New York Herald/November 29, 1875
Exploration of the Victoria Nyanza
Speke’s Observations and Map Verified
The American Explorer Travels Along the Southern Coast of the Lake in the Lady Alice
At the Mouth of the Shimeeyu–Siraa and Magu.
Attacks and Assaults by Hostile Natives
Through the Napoleon Channel to the Uganda Shore
A Royal Reception
Salutes, Flags, Drums and Soldiery
King Mtesa: His Court, Guards and Personal Appearance
The American Christian Tumbles Islamism to the Ground
Ulagalla, Mtesa’s Capital, Uganda
Lon. 32 Deg. 49 Min. 45 Sec., N. Lat. 0 Deg. 32 Min.
April 12, 1875
I write this letter in a hurry, as it is the mere record of a work begun and not ended — I mean the exploration of the Victoria Niyanza. But brief as it necessarily must be, I am sure it will interest thousands of your readers, for it solves the great question, “Is the Victoria Niyanza one lake, or does it consist of a group of lakes?” such as Livingstone reported it to be. In answer to the query, I will begin by stating that I have explored, by means of the Lady Alice, the southern, eastern, and northeastern shores of the Victoria Niyanza, have penetrated into every bay, inlet and creek that indent its shores, and have taken thirty-seven observations, so that I feel competent to decide upon the question at issue, without bias or prejudice to any hypothesis. I have a mass of notes relating to the countries I visited, and ample means of making a proper chart at my camp at Usukuma, but I have neither paper, parallel rules nor any instrument whatever to lay down the positions I have taken, with me at present. I merely took an artificial horizon, sextant, chronometer, two aneroids, boiling point apparatus, sounding line, a few guns, ammunition and some provisions, as I wished to make the boat as light as possible, that she might work easily in the storms of the Niyanza. But when I reach camp I propose to draw a correct chart of the Niyanza and write such notes upon the several countries I have visited as will amply repay perusal and study.
I have already informed you that our camp at Kagehyi, in Usukuma, is situated in longitude 33 deg. 13 min. east and latitude 2 deg. 31 min. south. Before starting on the exploration of the lake I ascertained that Muanza was situated a few miles west, almost on the same parallel of latitude as Kagehyi. Now Muanza is the point whence Speke observed the Victoria Niyanza and where he drew his imaginary sketch of the lake from information given to him by the natives. If you will look at Speke’s map you will find that it contains two islands — Ukerewe and Maziti. Looking at the same objects from Kagehyi, I would have concluded that they were islands myself; but a faithful exploration of the lake has proved that they are not islands, but a lengthy promontory of land extending from longitude 34 deg. 45 min. east, to longitude 32 deg. 40 min. 15 sec. east. That part of the lake that Speke observed from Muanza is merely a huge gulf, about twenty-five miles wide by sixty-five miles long. To the noble Lake Niyanza Speke loyally added that of Victoria, as a tribute to his sovereign, which let no man take away; but in order to connect forever Speke’s name to the lake which he discovered I have thought it but simple justice to the gallant explorer to call this immense gulf Speke Gulf. If you look again on Speke’s map you will observe how boldly he has sketched the Niyanza stretching eastward and northeastward. Considering that he drew it from mere native report, which never yet was exact or clear, I must say that I do not think any other man could have arrived so near the truth. I must confess that I could not have done it myself, for I could make nothing of the vague and mythical reports of the natives of Kagehyi.
