Ethiopia Exploration Between 1882 and 1929

By | December 17, 2021

In the years 1882-1883 the commercial trips of the French Paulo Soleillet in the village Galla up to Caffa (Kafā) were made, the one not before attempted by Count P. Antonelli (v.) From Assab (‛Asab) to the Scioa through the Aussa, while with the attempt to penetrate Ogaden starting from Pietro Sacconi’s Harar, tragically concluded (12 August 1883), the reconnaissance of internal Somalia begins, destined to enter the orbit of Abyssinian domination. The occupation of the Harar by the king of Scioa (1887) and the subsequent extension of the conquest into the southern territories, gave the opportunity to new and fruitful enterprises that enrich its geography. Count Antonelli and Dr. Traversi, following Menelik (Menilek), visit Lake Zuai and the source region of the Uabi (Uebi Scebeli); dr. Vincenzo Ragazzi recognizes the hip line between this river and the Hawash; the French Jules Borelli, from Obok penetrated into the Scioa, goes as far as Caffa, where after the D’Abbadie and the Massaia (Cacciatone in 1853) no one had penetrated, and reaches the upper Omo valley. In the years 1892-g3 Vittorio Bottego’s expedition explored the entire upper course of the Giuba and its main tributaries and in the following two years the Italian Eugenio Ruspoli, tragically perished in a hunting accident on 14 December 1893, and the American Donaldson Smith, they integrate the discoveries with the new itineraries from Berbera to the Rodolfo Lake, supported by regular astronomical and trigonometric determinations. For Ethiopia 2000, please check

From October 1895 to July 1897 the second Bottego expedition takes place (in which Bottego himself and Dr. Sacchi had to leave their life), which discovers Lake Margherita and solves the problem of the Omo river flowing into Lake Rodolfo, filling a vast gap in South Ethiopian cartography for the region between Lake Zuai and Lake Stefania. In 1897 the French expedition De Bonchamps departed from Addis Abeba to meet the Marchand expedition and recognized the course of the river Baro as a tributary of the Sobat; the following year the Russian Bulatovič explored the mountain region further west of the itinerary marked by the Bottego, between the Omo and Sobat basins; in 1899-900 a second Donaldson Smith expedition, starting from Berbera and partly following the itinerary already taken before, went to Lake Rodolfo, thus penetrating the Upper Nile region. In the same region we follow the great and fruitful expeditions of the French P. du Bourg de Bozas (v.) And of the German baron von Erlanger (v.) And subsequently that of the Austrians FG Bieber and A. Mylius (1905), which, although it had economic purposes, resulted in the construction of a beautiful map for 250,000 of the region between Addis Ababa, Didessa and the Middle Omo; that of the Swiss Montandon (1909-11) in the village of Ghimira, which, in addition to the copious ethnographic observations, also gave us a route at 1: 750,000 regularly surveyed; that of Ethiopia Cerulli in Gimma and Caffa up to the Sudanese border and finally the great expedition of the Duke of Abruzzi (1928-1929), to whom we owe the regular survey of the entire course of the Uabi (Uebi Scebeli). It is also worth mentioning the Deutsche Aksum Expedition which, directed by Ethiopia Littmann, carried out fundamental historical, archaeological and ethnographic research in northern Ethiopia, publishing the results in 1913. Among the expeditions to Ethiopia proper we should still mention the voyages of the American O. Crosby (1900) and the English HW Blundel (1905) and the French Hugues le Roux (1901), who rectified the course of the Abai, and the very interesting and fruitful of results of the French mission J. Duchesne-Fournet (v.; 1901-03).

Finally, the operations carried out on the ground for tracing the western and southern border of Ethiopia with Anglo-Egyptian Sudan and the southern border with Italian Somalia should be remembered; operations which, carried out with the support of regular astronomical and trigonometric determinations, they constitute contributions of considerable value from a cartographic and geographical point of view. Around the first, carried out in the years 1899-1901, we have the reports of the major HH Austin and CW Gwynn (Geogr. Journ., XVII and XVIII, London 1910) and on the second ones, those of Colonel C. Citerni (v.) In his volume At the southern borders of Ethiopia, Rome 1912. And so we say for the technical studies carried out for the use of Lake Tana, which have also yielded determinations concerning the Ethiopian cartography. In the last half century there are still numerous travel reports, which, if they added little to what was already known about the region from a strictly geographical point of view, nevertheless served to illustrate its present conditions. We remember among the Italians for the most recent times, those of Rava, Annaratone and De Castro cited (see Bibliography). Finally, in recent years, the explorations carried out in the Ethiopian area of ​​the Danakil depression, which remained one of the least known regions of East Africa and where the trips of the Nesbitt (1928) and Franchetti (1929) expeditions took place.

Ethiopia Exploration