Page:Lake Ngami.djvu/170

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162
OMANBONDÈ VISITED BY HIPPOPOTAMI.

before us, then at each other in mute dismay and astonishment. A dried-up vley, very little more than a mile in extent, and a patch of reeds, was the only reward for months of toil and anxiety!

 

 

CHAPTER XIV.

Omanbondè visited by Hippopotami.—Vegetation, &c., described.—Game somewhat scarce.—Combat between Elephant and Rhinoceros.—Advance or Retreat.—Favorable reports of the Ovambo-land.—Resolve to proceed there.—Reconnoitre the Country.—Depart from Omanbondè.—Author shoots a Giraffe.—Splendid Mirage.—The Fan-palm.—The Guide absconds.—Commotion among the Natives.—Arrive at Okamabutè.—Unsuccessful Elephant-hunt.—Vegetation.—Accident to Wagon.—Obliged to proceed on Ox-back.—The Party go astray.—Baboon Fountain.—Meeting with the Ovambo; their personal Appearance, &c.—Return to Encampment.—An Elephant killed.—Discover a curious Plant.—Immorality.—Reflections.

Dry as the basin of Omanbondè then was, it nevertheless appeared evident that, at no distant period, it had contained a good deal of water. Moreover, there could be but little doubt as to hippopotami having also, at one time, existed there.

On becoming better acquainted with the geography of these regions, we thought we were able to explain the phenomenon satisfactorily. Thus, for instance, from (or to?) the deep, trough-shaped basin of Omanbondè leads a peculiar water-course, in an easterly direction, called Omuramba-[1]k'Omanbondè, consisting of a succession of immense gulleys, very similar to Omanbondè itself. These (after being in a short time joined by the Omuramba-k'Omatako) we supposed to be connected with some large permanent water, abound-

  1. Omuramba, in the Damara language, signifies a water-course, in the bed of which both grass and water is to be had.