Proceeding eastward to the unknown and fabulous distance in the Lady Alice , with a picked crew of eleven men and a guide, I coasted along the southern coast of the lake, round many a noble bay, until we came to the mouth of the Shimeeyu, in longitude 33 deg. 33 min. east, latitude 2 deg. 35 min. south — by far the noblest river that empties into the lake that we have yet seen. The Shimeeyu has a length of 370 miles, and is the extreme southern source of the Nile. Before emptying into the lake it unites with the Luamberri River, whence it issues in a majestic flood to Lake Victoria Niyanza. At the mouth it is a mile wide, but contracts as we proceed up the river to 400 yards. Even by itself it would make no insignificant White Nile. By accident our route through Ituru took us from its birthplace, a month’s march from the lake, and along many a mile of its crooked course, until by means of the Lady Alice we were enabled to see it enter the Niyanza, a river of considerable magnitude. Between the mouth of the Shimeeyu and Kagehyi were two countries — Sima and Magu — of the same nature as Usukuma, and inhabited by peoples speaking the same dialect. On the eastern side of the river is Mazanza, and beyond Manasa. Coasting still along the southern shore of the lake, beyond Manasa, we come to Ututwa, inhabited by a people speaking a different language, namely that of the Wajika, as the Wamasai are called here, a people slender and tall, carrying formidably long knives and terrible and portentous spears. In longitude 33 deg. 45 min. 45 sec. east we came to the extreme end of Speke Gulf, and then turned northward as far as latitude 2 deg. 5 min. south, whence we proceeded westward almost in a straight line along Shashi and Iramba, in Ukerewe. In longitude 33 deg. 26 min. east, we came to a strait — the Rugeji strait — which separates one-half of Ukerewe from the other half, and by which there is a direct means of communication from Speke Gulf with the countries lying north of Ukerewe. We did not pass through, but proceeded still westward, hugging the bold shores of that part of Ukerewe which is an island, as far as longitude 32 deg. 40 min. 15 sec. east, whence, following the land, we turned northwest, thence north, until in latitude 1 deg. 53 min. south we turned east again, coasting along the northern shores of Ukerewe Island until we came to the tabular-topped bluff of Majita (Speke miscalled this Mazita, or Maziti, and termed it an island), in longitude 33 deg. 9 min. 45 sec. east, and latitude 1 deg. 50 min. south, whence the land begins to trend northward of east. North of Kashizu in Ukerewe lies the large island of Ukara, which gives its name with some natives to that part of the lake lying between it and Ukerewe. It is about eighteen miles long by twelve wide, and is inhabited by a people strong in charms and magic medicine. From Majita we pass on again to the north shore of Shashi, whose south coast is bounded by Speke Gulf, and beyond Shashi we come to the first district in Ururi.
Ururi extends from Shashi in latitude 1 deg. 50 min. south, to latitude 0 deg. 40 min. 0 sec. south, and embraces the districts of Wye, Iriene, Urieri, Igengi, Kutiri, Shirati and Mohuru. Its coast is indented most remarkably with bays and creeks, which extend far inland. East of the immediate coast line the country is a level plain, which is drained by an important river called Shirati. All other streams which issue into the lake along the coast of Ururi are insignificant.
North of Shirati, the most northern district of Ururi, begins the country of Ugeyeya, whose bold and mountainous shores form a strong contrast to the flats of Shirati and Mohuru. Here are mountains rising abruptly from the lake to a height of 3,000 feet and more. This coast is also very crooked and irregular, requiring patient and laborious rowing to investigate its many bends and curves. The people are a timid and suspicious race, much vexed by their neighbors, the Waruri, south, and Wamasai, east and are loath to talk to strangers, as the Arab slave dealers of Pangani have not taught them to love people carrying guns.
The Wageyeya, having been troubled by the Waruri, have left many miles of wilderness between their country and that of their fierce neighbors uninhabited. But Sungoro, the agent of Mse Saba, who prompted the Waruri to many a devilish act, and has purchased the human spoils, is constructing in Ukerewe a dhow of twenty or thirty tons burden, with which he intends to prosecute more actively his nefarious trade. Nothing would have pleased me better than to have been commissioned by some government to hang all such wretches wherever found; and, if ever a pirate deserved death for inhuman crimes, Sungoro, the slave trader, deserves death. Kagehyi, in Usukuma, has become the seat of the inhuman slave trade. To this part they are collected from Sima, Magu, Ukerewe, Ururi and Ugeyeya; and when Sungoro has floated his dhow and hoisted his blood-stained ensign the great sin will increase tenfold, and the caravan road to Unyanyembe will become hell’s highway.
On the coast of Ugeyeya I expected to discover a channel to another lake, as there might be a grain of truth in what the Wanguana reported to Livingstone; but I found nothing of the sort, except unusually deep bends in the shore, which led nowhere. The streams were insignificant and undeserving the name of rivers.
A few miles from the Equator I discovered two islands formed of basaltic rock and overgrown with a dense growth of tropical vegetation. One had a natural bridge of rock thirty feet long and fifteen feet wide; the other had a small cave. In longitude 34 deg. 49 min. east, at Nakidimo, Ugeyeya, we came to the furthest point east of the Victoria Niyanza.
