my back, on my angarep, I amused
myself before I woke my men by watching the fog slowly lifting from the
river. While thus employed I was struck by the fact, that the little
green water-plants, like floating cabbages (Pistia Stratiotes, L.), were
certainly, although very slowly, moving to the west. I immediately
jumped up, and watched them most attentively; there was no doubt about
it; they were travelling towards the Albert lake. We were now about
eighteen miles in a direct line from Magungo, and there was a current in
the river, which, however slight, was nevertheless perceptible.

Our toilette did not take long to arrange, as we had thrown ourselves
down at night with our clothes on; accordingly we entered the canoe at
once, and gave the order to start.

The woman Bacheeta knew the country, as she had formerly been to Magungo
when in the service of Sali, who had been subsequently murdered by
Kamrasi; she now informed me that we should terminate our canoe voyage
on that day, as we should arrive at the great waterfall of which she had
often spoken. As we proceeded the river gradually narrowed to about 180
yards, and when the paddles ceased working we could distinctly hear the
roar of water. I had heard this on waking in the morning, but at the
time I had imagined it to proceed from distant thunder. By ten o'clock
the current had so increased as we proceeded, that it was distinctly
perceptible, although weak. The roar of the waterfall was extremely
loud, and after sharp pulling for a couple of hours, during which time
the stream increased, we arrived at a few deserted fishing huts, at a
point where the river made a slight turn. I never saw such an
extraordinary show of crocodiles as were exposed on every sandbank on
the sides of the river; they lay like logs of timber close together, and
upon one bank we counted twenty-seven, of large size; every basking
place was crowded in a similar manner. From the time we had fairly
entered the river, it had been confined by heights somewhat precipitous
on either side, rising to about 180 feet. At this point the cliffs were
still higher, and exceedingly abrupt. From the roar of the water, I was
sure that the fall would be in sight if we turned the corner at the bend
of the river; accordingly I ordered the boatmen to row as far as they
could: to this they at first objected, as they wished to stop at the
deserted fishing village, which they explained was to be the limit of
the journey, farther progress being impossible.

However, I explained that I merely wished to see the fall, and they
rowed immediately up the stream, which was now strong against us. Upon
rounding the corner, a magnificent sight burst suddenly upon us. On
either side the river were beautifully wooded cliffs rising abruptly to
a height of about 300 feet; rocks were jutting out from the intensely
green foliage; and rushing through a gap that cleft the rock exactly
before us, the river, contracted from a grand stream, was pent up in a
narrow gorge of scarcely fifty yards in width; roaring furiously through
the rock-bound pass, it plunged in one leap of about 120 feet
perpendicular into a dark abyss below.

The fall of water was snow white, which had a superb effect as it
contrasted with the dark cliffs that walled the river, while the
graceful palms of the tropics and wild plantains perfected the beauty of
the view. This was the greatest waterfall of the Nile, and, in honour of
the distinguished President of the Royal Geographical Society, I named
it the Murchison Falls, as the most important object throughout the
entire course of the river.

The boatmen, having been promised a present of beads to induce them to
approach the fall as close as possible, succeeded in bringing the canoe
within about 300 yards of the base, but the power of the current and the
whirlpools in the river rendered it impossible to proceed farther. There
was a sandbank on our left which was literally covered with crocodiles
lying parallel to each other like trunks of trees prepared for shipment;
they had no fear of the canoe until we approached within about twenty
yards of them, when they slowly crept into the water; all excepting one,
an immense fellow who lazily lagged behind, and immediately dropped dead
as a bullet from the little Fletcher No. 24 struck him in the brain. So
alarmed were the boatmen at the unexpected report of the rifle that they
immediately dropped into the body of the canoe, one of them losing his
paddle. Nothing would induce them to attend to the boat, as I had fired
a second shot at the crocodile as a "quietus," and the natives did not
know how often the alarming noise would be repeated. Accordingly we were
at the mercy of the powerful stream, and the canoe was whisked round by
the eddy and carried against a thick bank of high reeds;--hardly had
we touched this obstruction when a tremendous commotion took place in
the rushes, and in an instant a great bull hippopotamus charged the
canoe, and with a severe shock striking the bottom he lifted us half out
of the water. The natives who were in the bottom of the boat positively
yelled with terror, not knowing whether the shock was in any way
connected with the dreaded report of the rifle; the black women
screamed; and the boy Saat handing me a spare rifle, and Richarn being
ready likewise, we looked out for a shot should the angry hippo again
attack us.

