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the village of the officer (ya Quilembe) at which Ladislaus arrived may be presumed to be the same which, according to the Pombeiro's narrative, belonged to the lord of the port or ferry. The river at this place has a width of 114 yards; it is manifest, therefore, that when the Hungarian speaks of the great width of the Kaszabi and of its flowing to the Indian Ocean, he only speaks from hearsay, and repeats the accounts of the natives, in whose language the river is constantly identified with the lake into which it runs, the term Murisuro or Curisuro being equally applied to both. Having crossed the Lualaba into the country under the immediate sway of the Cazembe, he conceived that the hazards of his journey were at an end, and wrote to his friends announcing his success.
It now remains'only to say a few words respecting the purely geographical details occurring in the narrative of Ladislaus. There is no ground for supposing that he was provided with maps or instruments, or any means of scientific observation; and furthermore, it must be borne in mind that we are not dealing with the original narrative, but with an abridged translation of it, in which the assigned geographical positions may possibly have been introduced for the sake of clearness by the translator, who would naturally in the course of his work make reference to a map. The Hungarian traveller, starting from Benguela in lat. 12° 25' S., went S.E. by E. ■ He crossed the tableland of Nano to a comparatively low country, Bfhe, which he observes is level, and has on the W. the mountainous country of Hambo. Yet to the latter, on the elevated table-land, he assigns an elevation of only 2800 feet, to the former of 4500 fleet. These estimates have no solid foundation. The sources of the Isesze are placed by him in lat. 11°, obviously far to the N. of his route. Bfhe he places in lat. 14° S., long. 18° 22'. This position seems to have been taken from some old map. M. Lopez de Lima sets that place in lat. 13°, long. 16° 15' E. The traders from Benguela reckon its distance by a circuitous route to be 118 leagues, or about 350 miles on the map. From Pungo a Ndongo it is about the same distance, or 12 days for a courier.
It is evident, therefore, that the position assigned to the Hungarian's starting point on his journey into the interior is affected by a considerable error. Bihe' must be carried back 2° of longitude and at least 1° of latitude. The sources of the Quanza, therefore, at the village of Kapeke (lat. 15° 9', long. 20"), must undergo a corresponding change. Further on it is stated that the forest of Quiboque is in lat. 6°; nevertheless the traveller's next step is to the highland of Middle Africa, in lat. 10" 6'. These statements are utterly irreconcilable. The highland in question lies somewhere near lat. 10° 11', long. 24° 25'. His assigned positions are based on the assumption that his general course was N. 7" E., and Yah Quilem is placed in lat. 4° 41', long. 23° 43'. Now nothing can be more certain than the general direction of his route, E. 18° N. He went through Quiboque and Bunda, on the head waters of the Sesheke; he passed S. of Lobale, and reached the country of the Alunda and river Luapula, at the village of the Lord of the Ferry in lat. 10° 5' S., long. 28° 25' E., where he was not quite a hundred miles distant from the last position determined by Lacerda. His geographical positions are not merely discordant, but wholly erroneous and unfounded. His estimates of distance, however, are tolerably correct.
XVI.—Mission to Central Africa. (1. Including a Letter from Edward Vogel, Phil. Dr., to Mr. A. Peteb
MANN J *
2. Notes compiled from Letters received from the Sappers and Miners
attached to the Mission; and
3. Geographical Positions, communicated by the Foreign-oitice.)
Read January 9 and 23, 1854.
The enclosed papers contain the map and section of my route* from Tripoli to Murzuk, based on ten points of latitude and longitude, observed and reduced by myself, as well as thirty carefully 1 ascertained points of altitude, determined barometrioally, and compared with simultaneous observations made at Tripoli. My original observations — astronomical, meteorological, and magnetical—are all on their way.to the Foreign-Office, together with a small collection of geological specimens and plants. The former I have requested to be sent to Sir Roderick Murchison, whom I would request chemically to analyse the sample of salt and water of the Trona Lake (Bahr el Dud) which I have sent at the same time. In another enclosure are some remarks on the climate of Fezzan, and of North Africa generally, which you will forward to Colonel Sabine.
