Diaries of Henry BALFOUR (1863-1939), anthropologist and museum curator
Cape Town, South Africa July – October 1907 – Notebook
R.F.W., E.B. + H.B.
Wed. July 10 Left Victoria by 11.0 a.m train for Marseilles via Dover-Calais. Left Gare de Lyons at 9.20 pm after supper at the station. Gout bad.
Thurs. 11th Arrived Marseilles 9.55 a.m. Hotel du Louvre et de la Paix, very lame with gout.
Fri. 12th By electric tram to Palace Hotel outside Marseilles on sea front. Lunched there, grand view over Bay. I trammed afterwards to the Nat. Hist. Museum; not particularly good. Then trammed back to Chateau Borély to see Archaeological Collection which is interesting. Ethnology very feeble.
Sat. 13th Went on board D.O.A.L. steamer “Feldmarschall”, 6300 tons, at about 10 a.m. Under weigh at 1.30 p.m. Fine + cool. Cabins 4, 6 + 8 on promenade deck, port side. Full ship.
Sun. 14th Passed through Straits of Bonifacio, between Corsica + Sardinia in early morning + soon after passed small school of fin-backed whales.
Mon. 15th Arrived in Bay of Naples, 2.0 a.m., anchored inside harbour. I went ashore at 10.30 am, ship coaling; called on Neville Rolfe at British Consulate, + he took me in small launch across the Bay to Lord Roseberry’s villa at Posilippo, which had been lent to him. The Günther’s were staying there. Lunched there + afterwards went with Günther to see Roman remains (“Pollio’s villa”, amphitheatre, + numerous foundations now below sea level. Back to the villa by row-boat + had tea. Sailed back towards Naples + took tram rest of way. Bought a watch for Edie. Went on board at 8.30 pm. H.E. The German Chief Secretary of State for the Colonies (Dernburg) joined the ship with his suite (including Dr. Ratenau and Count Haenkel). Sailed at about 11.30 p.m. Vesuvius quite inactive.
Table of distances from Marseilles, and profile sketch of the Skipper, labelled: “The Skipper, S.S. “Feldmarschal---]
[---Inserted into the pages of the diary is a postcard of the S.S. “Feldmarschal”, “Deutsche Ost-Afrika-Linie.”---]
Tues. 16th Fine + calm. Passed Stromboli (inactive) in morning + through Str. of Messina during the day. Cool breezes.
Wed. 17th Out of sight of land all day, fine, cool breeze.
Thurs. 18th Same, no incidents + very few birds (shearwaters)
Fri. 19th Sighted Damietta in morning + entered Park Said about 1.45 p.m. I went ashore; uninteresting on the whole, except fishing boat quay. Large number of boats (adriatic type with eye on bows) in with catches (soles, red mullet, squids, huge prawns + squilla etc.) Temperature ashore 85°F. Returned on board at 7.45 pm. We waited for two or three ships to come out of the Canal + sailed at 10.15 pm. I stayed up most of the night which was warm + beautiful. Ship ran into huge swarms of small flies + our cabins were filled with them. Spent an hour or so turning them out of Edie’s cabin where they were in great masses.
Sat. 20th. Splendid day in Canal. Temp. from 90°-92°F. Few birds (Ardea cinerea, black + white vultures, some waders etc.). Passed through Canal without a check. Arrived at Suez 3.15 p.m. Very hot (94°), cooler later. Saw 1 shark and a jumping skate. Sailed again at 4.30 pm. Glorious colouring, turquoise green + blue.
[---FACING PAGE: Profile sketch of Herr Dernburg, labelled: “Herr Dernburg Chief Secretary of State for the German Colonies.”---]
Sun. 21st Quite smooth in Red Sea, temp. 92°-94°. 3 large dolphins or small whales seen, light greyish on back, whiteish sides and bellies. (Probably Risso’s Grampus).
Mon. 22nd— Smooth, heat about same, rising to 95° on deck. No land visible, very few small flying fish. Slept on deck.
Tues. 23rd Heat oppressive, 96° + over, dropping to 94° at night. Unpleasant hot wind in evening, damp atmosphere, only 2 degrees between wet + dry bulb. Many storm petrels following ship all day. Few dolphins seen. At night several terns flying round + close over + across the ship. Slept on deck.
Wed. 24th Still very hot. Up to 95° in the morning, moist. Booby gannets and the large white + black African Gannet, Caspian + smaller terns, + a very pretty gull (dark warm grey on head, throat, back + wings, white below, white edging to tertiaries + white ring round neck. Light yellowing beak, dark at tip. [Note in margin reads: “? Aden Gull (L. Hemprishi)”] Midday log – 12°.56'N., 43°.12'E, 305 s.m. run, average speed 12.8 kn. Passed Perim at 1.15 pm. Full moon. Hot + stifling. Went ashore + sat in hotel verandah till midnight, had short stroll with Anderson + Wilson + came on board 12.30 am. Slept on deck.
