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Front Cover 1
Front Cover 2
Front Matter 1
Front Matter 2
Front Matter 3
Front Matter 4
Front Matter 5
Front Matter 6
Table of Contents
The kings of Bunyoro-Kitara
Abakama ba Bunyoro-Kitara
The possibilities of sailplaning and gliding in Uganda
A guide to the snakes of Uganda
Hill-top hollows in Masaka District
Back Cover 1
Back Cover 2
W k ; u
DElGT-U SURUMN. AD SLY
iE ,N WNYA-tPT FEIGTEFLOm
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LIFE ASSURANCE SOCIETY
(Incorporated by Act of Parliament in the Union of South Africa).
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KAKIRA SUGAR WORKS :-Holding about i,ooo acres of land, mostly under
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Other Plantations totalling about 4,000 acres Freehold Land.
1, BUKOBOL. .2, BUSOWA. 3, BUKONA. 4, WEIBUGU.
The Uganda Journal.
THE ORGAN OF THE UGANDA SOCIETY.
Vol. V. OCTOBER, 1937. No. 2.
Abakama ba Bunyoro-Kitara ...
The Possibilities of Sailplaning and Gliding
A Guide to the Snakes of Uganda, (Part X)
Hill-Top Hollows in Masaka District ..
... ... ... ... by K. W .
in Uganda ... by A. J. BOOTH.
... ... by C. R. S. PITMAN.
... ... ... by C. B. BISSET.
Some Notes on the Metu People of West Madi ...
... by J.P.B.
THE UGANDA SOCIETY.
His EXELLENCY SIR PHILIP E. MITCHELL, K.C.M.G., M.C.
H. R. HONE, ESQ., M.C., K.C., LL.B.
JOHN SYKES, ESQ.
SIR ALBERT R. CooK, KT., C.M.G.
DR. H. H. HUNTER, C.B.E., LL.D.
THE RT. REV. BISHOP E. MICHAUD, C.B.E.
E. J. WAYLAND, ESQ.
MRS. C. G. MOODY.
E. F. TWINING, ESQ., M.B.E.
F. LUKYN WILLIAMS, ESQ.
DR. J. P. MITCHELL.
G. L. R. HANCOCK, ESQ.
OMw. B. K. MULYANTI.
G. GRIFFITH, ESQ.
C. G. MOODY, EsQ.
R. A. SNOXALL, ESQ.
Honorary Assistant Editor:
R. S. SHACKELL, ESQ.
Representative in Great Britain:
A. R. MORGAN, ESQ., O.B.E.
S. R. HOOPER, ESQ.
THE UGANDA SOCIETY.
i.. There are no restrictions as to membership of the Uganda Society.
Membership is open to all races and to Institutions and Clubs. No entrance
fee is imposed. The annual subscription, which is payable in advance on ist
July of each year, is Shs. io/- for single membership and Shs. '5/- for double
membership. The double membership is introduced for the convenience of fami-
lies and entitles two members of a family to all the rights and privileges of
a full member except that they receive only one copy of each number of the
2. Additional copies of the numbers of Volume III and of Volume IV may be
obtained from the Uganda Printing and Publishing Company, Ltd., Kampala
(Business Managers). Price Shs. 2/50 per copy.
The bound Volumes I and II (Vol. I incomplete), and single numbers
of those Volumes, are obtainable only at the Uganda Bookshop, Kampala.
Prices are as follows:- Vol. I, Shs. 12/-; Vol. II, Shs. i5/-; single numbers,
Shs. 3/-. Vol. I, No. 2, is now out of print.
Numbers of the current Volume and of Volumes IV and III are also on
sale at the Uganda Bookshop, Kampala.
3. Arrangements have been made with the Uganda Printing and Publishing
Company, Ltd., Kampala, to bind Volumes of the Journal at a cost of Shs. 3/-
4. 'Separates' of articles will in future only be printed if ordered in advance.
Orders should be placed with the Editor or with the Business Managers.
Prices of 'separates' vary according to the length of the article and the number
and nature of illustrations. Minimum price 20 cents.
5. There are a number of Blocks in the possession of the Honorary Editor which
he does not desire to continue to hold as stock. Authors of articles which have
been illustrated with these blocks as well as those owning the original photo-
graphs from which the blocks were taken, are offered the chance to purchase
at a merely nominal figure.
In the event of the authors not wishing to purchase the blocks, they will be
offered to the general public at the same nominal figure, although all are
warned that such blocks cannot be reproduced in print without the prior,
written, consent of the actual photographer or designer of the block.
If in spite of these offers there appears to be no likelihood of a sale, the blocks
will be destroyed at the end of this year.
6. We acknowledge with thanks the receipt of the following contemporaries.
Man-June, July, August, 1937.
Bantu Studies, June, 1937.
Ethnos, 1937,-No. 3.
Spears and staffs with two or more points in Africa, by K. S. Lindblom.
The Nigerian Field, July, 1937.
Annales du Musee du Congo Belge, May-July, 1937.
Journal de la Societe des Africanistes, Tome VII, Fascicul I, 1937.
(Supplement to above containing maps.)
Bulletin pes Amis de L'Art Indigene du Kakanga. The first number.
7. The President of the Uganda Society, H. R. Hone, ESQ., M.c., K.C., LL.B., gave
his presidential address on Wednesday September 15th in the Kampala Club.
The subject he had chosen was: "The Native of Uganda and the Criminal
Law," and his lecture was much appreciated by a large and representative
8. Subscriptions should be sent to the Business Managers, P. O. Box 84,
Kampala, from whom Bankers' Orders may be obtained. Members are parti-
cularly requested to pay subscriptions by Bankers' Order, if possible. See also
Paragraph (15) below. In no circumstances will the Journal be sent to those
whose subscriptions are outstanding.
9. Contributions to the Journal should be sent to the Editor, P. O. Box 263,
Kampala. No guarantee is given to return any MSS. submitted. Articles
should be typed in double spacing on one side of the sheet only and should not
contain matter likely to cause political or religious controversy. Those submitted
by Government Officials must comply with Colonial Office Regulations; they
should either be submitted u.f.s. the Head of Department concerned or they
should be addressed to the Editor, with a request that he will obtain the necessary
permission for publication. Those sending photographs should send glazed
prints if possible.
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Standard Bank of S. A., Ltd.
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Please to pay to the Honorary Treasurer, of the Uganda Society, P. O. Box 84, K a m p a a,
the sum of ........ .......... .. ........... ............... and...................... ......................... .... Shillings
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Single Membership Sh. 10.
Double Membership Sh. 15.
ro. The postal address of the Honorary Secretary is P. O. Box 15, Kampala.
11. The postal address of the Honorary Editor is P. O. Box 263, Kampala and
of the Honorary Assistant Editor P. O. Box 418, Kampala.
S2. The Business Managers of the Society are the Uganda Printing and Publish-
ing Company, Ltd., P. O. Box 84, Kampala, to whom all communications for
the Honorary Treasurer should be sent.
13. The postal address of the Society's representative in Great Britain is A. R.
Morgan, Esq., O.B.E., 66 Brodie Avenue, Mossley Hill, Liverpool. Members
resident in the United Kingdom may send their subscriptions to him.
14. The Society's Bankers are the National Bank of India, Ltd., Kampala.
15. Members are particularly requested to notify to the Business Managers any
change of address. If this is not done safe delivery of the Journal cannot
16. Books belonging to the Society may be borrowed on application to the
Honorary Editor, Education Department, Makerere.
By dint of hard work on the part of the printers a certain number of Journals
made their appearance in time for the Annual General Meeting of the Society on
August 18th, and were distributed then to members present. It is hoped that up-
country and overseas members were not greatly inconvenienced by the late appear-
ance of the July number which it was still possible to attribute to the Coronation
rush. However we have now caught up time and hope that the Journal will hence-
forth continue to make its regular appearance in due season.
As was expected the appearance of the symbols of the International Phonetics
Association's alphabet in connection with the article by the Reverend Father J.P.
Crazzolara, aroused considerable interest and certain adverse criticism. It is per-
haps necessary to state that these symbols were printed as they appeared in the
author's typescript, and that their conversion into the more unwieldy and less
appropriate symbols of the Roman alphabet would not have suited the author's
purpose. However adverse criticism has fortunately been tempered by statements
of approval from other sources, and the Editor is not without hope that the small
fount'of the type purchased for the purposes of the article may yet prove a valua-
The Annual General Meeting was poorly attended, but it appeared from
statements made by members of the Committee that the campaign for increased
membership was meeting with some success in several quarters. A loose leaflet
was included in the July number containing the Income and Expenditure Account
and the Balance Sheet of the Society for the year but it is not intended to publish
the minutes of the meeting in extenso.
The Honorary Treasurer pointed out in his report that during the year ex-
penditure exceeded revenue by some 135 and that the position would have been
worse had not there been a fortuitous profit of /40 on the Arts and Crafts Exhi-
bition. Actually the financial position is not as bad as it appears as the past year
was not a normal one owing to the heavy expenditure involved in providing coloured
plates and printing 500 extra copies of Captain Pitman's "Guide to the Snakes of
It is intended, to publish Captain Pitman's "Guide" in book form in a limited
edition early in r938. The stock of his contributions up to date, including the
coloured plates, represents a valuable asset and appears as such, though much writ-
ten down, in the Balance Sheet. Steps have now been taken to market the book
and many people, in all parts of the world, who are likely to be interested have
been circularised. The price of the book will be 30/-, but it is being offered to
subscribers at the reduced price of 25/-. In spite of the prospect of liquidating a
large portion of the Society's frozen assets in the near future, the fact remains that
unless the membership of the Society can be brought up to its previous level of
500 the size of the Journal will have to be restricted and it will not be possible to
provide coloured plates.
Attention is drawn to the fact that there still remains on hand a stock of all
previous numbers of the Journal except Vol. i, No 2, which is out of print. These
can be obtained on application to the Honorary Editor or to the Uganda Bookshop
at a cost of 3/- for single copies and 15/- per bound volume.
Our Editorial cannot be regarded as complete without a reference to the loss
which the S3:iety has sustained in the departure from the country of Doctor A.T.
Schofield who, for so long, held the office of Honorary Secretary and has been
actively interested in the Society since its resuscitation. Our best wishes go with
him and we hope that he will never forget the Society and the Journal which will
be all the poorer for the absence of his classic photographs.
The competition for the new cover of the Journal produced many excellent
entries and the task of the sub-committee appointed to judge was no sinecure.
Eventually after the designs had been narrowed down considerably, that of Sister
Felicity O. S.F. of the Lwala Convent of the Mill Hill Mission was adjudged the
winner. We extend our congratulations to Sister Felicity on winning the prize and
hope to make use of her design for the cover of the January number of the Journal.
The Kings of Bunyoro-Kitara.
By K. W.
XIV. Winyi III, Rugurukamacholya.
Winyi III, Rugurukamacholya, became king in succession to his father Kye-
bambe I. After succeeding to the throne, he reigned over a larger kingdom that his
father, and during his reign there was no war, and he ruled the whole of Bunyoro
Kitara in tranquility.
As he wished to know all about his kingdom, he consequently went round it so
that he might clearly know whether his people were as free as he hoped. Owing
to his being a good ruler, the people belonging to other countries which had sep-
arated themselves from Bunyoro-Kitara during the reign of King Winyi, Rubagi-
ramasega, and joined Buganda, returned to their former kingdom, Bunyoro. The
kingdom of Buganda was at that time ruled by King Kagulu Tebucwereke, who
was ruling with cruelty.
King Winyi, Rugurukamacholya's sons were as under:-
i. Bikaju, who was in charge of Bugungu.
2. Karamagi, who was in charge of Bugangaizi.
This king was very fond of hunting, and one day, when he was hunting, a
snake bit him and he died. As his children were away in their respective countries,
they were absent when their father died, and their youngest brother, Nyaika, who
was present, succeeded to the throne in accordance with their father's will. The
Part II appeared in Vol. IV, No. I, July 1936, pp. 75-83.
t The Translation here given is that supplied by the author. In some parts it would
be more correctly described as an Explanation.
king was afterwards buried at Muduma. But when it was brought to his other
children's notice that their father had suddenly died and that he had left the King-
dom to their youngest brother Nyaika, they rebelled and the whole country was in
tumult, because every one of them was desiring to gain the throne.
Nyaika became King of Bunyoro-Kitara in succession to his father Winyi III.
Rugurukamacholya. He reigned under the regency of the following chiefs :-
Mugungu, Kapapa Omutaseka, Butyoka, s/o Kyokora, Mugasa, Kihuka Kya-
nyarukondo, and Omutwanga.
Kityo, s/o Mutaseka and other county chiefs had rebelled with the princes. The
chiefs, seeing that King Nyaika was quite young, decided to dethrone him and re-
place him with another grown-up prince, Bikaju, who was appointed to succeed to
the throne, as his young brother would not be able to withstand the rebellion. They
-advised Bikaju that his army should use reeds instead of spears when coming to
frighten Nyaika's people, otherwise the war might be increased. The chief's plan
was to surprise the young king who had inherited and at the same time they fear-
ed that his people might fight for h'm and increase the battle which probably would
decrease the people. They had arranged that if prince Bikaju had succeeded to
the throne after killing his young brother Nyaika there would not have been any
battle at all; and the other rebellious princes would not have caused any war for
fear of Bikaju.
Prince Bikaju arriving at the main gate of the palace, the guardians opened
the gate for him. Entering the palace he then sat down on a royal stool. In the
meantime the palace keepers immediately arrested King Nyaika and killed him
secretly, and prince Bikaju became King of Bunyoro-Kitara. The next day both
King Nyaika's death and King Bikaju's succession were declared. From this point
of view they surnamed King Bikaju "Kyebambe" which meant that he gained the
throne without his brother's consent.
King Nyaika was buried at Kiryaibuka Bwijanga.
XVI. Kyebambe II, Bikaju.
Kyebambe Bikaju succeeded to the throne after he had killed his younger
brother King Nyaika. When he became king all the people were very pleased
indeed, and his other brothers who were rebelling during king Nyaika's time gave
allegiance because the rebellion was due to their brother Nyaika being too young
and unable to manage the office.
Kyebambe Bikaju gathered all the people together and declared to them that
from henceforth as he was made king there must be peace amongst themselves.
His real aim in declaring so was, that, first, he wanted to know whether there
were still any more rebels that he might kill them, and, secondly, he intended to
re-organise his kingdom. On the other hand he was somewhat afraid that probably
he might be-betrayed by his brothers just as he himself betrayed his younger
'brother King Nyaika.
lte was quite powerful during his reign, and he frequently went roundhis king-
dom with an army in order to subdue it.
His people having been aware that he was ready in any way to fight with any
rebel, there was therefore no one who would raise rebellion any longer but all obeyed
him. Nevertheless some parts of country which had been taken from Buganda
during his predecessor's reign had been returned to their former kingdom, Buganda,
by him in order to get rid of any fighting, which constantly occurred between his
ancestors and King Mawanda, Kabaka of Buganda. At the same time the Bunyoro-
Kitara people, being wealthy in cattle, were at any rate afraid to fight, on the ground
that if they fought their cattle might be plundered, because they were living near
King Kyebambe Bikaju, having seen that some of his land had been taken by
the Buganda Kingdom, consequently started fighting the Baganda so that he might
get back his lands from them. He reigned over as vast a kingdom as that of his
predecessor's as has been described in the preceding section on King Winyi Rugu-
King Kyebambe Bikaju, had very many children, but it has been impossible to
mention all their names here with the exception of a few as under:- (i) Byakaya
(z) Isingoma (3) Runywambeho (4) Isansa.
This king had established many residences throughout the kingdom, because
the more he went round in the kingdom the more residences were established.
One day, when he was in his Nyamiryango palace, it happened that his uncle
Katenga Karuya of the Basaigi clan and his wife Katamire of the Babito clan,
both betrayed him and wounded him. As it was a royal custom that it was against
the rule for kings to be wounded, therefore King Kyebambe Bikaju, seeing that he
had been wounded, sent for his sons. Isansa the eldest prince came first and was
made heir for two reasons; first, because he was the eldest son, and secondly,
he was braver than other princes on account of his fighting frequently. Before
King Bikaju expired he instructed the heir that he should take revenge on the
Basaigi clan and on Katamire of the Babito clan because his death was due to them;
after saying this he passed away,
Isansa, after having succeeded his father, immediately ordered that the whole
Basaigi clan and the princess Katamire should be killed because they had killed
his father. As a matter of fact Isansa the new Omukama had had a wife called
Kindiki of the Basaigi clan who was pregnant. When a man named Mukere-
nge who was living at Kitonezi village saw Kindiki he feared to murder her, but
took-and hid her in a safe place. She afterwards gave birth to a prince who after-
wards became King Ruhaga as will be seen in the following pages. King Kyeba-
mbe Bikaju's tomb is at a village Nyamiryango in Kihukya county, where he was
buried soon after his death.
XVII. Olimi III, Isansa.
Olimi Isansa succeeded his father Kyebambe Bikaju on the throne and reign-
ed over the kingdom of Bunyoro-Kitara. He was quite young at the time that he
became king. The people had known of his fierceness; no one could disobey him
nor his brothers.
He longed much to enlarge his kingdom and therefore all his people liked him.
He reigned over the whole of Bunyoro-Kitara like his father. During his time
the kingdom of Buganda was being ruled by Kabaka Kyabugu. After many years
of Isansa's reign, many cattle herdsmen came from Ankole to the borders of
Kitara and herded their cattle in the part of land now called Kyaka, because at
that time there was no grass in Ankole for grazing their cattle. When this
came to the notice of Omukama Olimi Isansa, he thought that they despised him
because they should have got permission first from him, and therefore an army
was arranged to fight them. They found them at a place called Kijumba and
drove them away. A few days after, the army followed tl.em and found them at
Kihaguzi. There again another battle took place and very many cattle men were
killed and all their cattle were seized from them. When the battle was over, the
King named the battle field "Kicwabwemi," since when it is called so. He again
attacked Ankole and found Omtgabe Karaiga on the throne. He fought and
drove him out from his kingdom to Buganda. It is said that Karaiga went right
through to Busoga and probably died there, because the Ankole people also do not
know at what place he died. King Olimi Isansa after having vanquished Ankole
remained there and made a new capital from which he used to go ahead, attacking
Rwanda. He first sent there his son called Mali with an armed army after having
known that many and better cows were there. King Olimi followed his son two
days after his departure. Whilst on the way the Rwanda people heard the sound
of Omukama Olimi Isansa's drums and they asked the warriors to allow them
to go to Isansa and advise him. After reaching there they advised the king that
it was forbidden any king to attack there because his grandfather Chwamali had
been lost in that country. The Omukama on hearing this wanted to refuse, but
at last after having been advised by soothsayers he agreed to their advice, and
ceased to attack that country. He made his army and that of his son come back.
But his son had already finished fighting with the Omukama of Rwanda who had
already seized the son Mali, but did not kill him. Having understood the fierce-
ness of Mukama Isansa, and having heard that he had conquered Ankole and put
his city there,.he consequently was afraid to kill the seized prince.
As the King of Rwanda desired to know what enabled King Isansa to conquer
other nations, he first deceived the seized prince Mali by asking him to give him
any token he was possessing that he might send it to his father Isansa with a mes-
senger to inform him that his son Mali was still alive, hoping that Isansa would
send men to fetch him. The prince willingly gave the token (Kagisa) to the King
of Rwanda and the King forwarded it to the father of the prince as a notification.
When the messenger arrived and Isansa asked him the whereabouts of prince
Mali he answered him :- "Prince Mali never came here, but the King of Rwanda
only forwarded the token saying that the prince will find it here, when coming to
succeed to the kingship. Then the messenger took the news back to the king and
handed over to.him the emblem. For this reason King Isansa got angry against
Kibandwa Wamara (that is the place of the spirit of Wamara); he ordered a man
named Nyabwangani Runyamunyu, the Omukada, to confiscate all Wamara's pro-
perty and bring it to him. Kibandwa Wamara was'very angry too against King
Isansa for having killed his children and for confiscating all his belongings together
with his god. Therefore King Isansa's son Mali remained in Rwanda altogether and
it is understood that Mali's descendants are still found in some parts of Rwanda
even up to date.