North of Ugeyeya begins Baringo, a small country, extending over about fifteen miles of latitude. Its coast is also remarkable for deep indentations and noble bays, some of which are almost entirely closed by land and might well be called lakes by uncultivated Wanguana. Large islands are also numerous, some of which lie so close to the mainland that if we had not hugged its shore closely we should have mistaken them for portions of the mainland. North of Baringo the land is again distinguished by lofty hills, cones and plateaus which sink eastward into plains, and here a new country commences — Unyara, the language of whose people is totally distinct from that of Usukuma, and approaches to that of Uganda and Usoga.
Unyara occupies the northeastern coast of the Victoria Niyanza, and by observation the extreme northeastern point of the Niyanza ends in longitude 34 deg. 35 min. east and latitude 33 min. 43 sec. north. As I intend to send you a chart of the Niyanza, it is needless here to enter into minor details, but I may as well mention here that a large portion of the northeastern end of the lake is almost entirely closed in by the shores of Ugana and of two islands, Chaga and Usuguru, the latter of which is one of the largest in the Niyanza.
While Unyara occupies the northeastern coast of Niyanza, Ugana commences the northern coast of the lake from the east, and, running southwest a few miles, forms here a large bay. It then trends westward, and the island of Chaga runs directly north and south for eight miles at a distance of twelve miles from the opposite coast of Unyara. With but a narrow channel between, Usuguru island runs from the southern extremity of Chaga, in a south-southeasterly direction, to within six miles from the eastern shore of the mainland. Thus almost a lake is formed separate from the Niyanza.
North of Chaga Island Usoga begins with the large district of Usowa, where we met with the first hostile intention — though not act, as the act was checked by show of superior weapons — on the part of the natives. Thence, as we proceed westward, the districts of Ugamba, Uvira, Usamu and Utamba line the coast of Usoga.
Where Utama begins, large islands again become frequent, the principal of which is Uvuma, an independent country and the largest in the Victoria Niyanza. At Uvuma we experienced treachery and hostility on the part of the natives. By show of friendship on their part we were induced to sail within a few yards of the shore, while a mass of natives were hid in ambush behind the trees. While sailing quietly by, exchanging friendly greetings with them, we were suddenly attacked with a shower of large rocks, several of which struck the boat; but the helm being quickly put “hard up,” we sheered from shore to a safer distance, but not before one of the rascals was laid dead by a shot from one of my revolvers.
After proceeding some miles we entered a channel between the islands of Uvuma and Bugeyeya, but close to the shore of Uvuma. Here we discovered a fleet of large canoes — thirteen in number — carrying over a hundred warriors, armed with shields and spears and slings. The foremost canoe contained baskets of sweet potatoes, which the people held up as if they were desirous to trade. I ordered my people to cease rowing, and as there was but a slight breeze we still held on with the sail and permitted the canoe to approach.
While we were bargaining for potatoes with this canoe the other canoes came up and blocked the boat, while the people began to lay hands on everything; but we found their purpose out, and I warned the canoes away with my gun. They jeered at this and immediately seized their spears and shields, while one canoe hastened away with some beads they had stolen, and which a man insolently held up to my view, and invited us to catch him. At sight of this I fired, and the man fell dead in his canoe. The others prepared to launch their spears, but the repeating rifle was too much for the crowd of warriors who had hastened like pirates to rob us. Three were shot dead, and as they retreated my elephant rifle smashed their canoes, the result of which we saw in the confusion attending each shot. After a few shots from the big gun we continued on our way, still hugging the shore of Uvuma, for it was unnecessary to fly after such an exhibition of inglorious conduct on the part of thirteen canoes, containing in the aggregate over one hundred men.
In the evening we anchored in the channel between Uvuma and Usoga, in east long. 33 deg. 40 min. 15 sec., and north lat. 0 deg. 30 min. 9 sec. Next morning the current perceptibly growing stronger as we advanced north, we entered the Napoleon Channel that separates Usoga from Uganda, and then sailed across to the Uganda shore. Having arrived close to the land, we pulled down sail and rowed towards the Ripon Falls, the noise of whose rushing waters sounded loud and clear in our ears. The lake shoaled rapidly, and we halted to survey the scene at a spot half a mile from the first mass of foam caused by the escaping waters. Speke has been most accurate in his description of the outflowing river, and his pencil has done fair justice to it. The scenery around, on the Usoga and Uganda side, had nothing of the sublime about it, but it is picturesque and well worth a visit. A few small islands dot the channel and lie close ashore; while at the entrance of the main channel, looking south, the large islands of Uziri and Wanzi stretch obliquely, or southwest, toward Uvuma. But the eye of the observer is more fascinated by the ranks of swelling foam and leaping waters than by the uneven contour of the land; and the ear is attracted by the rough music of their play, despite the terrors which the imagination paints to us, and it absorbs all our attention to watch the smooth, flowing surface of the lake suddenly broken by the rocks of gneiss and hematite which protrude, white and ruddy, above the water, and which threaten instant doom to the unlucky navigator who would be drifted among them. There is a charm in the scene that belongs to few such, for this outflowing river, which the Great Victoria Niyanza discharges from its bosom, becomes known to the world as the White Nile. Though born amid the mountains of Ituru, Kargue and Ugeyeya it emerges from the womb of the Niyanza the perfect Nile which annually resuscitates parched Egypt.
