National Geographic : 1925 Feb
188 THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE Photograph by II. T. Cowling A TOPEE IMPALED UPON AFRICAN "BARBED-WIRE" ENTANGLEMENTS Mimosa thorn shrubs, which grow abundantly in central East Africa, are used by natives to protect their homes against wild animals. Mimosa, in the form of a palisade around a village, is called a boma. In killing lions a boma, or thorn barricade for a combination blind and fort, is built near the bait (see text, page 205). a mile away. A tablet at the falls corn memorates Captain J. II. Speke, the Eng lishman who discovered them for the Eu ropean world on July 28, 1862. The falls were small and insignificant, we thought, for the source of such a river as the Nile. Unless one wished to go shooting hippos, or buffaloes in the hills beyond the lake, there was very little to do in Jinja. These African buffaloes are extraordi nary creatures. They are not at all like the American bison. Some of them have huge pairs of horns, which grow solidly across their foreheads. They are cow like animals in appearance, but not cow like in disposition, for most white hunters in Africa agree they are among the most dangerous of wild beasts. Once a buffalo is wounded, he seems to run away from the hunter, but that is only a ruse. Actu ally, he circles round, quietly and stealth ily approaching the hunter from the rear. Then, in a last furious rush, he attempts to kill his quarry. Very often he suc ceeds in doing so. We found all African prices for im ported goods exorbitant, and all usable goods were imported. When we reached a settlement we had to replenish our stock. For American-made goods the prices averaged three times the standard prices in America. Wherever we went we found friendly men of our own race, who gave us in formation concerning the next lap of the journey. We developed a high regard for the white man who is marooned in Africa. We waited at Jinja for the boat to take us across Lake Victoria to Kisumu, the lake port of Kenya Colony. WORK WITHOUT NOISE IS IMPOSSIBLE IN AFRICA In Jinja we saw a degrading sight. A number of black prisoners were chained together with steel dog collars around their necks. These men had committed only petty crimes, but unless they are chained together, they run off into the jungle whenever the opportunity offers.