Scottish physician Mungo Park would conduct two expeditions to West Africa in the late 1790s and early 1800s, in search of the legendary city of Timbuktu. He would become the first European to reach the Niger River.
Mungo Park and the Exploration of the Niger River – Part 1
In 1795, Mungo Park, a young Scottish doctor, set out for West Africa under the sponsorship of the African Association. Park’s goals were to find the elusive Niger River – which no European had ever set their eyes on – as well as locate the legendary city of Timbuktu. It would be an epic journey filled with hardship, lose and triumph.
Mungo Park and the Exploration of the Niger River – Part 2
Africa is not done with Mungo Park. In Par 2 of our series on Mungo park, he returns to West Africa in 1805 with a large force – nearly 40 soldiers – determined to map the Niger to its outlet – as well as find the legendary city of Timbuktu.
Mungo Park’s journeys (first expedition in green, the second in red).
There is no better source than Mungo Park himself for this podcast. His book, Travels in the Interior Districts of Africa is a classic. It holds up well today – and best of all – it’s free. In addition to Park’s book, many of the free versions include his journal from his second expedition – as well as notes explaining Park’s ultimate fate.
Wikipedia has a good page on Mungo Park as well.
All images courtesy of Wikipedia.