From the Ripon Falls we proceeded along the coast of Ikira southwest until, gaining the shore opposite Uziri, we coasted westerly along the irregular shore of Uganda. Arriving at the isle of Kriva we secured guides, who voluntarily offered to conduct us as far as Mtesa’s capital. Halting a short time at the island of Kibibi, we proceeded to Ukafu, where a snug horseshoe-shaped bay was discovered. From Ukafu we dispatched messengers to Mtesa to announce the arrival of a white visitor in Uganda, after being most hospitably received with fair words but with empty hands along the coast of Uganda.
I was anxious to discover the entrance of the Luajerri, and questioned the natives long and frequently about it, until, securing an interpreter who understood the Kiswahili, we ascertained that there was no such river as the Luajerri, that Luaserri meant still water, applicable to any of the many lengthy creeks or narrow inlets which indent the coasts of Uganda and Usoga, from which I conclude that Speke was misinformed, and that his “Luajerri” is Luaserri, or still water. At least, we discovered no such river, either sluggish or quick, flowing northwards; while in the neighborhood of “Murchison Creek” I did discover a long and crooked inlet called Mwrau — a Luaserri, or still water — which penetrated several miles inland, the termination of which we saw. I noticed a positive tide here during the morning. For two hours the water of this creek flowed north, subsequently for two hours it flowed south, and on asking the people if it were a usual sight they said it was, and was visible in all of the inlets on the coast of Uganda.
Arriving at Beya, we were welcomed by a fleet of canoes sent by Mtesa to conduct us to Murchison Creek. On the 4th of April I landed amid a concourse of 2,000 people, who saluted me with a deafening volley of musketry and waving of flags. Katakiro, the chief Mukungu, or officer in Uganda, then conducted me to comfortable quarters, to which shortly afterward were brought sixteen goats, ten oxen, an immense quantity of bananas, plantains, sweet potatoes, besides eggs, chickens, milk, rice, ghee and butter. After such a royal and bountiful gift I felt more curiosity than ever to see the generous monarch.
In the afternoon, Mtesa, having prepared beforehand for my reception, sent to say that he was ready to receive me. Issuing out of my quarters I found myself in a broad street eighty feet wide and half a mile long, which was lined by his personal guards and attendants, his captains and their respective retinues, to the number of about 3,000. At the extreme end of this street and fronting it was the King’s audience house, in whose shadow I saw dimly the figure of the King sitting in a chair.
As I advanced toward him the soldiers continued to fire their guns. The drums, sixteen in number, beat a fearful tempest of sound, and the flags waved, until I became conscious that all this display was far beyond my merits, and consequently felt greatly embarrassed by so flattering a reception. Arrived before the audience house the King rose — a tall and slender figure, dressed in Arab costume — approached me a few paces, held out his hand mutely, while the drums continued their terrible noise, and we stood silently gazing at each other a few minutes, I, indeed, more embarrassed than ever. But soon, relieved from the oppressive noise of the huge drums and violence of the many screaming, discordant fifes, I was invited to sit, Mtesa first showing the example, followed by his great captains, about one hundred in number.
More at ease, I surveyed the figure and features of this powerful monarch. Mtesa is about thirty-four years old, and tall and slender in build, as I have already stated, but with broad shoulders. His face is very agreeable and pleasant, and indicates intelligence and mildness. His eyes are large, his nose and mouth are a great improvement upon those of the common type of negro, and approach to that of the Muscat Arab slightly tainted with negro blood. His teeth are splendid, and gleaming white.