Immediately on leaving the gardens of Tripoli the desert commences. The upper portion of the Taghona mountains is without vegetation and water, and strewn with many large stones; but its southern slope, near the Mulcher pass, has running water, and is here and there overgrown with grass. This region contains numerous Roman ruins. The highest of the Taghona mountains seen by me is 1529 feet above the level of the sea. The valley of Beniolid f extends from W. to E. for about 12 geographical miles, making a small bend about 4 miles from its eastern end. Both slopes of this valley are covered with villages; and basalt occurs on the southern slope. The bottom of the valley, which is 300 feet lower than Beniolid, is covered with forests of palm and olive trees, and contains twenty-seven wells. The inhabitants are Arabs of the Urfullu tribe, numbering 5000 souls; and are particularly rich in camels, of which they possess 12,000 head. The point I determined is the village of Dahur Sibad, situated on the southern slope and at the eastern end of the valley, about 4 miles E. of the castle of Beniolid. From Benioiid we descended a valley, the direction of which is from N. to S., and reached on the second day, 30 miles distant from Beniolid, Wadi Sofejin, at a point where a flat
* The same as that taken by Lyons and Ritchie, and also by Denham, Clapperton, and Oudney; and to the east of that selected by Richardson, Overweg, and Barth.
\ Visited in 1817 by Admiral Smyth, who pointed out the routes since followed. See Appendix to Smyth's Mediterranean.—Ed.
topped mound (Jella Si Amselara), 400 feet high, nearly closes up the latter. This valley extends from S.W. to N.E., in a width of 8 miles, limited to the N. by low sand hills, and to the S. by a range of limestone hills, which separate it from Wadi Zemzem, and contains the well of Enfad. Wadi Sofejin commences at Zentan, near the road from Tripoli to Ghadamis, and terminates in the Gulf of Sidra, between Mesurata and Isa. It forms the most fertile tract of the regency of Tripoli; its upper portion being particularly rich in figs, its middle portion in barley and wheat, and its lower portion near the sea in forests of date trees. According to these features the Arabs call these different parts Tin (fig,), Bazin (cake or pudding), and WasMn (paste made of dates). In the rainy season Wadi Sofejin is almost entirely inundated. The well of Enfad is surrounded with Roman ruins: the range of hills in which it lies being about 2 miles broad. Beyond this range is Wadi Zemzem, which runs parallel with Wadi Sofejin, and is about 35 miles wide. An inconsiderable elevated tract, about 50 feet high, divides it from Wadi Beij; which extends likewise from S.W. to N.E. Five miles E. and VV. from the point where the road crosses this slight elevation between Wadi Zemzem and Wadi Beij are wells of bitter water, which are also called Zemzem. Except these and at Enfad there are no wells or inhabited places between Beniolid and Bonjem.
Bonjem is a small place, with 120 inhabitants, a few small gardens, and a castle; the whole being partly filled up with sand. It belongs to the regency of Fezzan, and is only 204 feet above the sea. Since 1843 the inhabitants have been free from taxes; Muhammed Pasha wishing to increase the strength of the place, chiefly as a military station against the bands of robbers in the neighbourhood, who had their stronghold and chief retreat in an ancient castle situated a little E. of Bonjem. The water of the numerous wells is strongly purgative. This place is also remarkable as forming the southern limit in these parts of that curious little animal the flea, which is here replaced by immense numbers of flies. During the march the latter congregated on and about the camels, and during the night they tilled our tents. Most of them died before we reached Sokna, which is tolerably well supplied with house-flies; but, strange to say, not a single specimen accompanied us from this place.
Twelve miles S.S.E. from Bonjem is a remarkable hill, the Bazeen, 70 feet high, and consisting of limestone; and about 40 miles further to the S.S.E. is a similar hill, called Khyema, resembling a tent, and 120 feet high. The latter lies at the foot of a range of hills which form a depression or a kind of pass where the road crosses it, called Khormut el Mhalleh—i. e. " opening for the many," or Wadi Bunaye. South of the latter a stony desert again appears, limited in the East by a range of hills running parallel with the road, and about 15 miles distant from it. Twenty miles N. of Sokna a range of hills is crossed, extending in a direction of N.N.W. to S.S.E.; beyond which, in a small lateral valley, is found a well (Tmad el Tar), which is the first water after leaving Bonjem. Every place is called Tmad which yields water after removing the sand.
Sokna is situated in a hollow, 1036 feet above the level of the sea, and entirely surrounded by hills. To the E. there are the Black Mountains (Sode), forming a perfectly level tableland, and assuming, from the blue colour of its rocks, strikingly the appearance of a sea-horizon. The town is well built, and its inhabitants, numbering about 2500 souls, are in prosperous circumstances. The gardens are abundantly supplied with dates and various kinds of fruit. The supply of water is mostly derived from forty wells: they are all hot wells, and their temperature I found to be 88^°. Near Sokna are three considerable places—El Xer, 7 miles E.; Wadan, 20 miles E.; and Hoon, 4 miles N.E. The second is situated in the mountains.
