Page:Lake Ngami.djvu/238

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sion to the eastward, partly with the view of penetrating to the Lake Ngami, our original object, and partly to become better acquainted with Great Namaqua-land and its semi-civilized inhabitants. Moreover, the prospect of good sport with the larger game, which every one said we were sure to meet with in abundance, was a further inducement to undertake the journey.

It was arranged that Hans should proceed to Walfisch Bay with one of the vehicles to fetch the remainder of the stores, &c., while Galton and myself, with the other wagon, prosecuted our journey to the eastward. A rendezvous having been appointed where Hans was to meet us, we left Barmen in the afternoon of the 12th of August. In about three days we reached Eikhams, the residence, as already said, of Jonker Afrikaner; where my friend, before finally leaving the country, was anxious to settle certain disputes between the native tribes.

Eikhams is very prettily situated on the slope of a hill, bare at the summit, but at its base adorned with very fine groups of mimosas, among which a tributary to the Swakop winds its course. It was the only spot in South Africa where I ever saw any thing resembling a twilight. This was produced from the reflection of the setting sun on the peaks of the picturesque mountain ranges by which it is almost entirely surrounded.

Eikhams is abundantly supplied with water from three or four copious springs, and the site of these springs being elevated, the land in the lower ground is easily irrigated. The natives construct gardens, wherein they grow many sorts of vegetables, some of which arrive at perfection. The soil is exceedingly fertile, and seems well suited to the cultivation of tobacco. Taking it as a whole, Eikhams is the prettiest place I ever saw either in Damara-land or Namaqua-land.

About twenty minutes' walk from Eikhams is a bountiful hot spring. The water, just where it gushes out from the