Kenya Exploration and Morphology

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Exploration and history. – The history of the east coast of Africa between Ras Kiambone and Vanga and of the territory behind it before the establishment of the Arabs is very little known. These, at the end of the century. X, they founded the cities of Patta, Malindi and Mombasa. A few years later the Persians of Shiraz established a colony at Kilva, which quickly rose to great power and extended its dominion to Lamu. At the end of the century XV the sultan of Mombasa became independent from that of Kilva. On 7 April 1498 Vasco de Gama touched Mombasa and found “a prosperous trading port full of ships”. In 1500 Cabral, going to occupy India, sacked Mombasa and in 1505 d’Almeida seized it to make it a Portuguese naval base. Tristan da Cunha in 1507 extended the occupation to Lama. In the years 1586 and 1588 repeated raids by an Ottoman fleet, commanded by Admiral Ali Bey, caused the indigenous people to rise up, whose last insurrection was tamed thanks to the destruction of Mombasa, carried out by the Negro leader of the interior Mazimba allied with the Portuguese., who simultaneously defeated the Ottoman fleet. The Arabs took up arms in 1631 by massacring the Portuguese garrison of Mombasa, but the city was taken over in 1636 by Francisco Seixas de Cabreira. In 1698 the Arabs, allied to the Sultan of Oman and Muscat, again expelled the Portuguese who, after having reaffirmed their dominion over Mombasa in 1728, definitively abandoned the region. Since then Mombasa and its territory, with the exception of a short period of independence in 1744.

Reigning in Zanzibar Seid Said, the exploration of the hinterland by Europeans began to take place; the missionaries J. Rebmann and L. Krapf discovered Kilimanjaro and the Kenyan mountains respectively in 1848 and 1849, revealing the existence of completely ignored internal regions of Africa. The expeditions of RF Burton, JH Speke, and JA Grant followed 10 years later, leading to the discovery of Tanganyika and the solution of the problem of the sources of the Nile. In 1883 J. Thomson first reached Lake Victoria from Mombasa and in 1888 Count Teleki von Szek discovered Lake Rudolf. The previous year an English company, the British East Africa Association, rented the coastal area of ​​present-day Kenva from the sultan of Zanzibar, while the southern coast was leased to Germany. On 3 September 1888 the BEAA with a director’s license was transformed into the Imperial British East Africa Company. In 1889 a dispute arose between England and Germany over the possession of Witu and Lamu; the arbitration of the Baron of Lambremont was used, who assigned the region to England. Germany renounced its claims on Tanaland, obtaining in compensation the relegation of Helgoland by England, under the convention of 1 July 1890. In 1895 England assumed direct government of the territories entrusted to the East Africa Company, constituting a British protectorate on the coast and a colony in the hinterland, which in 1920 was given the name of Kenya (Kenya Annexation Order in Council, 1920). Following an agreement of 15 July 1924, England ceded the province of Giubaland to Italy, extending on the right of the Juba up to the 41 meridian, with the stretch of coast that from the mouth of the Juba reaches about 200 km. Ras Chiambone development, for a total area of ​​98,000 sq km. In 1926 the region west of Lake Rudolf between the Elgon and Zulia mountains was detached from Uganda and united with Kenya. In 1923 the Kenyan government gave the British Colonial Minister an opportunity to declare new principles of colonial policy; in 1927 and 1929 the problems of Kenya were studied by special commissions (Hilton Young and Samuel Wilson).

Morphology. – The colony currently has an area of ​​583,000 square kilometers and is made up of: a) a low and relatively narrow coastal area (100-160 km wide), made up of Pleistocene and recent alluvial deposits; b) from a central plateau, which reaches over 2000 m., consisting of a base of archaic crystalline rocks on which recent eruptive rocks rest on very large stretches; c) from a stretch of the great South African trench (the Great Rift Valley by JW Gregory) that goes from Lake Niassa to the Red Sea (see africa); this is a wide furrow (from 70 to 110 km., closed between steep walls, sometimes high from the bottom to the edge, even 1100 m., and partly occupied by lakes (in the territory of the Colony: Magadi, Naivasha, in 1870 msm, the highest point of the pit, Nakuro, Baringo, Rodolfo); d) from a western plateau, mostly high from 1200 to 2000 m. and inclined towards Lake Victoria (1134 msm), to which it sends its waters; it also consists of a base of archaic crystalline rocks, covered on vast stretches by relatively recent eruptive rocks; e) from a northern plateau, a region still very little known, mainly formed, it seems, by Jurassic limestones, which is none other than the southernmost part of the Ethiopian plateau.

Central from the plateau and the West, on either side of the Great Rift Valley, s ‘ raise some of the major peaks of Africa, such as Kenya (5195 m.), Which gave its name to Cologne, and Elgon (4311 m.), On the border with Uganda, both extinct volcanoes. The existence of these volcanoes and numerous other minor ones, such as the presence of the thick blanket of relatively recent eruptive rocks, is connected with the formation of the great pit.

According to, the coast, quite indented in the northernmost stretch, and accompanied by numerous islands, offers many shelters and landing places for ships, for which Mombasa is the main port.

Kenya Exploration

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