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LAKE NGA MI;
EXPLORATIONS AND DISCOVERIES,
FOUR YEARS' WANDERINGS IN THE WILDS
SOUTH WESTERN AFRICA.
CHARLES JOHN ANDERSSON.
WITH A MAP, AND NUMEROUS ILLUSTRATIONS
REPRESENTING SPORTING ADVENTURES, SUBJECTS OF NATURAL HISTORY,
DEVICES FOR DESTROYING WILD ANIMALS, &c.
SUCCESSORS TO HENRY COLBURN,
THE following Narrative of Explorations and Discoveries during four years in the wilds of the South-Western parts of Africa, contains an account of two expeditions in that continent between the years 1850 and 1854. In the first of these journeys, the countries of the Damaras (previously all but unknown in Europe) and of the Ovambo (till now a terra incognita) were explored ; in the second, the newly-discovered Lake Ngami, was reached by a route that had always been deemed impracticable. It is more than probable that this route (the shortest and best) will be adopted as the one by which commerce and civilization may eventually find their way to the Lake regions.
The first journey was performed in company with Mr. Francis Galton, to whom we are indebted for a work on Tropical South Africa;' on the second, the Author was alone, and altogether dependent on his own very scanty resources.
It was suggested to the Author, as regards the first journey, that from the ground having been pre-occupied, it would be best for him to commence where his friend left off. There was some reason for this. But, on mature consideration, he deemed it desirable to start from the beginning; otherwise, he could not have given a connected and detailed account of the regions he visited. Moreover, from the Author having remained two years longer in Africa than Mr. Galton, he has not only been enabled to
ascertain the truth respecting much that at first appeared obscure and doubtful, but has had many opportunities of enlarging the stock of information acquired by himself and friend when together. Besides, they were often separated for long periods, during which many incidents and adventures occurred to the Author that are scarcely alluded to in “ Tropical South Africa.' And, lastly, the impressions received by different individuals, even under similar circumstances, are generally found to vary greatly; which, in itself, would be a sufficient reason for the course the Author has decided on pursuing.
As will be seen, the present writer has not only described the general appearance of the regions he visited, but has given the best information he was able to collect of the geological features of the country, and of its probable mineral wealth ; and, slight though it may be, he had the gratification of finding that the hints he threw out at the Cape and elsewhere, were acted upon; that mining companies were formed, and that mining operations are now carried on to some extent in regions heretofore considered as utterly worthless.
The Author has also spoken, at some length, of the religion and manners and customs of such of the native tribes (previously all but unknown to Europeans) visited by him during his several journeys. He also noted many of their superstitions ; for, too much attention, as it has been truly observed, cannot be paid to the mythological traditions of savages. Considerable discretion is, of course, needful in this matter; as, if every portion were to be literally received, we might be led into grievous errors. Still, by attending to what many might call absurd superstitions, we not only attain to a knowledge of the mental tendencies of the natives, but are made acquainted with interesting facts touching the geographical distribution of men and inferior animals.
Since the different members constituting the brute creation are so intimately connected with the economy of man, and since many of the beasts and birds indigenous to those parts of Africa visited by the Author, are still but imperfectly known, he has thought it advisable to enter largely into their habits, &c.; the rather, as natural history has, from childhood, been his favourite pursuit, and is a subject on which he therefore feels conversant. And though part of what he has stated regarding the rhinoceros, the hippopotamus, the