Zanzibar from the Sea










LONDON    First Edition  1872





Publisher/Year: LONDON, Tinsley Brothers, First Edition 1872.
Binding: Half-Leather Hardcover, 22x15 cm.
Pages: Vol. I: 503  ;  Vol. II: 519
Illustrations: Vol. I: Folding Map 4 Plates, 4Plans ; Vol. II: 7 Plates. [Complete].

   Please see book CONDITION at end    жжж

Richard Francis Burton  (1821-1890)

Burton was an English explorer, translator, writer, soldier, orientalist, ethnologist, linguist, poet, hypnotist, fencer and diplomat. He was known for his travels and explorations within Asia and Africa as well as his extraordinary knowledge of languages and cultures. According to one count, he spoke twenty-nine European, Asian, and African languages.
Burton's best-known achievements include traveling in disguise to Mecca, making an unexpurgated translation of The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night and the Kama Sutra and journeying with John Hanning Speke to discover the Great Lakes of Africa in search of the source of the Nile. He was a prolific author and wrote numerous books and scholarly articles about subjects including travel, fencing and ethnography.
He was a captain in the army of the East India Company serving in India. Following this he was engaged by the Royal Geographical Society to explore the east coast of Africa and led an expedition which discovered Lake Tanganyika. In later life he served as British consul in Fernando Po, Damascus and, finally, Trieste. He was a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and was awarded a knighthood in 1886. Burton was considered a controversial figure in his day and, while some considered him a hero, others considered him a scoundrel.







With 11 Engravings, Folding Map
& Sketch Maps
from about
140 Years Ago

Copies on Sale Priced between

 £2000 to £7000

From Preface ...

I FEEL that the reader will expect some allusion to the circumstances which have delayed, till 1871, the publication of a journal ready to appear in 1860. The following letter will explain the recovery of a long report, forwarded by me in 1857, under an address, very legibly written in ink, upon its cover, to the late Dr Norton Shaw, then Secretary Royal Geographical Society of Great Britain.

No. 9, of 1865.

General Department,
Bombay Castle, 28th February, 1865.

` To
The Under Secretary of' State for India, Lonon.
` Sir,

No. 9 A.
The Secretary
R. Geog. Society,
Whitehall Place, London.

With reference to the packet addressed, as per margin, which was sent to you viâ Southampton from the Separate Department, by the Overland Mail of the 14th instant, I have the honour to subjoin for your information copy of a note on the subject from the Hon. W. E. Frere, dated the 5th idem.

When searching the strong box belonging to the Bombay Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society yesterday I found the accompanying parcel, directed to the Secretary Royal Geographical Society, with a pencil note upon it, requesting that it might be sent to the Secretary of State, Foreign Office. From the signature in the corner, R. F. B., I conclude that it must be the manuscript he sent to Colonel Rigby at Zanzibar, and which, from some statements of Mr Burton (to which I cannot at present refer, but of which I have a clear recollection), never reached its destination.'
I have not been able to discover when or how the parcel was received, nor how the Bombay Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society was to send it to the Foreign Office, except through Government. I therefore send it to you, and perhaps you would send it to the Under Secretary at the India House, with the above explanation, and request that it be sent to its direction.

I have, &c.,
Acting Chief Secretary to Government.'

It is not a little curious that, as my first report upon the subject of Zanzibar was diverted from its destination, so the `Letts' containing my excursions to Sa'adani and to Kilwa also came to temporary grief. Annexed by a skipper on the West African coast, appropriated by his widow, and exposed at a London bookseller's stall (labelled outside, ` Burton Original MS. Diary in Africa'), it was accidentally left by the buyer, an English Artillery officer, in the hall of one of H. M.'s Ministers of State. Here being recognized, it was kindly and courteously returned to me. The meteorological observations made by me on the East African seaboard and at other places during the discovery of the Lakes were also, I would remark, mislaid for years, deep hidden in certain pigeonholes at Whitehall Place. May these three accidents be typical of the fate of my East African Expedition, which, so long the victim of uncontrollable circumstance, appears now, after many weary years, likely tó emerge from the shadow which overcast it, and to occupy the position which I ever desired to see it conquer.
The two old documents are published with the less compunction as Zanzibar, though increasing in importance and now the head-quarters of an Admiralty Court and of two Mission-Schools, with a printing-press and other civilized appliances, has not of late been worked out. The best authorities are still those who appeared about a quarter of a century ago, always excepting, however, the four magnificent volumes, Baron Carl Clare von der Decken's Reisen in Ost-Afrika, in den Jahren 1859 bis 1861, which I first saw at Jerusalem : there too I had the pleasure of making acquaintance with Dr Otto Kersten, who accompanied the unfortunate traveller during the earlier portion of his peregrinations, and who has so ably and efficiently performed his part as editor. Had a certain publisher carried out his expressed intention of introducing a resum of this fine work in English dress to the British public, I should have saved myself the trouble of writing these volumes : the Reisen, however, in the original form are hardly likely to become popular. Moreover, the long interval of a decade has borne fruit : it has given me time to work out the subject, and, better still, to write with calmness and temper upon a theme of the most temper-trying nature, — chap. xii. vol. II. will explain what is meant. Finally, I have something important to say upon the subject of the so-called Victoria Nyanza Lake.
I had proposed to enrich the Appendix with extracts from Arab and other mediaeval authors, who have treated of Zanzibar, Island and Coast. Such an addition, however, would destroy all proportion between the book and its subject: I have therefore confined myself to notes on commerce and tariffs of prices in 1857 to 1859, to meteorological observations, and to Capt. Smee's coasting voyage, which dates from January, 1811. The latter will supply an excellent birds-eye view of those parts of the Zanzibar mainland which were not visited by the East African Expedition.

