Diaries of Henry BALFOUR (1863-1939), anthropologist and museum curator
South Africa 1905
[“Kildonan Castle”, Union-Castle Line Letter Card inserted into diary.]
[“The Beira and Mashonaland and Rhodesia Railways” time table booklet inserted into diary.]
Sat July 22. Sailed from Southampton 5.30 pm. Splendid weather.
Sun. 23 Rounded Ushant in morning, passed ‘Durham Castle’, which started around 2.30 on 22nd, early in morning. Storm petrels in wake all day. Two large rorquals in early morning jumping clear of water.
Mon. 24 Bay very clam, petrels, shearwaters.
Tues. 25 [no entry for this date]
Wed. 26 Deserter on port side.
Funchal, 5.30am. Still splendid weather—cooled ship. Went ashore with Lewis, Shipley + Harmer 6.30 a.m. Up coq. railway to Reid’s Hotel on mountain, bananas in fruit, hibiscus in flower, datura in flower. Breakfast at hotel, walked about for views. Came down with Lewis in running ‘carro’. Fish-market, number of tunny, barracouta (?) [sic], another long narrow fish with much underhung jaw, pointed snout, silvery colour etc. Fruit market, bought passion fruit, grenadillas + ‘melon pears’. Lewis photo’d. Botanical gardens very good. Diving boys in great numbers, excellent diving from boat davits, 36-40 feet. Sailed 12.30pm. Few flying fish + dolphins.
Thurs. 27 Flying fish more numerous. 1 shark in morning. Storm petrels very numerous. rather larger than pelagica, same white rump, very little light colour on tertiaries. Shearwaters, 1 all-brown petrel of medium size. Dance in evening.
Frid. 28 Large fleet of Physalia for several miles bladder like body, sometimes blue, with sail like cress pink around rim. Prions + storm petrels, shearwaters. Flying fish very numerous. Sea phosphorescent (? jelly fish) at night.
On the inside of the sketch book cover: a sketch of a dolphin and a jellyfish]
[“R.M.S. Kildonian Castle” postcard inserted into diary]
Sat. 29 Off Cape Verde about 6.0 am. fairly close in. Large shark, basking on surface. Dull morning, some rain. Large school of dolphins feeding, 2 large orca gladiator quite close to ship. Albacore or bonito fishing in groups on flying fish. Very large flock of storm petrels settled on the water. Large + small terns, the large ones resembling Caspian terns, shearwaters, passed Bucknell line boat in morning.
Sun. 30 2 sharks. storm petrels in wake.
Mon. 31 Storm petrels getting scarce. 1 large shark.
Tues. Aug. 1 [no entry for this date]
Wed. 2 [no entry for this date]
Thurs. 3 [no entry for this date]
Friday 4 1 albatros seen D. Exulans. A few rorquals.
Sat. 5 Rorquals numerous, saw a dozen or 15, some large, + I think one Killer. Birds scarce, mainly prions (wide-a-wakes + black throated petrels) 1 fair sized albatross.
[Union-Castle Line Royal Mail Steamer “Kildonian Castle” postcard inserted into diary]
Sun. 6 Fine + cold. Southern Gannets met for first time in early morning, fairly numerous. Mollimawks [sic], a few Cape pigeons + Cape hens—prions, + black throated petrels. No whales.
Mon. 7 Dull morning, but fine + cold later. Reduced speed. Large dolphins early in morning. Went to stern of ship at 6.30 to see the birds which were very numerous. Cape hens, Cape pigeons, mollimawks [sic] (2 species, one with bright yellow bill + white nape to neck, black wings + back, white rump, grey tail, black streak behind eye. The other slightly smaller with dark bill lined along upper ridge with reddish yellow, wings + back black, nape greyish the colour forming a partial collar, darker tail feathers.). Numerous larger albatrosses D. Exulans in immature + nearly mature plumage, the former mottled dark brown almost all over, the latter with bodies white even between wings, proportionately small heads, long beaks of pink colour. Storm petrel—all the above following ship all day, the cape pigeons increasing in number by afternoon. Numerous Gannets, wide-a-wakes (? prion) + black throated petrels around but not following. 2 whales spouting but not determined. Small schools of good sized dolphins but none playing around the ship.
Tues. 8 Anchored in Table Bay, 5.20 a.m. Quite dark but brilliantly fine, mountain clear. Venus showing extraordinarily large low down. Sclater met us on board. Came up to Mr. Nelson Hotel, room 61 on second floor front looking over Harbour. Went to Museum + identified birds etc. Saw Peringuey + his stone implements. In Botanical Garden saw a tree with some of its branches thickly covered with hairy caterpillars. Cape doves. Weaver birds. Wagtails (grey). Large kind of starling. Went round the town + watched a duiker (cormorant) from a small pier.
Wed. 9 Breakfast late. Museum in morning, watched weaver birds building their nests in Botanical Gardens. Weather wet, unable to go up Table Mountain. Visited fish market + saw thousands of crawfish being unloaded from boats. S. Longstaffe + Dixey caught a chamaeleon in the Botan. Gardens on the tree where the caterpillars were swarming. Did not go outside Cape Town. Bought a Calabash pipe.
Thurs. 10 13y electric tram over the Kloof-route to Camps Bay, fine ride, 3/4 hour. Very fine day, sea smooth but breaking finely on shelling shore. On some of the larger rocks numbers of Dominican Gulls + duikers. Gannets fishing + great number of duikers in water. 1 Caspian tern flew by. On shore, wagtails, black + white shrikes, small reddish brown hawks. Lunched at the Pavilion. Huge hairy spider created panic. Walked along shore towards Sea Point, dead penguin on beach. Black snake close to road. Yellow vented bulbul.
Walked to Sea Point, c 1 1/2 miles, + had tea at Queens Hotel. Breakers very fine. Giant sea weed very striking, some of the stems 6 in diam. at base, and 12-13 feet long crowned with long streamers. Quantities of chitons in the pools. Back by train from Sea Point via Green Point + Adderley Str.
Fri. 11th Up early with Lewis, caught 8.35 train to Claremont meeting Cookson on the way; the three of us drove in Cape cart from station to foot of Skeleton Gorge up which we ascended Table Mountain. The Gorge was shaded from the sun, steep but easy going. From the reservoir turned to right to the top of the plateau, + crossed to Cape Town side, whence magnificent view of the town. Views splendid all round, brilliant day, strong wind blowing on top. Lunched on the top, + walked along plateau edge to the Platte Klip Gorge down which we descended to the hotel. Very rough going, loose stones exceedingly trying. Gorge very fine however saw no dassies or [illegible] buck, + only heard one party of baboons. Birds pretty numerous, especially sun birds, rock thrushes, spruces, 1 crow, 1 black + white small eagle or buzzard. In sugar bush region at base of mountain numerous promerops + black + white shrikes. Much of the sugar bush already over, but 4 kinds observable. “Disa” orchids not yet in flower on mountain. In evening drove out with Edie + Lewis
to Kenilworth to the Sclaters (Baker Rd), where we dined, driving back afterward. 1 hr – 1 1/4 each way.
Sat. 12 Caught 8 a.m. train with Peringuey + Du Toit (Geologist) for Stellenbosch. Hunted for quartzite implements amongst the water worn boulders near the station + elsewhere on higher ground, found great quantities of manufactured implements, finished or unfinished + brought some away. Sampled some excellent wines at Mr. _____ [left blank], at a fine old Dutch homestead. Lunched with D. Blum (Geologist + Zoologist to the College, Stellenbosch), saw his little Museum with some fine stone impl. fr. neighbourhood + some excellent perforated stone balls. Train back, seeing a fine secretary bird in a field near the line. Very fine weather.
Sunday 13. 9.50am train to Simonstown to visit the Napiers. Napier flag capt of “Crescent”. living at the “Boulders, about 2 miles from station. Birds—penguins, gannets, gulls, duikers, 1 Caspian tern. In a vlei near Muizenberg + Lake Side were several large birds, probably storks or cranes. Seals + whales frequent the bay but we did not see any. The Napiers had a fine chameleon from the neighbourhood.
