Page:Lake Ngami.djvu/442

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ly any indication of spiral turns, and they are then not unlike the horns of goats.

The nakong is a water-buck. By means of its peculiarly long hoofs (which are black), not unfrequently attaining a length of six to seven inches, it is able to traverse with facility the reedy bogs and quagmires with which the lake country abounds—localities only fit for the feathery tribe. When at the Ngami I offered very tempting rewards to the natives if they would bring me this animal either dead or alive; but they protested that, though they frequently kill the nakong by pitfalls and spears, it was not then possible to gratify my wishes, as, at that season, the beast dwelt almost entirely in muddy and watery localities, where any attempt to follow it would be certain destruction to a man.

Hippopotami abound on the northern side of the Ngami, and more especially toward its northwest extremity, or to the right of where the Teoge River enters the lake.

Otters are not uncommon in the rivers and the Lake. They appear to be of the same species as with us, but present great variety of color. The fur is good, and much sought after.

If the quadrupeds of the Lake Fauna are numerous and varied, the aves class is no less rich and abundant. In our first journey through Damara-land I had made such a complete collection of its birds and insects that I almost despaired of obtaining any thing new and interesting; but here I found at once an unexplored and almost unlimited field for the naturalist. Unfortunately, I was not in a state to be able to benefit, to any extent, by its abundance and variety, which I regret exceedingly.

The aquatic birds were particularly numerous and varied. A friend who visited the Lake assured me that here and on the Zouga he had, at one time and another, killed specimens of no less than nineteen species of ducks and geese. One of the latter varieties is not larger than a common teal, but clothed in the most brilliant plumage. The herons and