Freed after the death of his master, he served in the Sultan of Oman's army in East Africa before being hired by John Hanning Speke
and Richard Burton, as gun-bearer, for their expedition to locate the central African Great Lakes in 1857-58.
And while the East drew many of these remarkable individuals, others chose instead to open up the 'dark' continent of Africa--James Bruce, who became doctor to the emperor of Abyssinia, Mungo Park, who endured terrible hardships exploring West Africa, John Hanning Speke
, Burton's sometime colleague and rival, Verney Lovett Cameron, a Royal Naval officer and the first European to make an east west crossing of Africa, missionary/explorer David Livingstone (who penetrated deeper inland from the Cape than any other explorer and was the first European to cross the Kalahari), and Livingstone's 'discoverer' Henry Morton Stanley, who set out to discover the source of the Nile (and succeeded).
Now for a curious book--The Sad Story of Burton, Speke and The Nile or Was John Hanning Speke
a Cad?--in which Stanford University professor WB Carnochan investigates the falling out of 19th-century explorers Richard Burton and John Hanning Speke
over Speke's claim to have discovered the source of the Nile during their 1857-59 expedition to Africa.
Three British officers, including Captain John Hanning Speke
, accompanied Burton on his journey.
John Hanning Speke
was born in Devon on 4 May 1827 to Georgina Hanning and William Speke.
Richard Burton and John Hanning Speke
found Lake Tanganyika together in 1858, but split up to pursue different paths.
Curiosity about the source of the Nile led to European expeditions into the region, and in 1862 the British explorer John Hanning Speke
was welcomed by the king of Buganda before he reached Lake Victoria and concluded that it was the major source of the Nile.
And I was obsessed by his search for the source of the Nile with John Hanning Speke
over 150 years ago.
We had followed the trail of Richard Burton and John Hanning Speke's 1857 expeditions from Zanzibar across Tanzania to Lake Tanganyika.
Like John Hanning Speke, I wanted to be able to say for myself "The Nile is settled."