Monday 14. Durham Castle arrived. Wet day. Went to museum and looked up section H. room. Afternoon to Groote Schuur met Dr. Sclater + Mrs. W. Sclater + saw all over the house, walked about the grounds, saw baboons, lions, eland, kangaroos, blesbok, ostriches, even ostrich challenged, by squatting down + flogging sides with head, the neck being distended, the wings opening alternately. Met Edie + Mr. W. Trammed back.
Tuesday 15. Saxon arrived. Organizing committee Sect. H. at 2.0, General meeting 4. Did not go to Presidents address in evening. Went out to the Observatory in the afternoon + saw many of the instruments.
Wednesday 16. Wet day. Section met in morning 9.30-1.0. Did not go to the Governor’s Garden Party in afternoon. Tyrrell Brooks called at hotel. Went to Mayor’s reception in City Hall in evening.
Thursday 17. Section H, all morning. Read paper on S. Afr. Musical Instr. with lantern. Afternoon went to reception room + afterwards went with Cookson to the Observatory + had walk with him in country sound. Saw a secretary bird which we put up + made to fly, also a small eagle (? Verreaux’s Eagle), wren warblers, arioles, fiscal shrikes, [illegible] widow birds, promerops, malachite kingfisher
[The Union Castle Line Royal Mail Steamer “Saxon” (12385 tons), postcard inserted into diary]
Giant Kingfisher (Ceryle Maxima) + a flight of Egrets, the last three on the Vlei at back of Observatory + Mowbray. Packed in the evening.
Friday 18. Section H. in morning, + the Museum. Afternoon walked about the town, bought calabash pipes, saw thousands of penguin’s eggs being unladen from a sailing boat, collected on Damsend. Bought two in a shop. Went on board S.S. “Saxon”, + Edie saw Lewis + me off. Started at about 6.0 from the harbour, saw numerous penguins just outside, Dominican Gulls, gannets, Mollymawks, tern. Glorious sunset with fine “Green ray”.
Sat. 19. At sea along the coast. Passed Mossel Bay in morning c.11.0. Saw large shoal of dolphins, delphis capensis, while dressing + others in late afternoon. Gannets in quantities, + numerous Mollymawks + yellow billed albatrosses, prions (a few), Cape Hens. Reached Algoa Bay at 11.0 pm. + anchored, commenced discharging 1500 tons of cargo, + went on all night, our cabin (35 +36) being immediately adjacent to the donkey engines + cargo hatches forward. The barber (who was also with us in the “Scott”, caught some large fish weighing up to 50 lbs. Turned in at midnight.
[Union-Castle Line Royal Mail Steamer “Saxon”, postcard inserted into diary]
Sun. 20. Fine day but windy from the shore, Westerly. Went ashore with Lewis at 9.0am. + walked out along the Bay Northwards, saw remains of numerous wrecks, one of wh. we photod. Body of drowned native on the sand. Turned back to Market Square. Dolphins were playing along the surf in the breakers, + passing under the pier. Large cuttle fish alongside the tug in which we went ashore, when turned over with a stick it made a great discharge of ink.
Visited the Museum + met the Mayor + others. Went to the Club where excellent lunch was provided for B.Ass. members. Visited the park at the top of the [illegible] + photo’d the weaver bird colony. Came on board at 4pm. Not much sea on. Quantities of Dominican Gulls + many skuas alongside the ship. Tried to photo the skuas. Sailed at 6pm for E. London. Fine evening, smooth sea.
Mon. 21. Anchored off E. London at 6am. Sea very smooth. L. and I + Harmer got off by an early boat at 8.15. + went ashore. Walked round by new railway tunnel + climbed up the cliff + walked through the Euphorbia + other scrub, through small native settlement towards the veldt at back of town. Drongo shrikes etc, strelitzia growing wild apparently, many fine butterflies. On the Veldt along the edge of the wooded valley, the flora very fascinating: gladioli, acacias, euphorbias etc, large
termite hills, + smaller ones with both black (brown) ants + termites. Largish brown hawk, fiscal shrikes, swallows + many other birds. Found a dead mole (? chryso. chloris) with one claw on each fore foot greatly developed + strongly curved. Visited Kaffir location + photo’d some of the huts of native type (75% of the huts are built of corrugated iron or flattened out Kerosine tins.) The children refused to be photo’d. Walked to the town + lunched at Deal’s Hotel (much enlarged since 6 years ago). Mr. Deal very flourishing. Whole town much extended + improved. Many teams of 14-16 oxen. Down through Queen’s Park to landing + left in the tug at 2.30 for the ship, sea quite smooth + bar hardly noticeable. Embarked + disembarked by gangway ladder + not in basket. Sailed at 4, the Durham Castle having passed us at 12 direct for Durban.
Heavy rain at night + wind rising.
Tues. 22 Wind dropped, fine day. Reached Durban roadstead at 8.20a.m., just after the Durham Castle. Waited outside a short while + then steamed into the port + alongside jetty at the “Point”. Had arranged to look after my own baggage + got it passed straight through the customs. Drove in bus to Royal Hotel. L. + I had rooms 72, 73 on the first floor of the quadrangle. Walked about with L., along the new embankment, saw egrets, herons + gulls (L. phaeocephalus)
+ numbers of Greenshawks. Giant herons occur higher up the harbour on the flats but saw none. The bay full of cape hens in the morning round the ship. Afternoon trammed to Point + to Berea (by the Marriott Rd-tram which made complete circle from + to the Town Hall),
Evening Battye came in for a chat + we went to station to arrange for exped. next day to Umkomaas.
Wed. 23 Up early with L. + caught 7.35am train with Battye, Seward + Hutchinson. L. and B. + I went to Umkomaas Station passing through tropical vegetation, sugar + banana plantations, palms of various kinds, large strelitzia like plants (? musa), Kaffir booms (erythrina?), in places in a regular jungle tangle. Black faced monkeys (Cercopithecus Lallandei [sic]) sitting on tops of some of the trees, looking at the train quite near. Groves of bamboos 70ft or more high. Candelabra Euphorbias + other huge tree-like Euphorbias, red hibiscus + yellow hibiscus. Hot poker plants in flow wild on low-lying ground. Pig-lilies scarce. Near Amanzimtoti the vegetation particularly tropical. Saw several egrets + herons on the mud + sand flats. Took a boat + Kaffir boy + rowed up the Umkomaas river about 4 miles, passing monitor lizards (Varanus _____ [left blank]), one 3 1/2 ft. long, basking on rocks. Ceryle maxima (Great Kingfisher) + a smaller Kingfisher.
a harrier (?) hovering + stooping kestrelwise. Saw team of oxen cross drift with wagon. Landed near Drift Hotel + walked up to Kaffir Kraal above, took several photos. Inhabitants a middle aged [illegible]. with head ring his 3 wives + 4 children, and a young man. Had difficulty in getting women to stand for us, all bolted into huts at first but emerged afterward. Entered hut which was well built of thin branches [sketch] in curves. Several supporting columns of wood. Spacious hut with central fire place on mud floor ringed round with raised elliptical border. Beer pots + strainers. On roof quantities of mealy cobs + millet head hanging neatly, + much millet seed on floor. Our Kaffir given a Dakka pipe to smoke placed a couple of live embers in the bowl + smoked inhaled + coughed violently much to his delight. Bought the pipe which belonged to one of the women for 2/-, the bowl made from [illegible] stoneware inkbottle. Started down river again, but headwind delayed us there, got out to walk, had to wade ashore + Lewis got bogged in the mud at the bank sinking in to above his middle thigh, stuck so firmly that it required strong pulling to get him out. Walked along native paths back to station, butterflies very numerous, just caught special train at 4.20pm. Mangrove trees very numerous on lower river banks + swamps, some with fruit developed ready to drop into the mud. Mud banks
studded with the many rooted stumps of dead mangroves amongst the living trees. Had tea at Amanzimtoti Station, + reached Durban at about 5.30pm. In evening went round to the fine Durban Club. Bought stone pipe bowl (2/-) + Kaffir womans scent ball (-/6) used for scenting the hair.
Thurs. 24 Left Royal Hotel where I was guest of the municipality in the B. Special train for Maritzburg. Scenery very fine + mountainous, the line winding round in sharp curves + steep gradients (up to 1 in 30). Arrived Pietermaritzburg at 1.35 + drove in Ricksha to Mr. Piet Davis’ house outside the town. House a fine one to which extensive additions have been made. Mrs. Davis extremely kind + a charming hostess. Admiral Wharton, Lady Knightley, Mrs. Hopkinson, Miss Williams + Prof. Backlund there as guests. In afternoon all went to Garden Party at Government House. Evening to lecture by Col. D. Bruce on sleeping sickness. Walked back.