When King Isansa was going back to his country he passed through Kiziba,
Karagwe, Koki and Buddu. Before going back he first put his son Bwoba in charge
of Koki and then went on his way. But he found the Baganda scattered in Buhe-
kura and Singo, and he fought with them till he overcame them and afterwards he
retired to his capital called Kyenkwanzi from which he had come when he attacked
Ankole. King Olimi Isansa did many brave actions, such as possessing two tamed
lions and so on. He reigned for a long time till he became very old, and during
which time he had many sons and daughters some of whom were:-
I. Prince Mali, 4. Prince Isagara,
2. ,, Duhaga, 5. Kazana
3. ,, Bwobe. 6. ,, Bulemu.
He then died and was buried at Kigulya in Buyaga and his garments were
buried at Buhonda in Bugangaizi.
XVIII. Duhaga I, Chwa Mujuiga.
Duhaga Chwa Mujuiga succeeded his father King Olimi Isansa and became
King of Bunyoro-Kitara, but he was a youth when he became king. After a while
he remembered that one of his brothers called Mali had been captured in Rwanda.
Then he prepared the army for fighting against Rwanda. On attacking Rwanda
he passed through Ankole which had been conquered and united to Bunyoro-Kita-
ra. But he was informed that there was in Ankole a Mugabe called Nyakashaizha
whom he also attacked in addition to attacking Rwanda. He took the direction of
Kyaka (or Kitara) Rwamwanja, Buhweju and Mitoma and fought the Mugabe Nya-
kashaizha till he vanquished him. He took from him the Ankole royal drum called
"Bagendanwa" which he was informed was a devil drum which nobody was allow-
ed to touch. Knowing this he ordered to break it in half and see what was inside.
After starting to break it there was found nothing and so he kept it without com-
pletely destroying it. That battle has since then been called "Kihonoka:"(or
"Bruise"); and it is called so because during the battle the Banyankole wounded
the head princess on the breast with an arrow.
When he was in Ankole, Duhaga did many things which even in these days
are still being remembered. He excavated a well in a rock which is known to many
Banyankole and they call it "Duhaga's Well". He also built there memorial huts
in some hills. He lived there a long while fighting Rwanda. After conquering
Rwanda he then returned back to Bunyoro-Kitara via Karagwe, Kiziba and Koki
in order to subdue the people of these regions; because some princes who had been
put there to be in charge of these countries by Duhaga's predecessors, such as Wi-
nyi I and Olimi II Isansa, were frequently causing rebellion, wanting to become
kings. After putting them in order he then passed through Buddu and Bwera and
returned to his city. His people, seeing that he was fighting unceasingly and that
he himself wanted to lead every army and that the land had little peace, advised
h m .to hoist the flag of peace (Enjeru) so as to have no more wars. A fewyeatr
after, a prince Kitehimbwa who that time was in charge of Koki in succession to
prince Bwahe, who also was in charge of it during the reign of King Olimi Isansa,
wanted to make himself King of Koki; owing to his energy he fought and drove
out the Baganda. It came to pass that after defeating the Baganda he gathered
together into a bundle all the spears which he had taken from them and forwarded
them to his uncle King Duhaga I. At seeing them Duhaga got angry against him
and his county chiefs advised him that his nephew was a rebel because he had sent
the bundle of spears as a defiance. They said to him:- "In sending a bundle of
spears to you he signified that he intends to fight you and in case he defeats you
he may get to the throne." King Duhaga on listening to his Saza chiefs' advice
immediately sent an army to Koki to fight the prince Kitehimbwa. The battle
between King Duhaga's army and Kitehimbwa was very serious, but at last Kite-
himbwa was captured and brought to his uncle King Duhaga who executed him.
When King Junju the Kabaka of Buganda heard that King Duhaga had
attacked Koki and that he had killed prince Kitehimbwa he also attempted to at-
tack Bwiru and fought with the Saza chief Bwakamba who was in charge of it. His
intention was to confiscate the cattle from him and confirm prince Mujwiga, son of
the deceased Kitehimbwa, as chief of Koki. From that time King Junju of Buganda
separated Bwiru county from the Kingdom of Bunyoro-Kitara and it became one
of Buganda counties: Buddu.
When King Duhaga knew this, he got very angry and at once gathered his
county chiefs to discuss about the matter whether it would be possible to fight
King Junju. The county chiefs debated that it was not right to do so because he
had already put up a white flag in the kingdom as a mark of permanent peace. King
Duhaga did not agree to their deliberations but wanted to fight. Then a man
called Nyakoka Omusuli put his stick "Binyonyo" across the main gate "Mugabante"
so-as to prevent the King from passing through that way. There another man
named Kyakali Kanyamutenga of the Batwaira clan told the king to go out through
another gate called "Kyaruibanga". King Duhaga agreed to it and passed through
the latter with his army and went to fight Junju. The army being too big was
therefore divided into two halves, the first half being led by the Okwiri Rumoma-
nenkidi and the rest by the king himself. On arriving in Singo they met King
junju's army and fought against one another very hard for three days till King
Duhaga was wounded while showing his bravery by leading his men himself.
When King Duhaga's host saw that he was wounded, they urged him to leave the
battle and put Okwiri in charge to carry on the fight. As soon as KingDuhaga reached
Nkwali, he sent for his son prince Kasoma and made him his heir because in old
days a wounded Omukama could not continue to reign, then he drank a poison
catled "Kataraza" so that he might die quickly.
He was buried at Irangara in Bugangaizi where he had sited his town. Okwiri
the leader of the army who had been left there going on with the fight, returned
after defeating the Baganda and found King Duhaga already dead and prince Ka-
soma already put on the throne. King Duhaga had many children, many of whom
-were killed in the war called "Kyakaborogota". It is impossible now to mention all
their names with the exception of two who also became kings after his death:- i.
Kasoma, 2. Nyamutukura.
XIX. Olimi IV, Kasoma.
Olimi IV, Kasoma, became King of Bunyoro-Kitara in succession to his father
King Duhaga I. After being on the throne he followed all royal customs. A few
years after, he removed his capital and took it to Kijagarazi Nsonga in Buganga-
izi. He did not remain there long and again he removed it to another place in Bu-
yaga at Kiboizi near the Nguse river. He had not been there long when his elder
brother, prince Nyamutukura, came from Kisuga with his host and sent a messen-
ger to his younger brother King Olimi Kasoma to inform him that he (Nyamutukura)
was bringing some presents. But King Olimi understood also what was his object
and he also prepared his army to fight with him because he knew that he was not
bringing presents at all. Both parties met each other near the bank of the Nguse
River and had a serious fight. The place where the battle took place is since then
called "Minigiro" (which means "a place of death"). The war ended with Kasoma
defeating Nyamutukura, and then Nyamutukura and Kachekere Okwiri Rumomane-
nkidi, the head keeper of the main gate, combined together and came to fight King
Olimi Kasoma once again. Olimi Kasoma knowing this also got ready with his army
and met the enemy at Barana at a place called Mwihwero. Both parties fought
very hard but prince Nyamutukura won the battle and captured King Olimi Kasoma.
Afterwards Nyamutukura went into the deposed King Olimi Kasoma's enclosure and
sat down on the deposed king's official stool, called Nyamyaro, and from thence he
became king altogether. Then the new king, Nyamutukura, ordered to bring be
fore him the deposed king, Olimi Kasoma. When he had been brought then King
Nyamutukura asked him, "Which of the two do you prefer, to be a county chiefor
a head gate keeper?" In reply Olimi Kasoma bravely refused and said, "If I had
captured you I should have killed you at once, but myself, king as I was and great
as of "Okali", it would be derogatory to my dignity for me to call you "Okali." Then
King Nyamutukura seeing this immediately ordered to take him away and kill him.
After killing him the servants returned and reported his death King Nyamutu-
kura after being informed of his brother's death, ordered other men to murder those
whom he had authorised to kill Olimi Kasoma as having done wrong to kill his
brother, according to the old Babito custom. King Olimi Kasoma's tomb is at
Ruhunga in Buhaguzi county in Bunyoro.
XX. Kyebambe III, Nyamutukura.
Kyebambe Nyamutukura became king after killing his younger brother Olimi
Kasoma, and followed all royal traditions accordingly. He occupied the same
residence that had belonged to h;s deceased brother King Olimi Kasoma. Whilst
there he dismissed all the senior chiefs who had belonged to King Kasoma and who
had helped Kasoma to fight against him. He appointed new ones instead from
those who had fought for him. Seeing that the kingdom was setted he consequent-
ly removed the city to Kikumbya in Buyaga county where he lived for a long
period. He was quite a grown up person at the time he became king.
One day he wanted to know the number of all his cattle which were in Toro,
Busongora, Butuku and Kyaka. He therefore sent there his son prince Kaboyo to
count them and to bring back the report about them. Prince Kaboyo went and
numbered them as his father had instructed him and then brought back the report.
But prince Kaboyo, having observed that these territories were very far from his
father's residence began to search for ways of rebelling because he had consulted
with the people of those countries about it, when he had been sent there by his
father to count the cattle. He then was satisfied that he might be a king of the
said territories. It happened that he requested his father to permit him to go back
to his area Myeri to which he had already been appointed, and his father agreed.
on arriving there he began to rebel by proceeding from Myeri (or Mwenge) to Toro.
Since then the country of Toro was separated from Bunyoro.
During the beginning of King Kyebambe Nyamutukura's reign and before he
had become an old man, he had several wars with the Kings of Buganda, such as
King Semakokiro and King Kamanya. Prince Kakunguru, son of King Semako-
kiro, came to Bunyoro and besought King Kyebambe Nyamutukura to help him
by lending him an army with which he wanted to fight against his father King
Semakokiro. King Kyebambe Nyamutukura willingly gave him the host and with
it he had a tremendous fight against his father which ended in Kakunguru being
defeated. After being overcome, he returned into Bunyoro and remained there
until his father King Semakokiro died.
On hearing that his brother Kamanya had succeeded to the throne, Kakungu-
ru again begged another host from king Kyebambe Nyamutukura that he might
go and fight his brother King Kamanya with a hope that he might perhaps con-
quer him and gain the throne. King Kyebambe Nyamutukura again agreed to his
request. The result of the fighting was that he was defeated and he never return-
ed to Bunyoro. King Kamanya, knowing that King Kyebambe Nyamutukura was
assisting prince Kakunguru, was eventually very angry against him and conse-
quently began to attack the kingdom of Bunyoro-Kitara. At defeating it he removed
the boundaries from the Mayanja river to Wesigire and to Kabyoma towards Mu-
bende. All this took place when King Kyebambe Nyamutukura had become an
aged man, and at the same time he had already put up the flag of peace just as
Duhaga had done. At that time his chiefs were so wealthy that they had no heart
for fighting and therefore that area became the possession of Buganda Kingdom.
At the same time King Kyebambe Nyamutukura's sons who were holding some
county posts also rebelled in their individual counties on account of their father
being too old and reigning for so long. The kingdom therefore was in great con-
fusion and broke into many parts which afterwards caused much distress to other
kings who followed Kyebambe and most particular during the reign of King Cwa,
Kabarega II, who fought and united them as it will be seen in his history. King
Kyebambe Nyamutukura had many children but some of them were rebels and their
names were as under :-
i. Kaboyo Omuhundwa was in charge of Toro county.
2. Mugenyi do- Mwenge county.
3. Isagara do- Kibanda Chope county.
4. Kachope do- Kihukya county.
5. Karasuma do- Bugungu county.
6. Kagoro do- Pacwa (Rugonjo).
7. Nyinamwiru Omuhundwa was in Change of Nkomi Rwamwanja
8. Kigoye (who was the father of Nyaika Omuhoga).
9. Kahaibale (who was killed during the war of his elder brother Ka-
boyo in Toro.)
King Kyebambe Nyamutukura's tomb is at Kibedi in Buyaga county and his
apparel is at Bujoro in the same county.
XXI. Nyabongo II, Mugenyi.
Nyabongo Mugenyi became the King of Bunyoro-Kitara in succession to his
father King Kyebambe Nyamutukura, and followed all regular and hereditary
royal customs of succession. Before he was made king he first sent for his elder
brother prince Kaboyo in Toro asking him to come and take the throne but prince
Kaboyo refused and said:- "I cannot succeed to my father's throne because before
my father's death I had already rebelled."
Then Nyabongo Mugenyi, having seen that his brother refused, afterwards
took the throne, but he had advanced in years. During his reign all the kingdom
was not settled for the reason that his brothers had rebelled against his father even
before his death. After some years of his reign, he fought with them and defeated
them, especially those who used to be in the region of Chope and who had never
been defeated owing to their discretion and hypocrisy, that they seemed to obey
their father king Kyebambe Nyamutukura whereas it was not so, as will be shewn
in the following lines. At the time that Nyabongo Mugenyi was King of Bunyoro-
Kitara, the kingdom of Buganda was being ruled by King Suna. There were
not many wars between King Nyabongo Mugenyi of Bunyoro and King Suna of
King Nyabongo Mugenyi had many sons and daughters but very few have been
shewn here as under in order to save space:- i. Rwetakya, a. Nyakuhya, 3. Rweru,
4. Rwakabale, 5. Kamurasi, 6. Kamihanda Omudaya, 7. Isingoma Rutafa, 8. Kasami.
Some of these were county chiefs under their father's appointment. He died after
having advanced in age, and was buried at Bukonda in Buyaga county, and some
of his apparel is at Kitonezi in the same county.
XXII. Olimi V, Rwakabale.
Olimi Rwakabale became king of Bunyoro-Kitara in succession to his father
King Nyabongo Mugenyi. After a few years of his reign, it happened that one of
his brothers called prince Rweru rebelled and tried to drive the king away from
the throne that he might gain it. A very serious war took place, but prince Rweru
was defeated and was eventually killed during the battle at a place called "Bub-
ango," near a rock called "Nyabinga" in Buyaga County. A little while after, his
other two brothers, namely Kamurasi and Kamihanda, also rebelled. They deceived
him that they were proceeding to Bugahya bwa Kasumbo to give some salt to
their cattle there. When King Olimi Rwakabale had permitted them to go, Kamu-
rasi immediately after arriving there ordered some people to raise an alarm and
proclaim that he had rebelled,
He then went towards Bugoma passing through Bugahya--Baire which be-
longed to Nyinakiringa and then right through to Busindi, camping on an island call-
ed Karakaba in the Nile. Whilst there he collected an army which included Lango
warriors, and prince Kamihanda Omudaya on the other side also gathered his army
from the Kicwabugingo people. Kikwizi Kyamulere of the Basaigi clan was the
leader of prince Kamihanda Omudaya's host, and Rugunje, son of Mpunde of the
Balisa clan, was the leader ofKamurasi's Lango host. Both armies, however, were
under command of prince Nyaika ya Kigoye, assisted by Rugangura son of Nya-
kojo of the Basepgya clan. Kamurasi and Kamihanda Omudaya both also joined
the troops and attacked King Olimi Rwakabale whom they found ready to defend
himself. The battlefield was at a place called Rwempanga and there was a very
terrible fight. Unfortunately King Olimi Rwakabale was killed and buried at
Kitonya near Buyanja in Buyaga county.
XXIII. Kyebambe IV, Kamurasi Mirundi.
Kyebambe IV., Kamurasi Mirundi, after having killed his brother King Olimi
Rwakabale, succeeded to the throne and erected his residence at Kicunda. He did
not stay there long but removed it to Busesa Kyamukama. Whilst in that new
residence he dismissed the chiefs, Prince Kaliba and Mwanga the Omucwa, who
had aided King Olimi Rwakabale in fighting, and appointed prince Rwetakya and
Materu the Omunyonza to replace them. Afterwards he removed his city from
Kitara and built it at Rwenyenje. In the meantime he received news that some
princes who were living in Chope were coming to fight against him. He also got his
army ready and escaped towards Buganda. He actually passed through Buhekura,
Singo, Kyenkwanzi, Rugonjo, Rusungu and arrived at Karakaba island. His enemies
came on the next day after his arrival to attack him. They wounded him with an
arrow on one of his fingers. Then a lying rumour reached his brother Kamihanda
Omudaya at Kicwabugingo that King Kamurasi had been killed. Kamihanda
Omudaya hastened with his troops to go and take vengeance. He did not go to
the island but crossed Kiane ferry and found the rivals on a rock called "Kokoitwa".
All the princes were killed except two only who escaped, viz., Ruyonga and Mpu-
huka. They had hidden themselves on an island called Galibama. The following
are the names of the princes who were killed:- (z) Nsale, (z) Kato, (3) Icwabigoye,
(4) Manyindo, (5) Kabadima, (6) Kabanyomozi, (7) Fotoire, (8) Mampohya. Nsale
being killed at Kokoitwa and Ruyonga having escaped, therefore two old sayings
(1) "Do not remain long in a place like Nsale at Kokoitwa ; otherwise you
will be killed."
(2) "He is clever like Ruyonga who escaped during the night."
Kamihanda Omudaya after having overcome the enemies, came and informed
King Kamurasi of the matter. After a while King Kamurasi again sent a troop to
fight Ruyonga and his companion Mpuhuka on the island, but both ran away to-
wards Lango; after that every part of the country was quiet. However, Nsale's
mother was very grieved for bereavement of her son; consequently she went towards
the Sudan (or Equatoria) to fetch a Nubian host that she might take vengeance,
but the Sudanese troops were such that when they arrived, they refused to fight
when they saw the king's power,
king Kamurasi made many residences throughout the kingdom for the pur-
pose of restoring order. The greatest event that happened during his reign was
the advent of two Europeans, viz., Speke and Grant, the first who were ever seen.
They arrived in September, 1862, and found King Kamurasi at Kihaguzi in Buru-
li, and during 1864 there came another European named Sir Samuel Baker who
found him at Kayera, also in Buruli.
At the time Kamurasi was King of Bunyoro, the kingdom of Buganda was
being reigned over by (i) King Suna, (2) King Mukabya Mutesa, who succeeded
Suna, when Kamurasi had reigned for about five years. Many other events of his
reign should have been detailed but owing to the scarcity of space only bigger ev-
ents have been mentioned. He had thirty-three children, boys and girls altogether,
but the famous amongst them are:-
1. Kabarega, who became king.
2. Kabugumire, who died in fighting for the throne.
3. Kabagungu, who was temporarily king.
4. Kerlini Kanyamukono Byanjeru, who is still alive.
5. Ndagano Rutakya, who is still alive.
Kamurasi reigned with dignity and was liked by his people. He died at the
end of 1869, his tomb being at Busibika Rukindo in Buyaga county, and his gar-
ments being buried at Kikangara, the C M.S. Station in the same county.
XXIV. Chva II, Kabarega
Chwa II, Kabarega, became King of Bunyoro in succession to his father King
Kyebambe IV, Kamurasi Mirundi. When King Kamurasi died there was first a big
tumult in Bunyoro between two brothers, Kabarega and Kabugumire; the majority
of people in Bunyoro preferred Kabugumire to be their king, and the rest in like
manner preferred Kabarega; therefore great confusion occurred in the Kingdom.
Prince Kabugumire on the one hand went into Ankole and besought King
Ntale of Ankole to assist by giving him an army so that he might fight his brother
Kabarega, and Kabarega on the other sent for troops from King Mukabya in Bug-
anda that he might also struggle with Kabugumire. Both parties met each other, a
terrible war broke out, but at last Kabugumire's troops were defeated and Kabugu-
mire himself escaped towards Ankole. Big and senior chiefs, seeing such a tumult
and the country being left without a king, subsequently debated ani installed Kaba-
rega. Kabarega did all ceremonies according to the regular customs and became
King of Bunyoro -Kitara. Afterwards he erected his residence at Kyamungu Ruk-
indo in Buyaga county from whence he sent his army to attack Ankole and plunder
cattle from the inhabitants.
In the meantime he got news that Kabugumire had left Ankole and gone to
Kihukya in Busindi and that he possessed a strong army of Bachope and Lango
warriors. Kabarega left Bugangaizi at once and hastened to go to Busindi; he
made his residence at Kibube on the top of a hill and then sent a troop to fight his
enemy. The battle was very serious and Kabarega's men were beaten twice, but
finally Kabarega chose prince Nyaika Omuhoga to lead the army who indeed
did his utmost and deated the enemy by killing Kabugumire soon after vanquish-
ing the enemy. Kabarega removed his residence from Kibube to Busindi at Bulya-
sojo where he was found by the European called Samuel Baker (or Muleju) in 1872.
