TOURIST IN AFRICA
(2) Suez Kenya
Mermaids in Aden—With Stanley in Africa- Mombasa—Gedi—Kilimanjaro.
February 6. A cool, fresh breeze down the Red Sea. For an Englishman the English make ideal travelling companions. I have been accosted twice only; once by a woman who took me for my brother, Alec, and again by a man who mysteri- ously claimed to have been at Cambridge with Ronald Knox.
The constant music, I suppose, caused genuine pleasure to 5 per cent. of the passengers; pain to 1 per cent.; a vague sense of well-being to 50 per cent.; the rest do not notice it.
February 8. Anchored off Stean.er Point, Aden, after luncheon. The ship stays until mid- night. A bazaar is set up on a raft below the gang- way. Launches ply to and from the quay.
Since I was last here Aden has grown green; not very green, but there are distinct patches of foliage where there was only dust. We originally occupied Berbera, in Somaliland across the straits, in order to have somewhere to grow cabbages and fruit for the garrison of Aden. Water has at last been struck and piped. The continuous trains of shabby camels no longer pad along the road from Crater Town. There are taps and water closets now in the settlement. 1 saw only one camel and that was' a sleek riding animal from up-country, sitting beside its master at an Arab cafd feeding on a hamper of green vegetables.
Most of the passengers drove off to see the water-tanks ascribed to King Solomon. In a thousand years' time will Central African guides show tourists the mighty ruin of the Kariba dam as one of the works of Solomon? I wish I could think so.
I took a taxi to Crater Town and walked its narrow streets for an hour looking for remem- bered landmarks and finding none. Not that there has been much modernisation, but things have disappeared. I could find no trace of the 'Padre Sahib's Bungalow' where I once spent a week. Nor of Mr. Besse's emporium. I was Mr. Besse's guest on several occasions in his rooms above his offices and warehouse. I also went with him on an appalling climb to the edge of the crater and across the burning volcanic debris to his shark- infested bathing beach on the far side of the little peninsula. He was an enchanting man. I described him in a book called Remote People as 'Mr. Le- blanc,' and was told later that he greatly relished the portrait. I wish he had shown his gratification by leaving me something. He was a rich man then.
His great fortune came later, and I was astolvded ten years ago to read that he left £2,000,000 to Oxford University, an institution which can never have caused him a moment's pleasure. I do not know what he was by race or religion. They named the college he founded St. Antony's, but when I inquired here, no one knew or had troubled to conjecture which, if any, of the twelve canonised Anthonies they were commemorating.
The smells of Crater Town are unc.Jaawd- spices, wood smoke, coffee, incense, goats, deli- cious Arab and Indian kitchen smells, garlic and curry, sewage and hair oil. It is always a wonder to me that the English who cheerfully endure the reek of their own country--silage, spaniels, cab- bages, diesel fumes, deodorisers, fish and chips, gaspers, ice-cream—fight shy of 'native' streets.
Back to Steamer Point. Here there has settled all the tourist trade which used to flourish in Port Said, but in a sadly standardised form. Simon Arzt's in the 1920s was richly cosmopoli- tan. You could find most of the luxuries of Europe there. At Aden the shops are all kept by Indians and each has an identical stock of Japanese counterfeits — 'American' fountain pens, 'Swiss' watches, 'French' scent, 'German' binoculars. I searched for cigars but found none. There used to be two hotels at the extremes of the crescent. Their verandahs were haunted by touts and money-changers and shirt-tailors and each possessed a `mermaid'—a stuffed manatee, I think—which was kept in a chest and e*hibited on payment. Now one of these hotels has gone and in its place has arisen a large, modern, air- conditioned building; no place for a mermaid. The other is its old shabby self.