Fri. 25 By train, 9.15 to Native Location at Henley. Native dances and wedding splendidly performed + admirably organized. Between 1 and 2000 natives there, including Laduma’s people. Two tribes represented between whom there is a long standing feud, + in
morning it was touch + go whether they fought or not. Glorious day, very hot. Took numerous photos. Back by train + visited museum. Did not go out in evening.
Sat. 26 Spent most of the day at Laduma’s Kraal near Swaartkop station, with the Haddons, Brown, the Hartlands, J. [illegible] Woodhead, D. Maynard, + others with Mr. Lugg (government interpreter. All Ladumas people (some hundreds) gathered at kraal. Native welcome + dances. Two oxen had been presented by government + were consumed. Drank Kaffir beer in Laduma’s hut. The chief was most courteous + obliging. Took many photos, + purchased ornaments etc. from natives. Spent 5 hours or so at the kraal which contained several well constructed huts + a stone cattle kraal of good size.
Back by train, dined at club + caught 11.0 train (“Kaffir Mail”) for Colenso.
Sun. 27 Arrived at Colenso at 8.30 instead of 5.30am. owing to a block on line in night, a truck having broken an axle. Saw nothing of Colenso except from train. Had passed graves, site of armoured train
disaster, Lt. Roberts Grave etc. on way. Saw where Long’s battle was lost. The line between Colenso + Ladysmith very interesting. Passed close to Bulwana + Intorubi camp. Harts Hill + Pieters Hill etc. Arrived at Ladysmith at 10.0 am. Visited Wagon Hill + Caesar’s Camp. L + I were taken in hand by Mr. W.A. Illing of Illing Bros (large store keepers). Drove round with him in his Cape Cart. On way back several accidents through bolting teams, one man run over + his cart smashed. D. McKendrick bolted with + overturned beyond the bridge over the Klip R. luckily not much hurt, but a near shave. Lunched with Mr. Illing + saw Town Hall and various places stuck with shells, including bedroom where shell entered + took blanket from bed, striking end rail + more or less wrecking room without hurting the occupant of the bed. Saw Mr. Illing’s collection of shells. He gave me some shell pieces + a hide walking stick. Left Ladysmith at 5.20, passed Elandslachte where it became dark. Saw Majuba outlined at night.
Mon.28 Arr. Johannesburg (Park Station at 8.30. Met by Archdeacon Furse. Drove with Lewis to Furse’s house on a Kopje overlooking Milner Park, on the Park Town side. After lunch went in to Jo’burg Lunched at Victoria Hotel with Edie, visited the surface works at the Village Deep Mine. Saw the stamping, cyanide process etc. + watched a bar of gold being cast.
Sectional meeting at 4.0 (committee). In Evening went with the Furses by motor bus to the Wanderers’ Club for Mayor’s reception which was very crowded. Met Warrington Smyth there. Home by motor bus. Edie, Mr. R.F.W. + Gunn were at the Victoria Hotel + left same day for Pretoria.
Tues. 29 Section meeting at 10. Lunched with Warrington Smyth at Rand Club. Afternoon went to Native Pass Office + saw natives, including a pure blood Bushman, a not such pure Hottentot, [male sign] + [female sign] Kalahari Bushmen, + a variety of Bantus (Basutos, Pondos etc.). Took photos.
Did not go out in Evening.
Wed. 30 Section meeting all the morning. Lunched at Rand Club.
Thurs. 31 Left at 8.10 for Pretoria with Lewis. On arrival walked to Grand Hotel + met Edie + the others. Went with Edie to the Zoo which is very good + well laid out with good stock of animals. Large official lunch at Grand Hotel at which Sir. A. Lawley spoke excellently.. as Lieut. Governor. Did not go to Garden party given by Lieut. Governor.
Left about 6.0pm for Jo’burg, + arrived at the Furses’ in time for dinner. Warrington Smyth dined there.
Friday 1st Sept. Saw Edie etc. at station at 10 on their way to Potchefstroom.
Section meeting all morning. Lunched at Rand Club. Walked out to Village Main Reef. Gold mine where Kaffir dance had been been [sic] arranged. Many hundreds of natives engaged in dancing in sections. Improvised marimbas used as accompaniment, some very large with big oil drums as resonators + big baulks of timber as keys. The natives playing very skilfully + energetically. Dances very wild. Got some books for the little Furse girl. Got down some luggage to send off by the special to Bulawayo. After dinner at the Furse’s, L.+ I left for the 11.45pm train to Potchefstroom.
Sat. 2nd Arrived at about 5.20 at Potchefstroom. Had a walk + went back to station for luggage etc. Drove to Hotel, + joined the others. Had a walk along the Mooi river + through the native reserve. Saw white herons, a large [illegible], numerous grey falcons, a river cormorant which I put up several times. Weaver birds + nests, common herons, small herons or bitterns, splendid black + white plovers, ? greenshanks, sandpipers, malachite Kingfishers, widow birds, glossy starlings, gray + black starlings (white rump), wagtails, Kaffir Kings, Stone chats. Back to hotel for tea, had another
Three illustrations of birds, labelled:]
“River cormorant. Long tail”
“Large black and white plover”
“Plover, greeny-grey back, lighter below”
[Inserted page: drawing of bird labelled “Vanellus speciosus, spur-winged”, notes on back]
walk after tea, along river till dark—several large owls, + many gray falcons. Frogs very numerous + noisy in the swamps. After dinner went to a sale of Karosses etc which proved to be a bogus one.
Sunday, 3rd Left at about 9.am in the post waggon for Mafeking, good road over the first half of the trip. Over the high veldt much burnt up with drought, trees only in few places. Arrived at Ventersdorp in time for lunch. V.dorp looked exquisitely green + pretty with peach blossom. We changed mules about every 15 miles usually at little isolated tin shanties. The mules always rolled in the dust the first thing on being outspanned. Towards sundown Korhaans became numerous along the road. Saw great bustard + 2 sp. of Korhaan. Also during day several varieties of plover including the large black + white ones, coursers, francolins (esp. at sundown), a few raptorials (large Kestrels etc), large raven-like crows which were very common, some chat like birds (black with white on wings), etc. 1 buck (? bush buck) in long grass in evening. Numerous ground squirrels + meercats all day. Large Kestrels. Stone chats.
Drove into Lichtenburg after dark, + put up at the little hotel situated in a large open space.
Our driver took the mails on to Mafeking in another trap, + returned to Lichtenburg during night + next morning.
Two illustrations of birds, labelled:]
“African Black Bustard, Compsotis afra”
“Res erestis Bustard, Lopholis ruficrusta / Another somewhat [illegible] but much larger is the black bellied bustard, [illegible]”
Monday 4th The chief magistrate of Lichtenburg (Mr. Rolleston) and chief of police Capt. Marchau much agitated in regard to the B.Ass. trekking party from Klerksdorp. Tried to help them decipher telegrams. Visited Capt. Marchau’s garden. We started off at about 2pm in the post waggon with the same driver. Very similar scenery of high Veldt character, limitless expanse of yellow brown, dried grass, low scrub, occasional tree clusters at long intervals. ‘Dust devils’ in all directions, but nearly all missed us. Road very bad most of way to Mafeking, heavy dusty, + rocky, often over bed rock for long distances. Korhaans + francolins again abundant, also coursers, (? Termminck’s). Towards dark the grass fires showed up well in many directions. Quite dark when we drove 8.15 into Mafeking + up to Winter’s Hotel in the Market square. We had rooms in the little courtyard at the back. Fine collection of African horns in the hotel.