London, 0ct. 15, 1871

Zanzibar Island and Coast

Contents ...


  1. Preparatory

  2. Rrival At Zanzibar Island

  3. Hiow The Nile Question Stood In The Year Of Grace 1856

  4. A Stroll Through Zanzibar City

  5. Geographical And Physiological

    1. Africa, East And West-`Zanzibar' Explained-Menouthias-Position And Formation-The East African Current-Navigation-Aspect Of The Island

    2. Meteorological Notes-The Double Seasons, &C.

    3. Climate Continued-Notes On The Nosology Of Zanzibar -Effects On Strangers

    4. Notes On The Fauna Of Zanzibar

    5. Notes On The Flora Of Zanzibar

    6. The Industry Of Zanzibar

  6. Visit To The Prince Sayyid Majid.-The Government Of Zanzibar

  7. A Chronicle Of Zanzibar.-The Career Of The Late 'Imam,' Sayyid Said

  8. Ethnology Of Zanzibar—The Foreign Residents

  9. Horseflesh At Zanzibar.-The Outskirts Of The City, And The Clove Plantations

  10. Ethnology Of Zanzibar.—The Arabs

  11. Ethnology Of Zanzibar. - The Wasawahili And The Slave! Races

  12. Preparations For Departure

The Ukara Or Ukerewe Lake

  1. From Zanzibar To Mombasah

  2. Mombasah Or Mvìta

  3. Visit To The Kisulodi-Ni Mission House

  4. The People Of Mombasah.-The Wanyika Tribe

  5. From Mombasah To The Panga-Ni River

  6. From Panga-Ni Town To Tong We Outpost.-The Baloch Guard

  7. The March To Fuga. - Ascent Of The Highlands Of East Africa.-Presentation To King Kimwere

  8. The March Back.-The Hippopotamus' Hunt.-The Return To Zanzibar

  9. Visit To Sa'adani, The Copal Field

  10. The East African Expedition Of 1857-1859

  11. To Kilwa, The End Of The East African Expedition (1857-1859)

  12. Captain Speke

Appendix I.
Notes On Commercial Matters At Zanzibar In The Years 1857-1859

Appendix II. A. B.
Thermometric Observations In East Africa

Appendix II. C.
Meteorological Observations

Appendix III
Observations During A Voyage Of Research On The East Coast Of Africa

Notes To Appendix III.

Savage of the Nyika

Illustrations ...

Ancient Tomb at Tongo-Ni

Zanzibar Island and Coast (Colour Folding Map)

Zanzibar from the Sea

Zanzibar, from the Terrace of H.B.M.'s Consulate

Wasin Town

Sketch Map:
No.1 - Burton & Speke, May 1858
No.2 - Speke, 1859
No.3 - Speke & Grant, 1863
No.4 - Sir S. W. Baker, 1864

Savage of the Nyika

Chak Chak Fort (Pemba Island)

Mombasah Fort

Zanzibar Fields

Hill-Fort at Tongwe

Hills of Usumbara

Falls of the Panga-Ni River

Zanzibar, from the Terrace of H.B.M.'s Consulate

Wasin Town

Mombasah Fort

Zanzibar Fields

Condition ...

Corners and edges slightly rubbed, browning to prelim pages with some foxing, previous owner's name on title pages, otherwise book complete with all plates, plans and folding map, and in good condition, for such extremely scarce and hard to find work.




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