[---FACING PAGE: Sketch of a man playing a clarinet, labelled: “Our table steward as a bandsman.”---]
Thurs. 25th Sailed from Aden 6.30 am. fairly calm. Cooler, rising to 92° later. Gannets (brown + white Kinds), Caspian + smaller terns, storm petrels, shearwaters + black winged petrels. Very hot at night, 94°F. Slept on deck. Edie upset during night.
Fri. 26th Fine + hot in early morning, up to 93°. Slight sea. off Elephant Cape at breakfast. Temp. falling. Cape Guardafui about mid-day. Immediately on rounding the Cape we ran into the S.W. Monsoon, blowing hard with heavy sea. Temp. falling to 78°-79°. Wet decks + heavy pitching. Passed D.O.A.L. SS. “Markgraf” at 1.15 pm, reports bad weather to the S. Large percentage of good sailors on board. Course due S. from Guardafui. Midday log. 12°.02'N., 51°.07' E., run 309 s.m., av. sp. 12.6 kn.
Sat. 27th Early morning temp. 74° rising to 84° in afternoon. Noon log. 8°.14'N., 51°.14'E., 236 s.m. mean speed 9.9 kn. Increasing roughness from S.W.
Sun . 28th Fine, still rough—Morning temp. 84°. Monday log 5°.19'N., 51°.4'E., 175 s.m., av. 7.3 kn. Meeting heavy current.
[---FACING PAGE: Sketch, labelled: “The Commercial Traveller”---]
[---Inserted into the pages of the diary is a sketch, labelled: “The Okapi”---]
Mon. 29th Rain at 6.0 am. Temp 80°. Cleared up later. Sea more moderate but still rough. Course nearly S.W. Noonday log. 1°56'N., 48°29 E., 257 s.m., av. 10.7 kn. Sea moderating further at night. Temp. at midnight 80°. Neptune came on board at 9.0 pm.
Tues. 30th At 6.30 am. overcast + low temp (74°) rising to 78° by 8.0 am. Noon log. 1°.02'S., 45°02'E., 273 s.m., av. 11.2 kn. Grand “crossing the line” ceremony for the naval men on board. Large number shaved, ducked + sent through windsail. Second class passenger broke his leg trying to escape the ordeal. One sailor fainted, but no other casualties.
Wed. 31st Warm, fine morning. Fairly rough sea. Noon log. 3°29'S., 41°.9'E.; 277 s.m. av. 11.4 kn. Distance to Kilindini 93 s.m. Dropped anchor off Mombassa harbour about midnight. Too dark to proceed.
Thurs. Aug. 1st Entered Kilindini harbour at daybreak and anchored at 7.0 am. We went ashore + by trolley to Mombassa (Mr. Whitlock picked me up on his trolley). Looked around the town + native quarter. E. and I
attended big lunch at the Club given by Baker, Bell + Anderson as a farewell feed. Said goodbye to the Nairobi lot + others staying behind, returned to Kilindini on Bowring’s trolley + went on board. Weighed anchor at 4.0 pm. Signorina Mezzalana nearly lost the steamer having delayed ashore with Bell.
Fri. 2nd. Arrived at Tanga at 5.15 am. Beautiful + extensive harbour with numerous dhows + dug-outs + double-outrigger dugouts. Anchored off Death Island. Coral formation as at Mombassa, palms, mangoes and mangroves conspicuous. I went ashore at 7.15 am + walked about the town + the native quarter. The whole very well kept + prosperous looking, well raised above harbour. The vegetation all round very fine + thoroughly tropical. Mangoes especially flourish. Birds very numerous, sunbirds, drongos, bee-eaters, 3 kinds of swallows (one all black, one with rufous rump + a larger species), crowds of minute finches very tame, Kites, Caspian terns, etc. In the mangrove mud along the quay were numerous periophalmus fish running + jumping
on the mud or resting with tail in water; also crowds of small crabs with one huge claw, diving into burrows on least sign of danger. Returned on board at 10 am. Sailed at noon for Zanzibar on a perfectly smooth sea, arriving at 6.15 pm, just at sundown, effect very beautiful. Not allowed on shore owing to plague there. Lay there all night.
Sat. 3rd Sailed from Zanzibar at 5.30 am for Daressalam arriving at 9.30 am. Lovely entrance through a strait skirted with coral rocks + reefs. The German minister (Dernburg) + his suite left us here. Much salute firing + ship dressing etc. E. and I went ashore + ricksha’d to the grounds of Government House, the native town + the Aquarium. The latter small but interesting with good display of medusae, octopi, turtles, parrot fish, chaetodon, sea slugs etc etc. Met Mr. W. for lunch at Kaiserhof Hotel, quite new + first-class. After lunch I went for walks in three directions into the surrounding country. Coconut palms everywhere. On a lagoon I saw a giant heron fishing.