At first this European, Baker, was a very good guest indeed, he remained
friendly with the king; but later on, owing to the bad habits of the men who came
with him, all Kabarega's people were very angry with them. Kabarega wishing to
put the matter right, sent his messenger to Baker but through a misunderstanding
the messenger was killed. This caused fighting between Baker and the king, the
tumult being afterwards named "Baligota-Isansa". On account of the trouble the
king moved his residence and occupied another at Kibwona. When he knew that
Sir S. Baker had gone back to his area, he transferred his residence from Kibwona
to Bulyango and later from Bulyango to Mparo; that was the first time he lived at
Mparo. All the counties of Bunyoro which had rebelled during King Kyebambe
Nyamutukura's reign such as Toro, Burega, Butuku and Busongora were conquered
during his stay at Mparo. He afterwards removed again his residence from Mparo to
Bulera and while there he was attacked by King Mwanga of Buganda's army under
the command of the county chief Kangawo. This residence being in an open plain,
Kabarega thought it wiser to leave and sheltered near the Bugoma Forest at a place
called "Rwengabi". Whilst he was at Rwengabi the Baganda troops followed him
and a big battle was fought and Kangawo was killed and the Baganda defeated.
After defeating them Kabarega left Rwengabi and went to Buikya and lived there
for a short time and then went to Bujwahya (or Kasingo) where a European, Mr.
G. Casati, found him. He next left Bujwahya and went to Buhimba, and from there
he went down to Kiragura in Bululi to fight the Babito rebels who used to be
in Chope. He defeated them and put one of them called Komwiswa into prison for
life. The next prince Rujumba was sent to Mwenge to look after his (Kabarega's)
cattle. So the kingdom was subdued. A short time after, another Buganda host
under command of Wakibi came but did not fight with the king nor with any one.
They simply came and plundered some goods from the country and went back to
Buganda. The King after leaving Kiragura made his residence at Kichwamba
where he lived for a short time and then went to a new place, Kabale at Kinogozi.
When at Mukaiha he sent an army under the command of Rwabudongo Omu-
hambya to go to Buganda and dethrone King Mwanga, that Kalema might get the
throne. Rwabudongo and his army went and drove King Mwanga from the king-
dom and replaced him by Kalema. Shortly afterwards King Kalema died of small
pox and the army which was guiding King Kalema returned to Bunyoro. King
Mwanga, being assisted by Europeans, then sent an army to fight with King Chwa
Kabarega. But King Kabarega having known about it chose his son Jasi to lead his
army. The battle was fought in Bugangaizi at Bukumi and Jasi defeated the
enemy. After a short time King Mwanga together with a European, Captain
Lugard took prince Kasagama into Toro and made him king. They did this with
the intention of cutting off some countries from Bunyoro. In taking him to Toro
they passed through Ankole because they were unable to pass near Bunyoro where
King Kabarega was. This came to King Kabarega's notice when they had already
reached Busongora and Katwe. King Kabarega sent Ireta there to assist Rukara
Rwarwamagigi, the county chief of Busongora at that time. Ireta found, them
already arrived in Butuku and they had already defeated Rukara Rwarwamagigi.
Ireta did his utmost to fight the enemy but in vain. Captain Lugard continued his
journey as far as to Bulega but he had marked out a post for his troops in Mwenge
Misozi before he went to Bulega. Also he had left some Nubians in each of the
above mentioned places in order to guard prince Kasagama lest otherwise King
Kabarega might drive him away.
At that time Kabarega re-established his residence at Mparo. He then ord-
ered the county chief Kikukule to attack the post at Misozi Mwenge which he did
and killed the head Nubian in charge of it
When Captain Lugard returned from Bulega (Congo) he attacked King Kaba-
rega in Bugangaizi at a river called Kanyangaro and during this battle a man named
Kasaija, son of Kikukule, was killed. Capt. Lugard then went back to Buganda.
King Kabarega then sent a messenger to Captain Lugard asking him to let
him know why some parts of his country had been cut off without any consultation
with him. He sent two tusks of ivory with the messenger and asked Captain
Lugard to come and discuss together about the matter. But Captain Lugard
being misled by the advice of the Baganda refused to come.
After a while King Mwanga sent a messenger also to King Kabarega with a
bullet, a bag, a stick and a hoe and said "Capt. Lugard said that if you want a war
you must select a bullet but if you do not want a war you must choose either a bag
or a hoe and a stick; and in case you choose a hoe or a stick you are obliged to
forward to me 80 tusks, 600 hoes and 500 loads of salt, that I may take all these to
On hearing this King Kabarega understood how King Mwanga was betraying
him and he thought that it would not be right to pay all these as a fine without
any fault at all. He called in his big chiefs to discuss the problem. In debating most
of the chiefs concluded that as the king had sent in a bullet he intended to take
King Kabarega's county. Therefore they said to the messenger who had brought
them to take back the news that a battle might be fought.
When the messenger had gone back to Buganda, two others were again sent
in from King Mwanga and brought the same news as the former.
King Kabarega replied:- "If King Mwanga himself is in trouble with the
European, he must ask me to help him in paying fines; but myself I cannot pay the
charge as it I was in trouble". He continued and said: "If the European desire to
discuss with me about my country, I willingly accept it; let him come".
Soon after the messenger had gone back to Buganda, it came to King Kaba-
rega's notice that King Mwanga and Colonel Colville were coming to fight him, and
that Ow'esaza Kakunguru, the Kimbugwe, was leading the troops and that their
troops included the Nubians, Indians and Zanzibaris.
They attacked him early in 1894 and therefore he escaped from his Mparo
residence and built a new residence in Busindi. After four months the Baganda went
back to their country but the Europeans camped at Katasiha (Hoima). From there
they went on attacking him and found him at Rwempindu. They attacked him dur-
ing the night and so King Kabarega was not successful. Most of his regalia were
captured during this battle, such as a brass stool, two brass drums, one of which
was "Kajumba" by name; a big flag; and a small one that used to go ahead during
every battle. These were confiscated by Captain Thruston in 1894, who took
them straight to Europe.*
After this battle King Kabarega ran away and went to Kitaho beyond the Nile.
After a short time, Captain Ternan together with Apolo, the Katikiro of Bu-
ganda, attacked the king and found him at Rukungu. The battle was so serious
that the queen mother, Nyamutahingurwa, prince Kitehimba Yosiya Karukara, and
princess Victoria Mukabagabu, were captured and most of the cattle that belonged
to Bunyoro were seized and were all taken to Buganda by Apolo. Afterwards Cap-
tain Ternan returned to Masindi so as to prevent King Kabarega from coming back
From that time unceasing wars took place between the Europeans and Kaba-
rega. In the meantime King Mwanga escaped from Buganda and joined Kabarega
in Lango. Both kings fought against the Europeans. Although King Mwanga had
allowed them to settle in his country he had changed his mind and tried to send
them away. King Kabarega had no objection, he agreed that Mwanga should
stay with him, until they both were captured on the 9th April, 1899.
King Kabarega is still remembered for his wisdom in putting in order his king-
dom; and because he had conquered all the rebels.
The boundaries of his kingdom were as follows:-
West: Lake Edward, Busongora, Ituri Forest, now in the Belgian Congo, and
stretching from Bulega to Butukutuku.
North: Equatoria Province.
East: Lake Kioga, Busoga, Bunyara on the Sezibwa River, the Buganda
boundary with Bulemezi and Singo.
South: Ankole bounded with Buzimba and Buhweju counties which recently
have been added to Ankole.
He was proposing to attack Buganda, and this was why he had erected his
residence at Mukaiha Kinogozi, but the Europeans came before he had fulfilled his
purpose. Concerning this proposal the Ntimbo drummers composed a song which
"King Chwa Kabarega sent a word to Mukwenda, saying, Go to your King
Mwanga and let him know that very few days are remaining before the
Kingdom of Buganda will be deceased. If he be captured he will be taken
to Bulega and then the remains of Buganda will pay tribute to Mugabante."
King Kabarega was the first King who started the organisation of military
troops called "Abarusura" in the Kingdom of Bunyoro.
* Certain of these have now been returned.--Editor.
The following is a list of counties
No. Name of County.
4. Kihukya Chope
8. Rugonjo Kalimbi.
No. Name of County.
20. Makara (Busongora).
24. Bukidi Lango.
25. Kamuli Budiope.
26. Arulu (Madi).
27. Teso Kaweri.
28. Bunya (Congo).
Owing to King Chwa Kabarega's
arranged by King Kabarega during his
Name of County Chief.
Nyakamatura s/o Nyakatura. Mumoli.
Bikamba s/o Kabale. Muranzi.
Mwanga s/o Kanagwa. Muchwa.
Katongole Rukidi. -do-
Masura s/o Materu. Munyonza.
Mutenga s/o Ikwamba. Alubito.
Kadyebo s/o Bantaba. Mugonya.
Mutengesa s/o Olalo. Mubito.
Kikukule s/o Runego. Muiruntu.
Rusebe s/o Rukumba. Mubito.
Kato s/o Zigija. Mubopi.
Ntamara s;o Nyakabwa. Munyonza.
Mugarra s/o Kabwijamu. -do-
Ruburwa s/o Mirindi. -do-
Bulemu s/o Rwigi. Mubito.
Name of County
Rukara s/o Rwamagigi.
Nduru s/o Nyakairu,
Ndagara s/o Rumanyweka.
Rukara s/o Itegiraha.
Kangabire s/o Kajura.
Ireta s/o Byangombe.
Muliwandwa s/o Ogati.
Awich s/o Ochamo.
Nyaika s/o Igabura.
Anziri s/o Midiri.
Kamukokoma s/o Katenyi.
Rujumba s/o Salal.
rule many distant tribes were eventually
He was captured on the 9th April, 1899, together with King Mwanga, the
King of Buganda,and then both were deported to Kismayu; afterwards they were
taken further, to the Seychelles. King Mwanga died there in 1903, leaving King
Kabarega alone. King Kabarega was afterwards released in 1923, and was brought
to Jinja, in Busoga, arriving there on the 27th February 1923. He died on the
7th April, 1923, before he actually arrived in his Kingdom, Bunyoro-Kitara. His
body was brought into Bunyoro and was buried at Mparo which was his famous
residence, and where he had lived longer than in any other place.
The facsimile letter, appearing on the opposite page is not mentioned in the
text, but is included as referring to other eventsin the reign of Kabarega, which
are described in Mr. J. M. Gray's article on "Mutesa of Buganda" in Vol. I. of the
Uganda Journal p p. 35-36. It was occasioned by certain punitive expeditions
sent by General Gordon against Kabarega,
It has been mentioned in the text that Mutesa (Mukabya)was friendly to Ka-
barega at the beginning of the latter's reign (1869) and assisted him in the civil war
The text of the letter is as follows:-
"To Sir Canell Gorlden. February 6th, 1876.
"My dear friend Gorlden, hear this my word, be not angry with Kabarega, Sul-
tan of Unyoro. I been heard that you been brought two man-o'-war ships, but I pray
you fight not with those Wanyoro for they know not what is good and what is bad.
I am Mtesa, king of Uganda, for if you fight with Governor you fight with the King.
I will ask you one thing, but let it may please you all ye Europeaons for I say if I
want to go Bombey, if the governor and if the governor of Bombey refuse me to
past, will I not find the other road, therefore I pray you my friends hear this my
letter, stop for a moment if you want to fight, put ships in the river Nile take west
and north, and I will take east and south, and let us put Wanyoro in to the middle
and fight against them, but first sent me anwer from this letter. Because I want
to be a friend of the Majesty English. I am Mtesa, son of Suna, King of Uganda.
Let God be with your even you all, Amen.
MUTESA King of Uganda,
February 6th, 1876."
Reproduced from a copy kindly lent by G.C. Tshmael, Esq.-Editor.
Letter from Kabaka Mutesa to General Gordon.
(A transcription of the above appeared in the Uganda Journal Vol. 1, p. 26).
GENEALOGY OF THE ABABITO KINGS OF BUNYORO-KITARA.
Isingoma Mpuga Rukidi (i)
Ochaki Rwangira (2)
Chwa I (1o)
Kyebambe I,. (12)
Winyi III. (13)
Kyebambe II. (15)
Olimi III. (16)
Duhaga I. (17)
Olimi IV (18)
Kyebambe III, (19)
Nyabongo II, (20)
Olimi V (21) Kyebambe VI. (22)
Chwa II. Kabarega (23) (1869-1899)
Duhaga II (25)
Duhaga II, (25)
Winyi IV (26)
Abakama ba Bunyoro-Kitara.
By W. K.
XIV. Winyi III, Rugurukamacholya.
Winyi III. Rugurukamacholya, naba Omukama nagweterwa ise Kyebambe I.
Obuyamazire okutera Engoma ya Bunyoro-Kitara, akalema okukira ha mitano ya
ise hayakahikire. Kandi omubusingebwe hatabemu obulemu, kandi kimanyirwe
akalema kurungi ihanga lya Kitara. Kandi habw'okugonza okumanya ihangalye
lyona akagendagenda muno omu bicweka-bingi eb'ihangalye nagonza okumanya aba-
ntube nk'okubarukulemwa, kandi habw'endemaye enungi abantu abakaba bali omu
masaza agayecwireho hali Bunyoro-Kitara omubusinge bw'Omukama Winyi Ru-
bagiramasega gatwairwe Obukama bwa Buganda gakagaruka ha Bukama bwa
Bunyoro-Kitara, habw'okuba omu busumi obu Obukama bwa Buganda bukaba nibu-
lemwa Omukama (Kabaka) Kagulu Tibucwereke habw'okubalema kubi bakecwaho
bagaruka ha Bukama bwa Bunyoro-Kitara bukagaliha harubaju oru orwa Buganda.
Kandi Omukama akazara abana banu:-
i. Bikaju akamujweka Bugungu.
2. Karamagi akamujweka Bugangaizi.
Kandi Omukama onu akagonza muno okuhiga, bwakabali omukuhiga enjoka
yamutema. Kandi abanabe banu abamu habw'okusangwa abajwekere munkungu
zabu abamu omu kutuzakwe batabeho nubwo okugwetamu omuto wabu Nyaika,
n'egasaniye eri Miduma. Baitu abanabe habwokuhu'ra okutuza kwa isebo okwa
bwangu kandi nti asigire omuto wabu Nyaika kikabemesa ensi yona yajagara buli
omu mubito habanabe yagonza okutera Engoma.
Nyaika naba Omukama nagweterwa ise Winyi III, Rugurukamacholya, naba
Omukama wa Bunyoro-Kitara, narole'ra abanyoro ba ise yamusigire :-
Mugungu, Kapapa Omutaseka, Butokya bwa Kyokora, Mugasa, Kibuka Kya-
Kityo kya Mutaseka kandi n'abanyoro abandi abamasaza bakaba bemere n'Aba-
bito. Kandi Omukama Nyaika habwokuba omuto abanyoro abagambirweho eru-
guru bakahanu'ra okumwihaho okutaho Omubito omukuru nuwe kuba Omukama
habwokuculeza obwemi obukaba bujagaraize ensi obwaroho. Nubwo batumire
Mugasa okugenda okumanyisa Bikaju nkokwakurukuija okutesa Engoma, habwo-
kuba omuto tasobora obulamu. Nubwo bamuhaire amagezi iherye baije nendungu
bataija nemisogi, baije ekiro nibarasa endungu hamaju okutunisiriza abantu oku-
taturuka habwokutina okwitwa abantu, kandi nokwongera obulemu nibagendekera
okuzinda Omukama omuto owaise yasigire agwesere. Habwokutina abantu abali
harubajurwe tibakulemere kurwana, kandi nokubaho obulemu obuhinguraine obwo-
kwisa abantu nikyo bategekire nkokukisoboroirwe eruguru, nti Bikaju bwaraba
hangoma ayisire mutowe Nyaika tihaija okubaho bulemu kandi nababito abandi
abakaba bemere tibalemu kutina okutarwana.
Nubwo Bikaju naija obuyahikire "Mugabane'" nubwo abanyawanga nibamu-
kingu'ra nataha omuka, naikara hanyamyaro (Ekitebe ky'Obukama) nubwo abaga-
rami bakwasire Omukama Nyaika nibamwita omunsita. Bikaju natera Engoma,
kandi obwire obubwakire nyenkya nubwo habaireho ekirangi'ro nyenkya okuma-
nyisa abantu bona Omukama Nyaika kwatulize Engoma okwatirwe Bikaju. Nu-
kyo bamurukire ibara Kyebambe habwokwebamba hangoma y'omutowe, egasani-
ye era Kiryaibuka Bwijanga.
XVI. Kyebambe II, Bikaju.
Kyebambe Bikaju naba Omukama wa Bunyoro-Kitara amazire okwita owai-
se Nyaika. Obuyamazire okuba Omukama abantu bona basemerwa muno, naba-
kana nibasura obulemu bagenzibe Ababito baleka okurwana. Habwokuba buli ba-
gayaga omuto wabu ayatire Engoma akiri muto muno. Kyebambe yayeta abantu
bona yabamanyisa nkokubarukuhiki'ra okuba nobusinga nagendera kumanya nko-
kuharaba haroho omwemi arukumuhyemera aleke amurwanise. Nagonza oku-
terekereza obukamabwe natina okugobezebwa nkawe okuyagobize omutowe, yale-
ma obukama bwa Bunyoro-Kitara namani. Kandi akagenda hona omu bukama-
bwe hamu namahe okuculeza obwemi obwakaba amanyire buroho.
Kandi abantube obubamazire okumanya ayetekanize okurwanisa abemi bona
bakaikiriza bwangu okulemwa, kandi habicweka ebimu ebikaba ha bukama bwa
Buganda bikagarukayo ha businge bwo Mukama ogu habwokutina obulemu bwabu-
kyabukya obwali hagati yabu na Mawanda, Omukama wa Buganda. Kandi nomu-
busumi obu abantu abomu bicweka ebi bakaba bali baguda baina amahyo gente
batarukugonza okurwana habwokutina okusisikarwa obuguda bwabu. Kityo nikyo
kyaleteraga okuhindukahinduka omu mituma yabu bagonzaga okulemwaga nobu-
singe kandi ball ha mitano ya Buganda nibenderezebwa okunywagaho itungo lyabt
Omukama wa Buganda. Nikyo kyaletire Omukama Kyebambe okubarwanisa
nagende'ra okuteraniza ebicweka ebi. Kandi Omukama onu ihanga lya Kitara
akalirema likiri rigazi nkokutwalisoboroireho eruguru omu businge bwo Mukama
Winyi Rugurukamacholya. Omukama onu akazara abana baingi muno, kyonka
tikisobokere okwoleka amabara gabanabe bona, abakuru abarukukira okumanywa-
ho mbanu:- (.) Byakaya (2.) Isingoma (3.) Runywambeho (4) Isansa.
Kandi Omukama onu habwokugendagenda muno omuihangalye akaba nembu-
ga nyingi, baitu obwakaba ali omurubuga Nyamiryango amazire omwanya mukoto
hangoma, ekiro kimu hakabaho obugobya hagati ya nyinarumi Katenga Karuya
Omusaigi na Omugo Katanire Omubitokati bakagobeza Omukama bamuhutaza,
baitu habwengeso za Bakama abeira obutahutara kujwera Engoma nubwo yayesere
abatabanibe, nubwo haija bwangu Isansa namugweta ha Bukama habwokuba ali
mukuru kandi ali manzi habwokumanya yaikaraga narwanarwana nukwo okumu-
gweta ha Bukama, namugamba ati: "Hora enzigu Abasaigi nubo banyisire hamu
n'Omubitokati Katanira." Omukasumi ako Omukama yatuza, obuyatulize Isansa
yaragira okwita bull Musaigi wena hamu na Omubitokati Katanira ayaisire ise.
Baitu Omubito ogu Isansa nawe akaba anyina Omugo ibaralye Kindiki Om nsaigi-
kati, obuyaragire okwita Abasaigi, Omusaija Mukerenge Omutonezo akatina okwita
omugo ogu, habwokuba akaba akulize agenda yamusereka, nuwe ogu ayazaire
Omukama Ruhaga, nkokuturasobora hanyuma. Omukama Kyebambe Bikaju na-
tuza egasaniye eri Nyamiryango, Kihukya.
XVII Olimi 11 Isansa.
