1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Mfumbiro

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MFUMBIRO, or Kirunga, general names for a chain of volcanic mountains extending across the Central African, or Albertine, rift-valley immediately north of Lake Kivu. The range, the result probably of recent geological changes, completely blocks the valley at this point, forming a divide between the rivers flowing north to the Nile and the waters of Lake Kivu connected through Tanganyika with the Congo system. The chain consists of two groups of mountains, surrounded by a vast lava field. The western group lies directly north of Lake Kivu. and contains two active volcanoes, Kirunga-cha-gongo, the nearest to the lake (11,194 ft. high), and Kirunga-namlagira 9711 ft.), some 10 m. further north. The eastern group contains several higher peaks some rising to needle-like points, others being truncated cones. The most lofty, Karissimbi (14,683 ft.), lies in 29° 27' 20" E., 1° 30' 20" S. Mikeno, a few miles north and west of Karissimbi, is 14,385 ft. high. The most easterly of the peaks, Muhavuru (13,562 ft.), in 29° 40' 30" E., 1° 23' S., is an isolated sugarloaf-shaped mass with a crater filled with water on its summit. This is the mountain to which the names Mfumbiro and Kirunga were originally applied. Some 6 m. west and a little north of Muhavuru is Sabyino (Sabinjo), 11,881 ft. high. The eastern peaks are snowclad for a part of the year. North of these high mountains is a district, extending towards Albert Edward Nyanza, containing hundreds of low peaks and extinct volcanoes. It is to this region that the name Umfumbira or Mfumbiro is said properly to belong.

Mfumbiro, i.e. Muhavuru, was first seen by a white man in 1861, J. H. Speke, in his journey to discover the source of the Nile, obtaining a distant view of the cone, which was also seen by H. M. Stanley in 1876. By its Baganda name of Mfumbiro (cook-house mountains) it figured on the maps somewhat east of its true position, first ascertained by Franz Stuhlmann in 1891. In 1894 Count von Götzen travelled through the volcanic region, and the range was subsequently explored by E. S. Grogan, Major St Hill Gibbons, Captain Herrmann, Dr R. Kandt and others, the principal heights being determined in 1903. In 1907-1908 the range was geologically and topographically examined by the duke of Mecklenberg's expedition. By the Anglo-German agreement of the 1st of July 1890 “Mount Mfumbiro” was included in the British sphere in East Africa.

See Captain Herrmann, “Vulkangebiet des zentralafrikanischen Grabens,” in Mitteil. v. Forsch. u. Gelehrten a. d. deutschen Schutzgebieten, vol. xvii. (Berlin, 1904), and Adolf Friedrich, duke of Mecklenburg, Ins Innerste Afrika (Leipzig, 1909); both give maps.