Narrative of an Expedition to Explore the River Zaire, Congo River, is the publication of the logbooks of Captain J. K. Tuckey and the journals of Professor Smith who lead the scientific work on the expedition. The journey took place in 1816 in order to gain knowledge about the interior of Africa. At that time it was still a mystery where the River Zaire had its beginning. It was still suggested that River Zaire was a branch of the River Niger. The problem that explorers of the time was faced with was the rivers strong current and massive “floating islands” of vegetation. The river is the second largest in the world when it comes to discharge volume. Captain Irby, who commanded the Amelia some years before, with difficulty succeeded in getting his ship 48 or 50 miles up the river.
The book has some interesting observation, for instance about the bantu-people who addresses the expedition by canoes to sell pigs, goats, eggs and once also a elephant’s tooth and a boy. Diseases were widespread and at most times more than half of the crew were sick.
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