Olimi Isansa naba Omukama nagweterwa ise Kyebambe Bikaju, natera Engo-
ma ya Bunyoro-Kitara. Kandi Omukama akatera Engoma all musigazi, kandi
nabantube habwokumanya nkokwali manzi, mukulema kwe hatabeho kumuhyemera
nobuhakubaire ha bene babu, kandi akagonza okugalihya ihangalye. Kandi naba-
ntube bakamugonza muno, kandi akalema Bunyoro-Kitara okuhika ha mitano ya
ise hayakahikize. Kandi ha Bukama bwa Buganda halemayoga Omukama Kya-
bagu, obwakaba ayikaire muno hangoma, Abankole bakaleta ente zabu okugisa
omu bicweka ebiherire Kitara hati erukwetwa Kyaka owabu hagwireyo ekihe
Omukama Olimi Isansa obuyahulire eki yakyeta kyamugayo habwokuba bata
banze okumusaba okubayikiriza. Nubwo yazinisize iherye nabaramagira kuba-
rwanisa. Akabasanga Kijumba yabarwanisa yababinga kandi yabahondera yaba-
sanga ha mugongo Kihanguzi yabaita yabahwerekereza muno namahyo gabu
yaganyaga gona, n'ensi egi yagiruka ibara "Kicwabwemi" nahati nukwo eyetwa.
Nubwo yayeyongireyo yahikira kimu Ankole harulembo yasangayo Omugabe
Karaiga yamurwanisa yamusingura nomunsiye yamubingiramu kimu akairukira
ogwa Buganda, kigambwa na Buganda ataikalemu akairukira Busoga nuho yagwire,
kandi naba Ankole tibamanyire nambere yagwire. Omukama Olimi Isanga obu-
yasinguire ensi egi yagikaramu kimu yayombekayo norubuga nuho yarugire
okuramagira Rwanda, akabanza okutumayo omutabani ibaralye Mali hamu nihe
amazire okuhu'ra Rwanda okuhaliyo ente nyingi nibazihaisaniza nt nizikira kimU
eze. Omutabani akaba aimukize okugenda okuramaga Rwanda ebiro bibiri nawe
nauwe yaimukya okuramaga, obwakaba ali omumuhanda, abasaija bayo bahu'ra
entajemerwa nigamba, nubwo bagamba bati: "Engoma ezo kanizisisana eza Ruka-
tamarungu Omukama wa Kitara nagyaha ?" Nubwo abaramagi babagambira ngu
"Nawe naramaga Rwanda." Nubwo abasabire okubahikya omumaiso g'Omukama
bamuhanu'ra nk'oku Abakama tibaramagayo swenkuru Cwamali nuho yabulire
habweki tikiri kirungi okuramaga omunsi egi. Omukama yasisana arukwanga,
nubwo nabafumu bagumya ngu tikiri kirungi okuramaga omunsi ezo nubwo
Omukama yaikiriza ihe okukuba kugaruka. Kandi yatumira na omutabani
okugara ihe, baitu abayatumire, bakasanga omutabani amazire ira okurwana
n'Omukama wa Rwanda habwokumanya obumanzi bwa Isansa, nahu'ra kuya-
hwerekerize Ankole kandi nuho hali n'orubugarwe, atasobole kwita omubito ogu
Nubwo Omukama wa Rwanda yacwire amagezi okukaguza mpora nagonza
okumanya Olimi Isansa ekyasinguza amahanga, yabihabiha omubito Mali ouya-
hambire amuhe akagisake kumanyisa ise kwali mwomezi kandi atume abantu baije
bakutaba're, nawe yaikiriza yakamuha. Nubwo yatumire abantu babiri okutwara
orugisa oru nk'akokuroraho omukiroro kya Wamara Bwera ngu nuho alirusanga
obwaliba agenda okugweterwa ise, nagendeke'ra okutabanganiza Kibandwa Wa-
mara, na Omukama, habwokuba omubito Mali akaba amazire okumumanyisa ati
amani agabasinguza hona ensi ezibakarwanisa bagaiha omukiroro kyabaisenkurubo
Abacwezi ekiri Bwera ekya Wamara. Abakwenda obubagarukireyo hali Omukama
wa Rwanda nubwo nawe natuma abakwenda hali Isansa ati: "Omwana wawe Mali
aratahire ? Kotaramperire, kuba abakwenda bange natumire bakamanyisa ngu,
bakamuhikya Bwera omukikaro kyanyu." Nubwo Omukama Olimi Isansa yatuma
mpora entasi omukikaro eki Bwera okurora obukiraba kiri kyamananukwo, omu-
tabani aliba yareserwe kuhika Bwera. Omukwenda obuyahikireyo akaguize, Omu-
bito Mali araba yaleserwe omukikaro eki naruga Rwanda bamugarukamu ngu kunu
ataijeyo. Omukama wa Rwanda akatekwa hanu orugisa rwonka nagamba ati:
"Omubito alirusangaho naija okutera Engoma." Nubwo omukwenda yagaruire
ekigambo hali Omukama namugambira byona, namuha n'orugisa, nuho yarugire
Omukama Isansa okubihirwa Kibendwa Wamara, natuma Nyambagani Runya-
munyu, Omukada, obuyahikireyo, eka ya Wamara yona baginyaga, eminyago
bagihemba hali Omukama. Kibandwa Wamara akabihirwa muno habwokwita
abanabe nokunyaga ekirorokye, nukwo kiti omutabani Mali akaika'ra kimu omu-
kicweka eki. Kandi nikimanywa nabaijukuru bomubito ogu Mali baliyo omubicweka
ebi ebya Rwanda. Omukama Isansa obuyakubire yaletwa Kiziba na Karagwe
na Koki na Bwiru, Koki akasiga yagijweka omutabani Bwohe, kandi akasanga
Abaganda bagurukire omutano gwabu bamwagaire omubicweka bya Buhekura
na Singo, yabarwanisa yababinga, nubwo yagaruka omurubugarwe Kyenkwanzi
obuyarugiremu okuramagira Ankole. Omukama ogu akakora ebigambo bingi
ebyobumanzi, akarora entale ibiri, yazifora embwaze nebindi bingi ebyobumanzi
ebiyakozire. Kandi Omukama onu akaikara hangoma omwanya mukoto, okuhika
omubugurusibwe, kandi akazara abana baingi abojo nabaisiki abarukumanywaho
amabara gabu mbanu:-
i.) Mali. 4.) Isagara.
2.) Duhaga. 5.) Kazana.
3.) Bwohe. 6.) Bulemu.
yatuza egasaniye eri Kiguhyo, Buyaga, endi eri Buhonda, Bugangaizi.
XVIII. Duhaga I, Chwa Mujuiga.
Duhaga Chwa Mujuiga yagweterwa ise Olimi Isansa naba Omukama wa Bu-
nyoro-Kitara, akatera Engoma ali musigazi mukuru. Obuyamazire okwikara ha-
ngoma aterekerize Obukamabwe, akaijuka mwene wabu okubamuhambire Rwanda
rubwo yatekanize ihe okuramaga Rwanda naraba Ankole habwokumanya ise aka-
ba agisinguire nagifora obukama bumu. Baitu yahu'ra ngu Ankole haliyo Omu-
gabe Nyakashaiza, yaimuka okuramagi'ra nengoma y'Obukama bwa Ankole niyo
Bagendanwa yaginyaga, bamugambira ba Engoma egi Kihara tekwatwaho. Nubwo
yaragire bagiteme obuso, turole ebirumu; nubwo bagitema okurora ekihara ekiru
omunda, basanga hatarumu kantu yagireka okugisisa. Oruramago oru barweta
orwa "Kihonoka" ekyarweseze ibara eri Abanyankole bakahutaza mugole wa Mu-
cwa nengobe ha ibere, omunsi egi akakorayo ebyokuroraho bingi ebikyaijukwa na-
hati. Akalimayo iziba hamwandara, nahati Abanyankole balimanyire, balyeta izi-
ba lya Duhaga. Kandi akakorayo amaju genaku akagalima omunsozi. Kandi aka-
marayo omwanya mukoto, yaramaga na Rwanda nagende'ra okuzora mukuruwe
Mali. Rwanda akagirwanisa yagisingura, hanyuma akarugayo naletwa ogwa Ka-
ragwe na Kiziba na Koki, okugwagwaniza abantu abomubicweka ebi, kuba nabo
baikaraga nibasura obwemi habwababito abakaba bajwekerweyo Abakama abamu-
bandize nka Winyi I, Olimi II, Isansa, baikaraga nibemera okwefora nka Bakama.
Obuyamazire okubagwagwaniza nokubaterekereza yarugayo naretwa Bwiru na
Bwera, yagaruka omurubugarwe. Omubusumi obu abantube obubaboine endama-
goze zitarukuhwa kandi atarukuikiriza kugaba ngabwa buli ihe nagonza okulige-
nderamu wenka, nubwo obubakaboine ensi eculireho kake, nubwo bamuhanu'ra
nasimba enjeru okutaho obusinge, obutagaruka okurwana. Kakarabaho omwa-
nya muke Omubito Kitehimbwa ayalemaga Koki ayagwetirwe Omubito Bwohe,
owa Omukama Olimi Isansa, akaba ajwekere Koki yalengaho okwefora nka
Omukama habwobumanzibwe Abaganda yarwana nabo yababinga obuyamazire
okubabinga, yakoma amacumu gona agayabanagisize nagabasirwe yagaboha ekiga-
nda, (ekiba) nubwo yagatwekera isento Omukama Duhaga I. Obuyagaboine yakwa-
twa ekiniga, abasaijabe abakuru Abamasaza bamuhanu'ra bati: "Omwana onu
otagira akutwekire amacumu ganu habwensonga endi kyonka mwemi, kandi naku-
manyisa kwayemere nagonza okukurwanisa nokukubinga ha Ngoma, uwe areke
atere engoma." Omukama Duhaga obuyahulire ati, yagaba ihe okugenda Koki
okurwanisa Omubito Kitehimbwa, obubaitiraine barwana muno na Omubito Kite-
himbwa, bamuhamba bamuleta hali isento, Omukama Duhaga, yamwita. Kandi
Omukama wa Buganda, Junju, obuyahulire Omukama Duhaga akaramagira Koki
kandi ayisire Katehimbwa nawe nukwo kuramagira Bwiru kurwanisa Bwakamba
Owisaza lya Bwiru nagendera okunyaga ente nokugumya Mujwiga omubito muta-
bani wa Kitehimbwa ayaisirwe Omukama Duhaga omunsi ya ise Koki. Okuruga
omukasumi ako, Isaza lya Bwiru yalicwa ha Bunyoro lyafoka Isaza lya Buganda.
Omukama Duhaga obuyakihulire yakwatwa ekiniga kingi, yayeta ahonaho
abanyoro abamasaza okuhanura okuramagira Junju, Omukama wa Buganda. Aba-
masaza abayayesere bakamuhanu'ra bamutanga bati: "Omukama obwamara oku-
simba enjeru, tagaruka okurwana". Obubamugambire ebi atabikirize yahambiriza
muno, nubwo Nyakoka Omusuli yakika omuirembo oruhimborwe orwetwa "Binyo-
nyo" yaruta omuirembolya "Mugabante", nubwo Kyakyali Kanyamutenga Omutwa-
irwe yagambira Omukama ati: "Obuharaba hazizire irembo, Omukama aturukire
"Kyarubanga agende", Omukama Duhanga yaikiriza eki, nuho yaturukire n'iherye,
kuramagira Junju. Habweihe okuba lingi balicwamu kabiri eryahamutwe lyatwa-
rwa Okwiri Rumomanenkidi n'eryasigaireho lyatwarwa Omukama wenka. Obu-
bahikire omu isaza hati erirukwetwa Singo baitiratirana naihe lya Junju Omukama
wa Buganda, barwana obulemu bukoto muno, bakarwaniraemisana esatu. Hanyuma
Omukama habwokwoleka obumanzibwe yaba omumaiso ga iherye, nuho yahutalire,
abantu obubaboine Omukama ahutaire, bahanura agaruka obulemu yabusigamu
okwiri engabwaye, obuyahikire Nkwali nukwo kweta omutabani Kasoma yamu-
gwetera Obukama, habwokuba ira kyali kyamuzizo Omukama okuhutara najwera
Engoma, nukwo okunywa omubaziogwetwa "Kataraza" okwesonga. Obuyamazire
okugunwa nubwo okutuza, nubwo nibamutabaza Irangara Bugangaizi omurubuga-
Kandi Okwiri engabwa y'Omukama anyakutulize ayasigaire narwanisa Abaga-
nda, obuyamazire okubinga Abaganda akarugayo yasanga Omukama amazire oku-
tuza, kandi hangoma hatairweho omutabani Kasoma nuwe atire Engoma. Omu-
kama ogu Duhaga akazara abana baingi, tikirukusoboka kubazaho amabara gabu,
habwokuba baingi bakaitwa habulemu obu obubeta "Kyakaborogota" kindi ganu
nugo amabara gabanabe abarukumanywa: i. Kasoma 2. Nyamutukura.
Kandi banu ekibarugire bagambwaho habwokuba bombi bakaba Bakama.
XIX. Olimi IV, Kasoma
Olimi IV, Kasoma, naba Omukama nagweterwa ise Omukama Duhaga. Obu-
yamazire okutera Ngoma yakora emirwa yona ey'Obukama, obuyamazire oku-
tekana habukamabwe yaihu'ra orubuga yarutera Kijagarazi Nsonga Bugangaizi,
akamaraho omwanya muke yarugaho yarutera Kiboizi omu Isaza hati erirukwetwa
Buyaga hakisara Nguse, akamaraho omwanya muke, nubwo omubito mukuruwe
Nyakamatura yamuramagi'ra nagendera kumubinga hangoma uwe alye Obukama.
Yazinisa ihe narugi'ra Kisunga omunsiye, nubwo yatuma hali mutowe- Olimi Ka-
soma Omukama namumanyisa ati: "Ninyija okurabuka." Baitu Omukama Olimi
Kasoma nawe akakenga yazinisa ihe ayikale ayetekanize kuba akamanya Nyamu-
tukura kwaizire okurwana tayizire okurabuka. Nubwo baitiraine ha mwogo Nguse
barwana, bakarwana obulemu obukoto hamwogo egu Nguse, habarwanire hati be-
taho "Mwinigiro" Omukama Kasoma yabinga ihe lya Nyakamatura, nubwo Nya-
kamatura yagarukayo omunsiye Kisuga. Obuharabireho omwanya nubwo bate-
rana na Kacekere Okwiri Rumomanenkidi Omukuru wa irembo, bazinisa ihe lingi
okugenda okurwanisa Omukama Olimi Kasoma na Omukama Olimi Kasoma obu-
yahulire Nyakamatura ateraine hamu na Kacekere Okwiri Rumomanenkidi nibaija
okumurwanisa, nawe yazinisa iherye yaija nalyo batangatangana Barana habeta
Mwihwero barwana muno, ihe lya Omubito Nyamutukura Omusuga, lyabinga eryo
Mukama Kasoma Olimi. Kandi na Omukama Olimi Kasoma nasinga ha kitebe
ky'Obukama, Nyamyaro, nalya Obukama, nubwo naragira balete Olimi Kasoma
omumaisoge, obubamulesere yamukaguza ati: "Noyenda nkuhe isaza rundi obu-
kuru obwahairembo ?" Nubwo Olimi Kasoma yayanga, yamugambira ati: "Kakuba
okwasirwe nyowe mba nkuisire kuba nkaba Omukama naramibwa Okali. Tikiso-
boka okugaruka okuramya iwe Okali."
Nubwo Omukama Nyakamatura yaragira okumutwara okumuita. Bamutwa-
ra bamuita, abamuisire baija barangire Omukama bati enzigu y'Omukama tugiho-
ire; nubwo Omukama Nyakamatura yaragira okwita abo abaisire mwene wabu,
nkengeso ya Babito okuyali ira (babaitaga). Egasani ya Omukama Olimi Kaso-
ma eri Ruhunga mu Isaza lya Buhaguzi, Bunyoro.
XX. Kyebambe III, Nyamutukura
Kyebambe Nyamutukura naba Omukama amazire okwita omutowe Olimi Ka-
soma, Omukama Nyamutukura yakola ebyamizizo y'Obukama yaikara omurubu-
ga orwali orwa Omukama Oli Kasoma ouyaisire. Nuhoyayakirenabanyoroaba-
kuru abamurwanisize abaliharubaju rwa Olimi Kasoma, yajwekamu abanyoro aba-
hyaka abamurwanirire. Ensi obuyamazire okugwagwana hatakiroho bemi, nubwo
yaihu'ra orubugarwe oru, yarutera Kihumbya, Buyaga, akamaraho omwanya muko-
to omu rubuga ora. Kandi Omukama akatera Engoma ali musaija mukuru. Obu-
yaikaireho omwanya akagonza okumanya amahyo genteze agali Toro, Busongora,
Butuku na Kyaka. Nubwo yatumire omutabani Omubito Kaboyo okugenda okuzi-
bara nokuleta ensobi, nokumanyisa byona ebiri omu bicweka ebi na omutabani
Kaboyo akagenda nka ise okuyamutumire yazibara kandi yaleta nensahi hali ise.
Baitu Omubito ogu Kaboyo obuyayetegerize ebicweka ebi okubiri hara na orubuga
raise, yatandika okucwa amagezi agokwema, akasiga ahanuire nabantu bayo
baikirize uwe, nubwo yayetekanize okwemera ise nawe abe Mukama omu bicweka
ebi. Nubwo yacwire amagezi okuraga ise okugenda Myeri omunkunguye akaba
ajwekerwe ise, na ise yamwikiriza, agenda, obuyahikireyo nubwo nacwa amagezi
gokwema, nubwo naruga Mweri (Mwenge) nagendera kimu Toro, nukwo okucwa
ha Bukama bwa ise ekicweka eki ekya Toro.
Kandi Omukama Kyebambe Nyamutukura omubusingebwe obwabandize ata-
kabaire nugurusi akacwanaho amalemu maingiho na Bakama ba Buganda Sema-
kokiro na Kamanya. Kuba okubanza Omulangira (Omubito) Kakunguru, omwa-
na wa Semakokiro, akaija yasaba ihe hali Omukama Nyamutukura okugenda
okurwanisa ise Kabaka Semakokiro, Omukama Nyamutukura yalimu ha agenda,
barwana obulamu obukoto murio. Ihe lyomulangira Kakunguru lyabingwa, ya-
yagaruka kunu Bunyoro, yaikarayo okuhika ise obuyafire. Baitu obuyahulire
mwene wabu Kamanya Kabaka, nagonza amubingeho nuwe alye Obwakaraka bwa
Buzanda, Omukama Nyamutukura yalimuha agenda barwana baitu atasingule
kandi na Bunyoro atagarukayo obwakabiri, neki kikabihiza muno Kabaka wa
Kamanya, nuho yasigikire okugaba amahe okuramagira Obukama bwa Bu-
nyoro-Kitara n'okuihura emitano okuruga Mayanja nokuhika ha mugera Wesigire
na Kabyona harubaju rwa Mubende. Kandi omukasumi ako Omukama Kyebambe
Nyamutukura akaba amazire okugurusihara hamu n'okusimba enjeru, nabanyoro
bafokere abaguda, batateho omutima okurwanira ensi yabu, ekicweka eki nukwo
okutwarwa omu Bukama bwa Buganda. Kandi ababito batabani b'Omukama onu
Kyebambe Nyamutukura abakaba ajwekere amasaza bona omubusumi obu bakaba
nk'abemi omubicweka byabu habwokurora isebo aikaireho omwanya mukoto muno
kandi ahwisire, Nahabweki Ihanga lya Bunyoro-Kitara lyaba omukujagara oku-
koto muno, nuho harugire okwecwamu ebicwekacweka eby'abemi ebyatalibanize
Abakama ba Bunyoro-Kitara abahondire Omukama onu okuhika omubusinge bwa
Omukama Cwa Kabalega II ayabisinguire byona nokubigwagwaniza nkokuturaro-
ra hanyuma omu byafayobye. Kandi Omukama onu Kyebambe Nyamutukura
akazara abana baingi, abamu bakefora bemi nikyo amabara gabu golekirwe hanu:-
i.) Kaboyo Omuhundwa ayalemaga isaza Toro.
2.) Mugenyi ,, Mwenge.
3.) Isagara ,, ,, Kibanda Cope.
4.) Kacope ,, ,, Kihukya.
