The real trip forward began on October 28, 1898, when the expedition left the Zambesi River for the north. The next exploration of geographical value covered the mountain mass of Chiperoni, previously visited by only one party of big game hunters. The stay of the explorers on the shores of Lake Tanganyika was considerably disturbed by fever and sunstroke, but at last they proceeded up the valley of the Rusisi River, which flows out of Lake Kivu. Thence, for hundreds of miles, they made many additions to the map. They noted the progress, both material and territorial, of the Germans at the expense of the Belgians, rival colonists in this region. A very complete map was made of the eastern shore of Lake Kivu. In fact, Grogan's map of the whole country between Lake Tanganyika and Lake Albert Edward is a great advance over all previous records.

An amusing discovery was made in regard to Mount Mfumbiro, which has been marked on most maps, with the height given, and which played an important part in the British-German treaty negotiations. Grogan declares that it existed only in the imaginations of the learned gentlemen who met in conferences and solemnly changed maps, regardless of the real territory in dispute. The valley of the Rutchuru and the shores of Albert Edward Nyanza were carefully traversed. It was when Lake Ruisamba was reached that Mr. Sharp decided to return home. After this, Grogan proceeded alone to Albert Lake. At Bohr the little expedition reached the edge of the impenetrable Dinka swamp. Throwing away everything but absolute necessaries, the young explorer, accompanied by only thirteen men, and with many misgivings, started on his four hundred mile tramp through an unknown region. Here also new maps were made and new names given, a hitherto unmarked channel of the river being called the Gertrude Nile. After this there was still the hopeless stretch of Nuerland to be covered, before the Sobat branch of the Nile was reached and the solitary journey ended.

MAP SHOWING MR. GROGAN'S  ROUTE. The first crossing of Africa from South to North.

MAP SHOWING MR. GROGAN'S ROUTE. The first crossing of Africa from South to North.

Mr. Grogan brought a mass of ethnological information, having carefully investigated and described the various tribes with which he came in contact. And a motley collection of giants, pygmies, and cannibals they are. He had very little trouble even with the worst of them. There were only two mortal combats, and only once during the whole journey was it necessary to take food without paying for it. Usually the proffers of cloth, beads, and even jubilee medals had the desired effect of bringing about a sort of dumb market day. This experience is the reverse of former African methods, culminating in Stanley's idea that the only way successfully to cross the continent was with an army which could lay waste everything before it. Where Stanley says of a people, “Marching to Wadelai would only be a useless waste of ammunition,” Grogan found them perfectly tractable, and did not use one of the twenty rounds of ammunition that he had brought to meet them.

The return to England carried the young explorer through the more perilous jungles of social attention, even to reading a paper before a full meeting of the Royal Geographical Society, where the President, in thanking him, ingenuously hoped that he would soon return with another paper of still greater interest and value.

PREVIOUS PAGE                                            NEXT PAGE

Click pictures and drawings to download higher-resolution versions.
Contact us if you would like reproducible copies of them.
Original copyrights are the property of their creators or successors, where applicable;
image processing, layout, and presentation here copyright
This page created 18 December 2003; see website Update History.

REMEMBER: Peoples' attitudes toward race, religion, and culture were a lot different when this was written! The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of or of Hidden Knowledge, Publishers.