Tues. 5th Had walk around Mafeking, + saw some of the defensive positions, picked up a few small worked stones just outside the town on bare rocky places. River practically dry in most parts, but pools remaining. Bought a Kaross and some curios in a store. In afternoon went with Lewis to native (Fingo) location. Took one or two photos, strolled about the village of circular huts with wattle + daub walls + 6 ft encircling wall pierced with narrow doorways + small peep-holes. Occasionally slight decoration on walls. Saw a man twisting raw hide thongs. They were hung over a tree branch + heavily weighted below with stones; the man twisted them up with a lever pole first one way + then the other, putting great strain on them. On a tree over the river in the location sat a great eagle owl. Saw a “hammerkop” [sic] Scopus umbretta fly overhead, + catching some handsome black + white kingfishers. Corvus Collaris every where abundant.
I left the others at Mafeking + drove with Lewis in Mr. Winter’s Cape Cart to the Border at Buurmans Drift where I had arranged for another Cape Cart from Zeerust to meet me. Left at 6.20 + arrived at Buurmans Drift at 7.15, quite dark. There
Two illustrations of birds, labelled:]
“Ceryle rudis, black + white, black collar, c. 10" long.”
was a small police camp there + no horses were allowed to pass the barrier between Cape Colony + the Transvaal, owing to the tick infection. Small station hut or iron shanty at the terminus of the line. Talked to Mr. Alfred Knight the station master + waited for my driver from Zeerust to turn up, but he did not, so I was obliged to accept hospitality from Mr. Knight + stay night at his shanty. He rigged me out a bed + Kaross + was most kind. Sat up fairly late talking to him + his little dog. Bare undulating veldt all round, offering an extensive horizon, somewhat dreary in its monotony.
Wed. 6th Up early, had a tub + breakfasted with my host, at about 8. am discovered my Zeerust cart which had arrived somewhat before, 13 hours late at the border! Slanged the Boer driver + started off with him for Zeerust at about 8.30. moderate road to Ottoshoop + Malmani, where we outspanned at 11.10.
Lost my panama hat on a jolty piece of road + was reduced to wearing a cap all day which was very trying as sun was strong. Went with a policeman to see the stalactite cavern near Malmani, very curious deep cavern with stalactite hangings, very slippery near the water, + full of bats which nearly put out our candles as they flew about round us. Took two photos of cave entrance. Inspanned again 12.45 and drove on seeing a secretary bird Paaw or Kory bustard, Eupodotis Kori in the long grass. Passed a battlefield where the Boers under Delarey met our troops under [illegible] + held them for some hours. My driver was with Delarey + according to him 250 boers held 2500 British!! A little later, 1.45 we came upon the Brit. Assoc. trekking party from Pretoria. They were having a picnic lunch, the coaches + assorted vehicles being drawn up + outspanned. Talked to the B.A’s for some time. Battye, [illegible] Woodhead, Oldham, Bowker etc among them. Obtained a bagful of oranges from the last named. They started off for Mafeking + I went on to Zeerust. Broke down at
Commandant Batha’s farm 6 miles from Zeerust, one of the horses falling sick + the other being in poor condition. Smoked with Botha + a boer named Viljoen on the Stoep of the house while a horse + mule were supplied by Botha. Splendid farm, with masses of oranges + other fruits etc. Got into Zeerust at about 5pm., + went at once for walk along the road to Pretoria. Plover (red legs, olive buff back, black streaks on head. Fine well wooded scenery of park-like description. Many birds, hornbills, grakles, weaver birds, 3 kinds of dove (Cape, Senegal + ringed) etc. Got back to hotel (Marico Hotel Mr. Salinger) in the dark. My driver asked 2-10.0 for the drive, refused to pay more than 35/- as he had broken his contract + left me in lurch. Bought a felt hat with the odd 15/-. Suffered from a touch of sun owing to having worn a cap through the day. Had bad head all night.
Thurs. 7th Woke up feeling very bad with the sun. Got better by 10am. Left in Cape Cart with boer driver for the border near Lobatsi at 10.45. Had wired for trap at border to meet me on other side. Fine bush country very beautiful. “Road” awful. Arrived at very large native location at about 1.15pm. Outspanned + walked about, taking a few photos. Houses with red mud walls. Finely watered agricultural district. Inspanned at about 2.10 + drove on through well wooded country to the border arr. 4.50. Nothing but wire fence, gate + Bechuanaland police tent with one policeman. Got there about 5 an hour before trap was expected. Walked about seeing many hornbills, Turacus (Schizorhis concolor), guinea fowl, francolins. At 6 a cape car arrive for me + I got to Lobatsi at about 6.45 (5-6 miles from border). Paid 2.0.0 for cart from Zeerust to border. Put up at primitive little inn at the Station, got a 4-bedded room to myself luckily. Yarned with some of the local people all the evening. An interesting mixed crowd of many nationalities. Very disturbed night owing to room being over run with rats, which were very noisy and extremely bold.
[illegible] Crowned Hornbills Lophoceros [illegible]
Fri. 8th Up early + well onto platform to see the “A” special train go through. It stopped to water + I talked to Shipley + others for some time. Went round the big new store with Mr. Cruikshank who gave me a Kalahari fly whisk of blue wildebeest tail. Met the “Train de Luxe” with Edie, Lewis, Mr. W. + Gunn + joined them for Bulawayo. Passed through fine bush country nearly all the way. Enormous pinacled white Dart hills [sketch], very different from those of the coast and high veldt. Frequently enclosing trees. Numerous rollers, drongos, + long tailed shrikes (Urolestes melanoleucus). Also Kites, Large Kestrels, etc. Slept on train. Train constantly delayed by hot box on one of the coaches. Had to be cooled down at every stopping place.
Slept on train.
Sat. 9th Arrived Bulawayo early in morning, 8.45. Took things to Grand Hotel. Went to Reception room. Got new issue of stamps. Visited Museum which had just been opened by Darwin. Saw Father Gardiner’s coll. of stone implements at St. John’s School. One of my boxes missing, spent most of afternoon trying in vain to
trace it. Saw E. L. Gunn + Mr. W. off by coach to the Matapos. Old fashioned stage coach with leather springs. Met Mr. Iver + Andrews at Hotel. In evening reception at Grand Hotel followed by Mr. Iver’s lecture on “Rhodesian Ruins”. Lecture very interesting, 2 hours, well illustrated with slides.
Sun. Left by train for the Matapos, 2 hours journey at very slow rate. Whole of Brit. Ass. practically went on this excursion + a large number of heterogeneous coaches, + vehicles of sorts had been sent on the day before for the drive up to World’s View. On arriving at the terminus there was a rush for the hotel + a scramble for breakfast. I got breakfast in Edie’s room + so avoided the squash. Got a box place on a coach-and-eight + drove past the Zoological Park (2 giraffes, 4 sable, 1 roan, 1 waterbuck, 1 eland), past the experimental botanical nursery, to the outspan near World’s View. Walked from
there up to the World’s View Kopje. Magnificent view from there over the Kopje-studded Matabililand, the granite formation being weathered in peculiar ways. Rhodes’ Grave very impressive in its simplicity, effect entirely spoilt by the Shangani Monument , placed with the utmost bad taste in a most unsuitable position on the side of the Kopje. Made a bee line with Franklin White, Haddon, Miss Haddon + Wager for a low lying kopje of large boulders to see a Bushman cave. Found it in good preservation with very fair paintings of men + buck etc. Found some flint implements in the débris, also signs of occupation by Makalanga or other Bantus. A little away to one side on another rock were other paintings of men. Saw some brilliant lizards, a Klipspringer + a dassie, also one huge dog baboon. Lunched near the outspan al fresco. Drove back to the hotel through cloud of locusts + had tea there. Left by train at about 5, the others staying on at the hotel. Dined at the Club with Major Gordon.
[Two illustrations inserted into the diary, one labelled:]
“Bushman Cave, Matapos”
Mon. 11th Left in B special train for Zambezi at 10.30am. All day in train getting out at nearly all the stations + watering places. Bush Country, pterocarpus + Strychnos (Kaffir Orange) conspicuous. Past some open country with hyphaene palius giving fine tropical aspect. At a small vlei or pan with water lilies + rushes where lions etc. still come to drink, saw a jacana + some dabchicks. Drongos, Urolestes + rollers, hornbills etc. conspicuous + numerous. Later got into hilly country, forested with numerous fine baobabs. “Teak” forest region, timber resembles teak. Numerous high palisades as protection from lions along the line. Reached Wankie at 10.36pm. Could see fairly well by moonlight. Lion palisades even there close to station. Passed numerous small forest fires, the trees sometimes burning inside + becoming hollow so as to create a funnel + causing a furious draught. Slept on train.