5.) Karasuma ,, ,, Bugungu.
6.) Kagoro ,, Pacwa (Rugonjo)
7.) Nyinamwiru ,, Nkoni Rwamwanja,
8.) Kigoye (nuwe yazaire Nyaika omuhoga).
9.) Kahaibale (akaitwa omubulemu bwamukuruwe Kaboyo Toro).
Omukama Kyebambe Nyamutukura obuyamazire omwanya mwingi hangoma
yatuza, egasaniye eri Kibedi, kandi eyebijwaro eri Bujogoro, zombi omu Isaza Bu-
XXI. Nyabongo II, Mugenyi.
Nyabongo Mugenyi naba Omukama nagweterwa ise Kyebambe Nyamutukura
nakora byona ebyobugwetwa bwobukama. Obwakaba atakagwetirwe Obukama
isebo obuyatulize akabanza okutuma abakwenda hali mukuruwe omubito Kaboyo
Toro namweta ayije agweterwe Engoma. Baitu omubito Kaboyo yayanga naga-
Smba: "Isitwe atakatulize nkaba mwemi nyamurwanisa, habweki tinsobora oku-
tera Engoma nokuikara ekitebe ky'Obukama habwokwanga oku, uwe nubwo oku-
tera Engoma." Kandi Engoma akagitera ali musaija mukuru, kandi omukulemakwe
Ihanga lya Bunyoro-Kitara, akalirema litaterekerire kurungi habwa bene babu
ababito abakaba bemere omubusinge bwa isebo obwakaba atakatulize. Baitu obu-
yamazire okuguma ha Bukama akarwanisa ababito bene babu nabakama bemere
omu bicweka bya Cope. Isebo atakatulize, baitu habwa ihanga okutatereke'ra
kurungi atabasangule kuba bakamucwera amagezi agokuterana nawe, nibaikiriza
kumuhaga byona ebyarabaragirahoga gonze bachuire amagezi agobwemi, butahwe
omu mituma yabu, nkokuturasanga habyuma. Omubusingebwe Buganda yale-
mwaga Omukama Suna, kandi hagati ya Bakama banu hatabeho obulemu bwingi,
Omukama onu akazara abana baingi abojo nabaisiki, baitu habwokutaisisa
omwanya mwingi mukitabu, nikyo nyolekireho amabara make ganu :-i. Rwetakya,
2. Nyakuhya, 3. Rweru, 4. Rwakabale, 5. Kamurasi, 6. Kamihanda Omudaya,
7. Isingoma Rutafa, 8 Kasami. Abamu akaba abajwekere amasaza. Omukama
onu Nyabongo Mugenyi akatuza ali mukuru, egasaniye eri Bukonda, n'eyebijwaro
eri Kitonezi; zombi ziri mu Isaza Buyaga.
XXII. Olimi. V, Rwakabale.
Naba Omukama nagweterwa ise Nyabongo Mugenyi, obuyamazire okutabaza
omuguta gwa ise nokukora emirwa yona ey'Obukama, akaba amazire hangoma
omwanya muke, mwene wabu omubito Rweru yayema nagonza okumubinga ha-
ngoma, uwe alye Obukama. Barwana obulemu bukoto baitu omubito Rweru
yasingurwa kandi akaitirwa omu bulemu obu, akaitirwa Bubango haibale Nyabinya
omu isaza Buyaga. Obuyamazire okusingura obulemu obuyaikara ha Bukama-
bwe. Kandi obuharabireho omwanya habaho babiri nabene babu, Kamurasi na
Kamihanda bayema. Okubanza bakamubiha bati: "Nitugenda Bugahya bwa Ka-
sumba okwengera amahyo gente zaitu." Omukama Olimi Rwa-Kabale yabaikiriza,
nubwo bahikire Bugahya bwa Kasumba nubwo Kamurasi yaragira nti, mutere endu-
ru nti Kamurasi ayemere, nubwo yakwata ogwa Bugoma ha rubindi. Nubwo yaraba
na Bugahya-Baire obwa Nyinakiringa na Busindi yataha Karakaba omu izinga. Nu-
bwo yasoroza ihe, yaleta na Bakidi, na mukuruwe Kamihanda Omudaya yaleta ihe
lya Kicwabugingo. Ayabaire Engabwa yihe erya Kicwabugingo nuwe Kikwizi Kya-
mulere Omusaigi, kandi endabaraba nuwe Rugangura rwa Nyakojo Omusengya,
erya Bakidi ryayebemberwa Rugunje rwa Mpunde Omulisa. Engabwa y'Obulemu
bwona akaba Nyaika ya Kigoye. Omubito nubwo Kamurasi yaliziramu wenka na-
mwene wabu Kamihanda Omudaya basesera Omukama Olimi Rwakabale, n'Omu-
kama bakasanga nawe alizinisize ihe lingi, baititirana Rwempanga barwana. Obu-
lemu obu bukaba bukoto muno. Na Omukama Olimi Rwakabale yaitwa. Egasa-
niye eri Kitonya, Buyanja mu Isaza Buyaga.
XXIII. Kyebambe IV, Kamurasi Mirundi.
Naba Omukama amazire okwita mwene wabu Omukama Olimi Rwakabale
obuyamazire emirwa yona eyo Bukama, orubugarwe yarutera Kicunda. Obuya-
rugireyo yarutera Busesa ky'Omukama, omu rubuga oru numwo yayakire Abanyo-
ro abakaba nibarwani'ra Olimi Rwakabale yajwekamu Abanyoro abahyaka:-
i. Kaliba omubito akakwa bajwekamu Rwetahya omubito.
2. Mwanga Omucwa akakwa bajwekamu Materu Omunyonza.
Obuyamazire okujweka Abanyoro abo Kitara yarugayo, orubuga yarutera
Rwenyenje. Obwakaba ali omurubuga oru, akahu'ra ababito abakaba bemire Cope
basoroize ihe okumuramagira, nawe yazinisa ihe lingi, nubwo yaimukize nakwata
ogwa Buganda, yasiga acwerire abantube amagezi nabagamba ati obubalisesa hanu
mubagambaga ngu akaramaga Buganda. Yagenda naraba Buhekura, Singo, Kya-
nkwanzi Rugonjo yaturukira Rusungu, yataha mwizinga lya Karakaba bakubuka
okwya kumiirwanisa. Obubahulire atahire omu izinga lya Karakaba, ababito abo
bakubuka okwija okumurwanisa, obubwakire baija okumurwanisa, obubakaba niba-
rwana bamuhutaza nengobe orukumu, nuho harugire abebisuba agenda bagambi-
ra mwene wabu Omudaya ali Kicwabugingo ngu Omukama bamuisire. Nubwo
yalimukiramu iherye erya Kicwabugingo yaimukya hamu niherye okuiruki'ra mwe-
ne wabu Omukama ahulire aisirwe, baitu omu izinga ategendeyo, akambukira ha
mwogo Kiane yabasanga harubali Kokoitwa bakwatangana okurwana. Ababito abali
omu bona bakaitwa hakiraho ababito babiri bonka, Ruyonga na Mpuhuka nubo ba-
yirukire omuizinga eryetwa Galibama. Kandi ganu nugo mabara gababito abaiti-
rwe omukikaro eki :-i) Nsale, 2) Kato, 3) Icwabigoye, 4) Manyindo, 5) Kabadima,
6) Kabanyomozi, 7) Fotoire, 8) Mampohya.
Kandi aho nuho harugire enfumo zombi ezigamba ziti:-
(a) "Otahumura ekihumura habi ekya Nsale yahumire Kokoitwa".
(b) "Rwabikerenge nka Ruyonga akarara agendaa.
Obuyamazire okusingura obulamu obu, nubwo Omudaya naija namanyisa
Omukama Kyebambe Kamurasi nkokwasinguire obulemu, obuharabireho akanya
nubwo nagaba ihe okugenda okurwanisa ababito Ruyonga na Mpuhuka omuizinga,
yababingamu bairukira Bukidi yasingura ebicweka ebi. Baitu nyina Nsale aka-
bihirwa muno habwokwita abanabe, nubwo yagenzire Bukatoria omubicweka ebya
Sudan kuleta ihe eryokuho'ra enzigu. Yagenda yalireta. Baitu ihe kandi obulyai-
zire likanga okurwana habwokurora ekitinisa ky'Omukama Kamurasi.
Kandi Omukama onu habwokurwanarwana amalemu nagendera okutereke-
reza kurungi ensi nokugirema nkokwekaba eri, eki kikamuha okugendagenda
muno nokutera embuga nyingi omu Bukamabwe.
Kandi ekikuru omu busingebwe, nukwo okwija kwa Abajungu abakaba bata-
karorwahoga, nubo ba Bwana Speke na Grant abaizire omu September, 1862,
Omukama bakamusanga Kihaguzi Buruli. Kandi nomu 1864, hakaija n'Omujungu
ondi nuwe Bwana Samuel Baker akamusanga Kayera.
Omukama onu Kyebambe IV. Kamurasi akalema Obukama bwa Bunyoro-
Kitara, obu Buganda akaba neremwa Kabaka Mukabya Mutesa, baitu hakabanza
kuikaraho Kabaka Suna atakafuire, Mukabya okulya obwa Kabaka Kamurasi
amazire ha Ngoma nk'emyaka etanu. Omukama onu yakusoboroirweho bingi,
baitu habwokutasisa omwanya mbalizeho ebirukukira obukuru.
Kandi Omukama onu akazara abana 33 abaisiki n'abojo abarukuranganwaho
1. Kabalega, akaba Omukama.
2. Kabugumire, akaitwa narwanira Engoma.
3. Kabagungu, akaba muragwangoma.
4. Kerulini Kanyamukono Byanjeru. Akiroho mwomezi nahati,
5. Ndagano Rutekya. Akiroho mwomezi nahati.
Omukama onu akaleia ihanga lya Bunyoro-Kitara nekitinisa, kandi akagb-
nzebwa abantu ba ihangalye. Hanyuma akatuza hampero yomwaka 1869, nega-
saniye eri Busibiki Rukindo, eyebijwaro eri Kikangara, C.M.S.; zombi ziri muisa-
XXIV, Cwa II, Kabalega.
Cwa II Kabalega naba Omukama nagweterwa ise Kyebambe IV Kamurasi
Mirundi, baitu ise obuyatulize hakabanza okubaho empaka nyingi omu ihanga lya
Bunyoro-Kitara habwababito banu bombi Kabalega na Kabugumire. Ekicweka
kyabantu abamu abarukukira obwingi bagonzaga Kabugumire nuwe abe Omuka-
ma, kandi abamu nibagonza Kabalega nuwe abe Omukama, habweki nikyo habe-
rireho obulemu hagati yabu habwokurwana obulemu buremeseze. Omubito Ka-
bugumire agenda Ankole hali Omugabe wa Ankole Ntale okumusaba ihe lyoku-
mukonyera omu bulemu. Kandi n'Omubito Kabalega yatumya ihe hali Kabaka
wa Buganda Mukabya kumukonyera, amahe ago gakatanganatangana habaho
obulemu bukoto muno. Ihe lyomubito Kabugumire lyabingwa, nawe yairuka ya-
garukayo Ankole. Nubwo Abanyoro abakuru obubaboine ensi emazire omwanya
mukoto eri mukabatano kwonka habwobulemu bwabukyabukya, nubwo nibahanura
omubito Kabalega atabaze omuguta gwaise ateho n'omuragwangoma omukikaro
ky'omwemi omubito akyarwana. Nubwo omubito Kabalega yakozere emirwa yona
eyobugwetwa bwo Bukama, nokugenda Haburu okukora omurwa gwokutemba
Epyemi (obugwetwa,) naba Omukama natera Engoma. Obuyarugireyo Haburu
naija natera orubuga Kyamungu Rukindo muisaza Buyaga nuhoyagabire ihe oku-
ramaga Ankole okunyagayo ente zewagali.
Obwakaba ali aho nibamugambira ngu omubito Ankole akarugayo ali Kihu-
kya Busindi kandi anyina ihe lingi erya Bacope nabandi. Omukama obuyahulire
ebi nukwo okuimuka naruga omu bicweka ebi ebya Bugangaizi nagaruka omu bicwe-
ka bya Busindi; orubuga namutera Kikube omu rusozi nuho yagabire ihe okuge-
nda okurwanisa omubito ogu Kabu-umire. Nubwo bukaba bulemu bukoto muno,
ihe lyo Mukama Cwa II Kabalega likabingwa encuro ibiri, obwa kasatu nubwo
Omukama Cwa Kabalega nubwo bagaba omubito Nyaika omuhoga, nibagenda ni-
barwana obulemu bukoto muno, kandi n'Omubito Kabugumire akagwa omu bule-
mu obu. Kandi akasingura obuleru obu, obuyamazire okubusingura, nobulemu
obu buhoire nukwo okuihura orubuga narutera Busindi Bulyasojo, akaba amazire
omwanya, nuho Omujungu arukweta Samuel Baker (Muleju) yamusangire mu 1872.
Okubanza Omujungu ogu akaba mugenyi murungi, bakaikara kurungi na Omuka-
ma Cwa Kabalega; baitu habwabantu ababi abaizire hamu n'Omujungu bakakora
ebigambo bingi ebibi ebyababihize abantu bona abo Omukama Cwa Kabalega.
Baitu Omukama Cwa Kabalega obuyagondeze okubimara nokubitekereza kurungi
nubwo okutuma omukwendawe hali Omujungu ogu Bwana Samuel Baker, kandi
habwokutetegereza kurungi, omukwenda ogu akaitwa nikyo kyalesere obulemu
hagati yabu obwetwa Baigota-Isansa. Habwempaka ezo Omukama Kabalega omu
rubugarwe akarugamu agenda Kibwona, akamarayo omwanya muke n'Omujungu
ogu Samuel Baker amazire okugarukayo owabu. Yaihu'ra orubuga rwa Kibwona
yarugara Bulyango, naho akamarayo omwanya muke orubugarwe yarutera Mparo
omulundi gwokubanza. Omurubuga runu numwo yasingulire ebicweka byensi
byona, ebikaba byemire Obukama bwa Bunyoro-Kitara, omu businge bwa Kyeba-
rnbe Nyamutukula. Ekicweka kya Toro ekikaba kicwerwe omubito Kaboyo ha
Bukama bwa Bunyoro akakigara ha Bukama bwa Bunyoro nebicweka kya Buliega
ebikaba nibisula obwemi akabisingura yabita ha Bukama bwa Bunyoro-Kitara.
Nebicweka bya Butuku na Busongola abantu bamwo bakaba nibasula obwemi aka-
bayihayo namahyo gabu yabaleta omunsiye hagati. Hanyuma omu rubuga Mpa-
yarugamu orubuga yarutera Bulera akaba yamaraho omwanya muke. Yahu'ra
Mwanga Kabaka wa Buganda agabire ihe kwija kumurwanisa, eryaleserwe enga-
yiherye Owisaza Kangawo. Omukama Cwa Kabalega habwamagezige atasime
okurwanira omu kikaro eki Rwengabi, nihe lya Baganda nuho lyamusangire.
Barwana muno nengabwa ya Buganda Owisaza Kangawo yaitwa, kandi nihe
lyebingwa. Omukama Cwa obuyamazire okusingura obulemu obu, Rwengabi
yarugayo yaija orubuga yarutera Buikya, akamaraho omwanya muke orubuga
yarutera Bujwahya (Kasingo) nuho omujungu ayetwa Bwana Kagyeta, Mr.
Casati, yamusangire. Bakamaraho omwanya muke Omukama Cwa Kabalega oru-
bugarwe yarutera Buhimba, nuho yarugire okugenda Kiiragura Buruli kurwanisa
ababito abakaba bemira Cope. Akabarwanisa yabasingura, omubito Komwiswa
yamuta omunkomo, akaba amubohere maisa (Life.) Kandi omubito Rujumba yamu-
twara Mwenge amute munte okumufora. Nubwo ekicweka eki okuhwembamu
obwami kyagaruka okutereke'ra ha Bukama bwa Bunyoro-Kitara nka ira. Kandi
akaba yakamaraho akasumi kake muno nuho ihe lya Baganda lyaizire eryaleserwe
engabwa Wakibi banu batarwane hamu n'Omukama, batamuroreho kyonka bake-
tungira omwanya gwokunyaga ebintu munsi, kandi bagarukayo owabu Buganda.
Omukama obuyaragire Kiragura orubuga yarutera Kicwamba, akamaraho omwa-
nya muke orubuga yaruihura yarutera omu kaiha Kabale Kinogozi.
Aho nuho yagabire ihe nalitamu engabwa Rwabudongo Omuhambya okuge-
nda Buganda okubinga Mwanga habwa Kabaka bwa Buganda okutaho omulangira
Kalema. Nubwo Rwabudongo-engabwa ya Cwa Kabalega yayebembire ihe bage-
nda okurwana nihe lya Kabaka wa Buganda yalibinga na Mwanga Kabaka wa
Buganda bamubinga habwa Kabaka bataho Kalema. Kandi hakarabaho omwanya
Kabaka Kalema yaitwa oburundu, ihe erya Omukama Cwa Kabalega eryamulinda-
ga nukwo okugaruka hanu Bunyoro-Kitara hali Omukama Cwa Kabalega. Kandi
hakarabaho omwanya muke, Kabaka wa Buganda Mwanga habwokukonyerwa
abajungu akasindika ihe kwija kuramagira Omukama Cwa Kabalega. Kandi na
Omukama Cwa Kabalega obuyahulire, nukwo okugaba omutabani Jasi, obulemu
obu bukarwanirwa omubicweka bya Bugangaizi Bukumi, ihe lyo Mukama Cwa
Kabalega likabinga, bagarukayo owabu Buganda. Kandi hakaraho omwanya
muke, Omukama Kabalega nub,wo yahulire Mwanga Kabaka wa Buganda na
Omujungu, Captain Lugard, bagobeza okutwara omubito Kasagama okumufora
Omukama wa Toro nibagendera okucwa ebicweka byensi ha Bukama bwa Bti-
nyoro-Kitara. Baitu habwobugobya obu, kikabaremesa okuraba omuhanda gwa
Bunyoro bakalaba ogwa Ankole. Omukama Cwa Kabalega akamanyisibwa bama-
zire okuhika omu bicweka bya Busongora Katwe, na Omukama Cwa Kabalega
nukwo okugaba engabwa ye Ireta kugenda kwirukira Rukara Rwamagigi Owesaza
lya Busongora akabasanga omu kicweka kya Toro (Butuku). Kandi kuli Buso-
ngora- bamazire kurwana na Omujungu, kandi na Owisaza Rukara bamubingire.
'Nubwo engabwa ya Omukama Cwa Kabalega nuwe Ireta nasanga Omuju-
ngu Butuku nibarwana nubwo Ireta nabingwa. Omujungu yayambuka gwa
Buiega nseri, baitu akasiga atire ekigo ky'Abanubi, Misozi Mwenge, kandi nb-
mubicweka ebi ebigambirweho okubanza akasiga atairemu Abanubi nagendeke
'ra kulinda omubito Kasagama, nubwo Omukama Cwa Kabalega aleme kumubinga
omu bicweka ebi.
Omubusumi obu Omukama Cwa Kabalega orubuga yarwihu'ra yarutera Mpa-
ro omurundi gwa kabiri omurubugarwe orwa ira. Kandi obuharabireho omwanya
Omukama Cwa Kabalega akatuma engabwaye, Kikukule, okuramagira ekigo kya
Misozi Mwenge, bakiramagira na Omunubi ayali mukuru wekigo eki yaitwa.
