Somalia Exploration Part II

By | December 15, 2021

At Uarandab Robecchi met Prince Don Eugenio Ruspoli, who with two companions, Keller and E. Dal Seno, was heading from Berbera to Barri sull’Uebi: after having climbed it for a while, however, he was forced to return to Berbera.

The following year the first expedition of Captain Bòttego left from Berbera, which also included Captain M. Grixoni. Wading the Seebeli at Imi, the expedition crossed the Anatu mountains, reached a tributary of the Juba called Ueb and which he called Uebi Gestro, from here it crossed the Uelmal, then the Ganale Diggò and finally visited the main course of the Guiba or Great Gudda. Returned to the coast the Grixoni, which on the way back entered Lugh for the first time, the Bòttego completed the exploration of the upper basin from the Juba, ascended the Grande Guddà, and then descending part of the course of the Daua, returned to Lugh a Brava.

Two months after del Bòttego, the second Ruspoli expedition, made up of five Europeans, left Berbera again. This almost followed the Bòttego road as far as the Ueb, then descended its course as far as Dolo and then that of the Giuba as far as Bardera, where Ugo Ferrandi had arrived shortly before from Brava. Back in Dolo, the state of health of his companions forced two of them to fall back on Lugh, where they were later collected and saved by the Bòttego: the Ruspoli instead with the Riva and the Lucca, went up the Daua and crossed the Giam Giam plateau entered the land of the Amhara Burgi. There he crossed the Sagan River, a tributary of Lake Stefania, and saw Lake Ciamo in the distance. Close cordial relations with the sultan Guio di Burgi, he then recognized the authority of the government of Italy. From Burgi the Ruspoli’s he walked south to the great lakes when a fatal hunting accident ended his life. His companions went down for Dolo and Lugh at Brava. For Somalia 2013, please check

The Bòttego and Ruspoli expeditions are entirely responsible for the knowledge of the upper and middle basin of the Juba. The American A. Donaldson Smith, who left Berbera in 1894, went up Uebi from Sassabaneh for a certain distance, made a notable contribution to the knowledge of the upper Scebeli, already reached by Traversi several years earlier; then, having visited the marabout of Scec Hussein, he turned back to Barri and from there he resumed the road to Juba, reached Lake Abbaia, and through Lake Stefania and Lake Rodolfo it flowed into British East Africa, bringing a valuable relief to the itinerary and interesting geographical, ethnographic and naturalistic data.

The second Bòttego expedition, organized like the first by the Italian Geographic Society, aimed to solve the serious problems of the internal hydrography of the Omo and the Rodolfo Lake. It included, with the chief, Lieutenant C. Citerni, Lieutenant L. Vannutelli and M. Sacchi, and in the first part Ugo Ferrandi. Departing from Brava in October 1895, the mission, which went to Baidoa in Lugh, left Ferrandi there with the task of founding an Italian station, went up the Uebi Gestro for a certain distance; then, having returned to Dolo, she briefly ascended the Daua and by Ascebo reached Burgi. Here he discovered a new lake, the Pagadè, to which he gave the name of Margherita, then, having crossed the Gughè chain (4300 m.) age-old problem. From Lake Stefania, the Bòttego continued its journey to the western edge of the plateau, reached Gambela and was attacked near Ghidami in the territory of the Galla tribe of the Lieka Kiellem tribe by a group of armed Abyssinians, who was killed on 16 March 1897. Maurizio Sacchi, too, broke away. from the expedition to save the materials collected in the first part of the journey, he was treacherously executed by the Abyssinians near Lake Margherita; but the materials and the reliefs were rescued. In 1898 and 1899 the two expeditions of CO Tanner and Jenner took place in Oltregiuba, then belonging to England.

Somalia Exploration Part II