+ natives using casting nets. Went round to a small mangrove swamp at head of harbour to see periophalmus + mangrove crabs. The whole surface in places fairly twinkled with crabs waiving their one huge claw about in a seemingly aimless manner. Bodies bluish or quite light, the big claw usually bright pink. Periophalmus numerous but very small; wonderfully active out of the water. The native boats are either plain dug-outs or dug-outs with double outriggers as at Tanga. Saw the arrangements for burning coral for lime; neatly built circular, domed stacks of fire wood + coral in layers, cased in with coral blocks. Walked 2 or 3 miles out along the Bagamojo Road, very pretty country, saw natives climbing coconut palms to collect palm wine. Went on board to dinner.
Sun. 4th. E + I went ashore for lunch at hotel, then took ricksha through native town + out on Bagamojo road + back. Saw some sunbirds. Bought cone shells in native shop for trade in Barotseland. E. went on board at 3.0 pm + I went for walk along the coast road + beach past Government
House + the Aquarium + Hospital. Scenery most beautiful. Low tide, numerous shore birds, especially curlew, knot-like waders with shortish red legs + very long straight beaks, purple grey herons in small numbers with bright yellow feet, ring dotterel, sandpipers, also a peculiar wader about curlew size, with white body having dark markings on back and wings, long blue-gray legs; head rather large with narrow but very deep bill, black with white patch at base of mandibles. Many large sea-slugs on the sand. Returned by an inland road to the back of the native town. A Manyema ngoma (devil dance) was in full swing there; women dancers a dozen or more, fantastically got-up with cylindrical bead work head-gear + feather plumes, guereza skins, bright cotton garments + quantities of ornaments. Dancing round + round in circle, elaborate posturings + movements of abdomen, buttocks + hips with wonderful muscular movements; feet but little used. Faces smeared with white paste. Music of marimba, drums and wicker rattles [sketch] with bases of calabash like the West-African forms but more elongated. Returned on board at 6.30 pm.
Mon. 5th Ashore for a short time only before breakfast. Sailed at 10.15 am for Mozambique with number of bluejackets + officers from the “Seeadler” + “Buzzard” whose reliefs we had brought out. Flying their paying off pennant. Glorious calm weather, light, cool breeze.
Tues. 6th Wind freshening from S.E. (S.E. trade wind), rough in afternoon. Noon log, 11°9'S., 40°.50'E, 264 s.m., av. 10.9 kn. Passed three or four good sized whales. Coast frequently in view. Headlands nearly all with lighthouses.
Wed. 7th Entered Mozambique harbour through opening in fringing reef at 8 am, just in time to see the Portuguese gunboat “Gabriel” + other vessels dress ship in honour of the Portuguese Crown Prince who was visiting M.bique in the S.S. “Africa” of Lisbon. Town decorated + en fête. I went ashore in a sailing boat, found Signora Mezzalana in difficulties with a silversmith who was cheating her. Matter put right by purchasing police intervention. Visited the
old fort, armed with antiquated m. l. cannon with open touchholes for firing with a flambeau. Extensive pigeonries inside the fort. On board again to lunch. Went ashore again later in the pinnace + walked to the further (S.) end of the island, through the whole of the native town. Crown Prince sailed at 5.30 pm, amid salvoes from Gunboat + fort. Native girls were dancing + skipping most of the day on the open space by the pier, to drum music + rattles of nut shells [sketch] of a common central African form. Drums were being tuned by having the membrane held in a flame. The girls were smartly got up in bright colours, many had their faces smeared with white paste in patterns. Most wore neat gold faced combs in their hair, + many had fine silver work belts. The D.O.A.L. SS. “Princessin” arrived after dark + our bluejackets + officers were transferred to her.
Thurs. 8th. Sailed at 8.0 am. for Chiude. Fine, cool + strong S.E. breeze, rough sea in afternoon + evening. Hardly
any saloon passengers left, barely a dozen, mostly English. Passed large flock of Caspian terns + fairly large petrels, bust little else seen except flying fish which seem to be getting of larger size as we get Southward. Still rough at night. Heavy pitching. Noon log – 15°44'S., 40°41'E., 52 s.m., av. 13 kn.
Fri. 9th Fine + smooth. Occasional flocks of Caspian terns, and several small fin-backed whales. When near Chuide altered course to inspect a large floating object which proved to be a dead hump-backed rorqual, already half eaten; some killers and a thresher or two gorging themselves upon the carcase [sic]. Ship rolling heavily for a time. Anchored a few miles off Chiude at 11.0 am, tide low. Tug “Adjutant” did not come off till 3.0 pm. Basket used to land + embark passengers. The Greens, Miss Paterson + Cardew left us, + also the 2nd class passenger with the broken leg. Under weigh again at 4.0 pm. Passed more hump-backs. Fine sunset.
Sat. 10 Anchored off Beira at 7.0 am, after waiting outside for the tide. Went ashore to see about trains. Find that
the next train is on Monday night. Town being decorated for the Portuguese Crown Prince’s visit. Went on board + fetched my heavy luggage to clear the customs + we all three went to the Savoy Hotel to lunch. E. + I strolled around the town + bought linen suits for 13/- a suit. No flamingos to be seen in the river, but some white herons + kingfishers (black + white). On board again to tea. Ship getting rid of great quantity of cargo.