A few kicks bestowed by my angry men upon the recumbent boatmen restored
them to the perpendicular. The first thing necessary was to hunt for the
lost paddle that was floating down the rapid current. The hippopotamus,
proud of having disturbed us, but doubtless thinking us rather hard of
texture, raised his head to take a last view of his enemy, but sank too
rapidly to permit a shot. Crocodile heads of enormous size were on all
sides, appearing and vanishing rapidly as they rose to survey us; at one
time we counted eighteen upon the surface. Fine fun it would have been
for these monsters had the bull hippo been successful in his attempt to
capsize us; the fat black woman, Karka, would have been a dainty morsel.
Having recovered the lost paddle, I prevailed upon the boatmen to keep
the canoe steady while I made a sketch of the Murchison Falls, which
being completed, we drifted rapidly down to the landing place at the
deserted fishing village, and bade adieu to the navigation of the lake
and river of Central Africa.

The few huts that existed in this spot were mere ruins. Clouds had
portended rain, and down it came, as it usually did once in every
twenty-four hours. However, that passed away by the next morning, and
the day broke discovering us about as wet and wretched as we were
accustomed to be. I now started off four of my men with the boatmen and
the interpreter Bacheeta to the nearest village, to inquire whether our
guide Rabonga had arrived with our riding oxen, as our future travelling
was to be on land, and the limit of our navigation must have been well
known to him. After some hours the people returned, minus the boatmen,
with a message from the headman of a village they had visited, that the
oxen were there, but not the guide Rabonga, who had remained at Magungo,
but that the animals should be brought to us that evening, together with
porters to convey the luggage. In the evening a number of people
arrived, bringing some plantain cider and plantains as a present from
the headman; and promising that, upon the following morning, we should
be conducted to his village.

The next day we started, but not until the afternoon, as we had to await
the arrival of the headman, who was to escort us. Our oxen were brought,
and if we looked wretched, the animals were a match. They had been
bitten by the fly, thousands of which were at this spot. Their coats
were staring, ears drooping, noses running, and heads hanging down; all
the symptoms of fly-bite, together with extreme looseness of the bowels.
I saw that it was all up with our animals. Weak as I was myself, I was
obliged to walk, as my ox could not carry me up the steep inclination,
and I toiled languidly to the summit of the cliff. It poured with rain.
Upon arrival at the summit we were in precisely the same parklike land
that characterises Chopi and Unyoro, but the grass was about seven feet
high; and from the constant rain, and the extreme fertility of the soil,
the country was choked with vegetation. We were now above the Murchison
Falls, and we heard the roaring of the water beneath us to our left. We
continued our route parallel to the river above the Falls, steering
east; and a little before evening we arrived at a small village
belonging to the headman who accompanied us. I was chilled and wet; my
wife had fortunately been carried on her litter, which was protected by
a hide roofing. Feverish and exhausted, I procured from the natives some
good acid plums, and refreshed by these I was able to boil my
thermometer and take the altitude.