I had a personal interest in the mermaids, because six years ago I suffered briefly from hallucinations in the course of which I imagined myself to be in communication with a girl in Aden. She complained of having nothing to do there. I went into some detail (which I omitted from the account I wrote of the experience) about the rather limited diversions of the settle- ment. Among them I mentioned the mermaid. `It's gone, Evelyn, it's gone,' she said later, in tones of reproach as though I had maliciously sought to raise false hopes of pleasure, 'it isn't here any more.'
I was curious to discover whether in this par- ticular as in all others my 'voices' had been de- ceiving me. But here she spoke the plain truth. The first servant I addressed at the hotel looked blank and shrugged, supposing I was demanding some exotic drink. But a much older man came forward. 'Mermaid finish,' he said.
'One man came finish mermaid.'
'Not so long.'
The curse of Babel frustrated further inquiries. I should have liked to know how the mermaid was finished—bought, stolen, destroyed by a drunk?—and particularly when it disappeared— before or after or even during my conversations with my forlorn confidante?
February 9. In the Gulf of Suez we lost the breeze which kept us cool in the Red Sea. Once round Cape Guadafui we are in the steam-bath of a New York heat-wave. It is more agreeable and, surely, healthier to come to the tropics gradually than to be deposited there suddenly by an aeroplane in the clothes one wore shivering a few hours before in London.
A great stripping of clothes among the pas- sengers. Cortes marched from Vera Cruz in armour; Stanley crossed Africa in knicker- bockers and a braided tunic; I in my humble way have suffered for decency. I have worn starched shirts at Christmas dinners in both. Zanzibar and Georgetown, British Guiana; but these young people must be almost naked in order to lie in deck chairs in the shade. The thighs of middle- aged women quiver horribly at the library- steward's table. .How different the three Arabs we have taken on board at Aden, who are travelling to Zanzibar. They wear the light cotton robes of their people and always look cool and elegant and clean. They sit playing dominoes in the smoking-room and three times a (jay spread little mats on deck, take off their sandals and prostrate themselves in prayer.
I have found a diverting book named Stars and Stripes in Africa; Being a History of American Achievements in Africa by Explorers, Mis- sionaries, Pirates, Adventurers, Hunters, Miners, Merchants, Scientists, Soldiers, Showmen, Engineers and others with some account of Africans who have played a part in American afiairs, by Eric Rosenthal, 1938.
It begins rather surprisingly with Columbus, who once put in to the Gold Coast. Some Ameri- cans believe he discovered the United States, but can many, I wonder, suppose he flew the Stars and Stripes? Mr. Rosenthal was injudicious only in his choice of title; perhaps his publishers chose it for him; American publishers are more presumptuous than European in these ways; any- way the sub-title fully explains his achievement. He rejoices to trace every connection however tenuous between the two continents and has pro- duced a fascinating collection of uncommon in- formation. In fact. I think. the only time that the Stars and Stripes were taken into Africa was at the head of Stanley's expedition to Livingstone (who appears here among American worthies on the grounds that one of his sons died after the battle of Gettysburg. he had enlisted in the Federal army under an assumed name. was wounded and taken prisoner. It is not quite clear from Mr Rosenthal's account whether he fought in the battle) Americans have every excuse for claiming Stanley as a compatriot. He claimed it vehemently himself and was at one brief period a naturalised citizen. But he was born and died a Briton He was the illegitimate son of Welsh parents, jumped his ship at New Orleans. enlisted in and deserted from both sides in the Civil War When he became widely advertised and was invited to explain his origins, he hesitated between the em- barrassments of admitting his illegitimate birth and his 'illegal entry then formally abjured his country. When he became respectable. rich and married he re-naturalised himself British. sat in Parliament and was knighted It is interesting to learn from Mr Rosenthal of the enthusiasm of individual Americans for the establishment of the 'colonialism' in Africa which their grandchildren reprobate. At the time of the Boer War, he tells us—I was about to write in the manner of a book review, 'he reminds us';
had no idea of this or of most of the facts he adduces—Theodore Roosevelt wrote to Selous: 'the most melancholy element in the problem is what you bring out [in the Spectator] about Englishmen no longer colonising in the way Boers do.'
