After a fortnight's harassing travel we arrived at Elephant Fountain, formerly a Wesleyan missionary station. It was founded in 1847 by the Rev. Mr. Tindal, but had of late years been abandoned in consequence of a destructive fever, which carried off many of the natives. Even the few Europeans settled there suffered severely. It was situated within the territory of the chief Amral, who was born and bred in the Cape Colony, and, if I am not misinformed, was raised to his present dignity partly through missionary influence.
Elephant Fountain is chiefly inhabited by Hill-Damaras, who cultivate extensive gardens of tobacco, &c. Game was abundant thereabout, but we had not then time to look after it.
From Elephant Fountain eastward the country was represented as very sandy and bushy, and, as our oxen were in a very indifferent condition, we determined to leave the wagon behind in charge of John Mortar, the cook, and to prosecute our journey with pack-and-ride oxen. Amral, with a great number of the tribe, expressed a wish to accompany us, chiefly for the sake of the anticipated sport. As we traveled on we were joined by Lambert, his son, and other Namaquas, with their attendants, till at last our party amounted to several hundred individuals.
After no little inconvenience and misery, on account of the great heat, the terrible drought, and scarcity of pasturage about the few and widely-separated watering-places, we reached Tunobis, or Otjombindè, on the 3d of October. According to Mr. Galton's observations, this place is situated in latitude 21° 55′ and 21° 55′ east longitude.