Tues. 12th Arrived at Victoria Falls Station, 1644 miles from Cape Town, at 4.30am. Breakfast at hotel, left in special train at 9.00 for the bridge which was formally opened by Darwin in presence of Sir C. Metcalfe + others. Train crossed the bridge + went on to Palm Kloof. I went to landing on left bank above falls + off in Canadian canoe to Livingstone Island, whence a very fine view of the main transverse Gorge. Walked along rocks on lip of the fall. Saw White heron, 2 kinds of plover including the large black + white one seen at Potchefstroom, many river cormorants (duikers) and darters (Plotus Levailiantii), haliaetus, Kites, etc. River crabs, unios in the pools. Saw Livingstones tree with what are said to be his initials. Returned to landing + lunched in a specially arranged enclosure close by. Walked along the left bank up the river with Oldhau for a mile + a half or so. Saw 5 or 6 hippos (an old bull + cow 1 other full grown, + some yearlings). Watched them for half an hour. They were about 200 yards away + the cow was high out of water on a sand bank. Saw some natives trying to spear fish + making fish traps from rushes. Bought a trap + a rude bow + arrow used for shooting fish. Returned to landing
+ walked with D. McKendrick to the ‘Knife Edge’ through good forest scenery with lianas, sansevieria etc. Walked back to hotel. Had to dine late owing to the fearful crush. Food vile, so dined on bread + marmalade. Slept on the train.
Wed. 13. Up at 6.0am. Started with Harmer + young Cleland to go to Livingstone, 6 miles up the river intending to return by boat. Went along the left back as far as a tributary river which we crossed by a bridge near railway, after that we took wrong road + bore away from river eventually arriving at the Depot (Kalous). On the way we saw the hippo herd again, haliaetus, darters, cormorants, weaver birds, bulbuls, etc. We had to walk back fast along the railway line as Harmer + Cleland were leaving by the B.A. specials at 1pm, with the main body of the Association. Got back just in time. I moved into the hotel room No.4 in the long building. Strolled about in afternoon, rather fagged, walked into rain forest with Mr. Fry + saw troupe of monkeys (Cercopithecus Lallandii)
Thurs. 14 Went with Mr. Fry in one of Carter’s canoes (from Livingstone) with five Barotse paddlers up to Livingstone. Landed there + went to F. C. Clarke’s Store. Bought a Mashukulumbwe rubbing drum, also some skin scrapers, dakka, cone-shells (+ celuloid imitation). Also went to a native curio store supplied by King Lewanika, bought a fine Barotse basket there, a carved food vessel, Kangombio etc. Lunched at Livingstone, Battye + Col. Fielden turning up there too. Saw some long dug out canoes. Went in the canoe to Kaudahar and Natal Islands, which are thickly timbered, with hyphaene + small date palms, abrus precatorius, (the natives eat the hyphaene nuts), lianas etc., looking very tropical. Numerous hippo tracks. Black + white king fishers hovering over the water + plunging in from a height. Many cormorants, darters, haliaetus, kites, bulbuls, drongos etc. Returned over the regatta course in afternoon arriving at about 5 at hotel. Went by myself down to edge of rain forest to look for the monkeys. Put up a leopard in the long grass, which dashed away with a sort of coughing bark, tried to put
him up again but could not see him + it got too dark shortly so returned to hotel to dinner. After dinner went with Longstaffe + Dixey right through rain forest. Moon nearly full + views of falls + lunar rainbows splendid. Spray rather wetting on edge of the chasm.
Friday, 15th Up at 7. Very hot day. Went with Battye to rain forest to look for leopard without success, walked through most of the forest. Thermometer 97° in shade. Spent much of morning hunting for flint implements, flakes very numerous some with secondary chipping, on the bare exposed rock surfaces, along the edges of the cañon. Flints nearly red hot, trying to the hands. Many were much rolled + weathered others quite sharp. Fagged out so lay down after lunch + did nothing much in afternoon + evening. At about 4pm. the spray from the falls lit up with prismatic colours as seen from hotel.
Illustration of a bird’s head, labelled:]
“In rain forest, large finch-like birds with orange red head, black collar, yellow breast, greeny-grey back, brown grey primaries + rectrices edged with white.? [illegible] torquatus.”
Sat. 16. Up at 7.0 am. Started at 9.30 for walk along railway line in the Wankie direction. Left him a few miles out + struck across the bush to the cañon, walked several miles through the bush, rough going, stony, dry grass + thorny scrub with small leafless trees. No shade, blazing sun, probably 100° in shade at least. Saw kites, drongos, francolins. Found plenty of flint flakes + rough implements especially on the bare rock patches, everywhere to 1-1 1/2 miles from the cañon edge. Got back along the cañon + up + down the lateral gorges to hotel at 4.0pm, rather tired + sun-scorched. Thirst unquenchable. Went for walk along the right bank of river above Falls, past Giese’s Landing. Very beautiful with hyphaene + small date palms, baobabs, reeds + papyrus. Saw a jacana on some floating weeds (white throat + sides of face + neck, brown body, dark head cap, wings brown with darker primaries). Flight of hornbills going to roost at dusk, hare, numerous hippo tracks. On way out took photo from W. end of main gorge from point from which Oates’ picture was taken. Walked back in dusk.
Jacana? Phyllopezus Africanus
Sun. 17th In morning took photo of gorge outlet from the bridge, walked down Palm Kloof to waters edge + photo’d gorge. Fine tropical growth. Went along left bank above falls, picked up a fine palaeolithic type of implement near the boat landing, on piece of newly made road, the material, mostly flint, for which had been dug from an old river gravel deposit close by, about 40 yards or so from the river edge + several feet above present level. Saw the hippo herd (6) not far above the falls. Back over bridge with Col. Fielden, + went on by myself right through the Rain Forest, seeing one black-faced monkey, to West End of gorge + along R. bank to Giese’s landing. Photod some baobabs, saw one about 80 ft in circumference. Back to hotel + met Edie, Lewis Mr.W. + Gunn at 3.15 by train from Bulawayo. Got them fixed up with rooms. Took Gunn + Lewis for walk along right back to Giese’s Landing + past West End of gorge + into part of Rain Forest. Flight of hornbills at sundown.
Monday 18. Left the Victoria Falls at 10am for Bulawayo with Col. Fielden. The others stayed on at the Falls. Low bush forest for the first part of the way. Later on higher trees, more green, + fine baobabs, into “Teak Forest” region. Saw some Bateleur Eagles. Reached Wankie at 3pm. Lunched at station, found a few fossil plants in the shales. At sundown train put up a small herd of buck (looked like hartebeest, but could not be sure), which bounded away from line. Turned very cold at night.
Tues. 19th Arrived at Bulawayo at 7.30am. Put up at Grand Hotel (room 58, bad outlook onto tin roof.). Col. Fielden + I shared a trap to Khami (2 hours, 14 miles), Andrews riding with us. Explored the ruins at Khami, + found much pottery + flint + agate flakes. Andrews gave us a lot of wire work, spindle whorls, + pottery sherds + gave me an old [sketch] iron hoe blade found amongst the débris. Took some photos of ruin walls. The débris heaps marvellously extensive + flint flakes very numerous. This is explainable by the fact of there being
much pottery which has been incised (apparently with flint) after baking, in addition to the pottery decorated with incisions while still plastic, before baking. The same occurs at Dhlo Dhlo ruins, where flints are numerous, but not at Zimbabwe or Inyanga where flints are scarce, nor at Umtali where hardly any flints or quartz flakes have been found.
Saw some dassies (procavia), hornbills, collared crows, drongos, nectarinidae, vulture, small long-tailed doves etc. Lunched in Andrews’ hut, built by Mashona natives of wattle + daub with thatched roof.
Back to B’wayo in 2 hours, arriving 5.30
Andrews, Fielden + I dined with Meynell at his house.