In the invasion of Matabeleland in 1893 it was a young American trooper, Burnham, who hoisted the Union Jack over Lobengula's Kraal.
There were eight American members of the Reform Committee in Johannesburg who first invited and then repudiated the Jameson Raid. One of them, Hammond, was condemned to death but later with his fellows was bought off for £25,000 a head.
A Philadelphian built the first synogogue in Rhodesia..
These and many other facts I have learned from Mr. Rosenthal. The most moving narration is of the efforts made in 1900 to solve the problem of the Boers by wholesale evacuation. The Governor of Arkansas offered 5,000.000 acres of his State as a free gift. Colorado followed suit. In Wyoming 300,000 acres were actually irri- gated and planted for the Boer immigrants. If these farsighted and generous policies had been realised much annoyance would have been spared Her Majesty's loyal subjects.
February 10. A fancy-dress ball. The general aim is to be comic rather than seductive. Some Jokes are purely verbal—a dress sewn with used matches patiently collected from the ship's ash- trays and labelled: 'No more Strikes.' Many beefy young men assumed female clothes with balloon breasts. One of them wears nothing but a towel fastened like a baby's napkin and is pushed round the dance floor by another dressed as a nurse. He carried a large feeding bottle and the inscription: 'Beer builds bonnie babies.' An elderly woman with whitened face parades in a
sheet festooned with empty gin and whisky bottles. She represents 'Departed Spirits.
For a great many passengers this party cele- brates the end of the voyage and the end of leave We are due at Mombasa on the thirteenth where they disembark and go to work in Kenya and Uganda
February 13. The Rhodesia Castle spends five days in Mombasa. Few passengers Nt a y on board during this hot season. I had made no plans and knew nobody in the colony Nearly all my old Kenya friends have died. some by suicide. or returned Nairobi. I was told. is now unfriendly. huge and infested by thieves, the care-free life of the Muthaiga Club is a memory, rather a scandalous one. A second generation of farmers has grown up with their own social habits, pro-
vincial in experience and opinions. more indus- trious than their predecessors in the Happy Valley but not such good company.
This is the opinion I was given on the Rhodesia Castle. It sounds plausible enough. There was nothing in the Kenya I knew to suggest that it enjoyed any immunity to change. Why should not this equatorial Arcadia, so lately and lightly colonised, go the way of Europe? I did not seek to verify it. I could not hope to see much in five days. Besides, the Queen Mother was in pro- gress up-country and I surmised that casual trippers might not be particularly welcome at that time. But in Mombasa, at any rate, I found that the old tradition of open hospitality flourished as it used to up-country.
A former neighbour of mine in Gloucester- shire had served in the Sappers with a friend now settled in Tanganyika. He wrote to report my imminent arrival. This second sapper not only, as will appear, made himself my host and companion in Tanganyika, he wrote to a third sapper, a highly placed official in Mombasa who came on board the Rhodesia Castle with the passport officers, introduced himself and took charge of me with a bounty which is often called 'oriental' but in my experience is particularly African. I was the friend of a friend of a friend and I didn't know anyone in Mombasa, so that
was enough for him to lend me his car and his driver take me to a tailor and to a watch-maker, ask me to luncheon at his home pu, me up for his club. advise me about anti-malarial specifics, introduce me to the Provincial ( ommissioner and the Director of Antiquities and perform all the other kindnesses that I shall shortb. record In my last visit to Kenya I met 'ew officials. I here was a rigid apartheid between them and the settlers who looked on then almost as enemy agents. They saw the Colonial Office as their declared enemy who sought tu rob them of the lands they had cleared and ploughed and watered. The officials, they said. has no stake in the country; they were in transit, thinking only of promotion and pension, they would retire to die in Europe. The settlers were trans- forming a wilderness where the, intended to found families. (Come to think of it I never heard much hostile criticism of the rich cosmo- politans on these grounds.) There was a popular story at the time of a district officer who seduced a farmer's child and begot twins He honourably offered marriage. The farmer said 'I would sooner have two bastards in my family than one official.' I dare say it is a very old story that has been told of Motitagues and Capulets. Campbells and Macdonalds for generations But I first heard it of Kenya.