As soon as Mtesa began to speak I became captivated by his manner, for there was much of the polish of a true gentleman about it — it was at once amiable, graceful and friendly. It assured me that in Mtesa I had found a friend, a generous King, and an intelligent ruler. He is infinitely superior to Seyd Burghash, the Arab Sultan of Zanzibar, and he appears to me like a colored gentleman who has visited European courts, whence he has caught a certain polish and ease of manner and a vast amount of information which he has collected for the improvement of his race. If you will recollect that Mtesa is a native of Central Africa, and that he had seen but three white men until I came, you will, perhaps, be as much astonished at this as I was. And if you will but think of the enormous extent of country he rules, extending from east longitude 34 to east longitude 31, and from north latitude 1 to south latitude 3.30, you will perceive the immense influence he could wield toward the civilization of Africa. Indeed, I could not regard this King or look at him in any other light than the Augustus by whose means the light of the Gospel will be brought to benighted Middle Africa.
Undoubtedly the Mtesa of today is vastly superior to the vain youth whom Speke and Grant saw. There is no butchery of men or women; seldom one suffers the extreme punishment. Speke and Grant left him a raw, vain youth, and a heathen. He is now a gentleman, and, professing Islamism, submits to other laws than his own erratic will, which, we are told, led to severe and fatal consequences. All his captains and chief officers profess the same creed, dress in Arab costume and in other ways affect Arab custom. He has a guard of 200 men — renegades from Baker’s expedition, Zanzibar defalcators, a few Omani and the elect of Uganda.
Behind his throne, an armchair of native manufacture, the royal shieldbearers, lancebearers and gunbearers stand erect and staid. On either side of him are his grand chiefs and courtiers, sons of governors of his provinces, chiefs of districts, &c. Outside the audience house the lengthy lines of warriors begin with the chief drummer and noisy goma beaters. Next come the screaming fifers, the flag and banner bearers, the fusilliers, and so on seemingly ad infinitum with spearmen.
Mtesa asked a number of questions about various things, thereby showing a vast amount of curiosity and great intelligence.
The King had arrived at this camp — Usavara — fourteen days before my arrival, with this immense army of followers, for the purpose of shooting birds. He now proposed to return, after two or three days’ rest, to his capital at Ulagalla, or Uragara. Each day of my stay at Usavara was a scene of gayety and rejoicing. On the first after my arrival we beheld a grand naval review — eighty-four canoes, each manned by from thirty to forty men, containing in the aggregate a force of about 2,500 men. We had excellent races and witnessed various manoeuvres by water. Each admiral vied with the other in extolling aloud the glory of their monarch, or in exciting admiration from the hundreds of spectators on shore. The King’s three hundred wives were present en grande tenue, and were not the least important of those on shore.
The second day the King led his fleet in person to show me his prowess in shooting birds. We rowed, or were rather paddled, up “Murchison Creek,” visiting en route a dhow he is building for the navigation of the lake, his place of residence, and his former capital, Banda, where Speke and Grant found him.
En passant, I may remark that Speke could not possibly have seen the whole of the immense bay he has denominated creek. It is true that from a short distance west of Dwaga, his Ramazan palace, up to Mngono, the extremity of the bay, a distance of about eight miles, it might be termed a creek, but this distance does not approach to one-half of the bay. I respectfully request geographers, Messrs. Keith Johnston and Stanford especially, to change the name of Murchison Creek to Murchison Bay, as more worthy of the large area of water now known by the former inappreciative title. Murchison Bay extends from north latitude 15 deg. to north latitude 27 deg., and from east longitude 32 deg. 53 min. to 32 deg. 38 min. in extreme length. At the mouth the bay contracts to a width of four miles, but within its greatest breadth is twelve miles. Surely such a body of water — as terms go — deserves the more appropriate name of bay, but I leave it to fair judging geographers to decide. For the position of Mtesa’s capital I have taken three observations, three different days. My longitude agrees pretty closely with that of Speke’s, while there is but four miles difference of latitude.
The third day the troops of Mtesa were exercised at target practice, and on the fourth day we all marched for the Grand Capital, the Kibuga of Uganda, Ulagalla or Uragara. Mutesa is a great King. He is a monarch who would delight the soul of any intelligent European, as he would see in Mtesa the hope of Central Africa. He is King of Karagwe, Uganda, Unyoro, Usoga and Usui. Each day I saw something which increased my esteem and respect for him. He is fond of imitating Europeans and great kings, which trait, with a little tuition, would be of immense benefit to his country. He has prepared broad highways in the neighborhood of his capital for the good time that is coming when some charitable European will send him any kind of a wheeled vehicle. As we approached the capital the highway from Usavara increased in width from 20 feet to 150 feet. When we arrived at this magnificent breadth we viewed the capital crowning an eminence commanding a most extensive view of a picturesque and rich country teeming with gardens of plantains and bananas, and beautiful pasture land. Of course huts, however large, lend but little attraction to a scene, but a tall flagstaff and an immense flag proved a feature in the landscape.