Wed. 20th. Made final preparations for starting for a week’s expedition to Dhlo Dhlo ruins + to see the natives of the district, with Andrews. The arrangements were to go by train to Insiza. The Commissioner (Archie Campbell [illegible]) had arranged for police horses to meet us there + we were to ride from station at 2.30am next morning to Mr. Campbells house. Thence 9 miles to Dhlo Dhlo, where we were to camp for some days + make excavations, Campbell lending us some convicts + natives, after that possibly to visit other sites. Plan fell through at eleventh hour owing to receiving through the hotel the news that Edie + the others had left Victoria Falls + were returning to Bulawayo. Assumed that Edie was ill, but I had no news as to the reason of their departure + had a very worrying time trying to imagine a cause, + determining whether to go on the expedition or to throw it up at a moments notice without being able to stop the preparations made by Commissioner + others (Mr. Jackson, Andrews etc.). Arranged to give up the trip, gave a letter to Campbell to one of his boys to take to him, Andrews wrote Jackson,
and we went by the 9.15pm train as far as the Suburb station to catch Mr. Garbutt, who was going with us, + tell him how matters stood. Drove back to hotel. Andrews awfully goodnatured about the change of plans. Had a worrying night in the absence of any news.
Thurs. 21. Met train from Falls at 7.30a.m. Found Edie bad with pleurisy. Took her straight to the Memorial Hospital + placed her under D. Curtis’ care. Gunn had looked after her splendidly + had wired to Curtis for a private room at the hospital. Her temperature was high at times but no pain. Visited her at intervals through one day. Met Dr. Strong at hospital + had an interesting talk with him. Had a walk with Curtis in the evening.
Fri. 22. To hospital in morning. Edie feeling better but temperature still running high. Report on the whole favourable, but fluid evidently increasing in pleura. Had walk with Lewis in afternoon beyond the barracks + spent some time at the Museum. Bought a Matabili sling + photos at Ellis Allen’s shop.
Sat. 23. Had walk before breakfast to the “Park” + along the dry river, finding a few worked flints. Went to Hospital 2 or three times + spent some time in the Museum, sorting + arranging the ruins finds. Sat with Curtis in evening after dinner.
Sun. 24 Rode Meynell’s pony (late Andrews’) before breakfast to the North of the town + made a loop through some bush. Edie no worse, but tired and weak, as Dr. Curtis had drawn off 13oz of the pleural fluid + the operation had been rather trying. Some fine dust devils blowing in the town + sometimes forming vortex rings at their summits. Spent a little time at the Museum in afternoon, + had a flint hunting walk with poor success. Edie doing pretty well in evening, her heart much relieved by the reduced pressure of fluid. Sat + talked to Curtis who walked back to hotel with me.
Mon. 25th. Walked before breakfast. Edie better, + report fairly satisfactory. Was at Museum at good deal. In evening went with Andrews + Meynell out to Mr. Baxter in Suburbs.
Tues. 26. Rode Meynell’s pony before breakfast through the fine bush country South of the town, many hornbills, etc. + to the Hospital afterwards. Edie going on well, temperature coming down. At museum part of morning. In afternoon drove with Mr. Kerr out to Government House, North of Bulawayo, saw over the house + grounds (the side of Lobengula’s Kraal) + visited the “Indaba” tree where Lobengula conducted his affairs. The grounds are well cared for + garden pretty with flowering plants, hibiscus etc. + well grown + cut borders.
Wed. 27th. Rode again before breakfast out along the Khami road, West, and through some fine bush interspersed with Kopjes along the Vict. Falls railway. Edie going on well + fluid apparently diminishing by absorption. Chance of leaving on Saturday for Umtali + Beira. Spent some time at the Museum in morning + afternoon going over the ruins finds + selecting samples of Khami pottery given me by the Museum. Bought photos of the falls.
Thus. 28th Rode before breakfast a short distance only. Edie’s progress maintained. At Museum for part of the day. Went to tea at the Baxters with Andrews.
Friday 29th. Rode in early morning round the suburbs. Held consultation with Dr. Curtis as to advisability of leaving on Saturday. He agreed that, although there were risks, she had better start on that day, the chance of 3 days rest at Umtali + of getting away to a cooler climate + home comforts being of some value. Decided to start. Spent a good part of the day packing + making arrangements.
Sat. 30th. Left card at Club + said goodbye to Major Gordon + others. Got the luggage to the station + went back for Edie whom I got to the Station fairly easily in a victoria. 11.30am train. Filled water sacks + hung them on end of railway carriage. 2 compartments reserved. Curtis + Gunn saw us off. Gunn was leaving for Cape Town later that day to take Mr. Woods practice for a few months while he went home. Very sorry to lose him from our party. He had done a great deal for Edie while she was ill + had been very self sacrificing in coming away from the Falls after only getting a glimpse of them.
Very hot travelling. Country became finer + more mountainous as we proceeded into Mashonaland, becoming very grand, + in parts beautifully green. At Salisbury there was a great squash + dinner was impossible, but raised some for Edie through the help of a friend of Andrews who travelled in same train. Night passed on train fairly well.
Sun. Oct. 1. In train all day. Scenery fine, green + wild, stopped for breakfast at _____ [left blank]. After Shangani Siding, saw herd of 17 sable antelope bunched together 200 yards off + looking at the train. At Macheke hurried up to a small Kopje close to the station to see Bushman rock shelter with paintings, elands, sable etc. + men represented with much skill. The rock had been broken in two by an engineer who wished to remove the paintings for a museum. The fracture extends right across the paintings, the lower portion alone remaining in situ. The site was a shallow rock shelter facing the railway + visible from it.
One of the buck represented in this position, a somewhat unusual one. Lewis took photos of the rock shelter. Just after sundown I saw
some koodoo which became scared and went off at a good pace. Arrived at Umtali at 8.45p.m. Walked up to the Paulington Hotel near the station, a number of boys carrying the luggage. Got rooms under the stoep. Hotel somewhat primitive but the people obliging.
Mon. 2nd. Edie stayed in bed all day. Had stood the journey very well. Fairly hot day. Went with Andrews out to his camp at the ruins, about 3 miles away. Situated in a beautiful spot well wooded + just under the Kopje where the chief ruin is situate [sic]. Looked about the ruins + slopes where the soapstone figurines were mainly found. Plenty of potsherds strewn about, also grain rubbing stones, weights, + numbers of sculptured stones in places, especially at a site below the Kopje. Lunched at the camp. Walked back by the valley route over the Golf Links.
Tues. 3rd. Went out again with Andrews by the valley route to the camp, visiting several sites on the way. Some apparently villages or residencies with hut circles of stone + encompassing walls. So far, no definite kitchen middens found. Saw what appeared to be an ancient smithy. Did some excavating on the slopes of the main Kopje. Potsherds fairly plentiful + hardly anything else found. I found, however, a very roughly carved piece of steatite + close to it about 18 inches from surface a small carved crocodile in steatite, also one worked quartz flake. Stone implements + flake remarkably scarce. Lunched at camp. Saw small musical bow with wire string + at lower end a piece of sheet-tin with jingles attached to it. Mashona instrument. [sketch] On lower slopes of Kopje I picked up a hook shaped carved piece of steatite. [sketch] A pair of eagles flying overhead very close to the camp + some broad billed crows of the size of ravens. In evening met Ingram (an old Christ-Church man) at the camp. Andrews elected to stay the night at the camp, so I walked back to Umtali in the dusk + dark arriving at about 7.0. Saw a splendid goatsucker
flying about, moth-hawking, the secondaries were prolonged into long streamers, giving a very peculiar effect. [sketch] By the river bank numerous glowworms flashing brightly.
In the evening after dinner watched some of the worst billiards I have ever seen.
Wed. 4th Edie getting on well having stayed in bed all the time. Very dull for her as room was a dark one being too much shaded by the stoep. Lewis photo’d paw-paw trees at back of hotel + a fine bougainvillea. He + I walked out to the camp along the ridge route. Found a few worked quartz flakes on the way. They seem scarce however. We did a little more excavation on the Kopje slopes, without success. I photo’d some of the sculptured stones at the camp + selected some decorated potsherds etc. to bring away. Lunched with Andrews. L. + I walked back by the valley route, picking up a roughly cut piece of soapstone (columnar form) on the way, + passing some good grain rubbing stones by the path. Also saw + photo’d an improvised ‘mancala’
Label corresponding to the sketch in the text:]
“? pennant winged nightjar – Cosmetornis vexillarius”
board on the ground, numbers of pebbles being in groups of 2, 3 + 4 in small cup like depressions on the ground, the pieces having been left as played. 4 rows of 15 hollows were used extending over a length of 4ft or so. Got back at about 4p.m. Andrews got to Umtali rather later to see us off. Had a procession of Mashona boys carrying our luggage to the Station. 2 compartments were reserved for us. Train left at _____ [left blank]. Said goodbye to Andrews with regret, + had very many things to thank him for + I greatly enjoyed the time I had spent with him. We crossed the frontier of Portuguese E. Africa about 4 miles from Umtali. Customs station some distance further on. No trouble at all with the customs. Spent night in train.
