africa

Bartolomeu Dias and his Trip into the Pacific Ocean

Bartolomeu Dias and his Trip into the Pacific Ocean

Most likely on May 29, 1500, Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias died by drowning in a storm near Cabo das Tormentas. Dias sailed around the southernmost tip of Africa in 1488, reaching the Indian Ocean from the Atlantic, the first European known to have done so. Little in known about Bartolomeu Dias’ Early Life Not too much is known about the life and achievements of Bartolomeu Dias. He may have been a descendant of João…
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Louis Leakey and the Human Evolutionary Development in Africa

Louis Leakey and the Human Evolutionary Development in Africa

On August 7, 1903, Kenyan paleoanthropologist and archaeologist Louis Seymour Bazett Leakey was born. Louis Leakey‘s work was important in establishing human evolutionary development in Africa, particularly through his discoveries in the Olduvai Gorge. We’ve already had posts about his wife Mary Leakey, as well as two other famous women, whose life is connected with Louis Leakey: Dian Fossey and Jane Goodall. Having been a prime mover in establishing a tradition of…
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Leo Frobenius and the Theory of Cultural Morphology

Leo Frobenius and the Theory of Cultural Morphology

On June 29, 1873, German ethnologist and archaeologist Leo Viktor Frobenius was born. He proposed a theory that culture evolves through stages of youth, maturity, and age. He helped to spread knowledge of West African art and culture throughout Europe. He made a series of twelve major expeditions throughout Africa, gathering knowledge of art and culture, travelling across the deserts, savannahs and rain forests of Africa and South Africa, the River Nile and…
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Jean de Thévenot – One of the very first Tourists

Jean de Thévenot – One of the very first Tourists

On June 16, 1633, French traveller, linguist, natural scientist and botanist Jean de Thévenot was born. A curious and diligent observer Thévenot was traveling through Asia and wrote extensively about his journeys. “There are many in Christendom who believe that the Turks are great devils, barbarians, and men without faith, but those who have met them and talked with them are of quite a different opinion; for it is certain that the…
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Harry Johnston and the “Scramble for Africa”

Harry Johnston and the “Scramble for Africa”

On June 12, 1858, British explorer, botanist, linguist and colonial administrator Sir Harry Johnston was born. His interest in zoological specimens gave him a lucrative part-time income, illustrating books for the new sciences of biology, geography and anthropology. Moreover, he is probably best known for being one of the key players in the “Scramble for Africa” that occurred at the end of the 19th century. “In our land the educated poor, who…
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Albert Schweitzer and his Hospital in Africa

Albert Schweitzer and his Hospital in Africa

On March 21, 1913, theologian, organist, philosopher, physician, and medical missionary in Africa Albert Schweitzer together with his wife Helene start their voyage to Africa, to establish a hospital in Equatorial Africa. “The awareness that we are all human beings together has become lost in war and through politics.” – Albert Schweitzer, Radio appeal for peace, Oslo, Norway (30 March 1958) Albert Schweitzer – Early Years Albert Schweitzer was born on January…
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Mungo Park and the Waters of the Niger

Mungo Park and the Waters of the Niger

On September 11, 1771, Scottish explorer of the African continent Mungo Park was born. He is best known for being the first Westerner to encounter the central portion of the Niger River. Moreover, Mungo Park’s adventures on the Niger are the subject matter of Water Music, a richly detailed comic adventure novel published by T.C. Boyle. Mungo Park – Early Influences and Education Mungo Park grew up in a religious home and…
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Ibn Battuta and the Marvels of Traveling the Medieval World

Ibn Battuta and the Marvels of Traveling the Medieval World

On 24 February 1304, Muslim Berber Moroccan scholar, and explorer Ibn Battuta was born. Over a period of thirty years, Ibn Battuta visited most of the Islamic world and many non-Muslim lands, including Central Asia, Southeast Asia, India and China. Near the end of his life, he dictated an account of his journeys, titled A Gift to Those Who Contemplate the Wonders of Cities and the Marvels of Traveling. “I arrived at…
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Dr. Livingstone, I presume?

Dr. Livingstone, I presume?

On November 10, 1871, British Africa explorer Henry M. Stanley found his missing colleague David Livingstone in Ujiji on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, who got lost because his obsession to discover the sources of the Nile in central Africa. “People talk of the sacrifice I have made in spending so much of my life in Africa. Can that be called a sacrifice which is simply paid back as a small part of…
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The Fateful Journeys of Alexine Tinne

The Fateful Journeys of Alexine Tinne

On October 17, 1835, Dutch explorer of Africa Alexandrine Petronella Francina Tinne was born. She was the first European woman to attempt to cross the Sahara. Alexandrine Tinne Background Alexandrine Tinne was born into a wealthy family. Her father passed away when she was only ten years old and she turned into one of the richest young girls of the Netherlands. It is then said that she suffered highly from love sickness…
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