National Geographic : 1952 Mar
Diamonds! Fashion's Brightest Star and Industry's Hardest Tool Only diamond will cut diamond, the hardest object known. Tool and drill makers use the stone to work the toughest alloys and rocks. This woman weighs some 500,000 carats a year at Tshikapa (page 360). Because the park is hemmed between Rift walls and mountains, intrusions and migra tions of plants and animals are few. The region thus affords a unique laboratory for the study of plant and animal life. I found it fun simply to watch the animals. The only commercial activity allowed in the region is fishing in Lake Edward to supply natives with food. Lazy marabou storks have found that they can gain free and easy feeding by hanging about while catches are cleaned; it saves them the trouble of fishing for them selves. Volcanoes Fume in Lake Kivu District To me, the Lake Kivu region is one of the most striking spots in all Africa. The vivid blue lake, highest on the Continent of Africa (4,790 feet), lies cupped in green hills and high rolling plateau. Just to the north and east rears a row of eight volcanic peaks. Two of the volcanoes, Nyamlagira and Nyiragongo (or Tshaninagongo), still breathe fire.* From flower-embroidered, lakeside Kisenyi, where I stayed, Nyiragongo seemed like the Biblical pillar of cloud by day and pillar of fire by night. A large smoke plume rises from its fiery throat, which at night glows red against the sky (page 353). Several successive lava flows cover the plain at the north end of Kivu. One occurred in 1938 when Nyamlagira erupted, and the other in March, 1948, when three streams of lava burst from vents at the foot of Nyiragongo. These flows still lie in black contorted folds over a broad path that ends in the lake. One section of the lake has been almost completely severed from the main body of water by an older lava flow (page 354). Giant gorillas live in high bamboo forests on some of the volcanoes. Elephants, buf faloes, leopards, and even lions haunt their slopes to the height of 13,000 feet. * See "We Keep House on an Active Volcano," by Dr. Jean Verhoogen, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGA ZINE, October, 1939.