National Geographic : 1897 Mar
RECENT EXPLORATIONS IN EQUATORIAL AFRICA 89 result, probably, of his rapid marching. These travelers were M. Mau rice Versepuy, who has since died of fever, the Baron de Romans, and M. Sporck, an artist, accompanied by an escort of 20 riflemen and 130 carriers engaged at Zanzibar. They secured a large collection of weapons from different tribes, of indigenous seeds, flowers, and timber, of skins of various mammalia; also a live leopard and a large number of photo graphs, and of water-color and other drawings. They traveled 4,000 kilometers on foot and 2,000 by boat, and their very complete itinerary of their travels contains much interesting geographical information. The explorers left Zanzibar on July 6,1895, sailing thence for Mombasa. Thence they crossed a barren, rocky country and reached Lake Jipe,where they hunted a while. They ascended the slope of the Kilimanjaro to the German post of Moshi, at an elevation of 1,200 meters. The Kilimanjaro is an imposing mass, nearly 6,000 meters high and covered with eternal snows. The confluence of the rivers Tsavo and Useri was located and the party crossed to the north of Kilimanjaro, a volcanic country en tirely uninhabited, and passed by Lake Ngiri. Taking an entirely new route, they made for the English post of Kikuyu, across the plains of Kapotei, where they successfully hunted elephants, rhinoceros, zebras, and antelope. These plains were entirely devoid of vegetation and their rivers were dried up. Kikuyu was reached in November, at which time the Masai were in open rebellion. This brave and fearless tribe is known and feared from the Kenia to German East Africa. They are tall and well-built, are mostly naked, wear their hair long, and smear their faces and shoulders with grease and red clay. They wear war feath ers about the head and carry spears and shields, but while warlike and nomadic they raise some cattle. It was at this time that an English caravan, composed of 1,200 Wakikovus, was attacked by the Masai, who killed 700 of them. A Scotchman, named Dick, who was traveling with another caravan, left Kikuyu the day before the three French travelers, but hearing of the massacre le fell back and sent a letter to Kikuyu for assistance, which was refused. The Frenchmen joined forces with him and they were furiously attacked by the Masai in the Kedong valley. The attack was repelled, but Dick was killed. Leaving the Kedong valley, the party passed to the east of the small lakes Naivasha, Nakuro, and Elmeteita, and on December 5 reached the English fort of Ravine. The next day they crossed the deep ravine of the Eldoma river, passed the Mau foothills to the country of the Waanandis, across the north of the Kavirondo country, to the Nzoia river, from the banks of which the Victoria Nyanza could be seen. The Usoga, a rich and thickly inhabited country, was next passed and the Nile was reached. The Ripon falls, about 800 meters wide and 10 meters high, were greatly admired. Crossing the Bay of Napoleon brought the travel ers to Uganda, where the natives are sufficiently civilized to have built roads and bridges. Their capital is Mengo, which the travelers left on February 22, 1896. Passing by Lake Mitiana, which is more of a swamp than a lake, Lake Ruherou was reached. It lies to the northeast of Lake Albert Edward, which is itself to the southwest of Mount Ruwenzori.