National Geographic : 1955 May
(- The Nile Flows 4,100 Miles to the Sea Unlike other great tropical rivers, the Nile courses south to north. Spanning jungle, swamp, and desert, it drains more than 1,119,000 square miles of northeast Africa. The Goddard party, paddling 15-foot kayaks and portaging where necessary, followed the stream from Urundi, where it rises, to Rosetta (Rashid), Egypt, where it empties into the Mediterranean. 698), the Nile's turbulent headstream, we spent a sleepless night listening to the hiss and boil of the river, the thunderous snorts of hippos, the scolding bark of baboons, the whirring and chirping of myriad insects. At intervals a hornbill screeched or a hyena loosed its maniac cry. We recalled the words of the district com missioner who had driven us from the Ka gera's source to our embarkation point. Officials Take Gloomy View "You chaps are committing triple suicide by kayak," he said. He was one of several officials to voice such a view. Shortly after dawn Jean and Andre shoved off in their heavily loaded kayaks while I, on the bank, filmed the scene with a motion picture camera. By the time I climbed into my boat, the swift current had swept my friends out of sight downstream. Hurrying to catch up, I was startled when a huge bull hippopotamus erupted from the water. The monster splashed, sneezed, and snorted like a fairy-tale dragon, forcing me to swerve. With enormous jaws agape he plunged after me, but I pulled away. 701 Ken Heaton + Curious but Cautious, a Vain Baboon Admires His Mirrored Image A biscuit and an hour's coaxing tempted this baboon from the near-by jungle. Normally ferocious, he ate from the author's hand. + Baby Hippo Stays Close to Mother "I once thought of hippos as harmless, amiable crea tures," says the author, "but I changed my mind on the Nile. Attacking without apparent provocation, they charged us in the water." This pair was photo graphed by Quentin Keynes in the Belgian Congo.