On the following morning we started, the route as before parallel to the
river, and so close that the roar of the rapids was extremely loud. The
river flowed in a deep ravine upon our left. We continued for a day's
march along the Somerset, crossing many ravines and torrents, until we
turned suddenly down to the left, and arriving at the bank we were to be
transported to an island called Patooan, that was the residence of a
chief. It was about an hour after sunset, and being dark, my riding ox,
who was being driven as too weak to carry me, fell into an elephant
pitfall. After much hallooing, a canoe was brought from the island,
which was not more than fifty yards from the mainland, and we were
ferried across. We were both very ill with a sudden attack of fever; and
my wife, not being able to stand, was, on arrival at the island, carried
on a litter I knew not whither, escorted by some of my men, while I lay
down on the wet ground quite exhausted with the annihilating disease. At
length the remainder of my men crossed over, and those who had carried
my wife to the village returning with firebrands, I managed to creep
after them with the aid of a long stick, upon which I rested with both
hands. After a walk, through a forest of high trees, for about a quarter
of a mile, I arrived at a village where I was shown a wretched hut, the
stars being visible through the roof. In this my wife lay dreadfully ill
upon her angarep, and I fell down upon some straw. About an hour later,
a violent thunderstorm broke over us, and our hut was perfectly flooded;
we, being far too ill and helpless to move from our positions, remained
dripping wet and shivering with fever until the morning. Our servants
and people had, like all natives, made themselves much more comfortable
than their employers; nor did they attempt to interfere with our misery
in any way until summoned to appear at sunrise.

The island of Patooan was about half a mile long by 150 yards wide, and
was one of the numerous masses of rocks that choke the river between
Karuma Falls and the great Murchison cataract. The rock was entirely of
grey granite, from the clefts of which beautiful forest trees grew so
thickly that the entire island was in shade. In the middle of this
secluded spot was a considerable village, thickly inhabited, as the
population of the mainland had fled from their dwellings and had taken
refuge upon the numerous river islands, as the war was raging between
Rionga and Kamrasi. A succession of islands from the east of Patooan
continued to within a march of Karuma Falls. These were in the
possession of Rionga, and a still more powerful chief and ally, Fowooka,
who were the deadly enemies of Kamrasi.

It now appeared that after my departure from M'rooli to search for the
lake, Ibrahim had been instructed by Kamrasi to accompany his army, and
attack Fowooka. This had been effected, but the attack had been confined
to a bombardment by musketry from the high cliffs of the river upon the
people confined upon one of the islands. A number of men had been
killed, and Ibrahim had returned to Gondokoro with a quantity of ivory
and porters supplied by Kamrasi; but he had left ten of his armed men as
hostages with the king, to act as his guard until he should return on
the following year to Unyoro. Ibrahim and his strong party having
quitted the country, Fowooka had invaded the mainland of Chopi, and had
burnt and destroyed all the villages, and killed many people, including
a powerful chief of Kamrasi's, the father of the headman of the island
of Patooan where we were now staying. Accordingly the fugitives from the
destroyed villages had taken refuge upon the island of Patooan, and
others of the same character. The headman informed us that it would be
impossible to proceed along the bank of the river to Karuma, as that
entire line of country was in possession of the enemy. This was
sufficient to assure me that I should not procure porters.

There was no end to the difficulties and trouble in this horrible
country. My exploration was completed, as it was by no means necessary
to continue the route from Patooan to Karuma. I had followed the
Somerset from its junction with the lake at Magungo to this point; here
it was a beautiful river, precisely similar in character to the point at
which I had left it at Karuma: we were now within thirty miles of that
place, and about eighteen miles from the point opposite Rionga's island,
where we had first hit upon the river on our arrival from the north. The
direction was perfectly in accordance with my observations at Karuma,
and at Magungo, the Somerset running from east to west. The river was
about 180 to 200 yards in width, but much obstructed with rocks and
islands; the stream ran at about four miles per hour, and the rapids and
falls were so numerous that the roar of water had been continuous
throughout our march from Murchison Falls. By observations of Casella's
thermometer I made the altitude of the river level at the island of
Patooan 3,195 feet; thus from this point to the level of the Albert lake
at Magungo there was a fall of 475 feet--this difference being included
between Patooan and the foot of Murchison Falls: the latter, being at
the lowest estimate 120 feet, left 355 feet to be accounted for between
Patooan and the top of the falls. As the ledges of rock throughout the
course of the river formed a series of steps, this was a natural
difference in altitude that suggested the correctness of the

At the river level below Karuma Falls I had measured the altitude at
3,996 feet above the sea level. Thus, there was a fall from that point
to Patooan of 801 feet, and a total of 1,276 feet in the descent of the
river from Karuma to the Albert N'yanza. These measurements, most
carefully taken, corroborated the opinion suggested by the natural
appearance of the river, which was a mere succession of cataracts
throughout its westerly course from Karuma.

