[GIF images by Connor Bell used with permission.]
"Of the journey back I have but a dim and feverish recollection. I remember that my feet got worse instead of better, that when the wretched shoes were beyond even tying together with vines, I cast them away, and bandaged the feet with what remained of my shirt. That on the second and third day of our journey we had not even a little bird to eat, but plunged forward in a stupid apathy of hunger and pain.
That on the fourth morning one of the men espied a gorilla, who came roaring toward us, beating his vast chest, and waddling up to the attack with such horrid utterances and soul-freezing aspect, eyes glaring, and the monstrous face distorted with impotent rage, that for once, waking out of my dreamy stupor, and seeing this image of the devil coming upon us, I would have run if my feet had borne me.
I remember that when my gun-carrier shot the huge beast, the men rushed upon it, and tore rather than cut it up, to stifle with its loathed flesh the hunger which was gnawing at their vitals."
-- Paul Du Chaillu, "Explorations and Adventures in Equatorial Africa" (1861)
Image: Scottish explorer Mungo Park (1771-1806) explored West Africa during several expeditions up the Niger River. After one perilous thousand-mile journey (1,600 km) he and his party drowned in the Niger during a cannibal attack in 1806.
Portrait: Sir Samuel White Baker (1821-93) explored central Africa and established the Province of Equatoria in 1870.