Sun. 11. Stayed on board all morning, watched the pelicans + white herons coming to feed at the fish traps, afterwards sunning themselves on the sand. They come in as the tide falls. A few kites round the ship. Quite a cold wind blowing. “Feldmarschall” to sail at 4 p.m. Said goodbye to Edie + Mr. W. who go on to Durban. Came ashore + put up at hotel (Savoy) room 16 very nice looking over the sea. Watched the ship till out of sight. Saw her pass the “Africa” which was bringing the Portuguese Crown Prince to Beira. Went down to quay to see him land, but he was so long
[---FACING PAGE: Sketch of “R.F.W.”, “H.B.” and “E.B.” looking sick and holding their stomachs, labelled: “After four weeks of Deutsch Ost Africa Linie menus.”---]
about it that got bored + came away. Many fireworks + decorations. He went off by train up country. Turned in early very tired + with a cold.
Mon. 12. Did a little shopping at Martini’s Store + had a walk before breakfast, watched the pelicans, white herons + curlew feeding by the fish traps. Had a long walk in afternoon found periophalmus in a ditch in Mangrove swamp. The front fins [sketch] in walking are used together, not alternately. Tail used in jumping. They are able to skip along the surface of the water just as on land. Ran up to about 3 inches to 3 1/2 long. They leave a track [sketch] like this, like a fern impression, the midrib caused by the drag of the body, the lateral pairs of marks by the fore fins. Went a long way along the shore. Saw immense flocks of small plovers + sandpipers, also group of pelicans
[---Inserted into the pages of the diary is a booklet advertising a publication about “Portuguese East Africa”; Balfour has made a few sketches on the back.---]
asleep on a sand bank. Curlew, whimbrel, white heron + Kingfishers (black + white + azure) in mangrove swamp. Great number of small short tailed terns fishing at sea. Found great quantity of small shells neatly perforated close to hinge as though with a stone drill, but probably due to natural agency. Left by 10 p.m. train in reserved compartment, uncomfortable seats and poor night.
Tues. 13th Fine journey up to the high ground. Travelled with A.L. Lawley Engineer of the line. Arr. Umtali 4.45 p.m., met Andrews + we dined at Royal Hotel, arranged with him to come to Falls in a week’s time. Left Umtali 6.15. Saw herd of large buck at dusk.
Wed. 14th Arr. Salisbury. 6.30 a.m. three hours wait to change train. Walked about the town, uninteresting. Left S. at 9.40 am. Arr. Hartley 2.30 pm. Battlefields 5.35 pm, Globe + Phoenix 7.40 pm. Weary with wrestling with tough fowl for two days so pushed it out the window.
Thurs. 15th. Arr. Bulawayo about 8.l5 a.m. drove to Grand Hotel. Met the Lewis Tylors. Went to Museum + spent most of
day with Mennell who took me out to lunch in Suburbs. Saw Father Gardner’s collection of stone impl. including fine series of palaeo. types from Gwelo. Father Gardner came to see me in evening. Dance in hotel which turned the place upside down.
Fri. 16. Met Major Gordon. Called on Mr. Franklin White but drew blank. Visited Museum. Left by 1.30 pm train for Vict. Falls. Very obliging Traffic Manager at B.wayo. Everything possible done to assist me. Very dusty journey not hot. Cloudy sky, very unusual at time of year. Arr. Gwaai 6.30; Malindi 10.0 pm.
Sat. 17th. Arr. Wankie about 2.15 a.m., huge bonfire + natives dancing. Curious sight in the dark. Arr. Victoria Falls 7.15 am. Wire + letters from Gunn to say he is not joining me owing to “hot box”. Much disappointed. Wire from Edie to say they arrived yesterday at Durban. Walked to Giese’s Landing looking for flints. After lunch went across bridge + had successful hunt for palaeos. near E. end of Falls. Saw two kinds of hornbills, “go-away” birds, woodpeckers, hawks, various doves, shrikes, barbets, host of small
[---FACING PAGE: “”Go away bird”, schizorhis concolor (grey lourie)” and “Estrilda Angolensis, blue-breasted wax-bill”---
[Inserted into the pages of the diary is Henry Balfour’s business card, on which he has sketched a bird and written several bird names.]
finches especially at sundown when they flew around in flocks. Quite dark when got back to hotel.
Sun. 18th Flint hunting most of day, found some interesting palaeos on the terrace drifts along the left bank below + above the Falls. Took lunch out + got back about 7 pm by moonlight.
Mon. 19th Examined old drift about 500 yards from hotel, along edge of cañon between hotel + bridge. Walked along l. bank some way, having lunched out. Found a good many flints. Also visited a drift on other side of railway beyond the bridge near where a culvert runs under the line above the cutting. No really fine implements found. Went along cañon on that side but found no gravel beds low down, only thin surface drifts.
