africa

John Hanning Speke and the Source of the Nile

John Hanning Speke and the Source of the Nile

On September 15, 1864, British explorer and army officer John Hanning Speke died by accident with a shot gun. Speke is most associated with the search for the source of the Nile and was in fact the first European that reached Lake Victoria and as such is the “discoverer of the source of the Nile“. “The expedition had now performed its functions. I saw that old father Nile without any doubt rises in…
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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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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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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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Jane Goodall and the True Nature of Chimpanzees

Jane Goodall and the True Nature of Chimpanzees

On April 3,1934, English primatologist, ethologist, anthropologist, and UN Messenger of Peace Dame Jane Morris Goodall, was born. Considered to be the world’s foremost expert on chimpanzees, Goodall is best known for her 55-year study of social and family interactions of wild chimpanzees in Gombe Stream National Park, Tanzania. “The more we learn of the true nature of non-human animals, especially those with complex brains and corresponding complex social behavior, the more ethical…
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Gorillas in the Mist – The Life of Dian Fossey

Gorillas in the Mist – The Life of Dian Fossey

On December 26, 1985, American zoologist, primatologist, and anthropologist Dian Fossey was killed. She is best known for her extensive study of gorilla groups over a period of 18 years in they mountain forests of Rwanda. Her 1983 book, Gorillas in the Mist, combines her scientific study of the mountain gorilla at Karisoke Research Center with her own personal story. “When you realize the value of all life, you dwell less on what…
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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.” Radio appeal for peace, Oslo, Norway (30 March 1958) Albert Schweitzer – Early Years Albert Schweitzer was born on January 14, 1875, as…
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