Thurs. 5th. Scenery very fine. We dropped down through dense forest with fine trees. Great numbers of tree orchids, often growing in huge masses. Gorgeous butterflies in the open spaces. Saw one buck about the size of a bush-buck. In places the line passed through a cutting made through one of the enormous white ant hills. We gradually descended onto a low, level plain covering a very wide area + making a complete contrast to the hilly forest region. At one place in the hills our train was unable to get up a steep gradient, so we had to run back a mile or so and try to rush the hill, a thing which we just succeeded in doing. We crossed the Pungwe river near Fontesvilla. Arrived at Beira (210 miles from Umtali + 370 from Salisbury) at 11.45am. Went to the Savoy Hotel on small trollies running on narrow guage lines + pushed by native boys. From the hotel windows looking over the sand flats at low tide could be seen
numbers of white herons, curlew + sandpipers. A fine view over the bay. On the mud of the mangrove studded banks of the Busi R, were numbers of flamingoes feeding. They felt along the mud surface with the down-curved portion of the upper mandible, pushing it along as they walked forward in the stinking + half liquid mud. [sketch] With them were curlew, white herons, sandpipers, stints, ringed plover etc. Black + white Kingfishers hovered over the river + dropped into it, fishing with great success. Secured photos of the flamingoes from both banks. I went off to see Mr. Ridgeway to whom I had a letter from Andrews, + he took me for a trolly ride completely round the town, by the Vasco da Gama cricket ground + through the suburbs, for some miles. Saw many natives playing upon musical bows of various types, one of which I secured from a boy who was playing it. Many natives also playing on the sansa, often heavily studded with brass.
The Kincaids, Murray-Anderdons + Mr. Taylor were at the hotel waiting for the boat.
Great white heron, Herodias alba.
Fri. 6th Had a walk round in the early morning, saw large dug-out canoes on the beach + in the harbour. Most are fitted with a rough rudder attached to a straight stern post cut from the solid. A low mast is also fitted + they sail moderately well. They are paddled or punted. Coconuts were being landed on the beach. Bought some photos of natives. The “Koerber” (Austrian Lloyd) [Commander Foresti, G. R. tonnage 5423, I.H.P. 5700] arrived at about 10.30am. After waiting some time to learn when she was sailing, we were suddenly informed that we had 5 minutes in which to get on board. We went down on a trolly, + got on board at noon, the ship weighing anchor at once. Fine, smooth weather. When well outside the harbour bay we struck a sandbank three times during lunch, but got over all right.
At 8.0p.m we were off the mouth of the Zambesi
Sat. 7th. at noon 17° 47' S, 38° 37' E. Great scarcity of life. No flying fish even. Out of sight of land.
Sun. 8th. at noon, 14° 31' S, 41° 15' E. off Mozambique. No land visible.
Mon. 9th. at noon, 10° 02' S, 40° 47' E. a little N. of Kilwa, well out to sea.
Tues. 10th. Arrived Zanzibar 6.am, anchored at 7.0am. Very beautiful steaming in; fine, still morning. Interesting coral formation. On the way in a long, narrow fish (about 2ft 6) with long pointed jaws, called a “springer”, rose out of the water under the bows + progressed along over the surface in a series of leaps, contorting + shaking itself in a peculiar manner. Its above water “flight” lasted about 70-80 yards. A number of these fish swam round the ship while at anchor, keeping near the surface.
A sucking fish (remora) was caught by Mr. Taylor on a line. About 18-20 inches long. Kites very numerous round the ship. Diving boys very energetic and wonderfully enduring. Innumerable dhows + dug-outs, the latter fitted with double outrigger floats, the floats [sketch] having an outward set as shown in transverse section. The paddles are [sketch] shaped somewhat thus. Several fitted with sails. We were not allowed on shore owing to there being plague in the island. Photo’d the English + American consulates, which are very pleasantly situated on the water. Saw a peculiar kind of skate with long snout and squat body + of reddish colour, swimming along rapidly on the surface. Large flights of curlew. Sailed at 5p.m. coasting along the island which is beautifully covered with coconut palms etc. Along the shore many good houses + the ruins of old slave barracoons. Passed the D.O.A. SS. “Präsident” going south. We took on board at Zanzibar a young lioness and a crowned crane.
Wed. 11th. Passed within sight of Mombasa + anchored off Kilindini in the morning. Great numbers of fine baobab trees, coconut palms + mango trees give a character to the island, and along the shores in places mangrove trees. Kites in very great number around the ship + coming very close. They picked up scraps floating on the surface with their claws + eat from their claws while in the air. They do the same ashore when catching locusts etc. Lewis + I went ashore + walked along the beautiful road through palms + mangoes to the town of Mombasa. We walked through the town + down to the beach photographing dug-outs etc. Walked some way along the beach + then turned inland by a baobab, below which was a fish trap of thin stakes bound together.
Made our way through the bush back to the Grand Hotel, buying photos on the way. Lunched at hotel. Lewis having lost his watch chain + purse we had to go over the ground we had covered in the morning. After a long hunt at spots where we had stopped we found it under a baobab tree where he had jumped to reach one of the large fruits. On the way back we met a native palm-wine collector + watch him climbing and collecting the palm sap. He ran up the palm tree with great agility + speed, + at the top he removed a baobab fruit which was attached to the end of a cut flowering stalk from which the sap oozed. This he emptied into a gourd which he carried. He then cut across the end of the stalk afresh tied on the baobab fruit again + descended. [sketch] He poured the quart or so of liquid into a larger gourd. We tasted it + it was by no means unpleasant. Lewis photo’d him as he was descending, the tree was notched [sketch] for the feet all the way up, + many other cocopalms were similarly notched for climbing. Saw some camels feeding in the bush. We walked back through the native quarter. Carved doorways with wooden tumbler locks numerous. Watched a native barber shaving heads. We walked back to the ship in time for dinner.
Thurs. 12th. Lewis + I went ashore pretty early, + walked over to Mombasa. We spent the morning in the native part of the town, buying coconuts, mangoes, native curios + native leaf-cigarettes. Looked at the fish market till driven away by the stench of stock fish. Took rickshas back to Kilinidini + went on board soon after 12 noon. Ship started at about 1.30 having taken a young zebra on board.
Friday, 13th. Out of sight of land. At noon position 0°36' S 43°26' E
Crossed the line at 4.0pm. Perfectly smooth sea.
Sat. 14th. No land visible, well away from the shore to get the northerly current. At noon 3° 00 N, 47° 11 E. Very few birds, some unidentified cetacea. At sundown large numbers of flying fish being chased by bonito. A very large number flew against the side of the ship killing or stunning themselves, at times it sounded almost like hail on a roof.
Sun. 15th. At noon 6° 31' N, 49° 54' E. Flying fish in incredible numbers getting up in huge flights, thousands at a time, almost all on the port side, i.e. away from the sun, or it may be frightened by the ship’s shadow. Some large petrels, a gannet, and numerous jelly fish.
Mon. 16th. At 7.0am sighted high land on port bow. Boatswain birds, storm petrels, large black petrels, gannets, shearwaters, small light coloured birds which I think must have been phalaropes, flying in compact flocks with rapid flight. Very few flying-fish, a few sea-snakes, bonito. Past the wreck of a Messageries Maritimes Steamer, aground to the St. of Cape Guardafui. Somali Village close by erected probably in neighbourhood of the wreck. Piles of cargo on the shore. Could see the natives moving about + their canoes drawn up on the shore. Cape Guardafui looks from the S. like a lion couchant. Off the cape at noon (11° 44' N 51° 18' E) + later turn westerly to enter Gulf of Aden.
