Exploration of Africa
African explorers: who's who and where they went
Even in the 18th century, much of the interior of Africa was unfamiliar to Europeans. Read brief biographies of some of the more famous explorers.
Biography: Mary Kingsley
Mary Kingsley's sheltered upbringing made her the most unlikely of African explorers. But after her parents' death, she decided to complete her father's research of "primitive religion and law", which meant she had to travel to West Africa, then an area few Europeans visited, never mind a woman travelling on her own!
Biography: Mary Kingsley
A biography in three parts of Mary Henrietta Kingsley, a Victorian explorer and writer who greatly influenced European ideas about Africa and its people.
Review of Mary Kingsley's "Travels in West Africa"
Brief review of Travels in West Africa by Mary Kingsley -- a captivating account of "One Woman's Epic and Eccentric Journey in the 1890s.
Biography: Mungo Park
Mungo Park, a Scottish surgeon and explorer, was sent out by the 'Association for Promoting the Discovery of the Interior of Africa' to discover the course of the River Niger. Having achieved a degree of fame from his first trip, carried out alone and on foot, he returned to Africa with a party of 40 Europeans, all of whom lost their lives in the adventure
Biography: Carl Peters
Carl Peters was a German explorer, journalist, and philosopher, instrumental in the founding of German East Africa and helped create the European "Scramble for Africa". Despite being vilified for cruelty to Africans and removed from office, he was later praised by Kaiser Wilhelm II and was considered a German hero by Hitler.
Biography: René-Auguste Caillié
A biography of the French explorer René-Auguste Caillié, the first European to visit and return from Timbuktu, once believed by Europeans to be a semi-mythical 'city-of-gold'.
Leo Africanus: A Description of Timbuktu
El Hasan ben Muhammed el-Wazzan-ezZayyati, born in Granada in 1485, was baptized by Pope Leo X as Johannis Leo de Medici, and is known today as Leo Africanus. He was commissioned to write a detailed survey of Africa which became the seminal European guide to the region. This extract describes his visit to Timbuktu.
Barth undertook an expedition across the Sahara to Timbuktu from 1850 to 1855. Because of his scientific background, the maps he drew up were very accurate.
Henry Morton Stanley
Stanley was the American journalist who was paid by New York Herald to find David Livingstone, who was missing, presumed dead, somewhere in Africa. This journey – he covered 700 miles in 236 days – got him hooked on exploration.
Exploring Africa: An Exhibit of Maps and Travel Narratives
A description of the maps and travel books of such notable explorers as James Bruce, Mungo Park, Burckhardt, Clapperton, Laing, Caillie, and Lander. From the exhibition at the Thomas Cooper Library, University of South Carolina.