Kandi Captain Lugard obuyarugire omu bicweka bya Bulega agarukireyo Bu-
ganda, bakatuma ihe kwija kuramagira Omukama Cwa Kabalega nubwo bakarwa-
nira omubicweka bya Bugangaizi hakisaru Kanyangaro. Obulemu obu nubwo bwa-
isire Kasaija ka Kikukule, nuho bagarukire bagarukayo Buganda. Omukasumi
ako Omukama Cwa Kabalega akatuma hali Omujungu Captain Lugard nagonza oku-
hanura hamu nokwetegereza akyamucwisize hansiye kunu, tibakaroranganaga ha-
mu nawe, nubwo narora amasanga abiri natuma engabwaye hali Omujungu
ogu Captain Lugard aije bahanule hamu ebi. Baitu Omujungu ogu ataije,
hakarabaho omwanya muke, Mwanga Kabaka wa Buganda nawe natuma engabwa-
ye hali Omukama Cwa Kabalega namuletera nekyasi kyembundu kimu, nensahu,
n'omuigo n'enfuka nagamba ati Bwana Captain Lugard akugambire ati: "Bwo-
raba nogonza obulemu oiheho ekyasi kyembundu, bworaba nogonza obusinge oihe-
ho ensaho rundi enfuka n'omuigo, kandi bworaba noihaho enfuka rundi mwigo
ebyobusinge otweke namasanga genjojo 8o, nenfuka 600, nebisalwa byomunyo 500,
nibyo ntwale hali omujungu Captain Lugard nkutongani're Baitu Omukama Cwa
Kabalega obuyaboine ebi, ebyokumulehesa kunu tanyina ekyasobeze, yakenga obu-
gobya bwa Kabaka Mwanga. Nukwo okusoroza Abanyorobe bahanule, kandi aba-
nyoro abarukukira obwingi bakahanura nibamugambira bati: "Kabaka wa Buga-
nda Mwanga nagonza okukugobeza nokukulyaho ensi yawe. Nukwo hati ekyaku-
mireho ihaho isasi turwane." Omukwenda ogu obuyagenzire owabu Buganda ka-
ndi haija abandi babiri, nabo nibabaza omumulingo gumu nkaguli, Omukama Cwa
yagamba ati: "Kabaka Mwanga bwaraba nuwe anyina omusango hali Abajungu
antumeho mukonyere, baitu nyowe tinsobora okuleha ntanyina ekinsobeze, omuju-
ngu obwaraba nagonza okuhanura ebyensi yange aije kunu tuhanule owange". Aba-
kwenda abo obubagarukireyo hakarabaho omwanya muke, nubwo Omukama nahu-
'raati Kabaka Mwanga beteranize n'Omujungu Colonel Colville kuija kumurama-
gira. Kandi nengabwa ya Kabaka Mwanga yali Kakunguru Kimbugwe, kandi
nihe ly'Abajungu baingi banyina n'Abanubi n'Abazinzibale n'Abahindi.
Bakamusensera ha kubanza kwa omwaka 1894, obulemu obu nubwa bwamu-
bingire omu rubugarwe orwa Mparo obutagarukamu, bukatwara omwanya gwemye-
zi ena. Omukama Cwa Kabalega yatera orubuga mubicweka bya Busindi, Abaga-
nda bagarukayo, abajungu batera ekigo Katasiha. Kandi hahinguireho omwanya
Abajungu, hamu n'Abanubi, bakaija ekiro nahabweki butarwanwe kurungi, omubu-
]emu obu nuho hanyagirwe ebikwato ebirukukira obwingi ebyo Bukama. Ekitebe
kyo Bukama ekyomulinga, n'Engoma Kajiumba eyomulinga, nebera enkoto eyobu-
kama, hamu nenke eyayebemberaga amahe. Binu bikanyagwa Captain Thruston
mu 1894 kandi byatwarwa mu Bulaya. Kandi nebikwato ebindi eby'Obukama
nuho byanyagirwe omu bulemu obu.
Ebimu hal. ebintu binu bikagarurwa mu biro binu.-Ed.
Omukama Cwa Kabalega yairukira Kitaho ayambukire Nile. Kandi hakara-
baho omwanya Omujungu Captain Ternan bali hamu na Apolo Katikiro wa Buga-
nda, ali ngabwa ya Kabaka Mwanga bakamusesera ali Harukungu. Bakarwana
obulemu bukoto muno. Omubulemu obu nubwo bakwasire Nyina Omukama,
Nyamutahingurwa, na omubito Kitehimbwa Yosiya Karukara omubitokati Victoria
Mukabagu, omubulemu obu nuho hanyagirwe amahyo g6na agent zihanga lya
Bunyoro-Kitara, kandi nomwandu ogu gwona gukatwarwa Apolo Buganda. Kandi
omujungu yagaruka Masindi, kuigaliriza Omukama Cwa Kabalega obutagaruka
Kandi nokurugira aho hakabaho amalemu maingi ag'Abajungu okumusesera
narwana nabo. Bwakaba nakyarwana amalemu ago na Kabaka wa Buganda Mwa-
nga akairuka ha Bukamabwe yaija hali Cwa Kabalega, yamusanga omu bicweka
bya Bukidi yamusaba okumukonyera beteranize okurwanisa Abajungu abakaba
ayikirize okwikara omunsiye nagonza okubabingamu, kityo na Omukama Cwa
Kabalega akaikiriza kuikara nawe kuhikya obubabakwasire hakya 9th April, 1899.
Omukama onu Cwa Kabalega nahaisanizibwa muno habwakutaho omuti-
ma okuteraniza obukamabwe, kuba akasingura abemi bona abakaba bemire
Obukama bwa Bunyoro-Kitara. Kityo harubaju rwa bugwaizoba, omutano gwo
Bukamabwe akagurabya omunyanja Rweru (Lake Edward) nokumarayo ensi
Busongora yona, nokuraba omu kibira Ituli hati ekiri mu Congo Beige nokurna-
rayo ebicweka byensi za Bulega kutana na Butukutuku. Kandi ha bumoso (N.P)
omutano akagurabya ha nsaro ya Sudan; na oburuga izoba akarabya omutano
hamutwe gw'enyanja Kyoga, noburaba omunsi ya Busoga na Bunyara, hakisaru
Sezibwa okutana na Buganda. Kandi nokuraba ha mutano gwa Bulemezi nahagati
y'Isaza Singo. Kandi nobukizi bwobulyo okutana na Omugabe wa Ankole
nokuihayo Amasaza Buzimba na Buhweju hati agatwairwe Obukama bwa Ankole.
Akaba asigalire okusoroza ihe likoto muno okuramagira Kabaka wa Buganda,
nikyo kikaba kimutaize orubugarwe Mukaiha Kinogozi, ekihanuro eki akaba
atakabaire kukihikiriza nuho n'Abajungu baizire, kandi hakihanuro eki nuho naba-
timbo baihire ekizina ekibatimburn omuntimbo bati:-
Omukama Cwa Kabalega akatuma hali Mukwenda ati:-
"Genda ogambire Mukama wawe Mwanga, oti: 'Ebiro hasigaire bike obu-
ganda bulizaha, obwalikwata alibwambura Bulega, obulisigaraho
Kandi Omukama onu Cwa Kabalega nuwe Omukama omu owokubanza aya-
tireho ebitebe byabarwani abayetwaga "Abarusura."
Kandi hanu kanyoleke Omukama Cwa Kabalega nkokwakaba agabire amasaza
i. Bugahya. Owisaza Nyakamatura ya Nyakamatura Omumoli,
2. Busindi. ,, Bikamba bya Kabale. Omulanzi,
3. Bugungu. ,, Mwanga ya Kanagwa. Omucwa,
4. Kihukya Cope. ,, Katongole Rukidi. ,
Bukidi (Lango), ,,
Kamuli Budiope, ,,
Arulu (Madi), ,
Teso Kaweri, ,,
Bunya (Congo). ,,
Omukama onu Cwa Kabalega habwokuremakwe okwokuranganwa kukamule-
tera amahanga agahara okumuhura nokumworobera.
Hanyuma Omukama Cwa Kabalega akakwatwa hakya April 9th, 1899, hamu
na Mwanga Kabaka wa Buganda bazahibwa batwarwa Kisimayu bakamarayo
omwanya muke batwarwa ha kizinga Seychelles. Kandi Mwanga Kabaka wa bu-
nda nuho yaferire mu 1903. Omukama Cwa Kabalega nasigarayo ali mwomezi;
kandi mu 1923 nibamwihayo ha kizinga Seychelles nibamureta okuruga omu bu-
zahe. Hanyuma Omukama onu Cwa Kabalega amazire okwihwa omukuzahibwa
hakizinga Seychelles, akaretwa Jinja Busoga hakya February 27th 1923, kandi
yatuza omukikaro eki Jinja hakya April 7th 1923 atakehikire omunsiye Bunyoro-
Kitara, kandi Omugutagwe (Omutumbi) gwaretwa gwatabazibwa Bunyoro omuki-
karo Mparo nanrbere orubugarwe yakizire okuikaramu lwali.
Masura ga Materu.
Mutenga ya Ikwamba.
Kadiebo ka Bantana.
Mutengesa ya Olalo.
Kikukule kya Runego.
Rusebe rwa Rukumba.
Kato ka Ziguja.
Ntamara ya Nyakabwa.
Mugara ya Kabwijamu,
Ruburwa rwa Mirindi,
Bulemu ya Rwigi,
Rukara rwa Rwamagigi,
Nduru ya Nyakaikuru,
Ndagara ya Rumanyweka,
Rukara rwa Itegiraha,
Kagambire ka Kajura,
Ireta lya Byangobe,
Mulindwa ya Ogati,
Awic ya Ocamo,
Atagijweke yali bweremera
Nyaika ya Igabura,
Anziri ya Midiri,
Kamukokoma ka Katenyi.
Rujumba ya Salal,
Photos by courtesy of Slingsby Sailplanes
One of the latest type high-performance Gliders having "flaps" for slow landing, ply covered
wings (not fabric) and weighing, with pilot, 5 cwts.
The Possibilities of Sailplaning and
Gliding in Uganda.
By A.J. BOOTH.
The soaring and gliding of birds has through the ages caused men to marvel.
They have stood aside and wondered, expressing themselves only in asking such
questions as, "Doth the hawk fly by Thy wisdom and stretch her wings towards the
south ?" "Doth the eagle mount up at Thy command ?" It was something, this
silent motion upward, which men could not understand. It was so much beyond
them that the Psalmist sang, "and he rode upon a cherub and did fly upon the
wings of the wind." Again when "running our casting down" in sailing ships how
often have we heard the Master order the reefs to be shaken out of the foresail "to
lift her head out of it"? We have raced along afterwards making better weather of
it with less water coming aboard. We did not know then that this foresail was in
some measure a wing form with high pressure below and less above. Many crude
attempts had been made to fly until the Wright brothers demonstrated the possibi-
lities of the glider at Kittyhawk in the United States of America.
Having attended in Leeds a lecture by Robert Kronfield on the "Mechanics
of Gliding" and knowing nothing of the subject, like the author of "A Rabbit in the
Air," I approached it with an open mind. I was surprised at the possibilities the
sport opened up and the enthusiasm of its followers. It certainly seems to be the
poor man's means of getting into the air and to provide a cheap and safe way of
learning to fly-the controls of a glider being the same as in a powered plane. But,
in a glider, the roar of the engine is absent and, save for the singing of the wind in
the wires which, to the atuned ear of the pilot, spells "flying speed" and "all's well,"
there is no noise. Through the courtesy of the President and Members of the
Yorkshire Gliding Club I was able to inspect their site, machines and hangars and
take a flight in one of their two-seater sailpanes, a Falcon III made by Slingsby,
The Club-house is situated on the top of a long flat hill 800 feet above the
valley below, and exposed to the prevailing wind, SW to NW, which blows across
the plain below and strikes the hillside, passing upwards. This hill is somewhat
different from many gliding sites owing to its cliff-like face-not a gentle, rounded
slope-and although, at first, beginners just fly across the landing ground at the top,
once they leave the ground when doing more advanced flights, they immediately
look down. on the valley below and against the steep face of Sutton Bank astern.
There are not a few stories of beginners' first downward views when, with "wind
up," they have pushed down their "sticks" and gone into steep glides at about 75
m.p.h. with the real wind fairly whistling through the rigging wires. Fortunately
they usually flatten out into a normal gliding angle and land more or less without
hurt in some farmer's field. It is a happy thing that a glider will usually go into
a normal glide after a fall of 25 feet and that it is not usual for the looking down-
wards from a plane to cause the same sensation as the looking downwards from, say,
the top of a high building, as there is the feeling of solidity in the fuselage beneath
one. England with its downs and grassy hills is very suitable for this "Flugs-
port" as the Germans call it, but it is the steepness of Sutton Bank which to my
mind shows the possibility of pursuing it in Uganda. I have in view as a potential
gliding site the hill above the Butiaba plain. This location is easily accessible by
road to base and summit and, if memory proves right, there is space at the top for
launching ground and hangar. The long line of the escarpment would seem to be
likely to facilitate cross-country flight. The situation has to be explored as it is
not yet known what effect this hill formation will have on wind currents and whe-
ther eddies will be formed, and to what extent thermals from the plain may be
expected. It is probable that the altitude of 3,000 feet and the highly heated air
would call for a modified type of sailplane with more wing area and a faster fly-
ing and landing speed, but this remains to be proved. The lift obtained from the
prevailing wind from Lake Albert against the hill face should be considerable.
The approach of a storm would have to be watched carefully for experience tells
us that lake storms come up quickly (1) with very much local disturbance whilst a
suck upwards bya "dust-devil" is a thing to guard against. Experimenters would
be well advised to invest in a parachute at a cost of 40 for first soaring flights in
this district. Flying a kite along the escarpment and watching its behaviour
would be a means of obtaining useful information. I have seen vultures soaring
there and consider it worth a trial. The lower slopes would be suitable for pri-
mary training if a clear space could be found, while the advantages of the hotel
and rest house in close proximity are obvious.
The subject of gliding is far too vast for me but to touch on here, It is in its
infancy, but has been developed to very fine ends in Germany where long cross
country flights have taken place. Mr. P. A. Wills has given his experiences with
sailplanes in South Africa in the February number of the "Sailplane" so it is time
we in Uganda turned our minds to it. Perhaps some Members of the Society
could suggest some likely sites and give experiences which might lead to the
formation of a Club. The possibilities are great and the good fellowship and
1. In this connection I venture to quote from an article by R. E. Parry entitled "Fusi-
form Cumulo-Nimbus Clouds in Uganda" published in Vol. IV No. 3 of the "Journal". He
says in his "Summary":- "The sequence of development of thunderstorms in Uganda is:-
(1) The development by convection of cumulus clouds over the lake margins.
(2) The formation of cumulo-nimbus clouds with thunderstorms which may increase in
violence to form fusiform cumulo-nimbus clouds, giving rise to storms with a simple or
complex system of vortices.
Whatever the development, there is no evidence to show that these peculiar Uganda
storms approach in severity those of the "Tornado" type but it appears to be a fact that the
north and north-west margins of Lake Victoria do form a danger zone for aircraft.............."
ieant spirit which the formation of a gliding club brings with it are not a little to it.
The ground work is hard, and in England mud and bad weather have to be conte-
nded with; but the hard going is worth it and, as Mr. Latimer Needham says in his
book "Soaring and Gliding" "...by the cheer that comes from the top of the hill
you will know you have made your first solo flight." It is that "cheer" from the
others more experienced than yourself which will give you and the movement con-
The method the Yorkshire Gliding Club used on the occasion of my visit was
as follows. A long steel wire attached to a drum revolving on the jacked-up back
wheels of a motor car was employed to launch the plane. The car was operated by
two Club Members, an axe and a pair of shears being kept handy in case of need.
The wire was led from the drum on the back wheel through an alwaysy" roller fair
lead on the front bumper to a hook in the nose of the plane which could be released
by the pilot. Just before the attachment of the wire to the hook was a shock cord
link of four turns of elastic rope. The plane was faced into the eye of the wind and
pilot and passenger were strapped in by crossed webbing straps secured at one end
by a split pin and known as "Sutton harness" after the inventor. One Member held
the wing tip lightly on the weather side (the wind was gusty and veering) and
another Member gave signals by flag as follows:-
One flag in the air "Start car."
One flag waved up and down "Take in the slack".
Both flags waved up and down "Full out."
Both flags held up "Still."
To the requisite signals the winch was started up, and as the wire took
the weight the glider skidded along the field on its ash skid. A moment more and
the pilot (Hastwell) had the machine air-borne and rising like a kite to the accele-
rated hauling in of the winch wire. When some 300 feet from the ground the wire
was slipped by the pilot and the plane continued to gain height owing to the
acceleration of speed given to it by the winch. (2)
Just as the air speed was inclined to drop, however, the stick was put forward,
the plane went into a glide, and the soaring wind from the hill face caused the plane
to mount: turn after turn of banking movement and elongated figures of eight were
made and height quickly gained-in my case the barograph on my knee showed 1,150
feet. The wind speed was about 45 m.p.h. (a very gusty'wind) and our air speed
about4o m.p.h. There was a hard frost at the time and we hovered over our starting
point for some time, the wind being north-westerly. Hastwell then decided to turn
out from the hill and we traversed some miles along the hill face in a northerly
direction. We were up for some 25 minutes and then as we were losing height
he returned and made a perfect landing at the starting point. The stalling speed
of this machine is around 33 m.p.h. and on the day in question out of some 12 flights
there were two mishaps to Members in single seaters on landing, one landing upsi-
de down and another across the wind doing damage to the under skid. In no case
2. Some pilots put the machine into a glide before releasing but this was not done on
Was anyone injured. Although mishaps do occur, owing to the low landing speed
(about 25 m.p.h. in still air) and the excellence of tried machines, which are as perfect
as it is humanly possible to make them, very few flying Members sustain hurt.
A blue print of the Dunstable Kestrel (improved Wren) can be obtained for
.5- 5..0, which brings us to the question of new Clubs purchasing, or working from,
approved models. The prices of gliders are:-
Primary 52. 0io 0. or 29. (Knocked down) ex works
The "Kirby Kadet" A 85.
The "Falcon" Z130.
(All with Certificate of Airworthiness).
These are all tried models and can be obtained from Slingsby Sailplanes, Kirby-
moorside, Yorkshire. The British Gliding Association is the alma mater of the
local Clubs with its publication "The Sailplane and Glider" published monthly at one
shilling from 13, Victoria Street, S.W. i. The usual fees for Flying Members are
i. entrance fee, and a yearly subscription of 3. 3. o. During the Summer
months The Yorkshire Gliding Club holds a Summer Camp where one is fed and
housed and taught to fly for C12. The course occupies a fortnight. The London
Gliding Club offers fourteen day periods of instruction at Dunstable from April
onwards. In the primary instruction it is usual to skid the pupil along the ground
for a few trials and then when he has mastered the controls to allow him to rise
three or four feet in the air. Then, if he leaves his controls alone, he will land
normally. The Primary is constructed so that it is not capable of soaring flight as
its angle of glide is i in 14 with a loss of height of about 3 feet per second. A "Y"
of elastic shock cord is often employed instead of the winch method of launching,
the tail of the "Y" being towards the plane and the arms each held by three men.
Whilst two Members hold back the glider the Members on the elastic cord move
away from the plane, all taking their orders "Walk", "Run", "Release", from the
Instructor. When the Instructor orders "Release" the primary is catapulted into
the air and the launching gear falls clear of the hook by itself. The pupil is launch-
ed gently at first but more forcibly as he gains confidence. The cost of elastic
launching gear is 5.Io.o. Gliding Certificates of the "Federation Aeronautique
International" are issued by the Royal Aero Club at a cost of Shs. 5. upon ap-
plication on the prescribed form. To obtain Certificate "A" the Candidate must
carry out a flight for a duration of 30 seconds followed by a normal landing and
must have made at least 12 glides before attempting to qualify for Certificate "A".
For Certificate "B" the Candidate must carry out a flight for a duration of one
minute with two curves in the form of an "S". The landing at the end of the
flight must be normal. Before attempting Test "B." he must have carried out two
flights each of a duration of at least 45 seconds. For Certificate "C" the Can-
didate must carry out a flight of not less than 5 minutes at a height greater than
that of the point of departure. In each Test he must be alone in the Glider. Tests
for Certificates "A" "B" and "C" must be carried out separately and consecutively.
These Rules do not apply to
(i) Candidates holding Air Ministry Licence "A" or "B'.
(2) Officers and Non-Commissioned Officers in the Royal Air Force who
are qualified pilots.
In the old days, on turning over the watch, a colleague always used to say to
me: "It is all in the book". So far this has been the case with my article, although
the flight I made must ever remain to me a page to be talked over. I cannot
display the slogan: "All my own work", nor do I wish to do so, for it is a move-
ment, this gliding; and because it is a movement I should like to "take you over"
to hear a few remarks which Mr. Kronfield made in his lecture which the Society
of Mechanical Engineers sponsored. They, too, will I feel sure not mind my
repeating what I heard as their guest.
