BMJ 1995; 311 doi: (Published 14 October 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;311:990


The medical profession has yielded several explorers. Their names are enrolled among those who have helped to rescue Central Africa from barbarism. Emin Pasha and Dr. Parke will not soon be forgotten. Among the feats which had hitherto baffled the efforts of the most intrepid travellers wasthe exploration of Lake Rudolf. Thomson and Gregory both tried to reach the lake from Masailand, but were defeated in their endeavours by the hostility of the native tribes and the dangers of theclimate. A young American medical man, Dr. Donaldson Smith, has, however, succeeded in reaching Lake Rudolf from the north through Somaliland. He is thus the first white man who has visited this terra incognita, and geographers are looking forward with interest to the publication of his records and diaries. Dr. Smith was in Somaliland on a sporting expedition, and hearing that no white man had ever penetrated to Lake Rudolf from the north he determined to make the attempt. He came to England, and made preparations for this serious and dangerous expedition. He left London last May,and took with him Mr. Gillett, a taxidermist, and Mr. E. Dodson. The former was obliged to return home. It has always been believed that Lake Rudolf lay in the midst of a fertile country, rich in ivory, but peopled by implacable and hostile tribes. We congratulate our medical colleague on being the first to bring light into this dark continent. (BMJ 1895;ii:1310.)

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