All that bitterness seems now to have sub- sided. There was then a simple division between two groups of Englishmen, one trying to run the country as a Montessori School the other as a league of feudal estates, each sincerely believing that it understood bettei the natives, and knew what was best for them There was then a single, troublesome, alien element com- prised of Indians. No one talked of 'African Nationalism.' Now officials, settlers and Indians have a common uncertainty of their future and since the Mau Mau 'emergency' no one pretends to understand the natives. (The suppression of that movement, I was assured by an officer closely concerned with it, was achieved by loyal or mercenary Kikuyus more than by regular forces.) * * * The city of Mombasa has grown enormously since I last saw it and now covers the whole island. There is a large, brand-new 'inter- racial' hotel. 'Inter-racial' in practice means mainly Indian, for few Africans can afford it and the Europeans foregather in their houses or at the club. There is an impressive Muslim Institute, erected by the Aga Khan and the Sultan of Zanzibar and other pious benefactors for the technical education of East African Mohammedans. (The Government of Kenya pro- vide the staff and the running expenses.) They were unusually fortunate in their architect, Captain G. N. Beaumont, an engineer amateur of Mohammedan art who is splendidly uncor- rupted by the influence of Corbusier which per- vades the modern East. Dome, minaret, arcade, fretted and crenellated parapets, carved doors, tiled walls and pools stand happily disposed in acres of garden, whispering hints of the Alham- bra, of Mena House, of the Anglican Cathedral at Gibraltar, of Brighton, but never the harsh tones of UN.
These two buildings are the chief architectural additions to the city. There is evidence of what seems to be the universal process of offices becoming larger and private houses smaller. For the first time in Africa I heard complaints of the scarcity and expense of domestic servants. The population of the island is more than ever heterogeneous. There are now poor whites in quite formidable numbers—a thing, unknown thirty years ago. There is also in the main street a notorious dancing bar, part brothel, part thieves' kitchen; everyone spoke of it with awe. When at length, after many invitations, I found a companion to go there, I found it the genuine thing; not at all the tourists' apache café but something which awoke nostalgic memories of the Vieux Port of Marseilles. All races and all vices were catered for. I have never been in a tougher or more lively joint anywhere. Gentle readers should keep clear.
* * I have here run away from my diary and given the impressions of several days. On the day I am ostensibly chronicling I spent a restful after- noon on the club verandah with the intention of reading the news I had missed since leaving England. The club is unchanged since I was last here, a spacious, old-fashioned building designed to catch every breath of air. The monsoon was blowing. It was deliciously cool, but it is not easy to read the Times India paper edition in deep shade and a brisk wind. Have the editors, I wonder, considered what a high proportion of their copies are perused under fans?
Opposite the club stands one of the most notable buildings in East Africa, Fort Jesus, built by the Portuguese at the end of the six- teenth century and still bearing the royal escut- cheon on its walls. Its base is cut from the rock; its upper stories are faced with hard, coral stucco Which changes colour as the sun moves over it, Mottled, sometimes dun, sometimes rose-red. It Is a massive little castle sited for defence on all fronts, battlemented, pierced by slits, approached by a single narrow flight of steep enfiladed steps. Until lately it was used as a prison and all the visitor could see of it were its noble elevations. Re could smell it, when the wind was in the wrong quarter, from the club verandah. Now, by means of a grant from the Gulbenkian Foun- dation, it is being cleaned and restored. By the tune that these words appear it will be open to View, furnished with a collection of local antiqui-
ties and, more important, inhabited by Mr. Kirkman, the official archteologist, who has been in charge of the operation.