Mr. Robert Kronfield was largely responsible for bringing the gliding move-
ment to this country (England) making flights from Beamsley Beacon in 193o.
He commenced learning to fly in 1927. By a series of lantern slides he took us
right through the history of the-movement, namely, from instruction on primary
gliders to the long soaring flights of high performance machines with a gliding
angle of i in 30, and then into the realm of gliders fitted with 2 h. p. motor cycle
engines and light utility planes-2 h.p. being sufficient to keep a glider in horizon-
tal flight. He impressed upon us that speed means money and that a low speed
general utility machine is the goal to be striven for. An athlete can for a few
minutes develop nearly 2 h.p. but this is not sufficient to launch a glider by means
of its propeller. He took us by the hand in the primary stages and told us that it
was not necessary to have a high hill from which to glide, for in Germany much
spade work had been done from sand dunes 150 feet high. The pupil took off,
performed his turns, and landed on the sands. He sat in an open cockpit and only
at times imitated the performance of the ostrich. Sand is very kindly. Under
his guidance we, in imagination, stepped into soaring sailplanes and travelled
with him 240 miles along the ridge of the Rh6n mountains. But I am going too
fast. Up to 1928, Mr. Kronfield told us, soaring pilots had always looked below
for their up currents, that is, for the upward sweep of a hill side with its cor-
responding downward direction on the opposite face. They obtained upward
currents from heat given off by limestone formations, from hot air over large cities
and from fields of growing corn and from woods in the late afternoon before the
sinking of the sun. Down currents were found over water and over woods in the
morning. By using this knowledge they would soarand take advantage of a lift and
fly from hill to hill. Then it was discovered that there was an upward current under
cumulus clouds, and adventurers soared to find themselves flying blind within the
clouds. They gained height and found upward currents on top of the clouds and so
in this manner were able to attach themselves to a cloud and go at will over large
tracts of country. As he said "To find oneself on a beautiful day (and flying is for
beautiful days although flying passengers sometimes find it bumpy), above those
wisps of white, sailing in a noisless machine, is a never-to-be-forgotten experience".
Then he spoke to us of records; and of the great joy of finding a pupil had beaten
his own; of a take-off just before a great thunderstorm and the tremendous upward
power of the storm. The question of towed flight behind an aeroplane was
mentioned and how.easy it was--the glider, being light, leaves the ground before
the aeroplane. Mr. Kronfield spoke of a towed flight across the Alps; of a high
from Hendon to Chatham (gliding after an initial tow by an aeroplane), and of
winning the "Daily Mail" prize of 1,ooo for a glide across the Channel and back.
He said the gliding pilot was able to furnish the Meteorological Society with data
before unobtainable, doing in this field invaluable work, and that not a few power
plane crashes might have been due to downward currents unsuspected by their
pilots. Also he had shown that by taking advantage of up currents a power plane
could obtain heights far above her ceiling. Sailplane design helped considerably
with present day powered plane design and there was need for a glider to be built
for scientific observation fitted with recording instruments for night and blind
flying. So, "Wells-wise," we went into the future with 12 seater sailplanes towed
like the tail of a kite behind high powered planes. Question time came and Pro-
fessor Steel of the University of Leeds rose to thank Mr. Kronfield. He said he
had proved himself a master of his craft and master of the English language
and of our sense of humour. This last we must take into our gliding for it is always
the Club President's car which is first made into a launching winch.
There is a small work published at one shilling by The Monk Press, Ltd.,
Aston, Birmingham, entitled "The Silent Wing" by Charles Epsin Its author
states "the foregoing notes are for the information of those who have no previous
knowledge of soaring flight. They are a simple and non-technical description of
the principles involved in this new sport and experiences pertaining thereto. This
is not, and does not claim to be a text book owgliding". It is in Charles Epsin's
wake, therefore, that I follow with, I hope, my eye on the speed indicator while he
takes the salutes.
First we will take the Primary which you have either purchased or made. It
is a simple machine and some fine windless morning, on a grassy sloping hillside,
you and your friends bring it out of the hangar banda and place it head to wind.
You can it you like tether the underskid to a stake or, better still, arrange for the
glider to be mounted on a pivot free to revolve all round. You sit in the pilot's seat
and notice that all round you is clear. There is no nacelle or fuselage and you are
strapped to the upright of the machine by a webbing belt. The struts are parcelled
with calico to prevent splintering in the event of a crash and as often as not a sorbo
sponge is above your head and an old inner tube pad at your back. You stretch
out your feet and find them on the rudder bar. It you want to go right you press
with the right foot and if left with the left toot. Directly in front of you is a bar of
tubular steel fitted to another bar free to revolve by jaws. The forward and back-
ward motion of this actuates, by means of wire connections, the elevators at the tail
of the machine. Similarly on a cross axis of the lower bar, wires are connected to the
ailerons at the wing tips. The rudder bar is used in conjunction with the sideways.
movement of the"Joy-stick",that is, right rudder-right stick, left rudder-left stick.
This set of movements allows the machine to turn without upsetting its stability. In
other words if you wish to make a right hand turn you press with your right foot and
bring the stick over to the right; up will go your left wing and down will go yourright,
and you will get a bank with your turn, which is a good thing. Similarly to keep
balance, if your right wing is down and you want to raise it you give opposite stick.
After you have become thoroughly used to your controls you may then allow an
Vlastic or auto tow to skid you gently along the ground: gaining confidence you may
leave the ground for a few feet. Your joy-stick is put into normal flying position
by the Instructor and you are told to hold it there and on no account to pull it back
as otherwise a stall will follow, for it is only by travelling through the air at 25 miles
an hour or more that a glider can maintain its flight. When the word "Release!"
has been given you will find all bumpiness cease and you will experience a first
flight. Put your stick just a fraction forward, say half an inch, and you will see
the ground coming up to meet you. Just before you touch ease the stick back a
shade and you will have made a graceful landing. Practically speaking the stick
should never be back in gliding except:-
(i) In taking off from auto or winch tow and then put forward before re-
(2) To check excessive glide.
(3) On landing or to clear obstacles.
Gliding is toboganning on the air and even soaring light should be considered as
this the stratum is moving upward and bearing you upwards although you are
gliding down through it. Although we are considering simple straight hops for
the moment, it is convenient to mention here the "side-slip." When it is desired
to lose height without increasing head speed the machine is put into a bank and
"top rudder" is applied, that is the rudder is moved to the side opposite to the side to
which it would be moved if the machine were being turned towards the bank. In fly-
ing the Primary it is good for school purposes to have an adjusting weight which can
be placed aft if the pilot is on the heavy side and forward if a flyweight. This
keeps an even balance and prevents the unexpected. The primary glider is sim-
ple in its wing form having no dihedral. Each side is often made in one piece and
the ailerons cut out afterwards and stiffened up at the hinge pieces. The leading
edge is a long spar covered with one sixteenth-of-an-inch plywood. This last is
curved over while wet and gives an even wind flow across the wing. The covering
is glider fabric linen which is lighter than aeroplane fabric. After being sewed
on, it is doped until the whole stretches and becomes tight and air proof. In the
sailplane strips of celluloid are placed across the gap between ailerons and wing to
ensure an even wind flow. Repairs to the fabric are carried out easily by sewing on
patches with knotted thread and covering well with dope. The rudder and elevator
are supported by tubular steel struts and the landing and flying wires are usually
made of piano wire. The wings are supported by wires from a plywood pylon. The
wing sections are made of plywood and in a primary glider are all the same. They
are made around a jig and glued together under pressure. If the jig is made deep
enough several wing sections can be made at once. Cold waterglue is usually em-
ployed and this should be made fresh at each time of using. In the Primary the
steel. brads used in construction are usually left in but in the better performance
types they are taken out. The following caution is taken from Messrs. Slingsby's des-
cription and instructions for assembling their Primary, to be exercised when it is
"offered up" for checking. "Remove one trestle holding the wing, and adjust front
turn-buckles, sighting along the leading edge to straighten. The wings must now
be checked for "wash in" and "wash out". The former is the term used when a wing
is rigged in such a way that the incidence (angle of attack) is greater at the tips than
it is at the root. The latter when the reverse is the case. As "wash in" allows
the aileron to stall before the rest of the wing it should be avoided at all costs. A
machine rigged with "wash out" on the wings gives better aileron action with an
increase of speed. The wings being correct (a little "wash out" for preference) the
bottom cables or flying cables are now taken to length ends, spliced or bound by cop-
per wire, and soldered." After a crash, careful examination should be made so that
no hidden defects may be overlooked. Sometimes it may be necessary to scarf a
broken spar and then a long join should be made. The repairs to a soaring sail-
plane are best in the hands of a skilled aircraftsman and carpenter. The repairs
in the everyday working of a primary can usually be carried out by Members in
the Club workshop. Only materials which come up to aircraft standard should be
used, and all nuts should be secured by split pin with head of bolt uppermost. The
wires should all bear equal strain before a flight takes place and rudder, elevator
and aileron controls should be free from back-lash, and the fabric drum-tight.
I have said enough. I have tried to explain the movement and its possibilities.
I cannot pilot you in a glider: 1 cannot pilot myself; but the hills, the woodshed,
the glue and the three-ply are handy, and the cook's toto is longing to call you
Bwana Ngege Number three !
"Gliding and Soaring," Kronfield.
"Gliding and Soaring Flight," J. Bernard Weiss.
"A. B. C. of Gliding and Sailplaning," Page.
"Soaring and Gliding," Latimer Needham.
"The Silent Wing," Charles Epsin.
"Fusiform Cumulo-Nimbus Clouds in Uganda," R. E. Parry,
"Uganda Journal" Vol. IV No. 3.
"Catalogue," Slingsby, Ltd.,
Membership Form, Yorkshire Gliding Club.
I desire also to acknowledge the great help I have received from Messrs. Sharp,
Hastwell and Smith, all of the Yorkshire Gliding Club, and from Slingsby Sail-
planes. I desire, likewise, to acknowledge the powered flights given to me by Cap-
tain Worrall, D. S. C., of the Leeds-Bradford Aerodrome. Particulars of the York-
shire Gliding Club with a form of Application for Membership may be inspected
on application to the Honorary Editor of the Uganda Journal.
UGANDA SNAKES (N)
JohnBale Sons & Curnow Lo-dor
lEapops modestus (adult).
2. Elapops modestus (juvenile).
3. E/apsoidea gintheri/.
4. Booga blandingii (brown form).
Presented by Mr George Vanderbilt (junior).
la. Lateral Section.
2a. Lateral Section.
3a. Lateral Section.
4a. Lateral Section.
lb. Ventral Section.
2b. Ventral Section.
3b. Ventral Section.
4b. Ventral Section.
A Guide to the Snakes of Uganda.
By C. R. S. PITMAN.
Another example from the neighboring Bagungu region, but at 2,1oo feet, is
almost identical in coloration :-"General colour above, brown to light brown
to clay-brown, with interstitial black : light yellowish transverse barring across the
back when skin is stretched. Chin and throat creamy : just below throat a broad
black band i J inches wide, then yellowish, then two narrow black bands narrowly
separated. Belly generally silver grey, with satiny lustre, and pale yellowish
mottlings. Eye, golden brown."
The following comprehensive description of a juvenile female one-third grown
killed at Kiriandongo in Bunyoro on 5th June is taken from the writer's field
notes:-"Length 44.3 (tail 6.3) mm. Scales in 20 rows: ventrals 218: subcaudals
(paired) 56. Head above--tip of snout to 2| inches total back along body-blackish
brown. In front of eye (ocular and adjacent labial) brown buff. One inch behind
head the dark coloration relieved by a pale brown chevron pointing forward some-
what suggestive of a "spectacle" mark, joining the pale coloration flanking the
body. Behind A a small brown patch on doisum a couple of scales in width and
about five scales long intersected by the dark coloration for a few scales, and then
re-appearing and gradually broadening to a width of 12 scales. Eye, dark brown.
Body above-generally dull brown, with a lot of interstitial black frequently exten-
ding to the scale edge, which at a distance gives a finely barred effect, or a rather
mottled appearance if scrutinised closely. Tail-above brown: below yellowish.
Head below-dull, dirty ivory; first two ventrals black. il inches (below) from
tip of snout a broad black (throat) band one inch in depth. Alternating zones below
of dull yellowish ivory iI inches or more in length either immaculate or barred
blackish brokenly: these extend as far as the vent, some of the markings pres-
enting an almost smudged appearance."
Mr. J. D. Kennedy in a letter to the Nigerian Field (No. 3, April, 1932, p. 26)
mentions:- "The Spitting Cobra, another beautifully coloured snake which meas-
ures up to about 8 feet long, is of a brilliant metallic blue or green with a salmon
pink colour under the throat". The green, unless a yellow-green, sounds rather
an unusual tint for a cobra.
There is no permanent colour characteristic by which the "spitting" cobra can
be satisfactorily distinguished. As this is a species of considerable importance its
numerous colour variations have been emphasised in comprehensive detail.
Habits-Unlike N. melanoleuca this is a savanna species, though in common
with it usually closely associated with water. Apart from the fact of being one of
the species deadly to mankind, it is notorious primarily on account of its ability
to "spit" its venom accurately, and with deliberate intent. This remarkable
manifestation has been described in detail on pp. 67-68, The Uganda Journal, Vol.
III, No. i., July, 1935 (pp. 21-22 of the completed volume) and repetition is
unnecessary. "Spitting" is evidently not confined to N. nigricollis, but is resorted
to fairly frequently (in the Sudan) by N. haje, and, it is claimed, on occasion by N.
melanoleuca: however, "spitting" with N. nigricollis is the rule which is not the case
with the other two. It might be thought curious that "spitting" cobras should ever
form the stock-in-trade of snake charmers, i.e. Naja haje in Egypt and N. nigricollis
(according to Aylmer) in West Africa, but the fang extraction to which the snakes
are subjected would seriously interfere with their "spitting" propensities.
It is interesting to record that natives of the 'snake sect' in Tanganyika do not
class the "spitting" cobra with the very poisonous species, and Ditmars has drawn
attention to the lower toxicity of its venom. On the other hand it is curious that
these 'snake-men' should be most emphatic that when "spitting" the jets of venom
come from the nostrils!
According to a European investigator who gained to a certain extent the con-
fidence of the 'snake-men' and so was able to experiment with live examples of N.
nigricollis:-"The first sign that the 'suila' is about to 'spit' is that it closes the lips
tight and lowers the floor of the mouth causing it to puff out as with air and
inflates the lungs. This is followed by a raising of the corners of the lips and alw
nasi, and a rapid contraction of the chest muscles and floor of the mouth. The jets
are expelled through the nostrils."
In support of this final, remarkable statement, as well as of the native de-
scription that the mechanism of "spitting" is much the same as that of a "sneeze", the
investigator records "being unable in several dissections to discover an ejaculatoryy'
mechanism in the musculature of the jaws or a duct, other than those leading to
the poison fangs which cannot be directed forwards." This investigator, however,
is entirely wrong in his statement that the poison fangs "cannot be directed for-
wards", and his theory is still further untenable on his own admission as to the
absence of ejaculatoryy' mechanism "other than those leading to the poison fangs."
If this is the case then where are the ducts leading to the nostrils and where are
the poison glands from which they are supplied ?
At very close quarters N. nigricollis naturally prefers to strike rather than
"spit", but behaviour induced in the course of experiments cannot be regarded as
normal, and in the wild state this species rarely bites. Moreover, according to
Ditmars (p.170):- "The poison of this snake-possibly through the provision of
rapid secretion within the glands-does not seem to be so toxic when injected into
tissue as others of its genus." Loveridge (1928) records that when collecting an
exceptionally large example for the Smithsonian-Chrysler Expedition to Tanga-
nyika:- "It spat between a dozen and twenty times, and its venom was in no way
exhausted right to the end."
in amplifcation of what has previously been recorded on the subject of reme&
dies, a correspondent who makes a careful study of the snakes he keeps in captivity,
writes:- "Milk is a good, easily got-at-able wash for Europeans, then bandage and
keep the patient in darkness. Time of recovery is generally three days but even
after that sun glasses would have to be worn as the eyes are still weak. For a dog
cut a banana tree down and use the white sap. I have not seen this last remedy
used on a European. Poison on the face should be sponged off with a weak
solution of permanganate and there seems to be no ill effect if no cut or wound has
been sprayed. It should be done as soon as possible of course. It is amazing how
accurate the aim is and when taking the spitting cobras we always wear sun glass-
es and gauntlets. Often after sending out the spray the snake clears off showing
that in many cases it is used for intimidating, but in some cases an attack follows
the spray and the snake fastens with determination. We had this occur once when
The 'snake-men' of Tanganyika treat N. nigricollis with but scant respect, and,
according to Loveridge (1928):- "They believe that it spits in your eyes to blind
you, then bites your feet"!
Corkill (1935, P. 25) has a comprehensive note on its habits:- "The species
appears to frequent mainly riverain cultivation and the roots of trees and seems to
be very definitely a rarity far from water. They are largely nocturnal in habit and
prey on mammals, birds, lizards, snakes and birds' eggs. They produce expanded
hoods when excited, but not to the pronounced degree shown by haje. They prefer
to spit rather than bite and do so in the same manner as haje, the spitting being
preceded for a few moments by a chewing action."
From the stomachs of specimens examined in Kenya and Uganda the writer
has obtained various rodents (mainly Mastomys sp. and Arvicanthis sp.), domestic
chicks and the common toad (Bufo regularss. Loveridge (1933) referring to a
Tanganyika series of seven, mentions:- "Only one specimen....held food, this
was a frog (Rana adspersa)": according to the same author (The Snakes of Tanga-
nyika Territory):- "Its dietary leads it to frequent the haunts of man where it is
often found in sheds, fowl-houses, rubbish heaps, and tents. In the buslf they prefer
to take up their abode in termite heaps upon which they like to lie and bask in the
morning sunshine," and various references are made to its raids on tame pigeons
and their eggs and chickens, as well as to its partiality for toads (Bufo regularss,
and to its cannibalistic tendencies, e.g.:- "A spitting cobra, 501 inches in length,
swallowing a Psammophis sibilans of 46 inches, when killed had already swallow-
ed 28 inches of its victim!" Loveridge (1928) again has some most informative notes
to the effect that a captive example of N. nigricollis ate four toads in a week;
another, three toads in a day; another, a half-grown snake, consumed five adult
toads in a few hours, and six days after this meal it had resumed its normal pro-
portions; and :- "During the process of swallowing a very large toad, its deglutition
was one of the most difficult I have ever seen; the head lost all shape, resembl-
ing a circular band of skin in which shone two beady eyes, the quadrate bones
stuck up against the distended skin like horns about to bud; the toad no sooner
passed into the throat, however, than the head regained its normal appearance with
much yawning on the part of the cobra."
tts omnivotous diet accounts to a certain extent for N. nigricollis being so wide-
spread; also, it seems to be less affected by climatics than most snakes. In the
Trans-Nzoia and Uasin Gishu districts of Kenya Colony, at an altitude of 6,000
feet and over, N. nigricollis in a black form is abundant in the short-grass savanna,
frequenting the termite heaps, on which it basks when the conditions are favourable,
and the vicinity of river cover. The head of a "spitting" cobra, inflated ready for
action, suddenly raised above the grass through which one is walking, is a truly
startling phenomenon; luckily this cobra does not always 'shoot at sight.'
Venom-Though in the main a neurotoxin it is possible that the venom of N.
nigricollis possesses certain heemotoxic properties to enable it to deal expeditiously
with the small rodents and birds on which it feeds so freely. Recent scientific in-
vestigations in South Africa indicate that in potency the venoms of N. haje and
N. nigricollis are much the same, but in its effect on a rat the poison of the latter
is more potent. In appearance N. nigricollis venom is very similar to that of the
ringhals (Sepedon hacmachates), though in action it is somewhat more potent.
Note-The handsome skins of this species, under the trade name of "Black
Mamba", are collected for the fancy leather industry.
NAJA GOLDII Boulenger.
Gold's Cobra, Black Cobra or Black Forest Cobra.
(Plate XVII, Fig. 2: Coloured Plate (W), Fig. 1).
Native names-"Nchuweira", "Nsuweira" or "Nsuweila" in Luganda.