Ascending a small valley of the Black Mountain, Godfu is next reached, with a well containing very good water, 1640 feet above the level of the sea. Fifteen miles S. of this well is the highest point of the pass, 2065 feet above the sea; the surrounding mountains being 2160 feet. The Black Mountains consist of yellow sandstone impregnated with iron, from which its crust receives a black colour, appearing in the sun's rays of a deep blue. Large round patches of a yellow or brown colour are often seen on these black rocks, which give to the whole a most remarkable appearance. The summits are low and flat, and the valleys mostly circular or oval-shaped hollows. Animal and vegetable life is entirely absent in this region, which vividly recalls to your mind a landscape by moonlight. The whole range is 25 miles broad. Beyond it, and as far as Om el Abi'd, extends the Desert of Ben Afien (Serir ben Afien), perfectly level, with an average elevation of 1370 feet; without animals, without plants, and without water. We passed this desert at night, the heat, during the day on the surface, being so great as to burn the soles of the camels' feet. Fourteen miles N. of Om el Abid (mother of slaves) are hills of drifting sand, called Gerenfad; and 7 miles furthe? S. are rocks of sandstone, called Kenir. At Sokna are found the first saltlagoons ; but, beyond the Black Mountains, and as far as Murzuk, the surface is everywhere covered with a crust of salt. There is no inhabited place at Om el Abid, but numerous wells of fresh water 15 feet below the surface. After Om el Abfd we reached Zirrhen or Zeghen; then Sebha, 1380 feet above the level of the sea, formerly a considerable place, and the residence of Abd el Gelil, now in ruins, and with scarcely 400 inhabitants—the remains of 4000. Between Sebha and Rhodoa is a desert of fine sand, having midway a 60 feet deep well, without water, called Sidir Muserud Sanu'n. Twelve miles S. of Sebha four mountains are seen on the western horizon, which close up the Wadi Shergi; three of them being flat-topped, and one of a conic form resembling a pyramid.
Murzuk is situated in 25° 55' 16" N. latitude, and 14° 10' 15" E. longitude, 1495 feet above the level of the sea, in a sandy desert, interspersed with groups of date-palms. It is a very well built town, with broad streets, which is something very wonderful in an Arab town. The number of inhabitants, including slaves, amounts to 2800. The commerce is considerable, merchandise to the value of about 21,000/. changing hands every year, the slave-trade forming seven-eighths of the whole.
In the first week of September I made an excursion to the Trona Lakes of Fezzan, and determined their position. I have also visited those lakes of which Oudney and Clapperton say that they were shut up by inaccessible sand-hills; and, certainly, the desert in which they are situated is of the most terrific character— a labyrinth of hills, undulations, valleys, precipices—presenting literally not one square yard of level ground—formed entirely of drifting sand, in which the camels sank up to their bellies. For carrying my tent and cooking apparatus, together with two waterpipes, in all about 350 lbs. weight, I required no less than five camels; and, nevertheless, performed only 9£ miles in 18 hours. To form an idea of the height of these hills of drifting sand, I measured one trigonometrically, and found it to be 530 feet above the level of the adjoining lake. I desired to determine the height of the lakes by barometer, but found the transport of the latter impossible. The whole of these lakes are situated along the northern side of Wadi Shergi and Wadi Garbi. The direction of these valleys corresponds with a line from Bimbeja and Djerma, two places lying in their northern portion. Their width varies between 3 and 4 miles. The southern edge is formed of abrupt rocks of a soft kind of sandstone, in some places of a black or reddish-brown colour. A row of palm-trees, together with numerous wells and villages, forms a fringe along the northern side throughout the whole Wadi; Bimbeja, Kerkiba, and Djerma (17 miles W. of Kerkiba) being the most important of these villages. Djerma, though nearly as large as Sebha, is almost abandoned, and contains only forty inhabitants. To the W. of Sebha, and also near Murzuk, I found ancient towns, apparently built by the Romans: likewise the enclosure of a well near Djerma, undoubtedly of Roman origin, together with extremely interesting tombs, a description of which I have sent to the Chevalier Bunsen.
As the Trona Lakes, especially that of Bahr el Dud, were re