Chapter X. Notes on the Nzadi or Congo River.
On February 24, 1854, Dr. Livingstone, after leaving what he calls the "Dilolo Lake," found on an almost level plain, some 4,000 to 5,000 feet high and then flooded after rains, a great water parting between the eastern and the western continental shores. I have carefully considered the strictures upon this subject by the author of "Dr. Livingstone's Errors" (p. 101), and have come to the conclusion that the explorer was too experienced to make the mistakes attributed to him by the cabinet geographer. The translation "despair" for "bitterness" (of the fish?) and the reference to Noah's Deluge may be little touches ad captandum; but the Kibundo or Angolan tongue certainly has a dental though it lacks a cerebral d.
The easterly flow was here represented by the Leeba or upper course of the "Leeambye," the "Diambege of Ladislaus Magyar, that great northern and north-western course of the Zambeze across which older geographers had thrown a dam of lofty mountains, where the Mosi-wa-tunya cataract was afterwards discovered. The opposite versant flowing to the north was the Kasai or Kasye (Livingstone), the Casais of the Pombeiros, the Casati of Douville, the Casasi and Casezi of M. Cooley (who derives it from Casezi, a priest, the corrupted Arabic Kissis ); the Kassabi (Casabi) of Beke, the Cassaby of Monteiro and Gamitto (p. 494), and the Kassaby or Cassay of Valdez. Its head water is afterwards called by the explorer Lomame and Loke, possibly for Lu-oke, because it drains the highlands of Mossamba and the district of Ji-oke, also called Ki-oke, Kiboke, and by the Portuguese "Quiboque." The stream is described as being one hundred yards broad, running through a deep green glen like the Clyde. The people attested its length by asserting, in true African style, "If you sail along it for months, you will turn without seeing the end of it:" European geographers apparently will not understand that this declaration shows only the ignorance of the natives concerning everything a few miles beyond their homes. The explorer (February 27,1854) places the ford in south latitude 11deg. 15' 47", and his map shows east longitude (G.), 21deg. 40' 30", about 7deg. 30' (=450 direct geographical miles) from Novo Redondo on the Western Coast. He dots its rise in the "Balobale country," south latitude 12deg. to 13deg., and east longitude 19deg. to 20deg.. Pursuing his course, Dr. Livingstone (March 30) first sighted the Quango (Coango) as it emerged from the dark jungles of Londa, a giant Clyde, some 350 yards broad, flowing down an enormous valley of denudation. He reached it on April, 1854, in south latitude 9deg. 53', and east longitude (G.) 18deg. 37', about 300 geographical linear miles from the Atlantic. Three days to the west lies the easternmost station of Angola, Cassange: no Portuguese lives, or rather then lived, beyond the Coango Valley. The settlers informed him that eight days' or about 100 miles' march south of this position, the sources are to be found in the "Mosamba Range" of the Basongo country; this would place them in about south latitude 12deg. to 13deg. and east longitude (G.) 18deg. to 19deg..
The heights are also called in Benguela Nanos, Nannos, or Nhanos (highlands);[FN#18] and in our latest maps they are made to discharge from their seaward face the Coango and Cuanza to the west and north, the Kasai to the north-east and possibly to the Congo, the Cunene south-westwards to the Atlantic, and southwards the Kubango, whose destination is still doubtful. Dr. Charles Beke ("Athenaeum," No. 2206, February 5, 1870), judged from various considerations that the "Kassabi" rising in the primeval forests of Olo-vihenda, was the "great hydrophylacium of the continent of Africa, the central point of division between the waters flowing to the Mediterranean, to the Atlantic, and to the Indian Ocean" - in fact, the head-water of the Nile. I believe, however, that our subsequent information made my late friend abandon this theory.
On his return march to Linyanti, Dr. Livingstone, who was no longer incapacitated by sickness and fatigue, perceived that all the western feeders of the "Kasa" flow first from the western side towards the centre of the continent, then gradually turn with the main stream itself to the north, and "after the confluence of the Kasai with the Quango, an immense body of water collected from all these branches, finds its way out of the country by means of the River Congo or Zaire, on the Western Coast" (chap. xxii.). He adds: "There is but one opinion among the Balonda respecting the Kasai and the Quango. They invariably describe the Kasai as receiving the Quango, and beyond the confluence assuming the name of Zaire or Zerezere. And thus he verifies the tradition of the Portuguese, who always speak of the Casais and the Coango as "supposto Congo." It is regrettable that Dr. Livingstone has not been more explicit upon the native names. The Balonda could hardly have heard of the semi-European term Zaire, which is utterly unknown even at the Yellalas. On the other hand, it must be borne in mind that Maxwell was informed by native travellers that the river 600 miles up country was still called "Enzaddi," and perhaps the explorer merely intends Zaire to explain Zerezere. It is hardly necessary to notice Douville's assertion (ii. 372).