At five o'clock that evening the fort was at its rosiest under the full blaze of the westering sun when, through the kindness of my new sap- per friend, I had an appointment with Mr. Kirkman. Few people in Mombasa had had the chance to see the work in progress and a privi- leged party of six or seven assembled at the gate and were led up to the ramparts. There is nothing of the dry and solemn official scholar in Mr. Kirkman. He is an exuberant enthusiast for the comic as well as for the scientific aspects of his work.
The Public Works Department had built over the old structure a shoddy conglomeration of guard rooms, cells, latrines, barrack rooms, wash houses and exercise yard. All these were being demolished and the original levels were being restored. The Arabs had left a few finely carved inscriptions, but what emerges from the excava- tion is essentially a Portuguese Government House of the seventeenth century.
That evening I dined with the Provincial Commissioner. Like everyone I met in Mombasa that day and later, he was in a daze of gratifica- tion at the Queen Mother's visit. On every occa- sion she had done more than was asked of her. Unflagging in the steam-heat, she had completely defeated the boycott the politicians had tried to impose. In particular, she had made a conquest of the Arab sailors whose dhows fill the old port at this season. Nasser's wireless had been denouncing her as the symbol of Western imperialism. Dhows came sailing in from Zan- zibar and all the little ports of the coast. The Queen Mother went to the waterfront and paid them a long, happy call which will be talked of for years in the Hadramaut and in the Persian Gulf.
Politics do not seem to be a major concern in Mombasa. Much of our conversation that evening was about the prospects of developing the Kenya coast as a holiday resort. There are sands, surf, coral reefs, deep-sea fishing for marlin, tunny and shark, an almost unexplored sea bed for goggle divers, everything in fact that draws tourists to the West Indies. At present Mombasa is used mainly as a port and rail-head; rich sportsmen go straight to Nairobi and set out on safari from there into the game reserves. The Commissioner hopes to see his province become a pleasure coast, not only for visitors from Europe and America but for families from the highlands of Kenya and Rhodesia.
February 14. Today I was able to see some- thing of these attractions. But first 1 had to make arrangements to sleep out. Nights in the ship tied up alongside the quay at this season are barely supportable for their heat and the noise of stevedores. But deliverance came in the form of a French woman of incongruous elegance; she came aboard the moment we docked, dressed in a uniform of her own design- ing, and representative of her husband's travel agency, the very antithesis of the Agent at the Gare de Lyon. All yesterday she had been dis- patching parties of animal-watchers into the interior. She was on duty again this morning, spruce and cool. To her sympathetic ear I dis- closed my insomnious problems and she at once, for rather a lot of money, arranged for me to sleep the next two nights at a place named Kibo on the slopes of Kilimanjaro.
But first a jaunt up the coast to the ruined city of Gedi.
Current guide-books still speak of this as over- grown and shunned by the natives for fear of the ghosts who abound there. This was true ten years ago, but today much of it has been cleared and some of it excavated. It was Mr. Kirkman's first task in Africa. For those who lack the arche'ologist's constructive imagination and are not easily moved by the contemplation of stratified debris, Gedi is second only to Zim- babwe in charm and mystery. It was abandoned, not destroyed; its dilapidations has been from natural causes, storm and invading vegetation, during the centuries in which superstition pro- tected it from men.
It was a large, double-walled, Arab city, prob- ably founded in the twelfth century. No one, not even Mr. Kirkman, knows why it was built here, so far from the sea. Arab geographers refer to the 'iron mines of Melinde' (Malindi). It may have had some connection with this industry. It is conceivable that the River Sabaki may once have run to the sea below its walls and that it was a depot for trade with the interior. No one knows why it was suddenly deserted in mid- sixteenth century. Perhaps the Zimba paused and sustained themselves there in the course of their gluttonous migration. Anyway there is plenty to interest the sightseer who is not a specialist—arches, streets, six mosques, a palace, three pillar tombs, six mansions complete with bathrooms and privies, water supplies, drainage, store rooms and courts, all of the fifteenth cen- tury, when it seems to have been completely rebuilt.
