16 NOVEMBER 1907, Page 10


A Woman's Trek from the Cape to Cairo. By Mary Hall. (Methuen and Co. 16s. net.)—Mrs. Hall has performed a very remarkable journey. Since Captain Grogan's great expedition eight years ago, several travellers have covered the whole length of Africa from South to North, but she is the first woman who has achieved the feat. Much of the ground is now comparatively easy going. It is not hard to get from the Cape to the Zambesi, or up to the north end of Lake Nyasa, and from Entebbe to Cairo is an arduous but quite safe and simple journey. But from Nyasa to the south end of Lake Victoria is still a little-known region, and it required much courage and pertinacity to traverse it. The journey was made in two parts. In the first stage she reached the Victoria Falls, and gives an interesting account of Rhodesia, though she does not seem aware how much doubt has recently been cast on the antiquity of the Zimbabwes. Then she returned home, and coming back next year, went straight by sea to Chinde, on the Zambesi, and thence up the Shire into the great trough of Equatoria. There are some charming descriptions of the upland scenery on the latter river, and a very full and sympathetic account of the mission work at Blantyre and Livingstonia. There is a pleasant story of a native butcher who, when he was about to kill an ox, sent round an intimation to his customers that " a bole will be murdered to-morrow morning at 6 a.m.," followed by a second notice : "The bule ran away this morning, so was not murdered." The officials in German East Africa treated her with great kindness, and her report of German administration is wholly favourable. It is a most modest narrative, for she simplifies all her difficulties, and claims no special merit for her travels. But it is none the less a delightful book and a remarkable achievement.