Tues. 20th Off day. Visited the Falls + Rain Forest. Found hippo spoor in bush along Rain Forest. Sketched guinea fowl in the bush. Very tame. In afternoon went on water with Dr. H.N. Everard of Ermelo, we photo’d baobab trees, + then went up to the rapids above
[---FACING PAGE: Sketch labelled: “Guinea-fowl, Rain Forest, Victoria Falls, 20-Aug 1907.”---]
Kandahar Id. seeing crocodiles (one big one on a rock) on the way, also “goggle-eyed plover” (wattled plover), black “open-bills”, plotus Lavaillantii, black + white and malachite kingfishers, river cormorant etc. Landed at Livingstone Drift.
Wed. 21st. Reexamined old drifts near hotel in morning. Lunched at hotel. P.C. Clarke gave me a Barotse pot + two ivory hair pins. Had long talk with him. Walked half way to Livingstone township with Col. Napier’s son + examined gravel drifts on way back. Saw crocodiles basking + much hippo spoor (old). In evening after dinner went with Dr. Everard through the Rain Forest by moonlight. Moon too high for rainbows. Got very wet + muddy.
Thurs. 22nd. Saw the Everards off by train + then walked to Livingstone + lunched at the North Western Hotel which is really excellent with first-rate rooms + magnificent stoep. Back by train + was dropped at a siding before the bridge. Flint hunted till dark + back by full moon. Saw
baboon which had been shot by the bridge keeper. White headed fish eagles, weaver birds, swifts, black swallows hawking in gorge under bridge (they seem always to be there.), spruces, drongos + other shrikes, yellow-vented bulbuls, babblers, goshawk, barbets etc. Back by moonlight after hunting over gravel drifts along L. bank.
Friday 23rd Walked to Palm Tree Ferry in morning along R. bank of river, + looked at drift gravels on the way. Saw large goshawk. Back through Allen’s plantation. Took photos in afternoon chiefly towards W. end of Falls, also photos of hippo spoor near W. end + along Rain Forest. Went to end of promontory to right of hotel; very slight traces there of chalcedonic drifts + no very old implements.
Sat. 24th. Saw mail train off with several friends going south. In afternoon reexamined drift along barbed wire fence on L. bank as far as Palm Kloof. No fine impl. found. Also hunted drift near hotel, towards the bridge. After dinner walked to E. end of Falls to see lunar rainbow, back by 10 p.m.
Sunday 25th Walked with Percy Clarke to Masui River, taking a boy with scoff box. Picnicked on banks of Masui + were joined by two railway men. Went with the latter on to the end of the Masui where it falls down into the Batoka Gorge. Saw spoor of large buck (? sable), lion + hippo. Very fine scene. Large troops of baboons with young. Mac. fired at a steenbok + missed it. It stood still for about 2 minutes + then made off. The baboons barked + screamed at us a good deal but made away. On way back to railway bridge found many flints + evident signs of a very extensive early population on banks of Masui R. We dynamited a small rock pool for fish but without success. Saw a [illegible], hammerkop, eagles, “go-away birds”, small crocodile in river, black + white ceryle kingfishers, one wading bird. Clarke rejoined us at railway bridge. And we ran back on Mac’s trolley to the hotel, doing 20 miles at least an hour down the inclines. Dined with the Clarkes.
Monday, 26th Arranged for Bulawayo train to stop for me to get off at the bridge over the Masui R.. Went as far as that in the Wilson Fox’s saloon. Got off at the bridge and walked to the Zambesi Gorge following the Masui but keeping some way from the right bank for the most part. Collected many stone implements in the chalcedony drifts which are pretty extensive, + on the bare patches with small surface drift. Very rough going, through much thorn bush, long grass + rock. Lunched at spot over the Fall by which the Masui reaches the Zambesi, + looked down from great height into the Batoka Gorge. Saw some corvivultur (?) on the rocks, croaking loudly. Baboons were not to be seen. Many hornbills + “go away” birds, doves, kingfishers, black + white wagtails, guinea fowl (heard), drongos etc. Saw some ground squirrels. Walked back along the river banks + bed + struck the track from Mac’s cottage. Put up a steenbok on the way + a hare. Bad going along the banks, grass 8-10 feet high. Had some tea at Mac’s cottage on the line + ran in the last mile + a half with him on his trolley. Pretty well fagged.
[---FACING PAGE: Sketches of birds, labelled: “Corvivultur (a)lbicollis.” and “”Go away”! Schizorhiza concolor”---]
Tues. 27 Arranged with Mc Ilroy to bring boys down with trolly to dig through gravels along Left bank. We trollied down + began on gravels along barbed wire fence which are quite shallow, then went further along + dug the bed where a stream cuts through it. No great result though implements found in situ. Mac. had a touch of fever so I sent him home with the boys, + hunted the surface gravels till evening, with fair success.
Wed. 28. Started off on a gravel hunt in morning but turned very queer. Remember crossing bridge + seeing Falls without knowing where I was. Touch of sun probably. Got as far as Palm Kloof + sat down + then went back + lay down for a couple of hours in the Bridge Keepers hut, + later returned to hotel.
Thurs. 29. Busy packing in morning. Went to see Clarke in afternoon + came to Livingstone (North Western Hotel kept by Mr. [illegible]) by 5.45 train. Drove from station in Cape Cart with 4 mules.
