Nachtigal, Gustav(go͝os`täf näkh`tēgäl), 1834–85, German explorer in Africa. He went (1869) on a mission for the king of Prussia to the sultan of Bornu. He visited the central Sahara region and reached Khartoum in 1874. In 1884 he annexed Togoland and the Cameroons for Germany.
Born Feb. 23, 1834, in Eichstätt, near the city of Stendal, Saxony; died Mar. 20, 1885, on a ship in the Atlantic Ocean, south of the Canary Islands. German military physician, explorer, and colonizer.
From 1869 to 1874, while serving as the Prussian emissary, Nachtigal explored the Tibesti massif, the region of Lake Chad, and the right-bank region of the Shari River. He was the first to explore the Wadai plateau. In 1884, as imperial commissioner, Nachtigal was sent on a gunboat to the Gulf of Guinea, and between July 5 and July 14, 1884, he established a German protectorate over Togoland and Cameroon.