Arrived at the capital I found that the vast collection of huts crowning the eminence were the Royal Quarters, around which ran five several palisades and circular courts, between which and the city was a circular road, ranging from 100 to 200 feet in width, from which radiated six or seven magnificent avenues, lined with gardens and huts.
The next day after arrival I was introduced to the Royal Palace in great state. None of the primitive scenes visible in Speke’s book were visible here. The guards, clothed in white cotton dresses, were by no means comical. The chiefs were very respectable looking people, dressed richly in the Arab costume. The palace was a huge and lofty structure, well built of grass and cane, while tall trunks of trees upheld the roof, which was covered with cloth sheeting inside.
On the fourth day after my arrival news came that another white man was approaching the capital from the direction of Unyoro, and on the fifth day I had the extreme pleasure of greeting Colonel Linant de Bellefonds, of the Egyptian service, who had been despatched by Colonel Gordon to Mtesa, to make a treaty of commerce between him and the Egyptian government. The meeting, though not so exciting as my former meeting with the venerable David Livingstone, at Ujiji, in November, 1871, still may be said to be singular and fortunate for all concerned. In Colonel Bellefonds I met a gentleman extremely well informed, energetic and a great traveler. His knowledge of the countries between Uganda and Khartoum was most minute and accurate, from which I conclude that but little of the geography of Central Africa between the cataracts of the Nile and Uganda is unknown. To which store of valuable geographical acquisitions must now be added my exploration of the Nile sources, which pour into the Niyanza and the new countries I have visited between the Niyanza and the Unyanyembe road. In Colonel Bellefonds I also perceived great good fortune, for I now had the means to despatch my reports of geographical discoveries and my long delayed letters.
The day after to-morrow I intend to return to Usukuma, prosecuting my geographical researches along the western shores of the Victoria Niyanza. After which I propose to march the expedition to the Katonga Valley, and thence, after another visit to Mtesa, march directly west for Lake Albert Niyanza, where I hope to meet with some more of the gallant subordinates of Colonel Gordon, by whom I shall be able, through their courtesy, to send several more letters descriptive of discoveries and adventures.
I might protract this letter indefinitely by dwelling upon the value of the service rendered to science and the world by Ismael Pacha, but time will not allow me, nor, indeed, is it necessary, as I dare say by this time you have had ample proofs of what has been done by Gordon. Baker, unfortunately, appears to be in bad odor with all I meet. His severity and other acts receive universal condemnation; but far be it from me to add to the ill report, and so I leave what I have heard untold.
Then, briefly, thus much remains to be said. Livingstone, in his report of the Niyanza consisting of five lakes, was wrong. Speke, in his statement that the Niyanza was but one lake, was quite correct. But I believe that east of the Niyanza, or rather northeast of the Niyanza, there are other lakes, though they have no connection whatever with the Niyanza; nor do I suppose they are of any great magnitude or extend south of the Equator. If you ask me why, I can only answer that in my opinion the rivers entering the Niyanza on the northeastern shore do not sufficiently drain the vast area of country lying between the Niyanza and the western versant of the Eastern African mountain range. From the volume of the Niyanza feeders on the northeastern side I cannot think that they extend further than longitude 36 deg. east, which leaves a large tract of country east to be drained by other means than the Niyanza. But this means may very probably be the Jub, which empties its waters into the Indian Ocean. The Sobat cannot possibly approach near the Equator. This, however, will be decided definitively by Gordon’s officers. Colonel Bellefonds informs me that the Assua, or Asha, is a mere torrent.
When you see my chart, which will trace the course of the Luamberri and the Shimeeyu, the rivers which drain the whole of the south and southeast countries of the Niyanza, you will be better able to judge of their importance and magnitude as sources of the Nile. I expect to discover a considerable river southwest; but all of this will be best told in my next letter.
P.S. I had almost forgotten to state that the greatest depth of the Niyanza as yet ascertained by me is 275 feet. I have not yet sounded the center of the lake; this I intend to do on my return to Usukuma South.
(Source: “Stanley’s Despatches to the New York Herald,” Archive.org)