[---NEXT PAGE: Sketches labelled: “Hippo spoor in mud, Victoria Falls”---
Fri. 30. In morning walked to confluence of Maramba R. with the Zambesi + along the former to the foot bridge + back by the railroad. Very hot, 95° F in shade under the hotel verandah. In afternoon walked about S.S.E. to the Maramba higher waters about 1 mile from hotel. Found several quartzite implements of fine shape on banks of the river + in a small side stream. Saw a koopoe. Wrote to Edie in evening. Turned in early.
Sat. 31 Packed up + had a walk down to the Maramba but found no implements which appear to be local on the banks. Took the mail train leaving at 11.15 from Livingstone for Kafue. Met Mr. Moffat on train + travelled with him + Mr. Jelf who has a brother at Exeter Coll. Mr. Chomsley (Secretary to the Administrator) also travelled with us. Scenery much the same all the way, bush country with occasional open expanses. Saw oribi from the train, but there was very little game. Uncomfortable night in train, seats very hard to lie on.
Sunday, Sept 1. Arrived at Kafue about 7.30 am + met Mr. P.T. Miller (Resident Engineer) who had been away + had not got my wire. Moffat + I breakfasted with Miller in his railway coach + then Moffat went on by the train to Broken Hill + Miller + I trollied to the farmers cottage on a koppje [sic] overlooking the Kafue valley on the N. side of the bridge. Very fine view. He placed a bedroom at my disposal. Meals chiefly of oribi, duiker, Korhaan + francolin (“pheasant”). Very nice cottage. In evening we had a walk + visited some Mashukulumbwe Kraals where I bought 3 spears + a “sansa”. Turned in at 9.30 pm. The district does not look favourable for stone implements. The rock is a kind of schist, though there is much quartz. The valley is flat alluvial plain with thin bush + long grass + is bounded by rocky hills + Kopjes. Saw many black storks + huge grey cranes, white herons, snake birds, white headed fish eagles, go away birds, rollers, many kites + hawks of various kinds.
Monday 2nd Miller went to his office + I had a walk attended by a Mashukulumbwe boy with long spear as body guard. Went up a high koppje [sic] for the view which is very fine over looking the course of the Kafue. Visited some deserted kraals. Bush on fire in places for grass burning. Saw several small spirit houses with food in them. Sun hot, wind high. After lunch went on river in Miller’s canoe with David (Blantyre boy) + Shilling (Mashukulumbwe) going a few miles down stream to big bend where river turns N.E. Saw otters, fish eagles, spurwinged plovers, kites, kingfishers (ceryle), plotus, cormorants, dwarf geese (one shot), white heron, also black “open bills” + buff backed herons, grey swifts, swallows, parra, sandpipers + several hawks. Saw Mashukulumbwe spearing fish in the sudd.
Tues. 3rd— Skinned the dwarf goose. We took lunch in the canoe + went up stream landing here + there. Went about 7 miles up to the two palms on right bank. Saw hundreds of plotus + cormorants, river terns (short-tailed), spurwinged geese + spurwinged plovers, African open bills, giant herons, purple herons, night herons, white + buff-backed herons or egrets, parras, all in great numbers; some huge cranes (white + black with red on necks), splendid rollers, ceryle, grey swifts, others. Many buck seen (reed buck + puku) + much spoor. Wind high all day. Came back down river in the dark most of the way. Got very wet in the swamps having sunk up to trouser pockets.
[---FACING PAGE: Photograph of a pigmy goose and sketch of a bird, labelled: “Dwarf goose, nettopus auritus; African open-bill, Anastomus lamelligerus; Ardea goliath; Ardea purpurea; nyeticorax griseus”---]
Wed. 4th Spent morning skinning a giant heron + trading for specimens from Mashukulumbwe of villages nearby. Much difficulty in persuading them that 2 sixpences = 1 shilling. In afternoon went with Miller + two boys in canoe up stream, 2 or 3 miles up. Went ashore on right bank among mopani trees. Spoor of eland, zebra, hippos + roan + smaller buck. Saw a few buck + many francolin + guinea fowls. Miller shot a duck under the bridge of a different kind to any other seen (see sketch). Birds much as yesterday. Frogs after dark making Nibelungs’ anvil music. Back by dusk + dined off oribi. “Wolves” (striped hyaenas) howling round the cottage at night + nighjars [sic] churring.