To me these observations were more than usually interesting, as when I
had met my friend Speke at Gondokoro he was much perplexed concerning
the extraordinary difference in his observation between the altitude of
the river level at Karuma Falls, lat. 2 degrees 15', and at Gebel Kookoo
in the Madi country, lat. 3 degrees 34', the point at which he
subsequently met the river. He KNEW that both rivers were the Nile, as
he bad been told this by the natives; the one, before it had joined the
Albert lake--the other, after its exit; but he had been told that the
river was NAVIGABLE from Gebel Kookoo, lat. 3 degrees 34', straight up
to the junction of the lake; thus, there could be no great difference in
altitude between the lake and the Nile where he met it, in lat. 3
degrees 34'. Nevertheless, he found so enormous a difference in his
observations between the river at Karuma and at Gebel Kookoo, that he
concluded there must be a fall between Karuma and the Albert lake of at
least 1,000 feet; by careful measurements I proved the closeness of his
reasoning and observation, by finding a fall of only 275 feet more than
he had anticipated. From Karuma to the Albert lake (although unvisited
by Speke), he had marked upon his map, "river falls 1,000 feet;" by
actual measurement I proved it to be 1,275 feet.

The altitudes measured by me have been examined, and the thermometer
that I used had been tested at Kew, and its errors corrected since my
return to England; thus all altitudes observed with that thermometer
should be correct, as the results, after correction by Mr. Dunkin, of
the Greenwich Royal Observatory, are those now quoted. It will therefore
be interesting to compare the observations taken at the various points
on the Nile and Albert lake in the countries of Unyoro and Chopi--the
correctness of which relatively will be seen by comparison:--

Jan. 22. Rionga's island, 80 feet above the Nile . . . 3,864
Jan. 25. Karuma, below the falls, river level Atadaj. . 3,996
Jan. 31. South of Karuma, river level on road to M'rooli 4,056

Feb. 21. M'rooli lat. 1 degree 38' river level . . . . . . 4,061Ft.
Mar. 14. Albert N'yanza, lake level . . . . . . . . . . . 2,720Ft.
April 7. Island of Patooan (Shooa Moru) river level. . . . 3,195Ft.

By these observations it will be seen that from M'rooli, in lat. 1
degree 38' to Karuma in lat. 2 degree 15', there is a fall of sixty-
five feet; say MINUS five feet, for the Karuma Falls equals sixty feet
fall in 37' of latitude; or allowing for the great bend of the river,
twenty miles of extra course, it will be equal to about sixty statute
miles of actual river from M'rooli to Atada or Karuma Falls, showing a
fall or one foot per mile. From M'rooli to the head of the Karuma Falls
the river is navigable; thus the observations of altitudes showing a
fall of one foot per mile must be extremely accurate.

The next observations to be compared are those from Karuma Falls
throughout the westerly course of the river to the Albert lake:--

River level below Karuma Falls . . . . . . . . 3,996 feet
Rionga's island 3,864--80 feet cliff . . . . . 3,784
= 212 fall. to the west.
River level at island of Patooan (Shooa Moru). 3,195
= 589 fall. from Rionga's island.
Level of Albert lake . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2,720
= 475 fall. from Patooan to lake.
From Karuma . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,276 fall.

These observations were extremely satisfactory, and showed that the
thermometer (Casella's) behaved well at every boiling, as there was no
confusion of altitudes, but each observation corroborated the preceding.
The latitude of the island of Patooan by observation was 2 degrees 16':
we were thus due west of Magungo, and east of Karuma Falls.




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