National Geographic : 1952 Mar
348 Driller and Helper Prepare Gold-bearing Quartz Ores for Blasting The Mines d'Or de Kilo-Moto operates numerous surface holdings. This tunnel near Mongbwalu is its only underground digging. It follows these tilted white veins of quartz, in which Nature has locked up free gold. Most of these primitive folk, among them several aged adults, were only about four and a half feet tall. A few were taller, indi cating some mixture of Bantu blood. Small though they are, the men are bold and skilled hunters, and even will attack elephants. The arrows and spears they use, I was told, often are tipped with poison. East of Beni, across the Rift Valley, rear the Mountains of the Moon.* For several days I watched Ruwenzori's snow peaks play hide-and-seek in dense clouds and equatorial rainstorms. Finally I succeeded in gaining a view of the snows early one morning, and again one evening when sunset had tinted the glaciers a pale alpine pink. During the storm several lower peaks had been dusted with fresh snow. In the Rift Valley at the base of Ruwen zori and extending southward across Lake Edward to Lake (Lac) Kivu, is one of the spectacular wild game regions of Africa. Here the Belgian Government has set apart an extensive natural reserve, the Albert National Park.f Elephants, buffaloes, lions, and numerous kinds of antelopes wander over the country side. Thousands of hippos congregate in Lake Edward; more thousands bask on the mud banks or blow bubbles in the Rutshuru River. Some 186 miles long and 12 to 30 miles wide, Albert Park embraces a remarkable variety of physical and climatic conditions. Here are lakes, hot, flat plains, dense jungle, and steep mountain slopes that tilt up to perpetual snows. Near its southern end, too, the earth still is in the making from volcanic lava flows. * See, in the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE: "World's Highest Altitudes and First Ascents," by Charles E. Fay, June, 1909; and "Amid the Snow Peaks of the Equator," by A. F . R. Wollaston, March, 1909. t See "Roaming Africa's Unfenced Zoos," by W. Robert Moore, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE, March, 1950.