Page:Lake Ngami.djvu/437

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ant, and in some places the scenery is quite charming, the banks of the river being often, to the very water's edge, covered with majestic trees of beautiful and dense foliage. The baobob is particularly conspicuous, attaining, not unfrequently, round its stem, a girth of from sixty to seventy-five feet. "The banks," says Mr. Livingstone, in a letter to a friend, "are beautiful beyond any we had ever seen, except, perhaps, some parts of the Clyde.***The higher we ascended the river the broader it became, until we often saw more than one hundred yards of clear deep water between the broad belt of reed which grows in the shallower parts.***One remarkable feature in this river is its periodical rise and fall. It has risen nearly three feet since our arrival; and this is the dry season. That the rise is not caused by rains is evident from the water being so pure. Its purity and softness increased as we ascended toward its junction with the Tamanakle, from which, although connected with the lake, it derives its present increased supply. The people could give no reason for the rise of the water further than that a chief, who lives in a part of the country to the north, called Mazzekiva, kills a man annually and throws his body into the stream, after which the water begins to flow."

Before closing my remarks on the rivers of the Lake, I must beg to draw the attention of the reader to a circumstance which may prove of the most vital interest to the civilization and commerce of these regions. It is as follows:

About two days west of the Teoge, two rivers are reported to exist. The one is a small branch of the Teoge, and is supposed, after meandering through a desert for a couple of days, to lose itself in a marsh. The second (and to which I particularly desire to draw notice) is of larger dimensions, though, near to its source, only periodical. In its course, however, it is fed by fountains—not an uncommon thing in Africa—and it soon increases to a constantly running stream. In due time it becomes a mighty river, flowing slowly through