Tropic birds—prob. Red-tailed T.B. Phaeton rubricanda.
Tues. 17th In Gulf of Aden, did not see land till about 5.15pm, when high mountainous coast showed up faintly on Starboard side. Many dolphins + some larger cetacea jumping out of the water. Some sharks, a few flying-fish. Black petrels, storm petrels, phalaropes (?), gannets, + one or two small land birds. Sea perfectly smooth as it has been ever since Beira. Many outward bound ships passed. Sighted lighthouse off Aden at about 9.45pm. Position at noon 12° 29' N. 47° 14 E.
Wed. 18th. Anchored off “Steamer Point” Aden at about 1.45 a.m. Numbers of a medium sized gull which I had not seen before. Kites in great numbers round the ship. Lewis + I went ashore at 7.30am. We took a trap + drove out to the town of Aden + on to “Solomon’s tanks which are a succession of partly natural, partly artificial reservoirs of varying size, rising step like one above the other up a ravine in the volcanic mountain side, communicating with one another by channels. The building
and cementing is very elaborate. Capable of holding 8,000,000 gallons of water. Flocks of pigeons were circling about in the ravine. We drove back to the native bazaar in Aden town, + strolled through it. The natives largely Somalis. Drove back to Steamer point by another route through the tunnels + the arsenal. The first tunnel through the mountain is very long + narrow, the second, beyond the arsenal, shorter. Stopped at Manallah to photo. dhows and dug-outs etc. Back to Steamer Point. Saw some rudely made, small catamarans of logs lashed together. [sketch] Bought a Somali “amber” neck ornament (made in Jiddah) in a shop for 10/- + a few other native things + photos. Looked at papers in the Universal Hotel where geckos were running up + down the walls. Looked round the native quarter at back of the European frontage. Posted letter to Mrs. E. Dry Beach of Tasmania. Everywhere kites + vultures and camels + donkeys. Came on board at 12.30pm. Bought another + a finer ‘amber’ neck ornament from a Somali who was wearing it.
He asked me £3 + I paid 10/- for it. Two leopards were taken on board here, adding to our live stock consisting of a lioness, a zebra + a crane, not to mention several black-faced monkeys from Mombasa. Ship sailed at 1p.m. Coast fine, jagged + volcanic, with stretches of sand. Numerous black or dark grey terns + Caspian terns.
Off Perim at 9.0pm + rounding the W. End entering the Red Sea at 10.15pm. Sea oily, + highly phosphorescent. Dolphins playing under the bows + fishes all illuminated with the phosphorescence. Temperature in passage outside saloon 86° F. at night.
Thurs. 19th Got up at 6. Sea oily. Heat still 86° F in the passage where there was a draught, much higher in cabins. Numerous dolphins, sharks, + booby gannets with white beaks and faces and breasts, dark brown wings, back, tail + collar. [sketch]
? Noddies, anous stolidus
Brown gannet. Sula Sula (leucogaster)
Passed a line of volcanic islands, one with lighthouse. Evidently the booby gannets breed on these rocks, they were very numerous just here. Could see them later in the day fishing in all directions dashing down into the water. Bonito and Caspian terns also engaged in fishing. Enormous quantities of spores of an orange red seaweed covering the surface for many miles, + furnishing an excuse if not a reason for the name Red Sea. Heat 89° F in the Saloon passage. At night the Dog Star (?) rising in East + strongly reflected in the smooth sea. Great phosphorescence + several dolphins swimming under the bows + keeping up for a long while at 13 1/2-14 knots.
Frit. 20th. Got up at 5.30am, heat unbearable in cabin, 89° F in passage outside Saloon. Wind died away practically, but rose again with a cool breeze which we met. Very fine day. P. + O. SS. “Arabia” overhauling us during morning, caught us up at 6.0pm. Dolphins under bows during the day + night, otherwise little life. Passed out of tropics at 3.15pm.
Sat. 21st. The night was cooler, temperature coming steadily down to 81° F in the morning. Hardly any life, a few dolphins + flying fish the latter very small, some not larger than dragonflies. Had hair cut on board. A good breeze blowing from N. + casting most of the day. At noon 24° 58' N, 32° 39 E. Sun set at 5.45. Night very dark, moon rising late.
Sun. 22nd. Cooler night. Temp. in morning 76° F. Breezy but less strong than yesterday. Were in the narrows of the Gulf of Suez early in morning before sunrise. Fine mountainous scenery, very wild. Saw Sinai. A few flying fish at N. end of Gulf. Anchored off Suez at 3.0p.m. Suez looked quite pretty + the colouring was beautiful towards sunset. Could see the “Wells of Moses away to the East. Arabs came on board swarming up the masts of their sailing boats + gripping the rigging ropes with their toes.
Weighed + started for the canal at 5.30pm (5.0 by altered ship time). Entered canal just as sun went down behind the mountains. Search-light on the bows lighted at dark. Entered the Bitter Lakes during dinner. A pelican seen on water in front of ship, showing up under the search light. Stopped two hours off Ismailia during night, as ships could not pass the wreck of the dynamite ship “Chatham” at night + had to wait to arrive at that part of the canal in daylight.
Mon. 23rd. Up at 5.0am. Fine sunrise. Huge flocks of flamingoes + pelicans in the shallows of Lake Mezaleh. Flights of geese, ducks + sandpipers. Passed the remains of the “Chatham” which were being removed by divers. Anchored at Port Said at 8.0am. The “Arabia” and “Ormuz” were both coaling rigorously, the coal being carried in baskets by Arabs in continuous procession + a fog of coal dust.
Went ashore with Lewis, round the Arab town in all directions. The buildings are Europeanized + very un-native looking. Saw an Arab funeral. The coffin carried on mens shoulders, draped + with tent-like awning over the head. Preceded + followed by a banner. Many men in the procession + at the end a hundred or so women in black + wearing jashmaks.
Saw a man carding wool with the larding carding bow + mallet, also a wood-turner turning table leg on a bow-lathe, working the bow with one hand, + holding the chisel in the other + steadying + guiding it with his feet.
We afterwards walked out to the De Lesseps Statue + I photo’d a dahabeah sailing.
Sailed at about 3.30pm. Weather still glorious.
Tues. 24th. At sea, breezy becoming rougher in afternoon, wind from N. + N.E. Sighted Crete (Kandia) at night. Very fine sunset.
Wed. 25th. Up at 5.15am. Off Crete + close in. Past Id. of Gozzo on port side. Splendid sunrise. Coasted along S. Coast of Crete + rounded the W. end. Passed Cerigotto and Cerigo Ids, Cape Matapan, Cape Gallo + later Navarino (Pylos) + in evening Strivoli Id. Very little life seen except a few petrels + shearwaters, + one small flying fish. Sea smooth.
Thurs. 26th. Rolling sea, dull, damp day. In afternoon the wind blew very hard off the Italian shore. Entered Brindisi harbour + got alongside about 3.30pm, having dropped an anchor + let out a good deal of cable. Moored alongside quay near
the Universal Hotel. About a dozen people leaving the ship to go by train, some on account of the rough weather. Absurd delay created by medical officer who made the most futile + ludicrous medical inspection of passengers. Perfectly useless unless the idea was to make people lose their train + have to stay in Brindisi. Got ashore for a few minutes only as the ship started again at 5.15pm. Wind dropped at sun-down.
Fri. 27th. Dull, damp morning, with strong wind. Were off the Dalmatian Coast in early morning off Garsola Id. passed that on starboard +, later, Lissa Id. on port side.
Breeze increased to half a gale from N.E. + N., causing ship to heel over considerably. Sea very choppy but too short near the land to affect the ship. Sky cleared at mid-day + it became fine, + wind moderated in the evening. Packed up.
[The following pages are at the very end of the notebook]
Turacu or “go away” Schizorhis concolor uniform gray, Matabeleland.
Urolestes melanolencus, Long-tailed shrike, black, with white on wings, very long tail, Matabeleland etc.
Large petrel white below + on head, blue gray nape + back with darker wings. ? Lesson’s petrel ([illegible] Lessoni)
Descriptions of birds and places where Balfour spotted these; illustrations of birds]
Descriptions of birds, and illustration of a mangrove fruit, labelled with its colours and:]
“Mangrove fruit, before it drops into the mud—Umkomaas.”