Geographical Notes


    THE telegrams in the papers of Monday and Tuesday from Mr. Stanley are of the most suggestive and interesting character. For one thing, Emin, Casati, and others who have been holding out, are safe, though the brave Pasha has evidently been deserted by most of his men. That Mr. Stanley's expedition was needed the result has proved. He reached the Albert Nyanza for the third time, not a moment too soon to rescue the retreating party. We need not dwell on the sacrifices that have been entailed; they might to some extent have been avoided, but personally Mr. Stanley is not to blame. The geographical results of the expedition, as shadowed in the too brief telegram in Tuesday's papers, are evidently of the highest interest. There is now no doubt that there is, a southern Albert Lake, Muta Nzigé, which Mr. Stanley has named Lake Albert Edward. From the time when he himself discovered what he called Beatrice Gulf until the present, no one had seen this lake. At first it was thought to be a part of the northern lake, Albert Nyanza, but that idea had to be given up. Now it is clear that it is connected with that lake by the River Sempliki. The southern lake is 900 feet higher than the northern, and so is about 3200 feet above sea-level, and 450 feet above Lake Tanganyika, with which it is unlikely to have any connection. Mr. Stanley skirted the snowy mountain range referred to in his letters of six months ago, and found that they send down fifty streams to feed the Sempliki. Awamba, Usongora, Toro, Ahaiyama, Unyampaka, and Anhori, are all districts around the west, north, and east shores of the Lake Albert Edward, three sides of which Mr. Stanley says he has traversed—probably the east, west, and north sides, though it is possible he may have gone round the south side. It is probable that the lake as laid down on our maps is much too large, and that it is comparatively small Mr. Stanley found it to be 15 miles wide at Beatrice Gulf. From the lake he struck south-east to Karagwe and Uzinze, on the south-west and south of Victoria Nyanza, and no doubt found at Mslala the stores which have been accumulating for many months. Thus it will be seen Mr. Stanley has solved one of the few remaining problems of African geography. He has found the south-west source of the Nile, and established the true relations which exist among the great lakes of Central Africa. He has filled up an important blank in our maps, and collected observations which will enable us to understand the physical geography of one of the most interesting regions on the continent. Probably he will be able to tell us what has become of the Alexandra Lake of his former expedition. It may be as well to state that the telegram of Monday was in effect the first part of that of Tuesday, and therefore Emin's safety was not again referred to in the latter.

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    Geographical Notes. Nature 41, 20–21 (1889).

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