Two Swahili families are permanently quar- tered there as custodians. The women were pre- paring a meal, a horrible mess of mealies. There has been no improvement in the basic East African diet in the last twenty years. As we are constantly reminded, most Africans are always underfed. Poverty, of course, is the true origin, but not always the immediate cause of their wretched food. Most of them, I am told, when they are in funds—on returning, for example, from spells of work in the mines—prefer to spend on showy clothes or strong drink. They enjoy an occasional glut of meat when an animal has been killed, but they have no taste for the balanced and varied diet which the health officers would like to inculcate.
There is no recognisable trace now of the once-powerful Sultanate of Malindi, where we drove for luncheon. There is instead a pretty little seaside resort with an excellent beach hotel decorated in the style derived from Rex Whistler. That evening I went with the captain of the Rhodesia Castle to dine with the Union-Castle agent. The party was mainly of Mombasa busi- nessmen and their wives It was clear that the enthusiasm aroused by the Queen Mother's visit was not confined to officials All spoke of the notorious Star Bar, but none had been there and I could prevail on none to go with me February 15. Set off early on the road to Kibo. A party from the Rhodesia Castle were away before me, packed tight in the cars. under the guidance of -the English husband of the elegant French travel agent. I self-indulgently had a big car on my own The road follows the line of the railway which is itself the old caravan route to the lakes. Wherever you find old mango trees in East Africa you are on the Arab slave tracks. It is a hot, dull road and I was glad to be alone. At noon we came to Voi—the entrance to the game reserve which had attracted my fellow passengers. Midday is no time for animal watching. At dawn and dusk the bush comes to life. We drove slowly round one of the many routes. Under the glare of the sun the area seemed empty and dead; high, dry, dun grass; low. colourless scrub; here and there small trees uprooted by elephants, ash-white as though struck by lightning Every few minutes we stopped and my driver dramati- cally pointed to a colourless swift-moving object in the middle distance—a buck, or impala or dik-dik. He had sharp, practised eyes and his regular run was to this park to show wild life to tourists. I am both ignorant and blase about tropical fauna. At one time or another I have been at close quarters with most sorts of big game. Baboons seem to me far less interesting than, say, the Gujama women on the ferry yester- day. I disappointed my driver by my languid attention and my insistence on getting to the hotel before the larger and keener party.
They arrived at the hotel as I was finishing luncheon and went up to their rooms to sleep; I drove on to Kibo.
A breathless, hot road, crossing and recrossing the branch railway bine. Nothing of interest on either side. Somewhere on the way we crossed the frontier from Kenya into Tanganyika. There was no police post. No one asked whether I had lately been vaccinated. A few Indian shops round a railway station; then we turned off to the right .and began to climb. Within a mile we had reached a different country. The summit of Kilimanjaro was hidden in cloud. All we saw was the green slope of gardens merging into forest. On either side of the lane grew coffee and bananas behind flowering hedges. Sweat dried and the air became cool and thin.
At the end of our journey was a small, solid. old-fashioned German hotel. with balconies. a terrace, a 'lawn, flower garden and a cage of Monkeys. The inhabitants of the hotel were youngish European couples, some with children. some it seemed on their honeymoons, but in the evening the terrace became more cosmopolitan. Indians are not allowed to settle in this area, but a motor party came from Moshi and drank fruit juice. Three parties of local Chagga very well dressed and well behaved, came to drink beer.