Thurs. 5th. Finished skinning giant heron after having gone over the bridge to the station to see Mr. Thomas on Lord Selbouce’s special train. Bought axe + sansa from a Tete boy. Arranged with H. Adams for use of launch in afternoon + started with him at 2.15 pm up river. Saw all the usual birds in abundance. Giant herons very plentiful + some smaller grey heron with black-streaked buff necks; also one large white heron. Tiger fish jumping in numbers especially in evening. Ran up 17 or 18 miles or so to two Mashukulumbwe Kraals on left bank. Huts of reeds + palm leaves. Women grinding meal on flat saddle-shaped stones set in built up mud, hardened, + with basin-like hollow to catch the meal. Canoes dug out of palm stems, often pieced
[---FACING PAGE: Sketch of a meal grinder.---]
together + fitted with partial low false gunwale sticked on with grasses. [sketch] -shaped prow carved out. Purchased spears, pipes, friction-drum (“Namalua”) fire-tongs, etc. Back in the dark arriving after 8 pm. at Adam’s place. Looked round his store + he gave me some Batoka tobacco + native hemp (dakka) + 2 Tanganyika spears. Asked me to find out about small “cherub log” for river use. Came home with safari of 4 boys carrying lanterns + my belongings. “Wolves” again howling. “oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo—oo” with ascending scale ending sharply on octave. Packed up my things at night.
Friday 6th. Had breakfast after the train had arrived + then trollied down to station. Found compartment reserved for me. Met Mr. H.J. Carlisle + travelled with him a good deal of the way. Said goodbye to Miller, Adams, Davis + others. Train left at 8.0 a.m. The country mostly bush country with some open expanses. Saw two Lichtenstein’s hartebeestes about 5 miles out of Kafue. Later saw many oribi near the line. Engine driver shot an oribi from the train as we went along + stopped to have it picked up. He also had two shots at a lioness which crossed the line in front of the engine. Arrived at Kalomo at about 11.15 pm. Left parcel for Mr. Jelf. Very uncomfortable night in train, hard lying + cold. No sleep.
Sat. 7th Arrived at Livingstone at about 6.0 a.m. Arranged for my things to be transferred to the train for the Falls (“Train de Luxe”). Went to see the Humens who had given over the N.W. Hotel to the Administration + transferred themselves to the Cold Storage. Had breakfast with them + went for a walk along the Maramba. Back to station for the 11.20 a.m. train where I met Mr. Thomas + travelled with him to the Falls, arriving at 12.0. Saw the train off again at 12.30 pm + arranged to see Carlisle at Bulawayo on my way through on Sunday week. Had short walk in afternoon.
Sun. 8th— Spent day on the gravel drifts across the bridge + along between the railway line + the river. Had good success, finding several good flints. Got back in dark. During afternoon a dense flight of locusts passed over me + I watched the trumpeter hornbills catching them on the wing.
Mon. 9th Went by train to Livingstone by early morning train in Mr. Corner’s private coach with him. Bought boots at Berger’s Store. Had long walk along the Maramba, without much success in flint collecting. Saw two kinds of bee eaters (large red throated + small yellow throated species); great numbers of very long-
tailed shrikes (?) looking like small attenuated magpies with very long rectrices, very loquacious; pair of wattled lapwings (pale yellow lappets + iris + legs); many drongos, a small woodpecker, yellow bulbuls, a very gaudy barbet, weaver birds etc. + some hares. Had some long drinks at the Cold Storage, + caught 4.0 pm. train back. Dined with the Clarkes in evening.
Tues. 10. The Clarkes came with me + I took two boys to dig in gravels across the bridge + in line with the edge of the Fall (E.S.E. of the E. end of the Fall). We picnicked on banks of the river. I had the gravels trenched in two places + found one good palaeo (broken by the pick) in situ about 15 inches depth + several flakes etc. imbedded in the drift. Bought some pipes of roan horn and a Kangombio from Barotse natives who were on trek + waiting to cross the bridge. Heel very painful in evening.
Wed. 11 Gave my heel a watch below + had a slack day. Did some packing in morning. Went with Rev. Douglas Elison of Grahamstown on the river after lunch. Went down rapids to Livingstone Island + back up the rapids then up stream to old Livingstone Drift. Came back after sundown. Passed some hippos at dusk.
[---FACING PAGE: Sketch, labelled: “Hippo’s yawn, Zambesi, 1907.”---]
Thurs. 12 Crossed the bridge + further examined gravel drifts on other side, also those on other side of railway. Went as far as the “Knife Edge” + down Palm Kloof. Saw numbers of hornbills (Bycanistes buccinator) + a large troupe of baboons, some of huge size. Watched them at short range for a good while, but I did not seem popular + they eventually made off using bad language. Saw also some black-faced monkeys. Came back in the dark having stopped at the Bridge Keepers (Soper’s) hut on the way + bought some hippo skin sticks. A leopard had carried off his dog some evenings ago at about 6.30 or 7.0.
Fri. 13 Went by the 10 am. train + arranged for it to be stopped at the Maramba bridge. Walked along the Maramba to its junction with the Zambesi + hunted some gravels. Lunched on Zambesi bank. Saw red + yellow throated bee-eaters, open billed stork, babblers, bulbuls, cormorants, plotus, squirrels, monitor lizard, eagles waders etc. Also watched a hippo about 80 yards off for some time. Said goodbye to Soper, the bridge keeper, + got back before dark. Electric light broke down at Hotel. Packed up till late.
