Date of Birth: 03/19/1821
Citizenship: United Kingdom
The ambiguous identity
Richard Francis Burton - British traveler. Together with John. H. Speke in 1854-1859 years studied Somalia, in 1858, he discovered Lake Tanganyika.
The son of wealthy parents, a British officer Richard Francis Burton has begun the study of the geographical "Horn of Africa" ??- Peninsula Somalia. The expeditions he was accompanied by a colleague - John Hanning Speke. In 1854, Burton, disguised as an Arab merchant, managed to penetrate the Ethiopian province of Harar. In 1855, travelers attempted to penetrate into the interior of the Berbers, but were attacked by Somalis - both were seriously wounded with spears.
By this time the works of Burton of India, Arabia and East Africa have won in scientific circles wide appreciation. Burton presented the project to the Royal Geographical Society expedition to Africa, "in the first place, in order to establish the boundaries of" the sea Ujiji, or Unyamvezi lake ", and, secondly, to find suitable products for export and the inner region of the ethnography of its tribes." Burton has made the necessary appropriations from the government. It was decided that it would be accompanied by Speke.
In December 1856 the travelers arrived at Zanzibar. Burton chose long, but more quiet caravan route from Bagamoyo to Ujiji. Burton and Speke decided to wait on the coast of the rainy season, remaining the same before the start time used for small excursions. In January - March 1857, they visited the island of Pemba, Mombasa, Tanggu, Pangani and climbed up the valley of the river to the Usambara mountains (which made it possible to clarify the mapping data Krapf).
In the interior of the continent expedition issued June 26, 1857. Moving along a tributary of the Indian Ocean Kingani River (Ruvu), the travelers crossed the region Uzaramo and reached the foot of the mountains Usagara - raised edges of the internal plateau. Having gone deep into the mountains on Mkondoa river valley, they found a tributary Kingani (in reality it is the upper reaches of the other flows into the Indian Ocean, the river - you do not applied to the card at the time), they crossed the Rubeho ridge and found ourselves on the vast plateau dotted with dome-shaped granite outcrops and covered with sparse grass and shrub vegetation. It was a country Ugogo. Behind it lay a more moisturized, hilly and wooded Unyamvezi - "Garden of Central Africa," according to Burton. November 7th expedition arrived in the main shopping center Unyamvezi - Tabor.
Tabor left the expedition came to the current in Tanganyika, Malagarasi river and follow along it, with minor deviations down to the lake.
Travelers staying at Cavelier (Ujiji) and after a short rest, proceeded to the study of Tanganyika. The first swim on the lake let one Speke. Burton was still too weak after the utility. After examining a small portion of the eastern coast of Tanganyika to the south of the Cavelier, Speke crossed the lake and visited located at its western coast of the island Kasenga.
Geographical results Spica studies were quite small. Burton is strongly interested in a message on the Ruzizi River, allegedly flowing from the lake to the north: he conceived the idea that it is the Nile (in the existence of hypothetical "Mountains of the Moon" Spica he did not believe). To check the information received the British went to new voyage, this time together. Passing away protruding into the lake peninsula Ubwari (adopted by them for the island), they arrived at the end of April in the village of Uvira, near the northern extremity of the Tanganyika. Everything Burton hopes to find the source of the Nile collapsed. "I paid a visit - he says, - three tall son of the Sultan (ie the local leader) ... As soon as the question was raised about the mysterious river, flowing from the lake, they all said that there were on it, and offered to conduct me. but unanimously argued - and the whole crowd present confirmed their words - that "Ruzizi" falls into Tanganyika, and does not flow out of it my heart was sad. ".
So without going to the river, travelers back in mid-May in the Cavelier, and at the end of zhemesyatsa moved back.
British researchers have seen only the northern, lower part of Tanganyika, as a general idea of ??the size and configuration of the lake made up mainly from the stories of Arab merchants. Based on these data, the estimated Lake Burton length less than 460 km (actually about 650 kilometers). The resulting Speke figure lake altitude - a little more than 560 meters - was significantly less than the true (average benchmark Tanganyika now - 774 meters, at the end of the 50-ies of the last century the level of the lake was located above on the order of 780 meters around) . The depth of the lake travelers did not measure but, given the general characteristics of the lake basin morphology, came to the correct conclusion that it must be very large (although, of course, did not suspect that this lake - the second deepest in the earth after Lake Baikal).
Opening of Tanganyika and was the first encounter between Europeans and West rift, or the Central African graben - western branch of the East African Rift System. The issue of stock Tanganyika remained unresolved; Burton did not rule out the possibility that this closed lake. Travelers also have heard of is located to the south-east of the Tanganyika, between her and Niassa, another lake - Rukwa; Some stories suggest that it communicates with Tanganyika (in fact no connection between these lakes is not) in the rainy season.
On the way back, in Tabora, the expedition was delayed due to an attack of malaria in Burton. Speke alone went in search of Lake Nyanza, or Ukereve, located at the stories of the Arabs to the north of Tanganyika. Speke went to it July 30, 1858 not far from Mwanza. Thus came the name on the map of Victoria Nyanza (currently just Victoria). Burton rejected the hypothesis about the relationship Spica Victoria Nyanza to the Nile, and as ironically then Speake, "take care, of course, on how to separate the (map) my lake on the Nile for its lunar mountains."
Outside zavisimostiot what proportion went to glory Speke and what - Burton, the scientific results of the expedition were very high. Map of East Africa, has been filled are now many new geographic objects. It is particularly important that instead of a single "Lake Nyasa" Cooley and "lake Unyamvezi" German missionaries, there are three lakes. Two of them - Tanganyika and Victoria Nyanza - British researchers have visited, and only the third, Niassa, had known only by hearsay, but not for long: in September 1859 he was visited by Livingstone.
Composed Burton scientific report of the expedition, which took the entire volume of "Journal of the Royal Geographical Society" for 1859, and his two-volume book "The lake region of Central Africa", which was published in London next year, were a valuable contribution to the science of geography. Later Speake added the work of Burton with his book "What led to the discovery of the source of the Nile" (Edinburgh - London, 1864), including a description of their travel to Somalia. Based on materials from the initial phase of the work of the East African expedition 1856-1859 years Burton has prepared another two-volume work - "Zanzibar town, the island and the coast" (London, 1872).
However, the problem of the sources of the Nile expedition of Burton and Speke to resolve failed.
Immediately after the expedition by Speke, Burton visited North America.
In 1861, Burton was appointed British consul at Fernando Po. During his tenure (to 1864), he visited the city-state of Abeokuta Yoruba, coastal region of Cameroon, Gabon Estuary, the lower reaches of the Congo, Dahomey, and other areas of the west coast of Africa. His impressions Burton described in four books: "wandering in West Africa" ??(1863), "Abeokuta and Cameroon Mountain" (1863), "Mission to Dzhelele, King of Dahomey" (1864) and "Two trips to the gorillas and to Congo Falls "(1875).
Significantly longer life earned his other work, which can be called the best gift Burton future generations, - translation of fairy tales "Thousand and One Nights."
Reprinted from the site