I slept under a blanket and woke in the exhilaration of the mountain dawn February 16. Kilimanjaro was visible in the morning, a snowy camel's hump. Explorers of the last century wrote lyrically of this huge, odd, dead volcano that rises out of the plain. It looks less than its height, perhaps because of the high level of vegetation. From the hotel at Kibo parties set out from -time to time to climb it. There are rest huts for the nights and the tramp is made in three days. Ropes and axes are not needed. It is a heavy walk, not a feat of moun- taineering, but many strong men fail in the last lap, overcome by mountain sickness.
I spent the day with my driver, who was happy to be at home and proud to act as guide. At every turn we met friends and relations of his. I shall have more to say of the Chagga later, the most prosperous and intelligent of the native peoples of East Africa. The Germans gave them security against their war-like neighbours, Catholic and Lutheran missionaries and a revered commis- sioner named Charles Douglas taught them the arts of peace, but before the white men appeared they had shown themselves an ingenious people, excavating deep caves for refuge from slave traders and building a stone-walled canal which follows a valley contour and irrigates a village ten miles distant.
Then into this arcadia there came strolling two elegant, arrogant old men, dressed each in a single cotton length, very tall, upright and slender. 'Masai,' said my driver in the voice he had used to point out the game in the reserve, but with an unmistakable note of fear in it, as though he were warning me of something more dangerous than beautiful, for it is not fifty years since the Masai used to raid here and drive the Chagga literally underground, and the memory survives. These two men had come in from their lands beyond the mountain on a peaceful errand, carrying long wands instead of spears, to visit a doctor; but their shadows cast a brie gloom as they passed.
At lunch time the other tourists from the Rhodesia Castle arrived at Kibo. They had been out at the watering places in the reserve at dusk and dawn, had seen many animals and taken many photographs and were well content with their experiences.
February 17. Back to Mombasa. Chat night 1 found a jolly, bearded doctor who was willing to go with me to the Star Bar. Ii was his first visit and it was he who decided after a very few minutes that it was no place for us after a girl from Zanzibar, who, he diagnosed was intoxi- cated with hashish, had taken an unreasonable and demonstrative dislike to his benign appear- ance. I must admit I was enjoying it awfully.
February 18. Sailed at dawn and put in at Tanga for the day. I remained on board as I intended to go there later from Dar-es-Salaam, but I may here give advice to those who find themselves, as we did, with a day to Spend 'in this busy provincial capital.
Don't let them take you on a sisal estate unless you have some peculiar interest in this vegetable, which was clearly intended by nature to be a picturesque weed; planted in regular lines of seemingly limitless extent it is deeply depressing.
Don't let them take you to the sulphurous cave they are proud of. The place to visit from Tanga is Pangani, an Arab town some thirty miles down the coast.
Pangani stands at the mouth o* the river of that name which rises on the southern slopes of Kilimanjaro. Opposite it, across •a ferry, where the road leads uncertainly to Dar-es-Salaam, there is a bright green hill and an old mosque. On the Tanga side there is a fine waterfront and promenade, a grand Arab fort, now the District Commissioner's house and office, aria some tall. impenetrable Arab Mansions where the descen- dants of the slave traders and dhow builders live their idecadent lives. It is said that a mild font' of domestic slavery still survives behind their blind, white walls. A small hospital and prison German-built of local materials in the loca' manner, have a deceptive and agreeable air of antiquity. British occupation is ..ommemoratec by a tablet marking the place of a landing dur• ing the First World War and by two nasty little buildings erected by the Public Works Depart. ment. No European lives there except the Corn missioner, and few Indians. There is a 'Luck) Bar' where the younger and more decaden Arabs openly defy the precept of the Prophet They are said to be weak in intellect and deploy able in morals.
That is all there is to see at Pangani, but i is well worth a visit. Perhaps it will not survive long. It has no function in modern Africa Should I scruple to disturb its gentle decay b] recommending it to tourists? I don't think %,:t There are no gracious dreams in its present tran quillity. In its heyday the place was cruel an( grasping and philistine. There is only physica beauty here and that of a low order—the pictur esque. Let it be a target for cameras.