Sat. 14. Finished packing. Lunched early at hotel, + left by 12.30 pm Zambesi Express. Met Dr. May from Livingstone, Mr. Thomson (late of B.N.G., Oxf.), Mr. Ch. Negus, Mr. P.D. McGuffie of Ineisa + others on the train. Very hot travelling.
Sun. 15th. Arr. Bulawayo, 6.45 a.m. Bitterly cold wind blowing. Saw the Tylors at the station + Mr. Thomas the traffic manager. Changed into through carriage for Cape Town. Left at 8.45.
Mon. 16th. Arr. Lobatsi in early morning, not much changed from 2 years ago. Arr. Mafeking 10.15 am. + Kimberley at 9.50 pm. Had walk round Kimberley with Mr. Negus, by half-moon-light.
Tues. 17th Left Kimberley 12.40 a.m. Arr. De Aar 7.50 am. Across the Karroo + by the Hex River Mountain pass by night. Saw many Korhaan during day, also meerkats + ground squirrels. Numerous ostrich farms along the line.
Wed. 18th. Arr. Cape Town 7.45 am, train being late. Edie met me + we took luggage on board “Kildonan Castle”. We drove to Mr. Nelson + joined Mr. Wilkin. I went to Museum + had talk with Peringuey. Lunched at hotel, Donald Gunn joining us, + went on board. Gunn came to see us off, still quite lame. We all three had the same cabins as 2 years ago. E.B. No._____ [left blank], H.B. No. 18, R.F.W. No.10. Sailed at about 5.0 p.m. Saw penguins (Spk. Demarcus), Sula Capensis, cormorants + larus dominicanus etc going out.
[Inserted into the pages of the diary is a postcard showing the Union-Castle Line Royal Mail Steamer “Kildonan Castle”.]
[Inserted into the pages of the diary is a booklet containing the list of passengers of the Union-Castle Line Royal Mail Service between England and South Africa; one page is a log, filled in by Balfour
[---NEXT PAGE: The diary is continued on a booklet of Union-Castle Line R.M.S. “Kildonan Castle” stationary stuck to the inside of the diary’s back cover---]
Wed. Sept. 18 Sailed at about 5 p.m. from Cape Town, moderate wind following. Penguins (S. demersus), Sula capensis, cormorants, L. domenicanus, Cape hens etc.
Thurs. 19 Fresh wind, ship rolling. Large number of albatrosses (D. Exulans) and Mollymawks (D. melanophrys) + Cape hens following ship. A few skuas + storm petrels.
Fri. 20 Albatrosses very numerous, fewer Mollymawks, Cape hens numerous still, a few Cape pigeons (D. capensis) and prions, one or two skuas. A flying fish flew on board at night onto deck outside smoking room, 25 ft or so above water. It was put back alive.
Sat. 21 Rather fewer albatrosses, one mollymawk (D. chlororhynchus), few Cape hens + prions, several storm petrels, a few Cape pigeons.
Sun. 22 Albatrosses still fewer, one D. chlororhynchus, Cape hens, storm petrels. Weather milder, overcast all day.
Mon. 23 No albatrosses or Cape hens, only a few small petrels, one with very rapid zigzag flight like that of a bat. Flying fish becoming numerous. Weather much warmer but still overcast.
Tues. 24 Birds all gone, only a few terns seen. Flying fish increasing in numbers. Warmer, sunny + calm.
Wed. 25 Crossed the line at about 9.0 a.m Hot sunny day. A good many terns fishing in groups. Two sharks (one a hammerhead of large size). Great numbers of flying fish. Hot night.
Thurs. 26 Very still, but cool breeze in morning. Showers during day, wind very shifty. Terns numerous + dolphins fairly so. A petrel resembling the Cape hen but of slow flight rose from the water.
Fri. 27 Hot, sunny day with breeze quietly off shore. Passed several steamers including the Gaika, homeward bound, which we passed very close just after lunch. Terns numerous, a few storm petrels. Great many dolphins, a school of pilot whales (?) seen. Also saw a rorquals jump quite out of the water + had fine view of a coryphene chasing flying fish alongside the ship.
Sat. 28. No incident, few birds
Sun 29 ditto, a few large flying fish
Mon. 30 Sighted Teneriffe [sic] early in morning + passed through the straits between it + Gomera. Fine view of the peak, cloudy later. A few large flying fish during earlier part of the day.
Tues. Oct. 1st. Arrived Madeira about 6.30 am Very fine weather. Did not go ashore. Sailed at about 11.0 a.m. Calm + warm.
Wed. 2nd. Fine and hot day.
Thurs. 3rd. Ran into rough weather off the Spanish Coast, wind S.W.at first changing to N.W. Very rough at night in the Bay.
Fri. 4th. Still rough. Off Ushant at 1.30 p.m. sea moderated. Many gannets, petrels, shearwaters + guillemots + a few gulls.
[On the inside of the back cover is a sketch of a boat on a river; below this:
“Thomas, Bulawayo, traffic manager, R.R.”
“McCombie, Vict. Falls, station master”
“Townshend, Resident Engineer, Bulawayo.”
“Corner, “ “ “ “]