Page:Lake Ngami.djvu/436

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.

considerably (one of the many curious points in African geography); and the country on both sides is often inundated to a very great extent, frequently having the appearance of an endless lake, thickly overgrown with reeds and rushes, and dotted with islets covered with beautiful trees and shrubs.

At its eastern extremity the Ngami finds an outlet (the only one) in the fine and stately Zouga. This river, near to Batoana-town, where it escapes from the Lake, is about two hundred yards wide, and, from its gentle flow, appears at rest, the motion of the stream being imperceptible to the eye. Indeed, it is asserted by some—and should it be found correct, it certainly would be a most extraordinary fact—that the waters of the Zouga are, at one time of the year, forced back into the Lake by a branch of the Teoge, which river thus not only feeds the Lake at its northwest extremity, as has been already stated, but at the east as well. From the very imperfect development of the water-courses in these parts, I do not think this impossible.

The Zouga continues to run in an easterly direction from the Lake for nearly a month's journey, or a distance of about three hundred miles, taking all the windings into account, when it is lost in an immense marsh or sand-flat,[1] called, by some. Great Reed Vley. It is a perfect sea of reeds (with occasional openings), and affords a favorite resort to innumerable herds of buffaloes.

About twenty miles before the Zouga ceases to flow it expands into a lake from two to four miles broad, and about twelve or fifteen in extent. During the dry season this river presents "a series of pools with dry spaces between."

The vegetation all along its course is varied and luxuri-

  1. Many are of opinion that this river continues to flow subterraneously, and that it ultimately finds an outlet into the sea on the east coast. It is by no means uncommon in African geography—and we have in England an instance of it in the Mole—to find a river suddenly disappearing and as unexpectedly reappearing at some little distance.