Distributio--This is a West African species which ranges from the Gold Coast
through Togo and the lower Niger region to the Cameroons, Gaboon and the Bel-
gian Congo, as far south as Leopoldville, and which also appears to be widely dis-
tributed in the eastern portion of the Rain Forest specimens having been collected
on the upper Ubanghi river in the north, in the Ituri Forest, near Buta, and at Medje,
and at Luebo in the south. In addition there is an isolated record from Uganda.
Occurrence in Uganda-A small example was obtained by the writer in Sep-
tember, 1933, in the Mabira Forest. It constitutes the only Uganda record, but this
species no doubt will eventually be found in other of the Uganda forests which re-
tain the western association.
Description-According to Ditmars in Snakes of the World (pp. 17 -1 7 z):- "It
is a large reptile, blackish above and greenish yellow beneath........nearly hood-
less." Although superficially resembling Naja melanoleuca in both the adult and
juvenile coloration this species is readily distinguishable by its particularly large
On Page 96 the plate reference to NAJA GOLDIL Boulenger
should be "Plate XVII, Fig. 4", instead of Fig. 2 as printed.
UGANDA SNAKES (0)
1. Naja haje.
2. Naja melanoleuca.
3. Naja nigrico/lis nigrico///s.
Presented by Members of the Uganda Society.
la. Lateral Section..
2a. Lateral Section.
3a. Lateral Section.
Ib. Ventral Section.
2b. Ventral Section.
3b. Ventral Section.
houlenger mentions a total length of 1750 mm. Schmidt(i923,p. i3o)refert
to two juveniles less than half-grown collected by the American Museum Expedi-
tion to the Congo which measure respectively 608 (tail 139) mm., a female, and 645
(tail 146) mm., a male: in both of these the tail represents 0.23 of the total.
De Witte (November, 1933), unfortunately, gives neither measurements nor
data in respect of six specimens collected by Schouteden in the Belgian Congo.
The juvenile obtained by the writer in the Mabira Forest measured 23 (tail 5.)
inches, the tail being contained in the total about four-and-a-quarter times.
Scale rows 15, on the neck as well as on the body: ventrals 194-197: sub-
Scale counts of three juveniles are as follow:-
Locality. Sex. Scale-rows. Ventrals. Subcaudals.
Mabira Forest juvenile male 15 194 83
(Eastern Congo) juvenile female 15 197 92
Ituri Forest juvenile male 15 197 83
Loveridge (1936) refers to a large example (from Irumu in the Belgian Congo)
in the Field Museum of Natural History at Chicago:- "Midbody scale-rows 15;
ventrals 192; anal entire; subcaudals ?; labials 7, third and fourth entering the orbit.
Head and body measure 2,130 mm., tail mutilated".
Apart from certain distinctions in coloration which are quite conspicuous
N. goldii is at once distinguishable from the other Uganda cobras by the very large
eye which in the adult is two-thirds the length of the snout. Also, the rostral is
broader than deep and the snout is somewhat square-looking and massive, this bull-
dog appearance being especially noticeable in the juvenile stage. Another striking
difference which distinguishes this species from all others of the genus is the
much greater tail length, .23 of the total in N. goldii, compared with .15 in N. nigri-
collis and .17 in N. melanoleuca.
Ditmars (931, p. 72) remarks:- "Whether or not these 'hoodless'cobras will
long remain in the genus Naia depends upon future deductions of technical workers.
In bodily outline and size they otherwise resemble their allies".
Boulenger describes the coloration :- "Black above, uniform or with trans-
verse series of small whitish spots; sides of head and end of snout white, with most
of the sutures between the shields black; ventrals white, with a black edge, which
becomes gradually broader until, on the posterior fourth of the body, the shields
are entirely black; subcaudals black."
In the Mabira juvenile the coloration above generally is black with a somewhat
glossy appearance and some of the scales are pitted: below satiny especially the
subcaudals, the head and first four ventrals ivory white, the next two edged dusky,
then five (a) ivory white followed by five broadly edged blackish, the next five (b)
creamy (the fifth blackish edged laterally), subsequently the ventrals all blackish-
edged the edging becoming steadily broader until finally the terminal 78 ventrals
hnd all the subcaudals are silvery (satiny) black. Corresponding with the white
ventral groups (a) and (b) a triangular (apex on dorsal line) white patch invades
either flank, speckled heavily with blackish dorsally: traces of the beginnings of a
third patch are visible five ventrals behind the second patch. Fourth, fifth, sixth
and seventh lower labials posteriorly edged blackish: all upper labials ivory con-
spicuously edged posteriorlyy) blackish. Sides of head ivory, becoming brownish
anteriorly, top of head black toning to brownish at snout. Below it is markedly
different from N. melanoleuca.
No adult having been available for personal examination it is impossible to
place on record further details of the coloration which, however, has been describ-
ed as "very characteristic".
Habits-Ditmars (1931, p. 171) mentions that N. goldii is "largely arboreal",
while its normal habitat-the Rain Forest-coupled with the glossy appearance of
its scales suggests that it is probably partially aquatic. In the literature available to
the writer for reference, there are no data concerning diet and breeding. Accord-
ing to Ditmars (1931, p. 192):- "These appear to be astonishingly quick and
highly dangerous cobras, inclined to bite from a short rush, rather than a strike".
Venom-In toxic properties the poison of N. goldii is unlikely to differ mate-
rially from that of other members of the genus.
Note-Naja goldii is not included in the Systematic List on page 39 as the
Mabira Forest specimen was not correctly identified until after its compilation.
Genus t DENDROASPIS Schlegel.
This is a Tropical and South African genus, containing but few species of
which two occur in Uganda, of very deadly snakes of great length and extreme
slenderness. They are all very arboreal in habits and, according to species, have
a wide range, being found throughout the Rain Forest and the dry woodland and
bush country usually at altitudes between sea level and 5,ooo feet. In greater
detail the distribution of the genus embraces Tropical Africa outside the limits of
the Sahara from Gambia and Sierra Leone to Abyssinia and Somaliland, though so
far there are no records from the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, southerly throughout the
Continent to the Transvaal and Natal.
The jaw formation in these snakes is typical and being resembled by that of
no others, constitutes an excellent distinguishing character. Apart from the pro-
nounced upward curve of the maxillary bone, which is also typical, there are set
extraordinarily far forward, more so than in any other known species, a pair of
large poison fangs which are not followed by other teeth: there is also present a
See Uganda Journal, Vol. III, No. 2, p. 136.
t See Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London, 1937, p. 37(by Major S.S. Flower) for
reasons for the suppression of Dendraspis and the substitution therefore of Dendroaspis.
large, fang-like, mandibular tooth followed by a considerable toothless space. The
head, moderately distinct from the neck, is narrow and elongate, and this in com-
bination with the somewhat large eye, gives these snakes generally a benign
appearance: the pupil is round: the body slightly compressed: the very oblique
and narrow scales, smooth and without pits, in 13 to 23 rows: the ventrals rounded:
the tail long: and the subcaudals in a rows.
The snakes of this genus, popularly styled "mambas," are the most well-known
and the most dreaded of all African snakes on account of their particularly deadly
venom, their aggressiveness and their amazing quickness, in consequence of which
their bites are reported under dramatic circumstances, thereby earning for them a
most sinister reputation.
In Eastern Africa, luckily, the species of mambas which occur do not seem to
be quite so aggressive as their relatives in the south, or at least they have not yet
acquired so unsavoury a reputation; and without in any way wishing to belittle
the diabolical nature of certain mambas-authenticated by many ghastly tragedies
-the writer is inclined to agree with Ditmars ( 93 pp. 7 2-173), who suggests:- "If
statistics for large areas could be clearly presented-a difficult matter in Africa-
the mambas would probably be found responsible for no greater amount of accidents
than the cobras, yet they range over practically the same broad area, except the
extreme northerly portion. Actual pursuit of humans and attacks are indicated to
be largely limited to the breeding grounds, during the specific mating season, which
also applies to the king cobra. During the balance of the year the average mamba,
unless cornered, cautiously glides from man's presence".
Mambas grow to an astonishing length, examples of up to 14 feet being known,
and amongst deadly species are second only in size to the dreaded king cobra of
Asia, though on account of the former's slender, almost whip-like proportions the
largest specimen would be only half as thick as the latter. The terrible fangs are
set so far forward as to be literally right under the nose, so that in order to strike
the snake need scarcely open its mouth. The attributes of the venom will be dis-
cussed in due course in the detailed note dealing with the common or black mamba.
According to Ditmars (p. 174):- "Supposition points to the Mambas being cobras
which have become arboreal and thus acquired slenderness of form for quick travel
among the branches. The anterior ribs are slightly elongated and can expand or
flatten the neck to a slight extent. I have noted this when they are intently watching
something and are nervously alert yet stirred to anger. In striking they can so
laterally double back the neck and anterior body that a lunge carries the head close
to forty per cent. the length of the body. They are more commonly observed in
bushes or rather low trees where they watch for birds, but often come to the ground
in search of small rodents. In such locations the gliding rush of large specimens is
startling and bewildering. Under such conditions interference may be dangerous.
Certain spots are favourite lurking places or breeding grounds and during the mating
*This lunge is of such proportions that at times it appears to be almost a jump, and it
is from this leaping motion that the mamba obtains its Luganda name (Bukizi) derived from
"buka", tojump. C. R. S. P.
season they are bold and inclined to attack. At other times they appear anxious
to evade humans by dashing away. Mambas have an unpleasant habit ofentering
houses in the outlying areas in search of rats and occasional accidents from such
occurrences are reported." Mambas are oviparous, laying eggs.
DENDROASPIS JAMESONI KAIMOS/E *Loveridge.
East African Jameson's Mamba, Jameson's Mamba or Green Mamba.
(Plate XIV, Fig. I :Coloured Plate (P), Fig. 2).
Native names-In Luganda called "Bukizi". According to Driberg the black
mamba and green mamba occur in Lango, but on what evidence this claim is made
is not stated: Lango names for Dendroaspis, "Obiya", and "Omeja", and for mamba,
"Mam'a", are recorded by him, though these names may refer to snakes other than
mambas. It is sometimes confused with Boiga blandingii and called "Temankima".
In the forests of Buganda juveniles up to 3 feet in length are apt to be confus-
ed with the harmless green snakes of the genera Chlorophis and Philothamnus, and
in consequence are referred to as "Nawandagala."
Distribution-Loveridge (1936) separated the species jamesoni into two races
or subspecies a western and an eastern form, allocating the typical to the western
and describing as new, under the racial name kaimoste, the eastern. The type local-
ity of this new race (thirteen specimens being examined from the type locality) is
Kaimosi Forest, Kakamega, in Kenya Colony, at the foot of Mt. Elgon not far
distant from the Uganda border. The range of kaimosce would appear to be res-
tricted to the western portion of Kenya Colony in Kavirondo and the Kakamega
Forest (it is believed to occur rarely in the riverain cover of the Nzoia river in the
E. Cherangani area, which would constitute the most easterly record), and Uganda:
specimens from the extreme eastern Belgian Congo (Rutshuru region, etc.) either
agree with kaimose or are intermediate between the West African and East
Occurrence in Uganda-A common species in the Rain Forest regions of Uganda
still persisting in localities from which typical forest conditions have long since dis-
appeared. Particularly plentiful throughout the Victoria Nyanza lake-shore region
from the Kenya border to the Kagera river, though curiously enough there are so
far few records from the Sese Islands and larger northern islands of the Victoria
Nyanza, on many of which it is almost certain to occur. At Entebbe prior to 1925,
when progressive clearing of the peninsula was commenced, mambas were abund-
ant throughout the station, being particularly numerous in the Botanical Gardens.
Nowadays, even in the Botanical Gardens parts of which still constitute a nature
sanctuary, mambas are pleasingly scarce.
Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, Vol. 49, pp. 64-65, May, 1936; "New
Tree Snakes of the Genera Thrasops and Dendraspis," Arthur Loveridge.
UGANDA SNAKES (P)
JohnBale Sons & Curnow, I Lidon
I. Boulenger/na annu/ata storms/.
2. Dendraspis jameson/" kaimosae.
3. Dendraspis angusticeps.
la. Lateral Section.
2a. Lateral Section.
3a. Lateral Section.
Ib. Ventral Section.
2b.. Ventral Section.
3b. Ventral Section.
Presented by the Uganda Government
Included in the recorded localities are:- Serere (Teso), Iganga, Mjanji, Jinja,
Mabira Forest, Kyagwe forests, Kampala, Entebbe, Bussi Island, Kome Island,
Kisubi, Masaka, Sango Bay forests, Kibale Forest (Toro) and the Budongo Forest
(Bunyoro). The species is probably widespread in suitable localities in the southern
districts of the Eastern Province, in Buganda, Bunyoro and the Western Province.
Description-This is an unusually slender, attenuated snake which attains to a
considerable length, 8 feet at least, and which may on occasion reach a1 feet
or even longer. The evidence in support of these extraordinary dimensions con-
sists of 'sight' records only, from personal observations, but is well worth mentioning.
Although I have seen a large example travel with remarkable speed, Jameson's
mamba normally does not cross highways at the terrific pace with which one is apt
to associate the common mamba's method of progression so that when travelling by
car one often has splendid opportunities of judging the length of snakes from the
width of the road they are traversing.
Suspected mambas shot under such circumstances have on examination pro-
ved to be referable to Dendroaspisjamesoni and so it has been assumed that snakes
of six feet and upwards of similar appearance frequently seen are equally refer-
able to this species. Once, when motoring through forest in the Masaka district
(the haunt also of exceptionally large cobras), a suspected mamba crossed the road
ahead of the car and its head had entered the grassy cover one side of the road
before the tail had left the other. The width of the road was at least to feet, and
the length of the snake was reckoned to be not less than 12 feet, possibly as much
as 14 feet It was noticeably slender. Another encounter while motoring took
place early one morning in the same district; it was distinctly unpleasant. The
car in second gear was noisily negotiating a grassy track over the shoulder of a
hill: on the right the hill sloped upwards, on the left it fell sharply to a swampy,
forested valley. Turning a small bend I was suddenly aware of a very large
mamba poised by the roadside with head almost on a level with the top of the low
door alongside the driving seat. Instinctively I ducked and turned crimson, my
wife who was sitting alongside being unable to account for this sudden exhibition
of alarm. The creature fortunately had its head turned up hill and the car passed
by before it was aware of the intrusion. With the back of the touring car con-
taining a house-boy and packed to the roof, and both front seats occupied, I had for
a moment visualised a startled mamba making a sudden dive downhill through the
car dealing out swift death to the three occupants en passant.
There is no reason to suppose that the Eastern race is in any way smaller than
the Western, and Boulenger's greatest measurement for the combined races is 21oo
(tail 560) mm., nearly 6 feet x1 inches, the long tail being contained in the total
length three-and-three-quarters times.
Schmidt (1923, p.13i) referring to a series of twenty-seven specimens of the
combined races collected by the American Museum Congo Expedition gives a range
in length from 567 to 2470 mm:- "The largest male measures 2145 mm. (approx.
7 feet), the specimen of 2470 mm. (just over 8 feet) being a female. The propor-
tionate tail length is the same in the sexes, .22-.25 of the total, mean .23."
In the series of kaimosce examined by Loveridge the type, a male, measures
2080 (1610+470 mm.), and the largest female 2070(1595+ 475)mm. A largefemale
from the Mabira Forest, and a still larger specimen of the same sex from Entebbe
both collected personally, measure respectively 7 3- (tail 17) and 8o0 (tail t 9)) inches.
Loveridge as a basis for the separation of kaimosa offers the following diag-
nosis :- "The Jameson's Mamba from the extreme eastern part of the range of this
species is so strikingly different in coloration of both body and tail from the typi-
cal form that it merits a new name, more particularly as the difference is support-
ed by a difference in scalation, viz:-
Subcaudals 94-104 (14+2 specimens); tail uniformly black; East Africa.........
.........................................................................D j. kaim osa .
Subcaudals 103-122 (27 specimens); tail green, each dorsal and subcaudal scale
margined with black; West Africa ...........................D.j.jamesoni."
"Midbody scale-rows 1 5-17; ventrals 210-2 21; anal divided; subcaudals 94-102."
In view of this diagnosis the scale counts, particularly the subcaudal counts,
of material in the British Museum (Natural History) are of interest, as follow:-
Locality. Sex. Scale-rows. Ventrals. Subcaudals.
Entebbe male 15 214 io6
Entebbe young female 17 215 1o8
Sese male 15 212 103
Entebbe female 17 213 1oi
Entebbe half-grown male 17 227 113
Eastern Province male 15 221
Mabira Forest male 15 219 io8
*Kome Island male 15 209 103
The variation in the above series of ventral and caudal counts is:- ventrals
212-227: subcaudals o10-113.
British Museum material from the habitat of the Western form is also interest-
ing, the variation in a series of nine being:- ventrals 210-239: subcaudals 103-117.
Prominent characteristics and pronounced distinguishing features have been
enumerated comprehensively in the detailed note on the genus.
The coloration according to Boulenger is:- "Olive-green above, uniform or
each scale brown at the end ; head-shields finely edged with blackish; lips yellowish,
the shields finely edged with brown or black; tail yellow, scales and shields edged
with black. Young with chevron-shaped black cross-bars. Tail sometimes black."
Entebbe specimens examined which have recently sloughed are a beautiful,
vivid green on the anterior third, green with black or purplish-black on the medial
third, and velvety-black or purplish-black with a distinct bloom superimposed for
the basal third.
In my own collection. O. R.S.P.
The spike-like tip of the tail, 2r mm. in length, is ivory-white in a kyagivw
juvenile measuring about 2 feet.
In greater detail, a large Entebbe female is described in my field notes as:-
"Head, dark green with bluish tinge and suffused brownish. Above generally,
grass-green with yellowish tinge on neck. Below head, pale greenish-white; below
generally, pale greenish, but beneath neck deep yellow anteriorly changing grad-
ually to paler yellowish and greenish-yellow. Scales, green delicately edged black,
posteriorly the edging broader. Interstitial skin, black. Along the terminal Io inches
of the tail the subcaudals completely black. Tail above, completely black with
sooty or velvety (dull) appearance. Above, 18 inches of the body anteriorly from tail,
blackish; after that darkish above quickly changing anteriorly to grass-green. The
20 ventrals nearest the tail broadly edged posteriorlyy) blackish. Eye, light brown
with a golden tinge."
Loveridge (in lit.) refers to:- "The very beautiful Jameson's Mamba, which
has a wonderful velvety bloom on its faintly brown-barred, green body, differs from
the common species in possessing a uniformly black tail contrasting with the anter-
ior two-thirds of the body,"
'Green' mambas in their natural haunts have a striking resemblance to the
boomslang (Dispholidus typus) which is also a tree snake. The latter, however, has
more oblique scales and a much larger eye and is capable of puffing out its throat in
an alarming manner, while the mamba on the other hand can dilate its neck slight-
ly hoodwise but does not 'puff' conspicuously.
Habits -As previously mentioned this is typically a forest species, which also
persists in recently cleared forest regions. Although very frequently observed on
the ground its natural haunts are in the trees. It is an excellent swimmer when
necessity arises, but mambas do not take to water so readily as the cobras. In
sunshine, in suitable localities, one can often see fine specimens basking on the
outer branches of bushes and trees up to 30 feet above the ground: lying motion-
less along a branch or entwined amongst the foliage these snakes harmonize so
perfectly with the background that they are extraordinarily hard to detect, and
most the writer has noticed just by chance when using powerful binoculars in the
course of ornithological investigations.
In 1925, the writer observed a large specimen-some 15 feet above the ground
-lying along the branch of a Podocarpus growing alongside one of the paths in
the Botanical Gardens at Entebbe. A very conspicuous bulge in its body indicat-
ed a recent meal-probably a big rat, and for a full week the snake remained in the
same position gradually digesting what it had eaten. Each evening the writer and
his wife, the latter unaware of the attraction, in the course of a daily stroll passed
beneath the resting reptile! The largest example mentioned in these notes was
shot in the same Botanical Gardens in the fork of a tree 20 feet above the ground.
In the forest gloom Jameson's mamba, when on the ground, is also extra-
ordinarily difficult to see, blending with the background almost to the point of in-
visibility. The writer well remembers an occasion when he was collecting birds
in a forest patch near Kisubi. A small black-and-white flycatcher (Platysteira sp.)
had been shot and had fallen to the ground a few yards away,
The writer had advanced towards it, and was actually stooping to pick it up,
when he suddenly realized that he was not the only interested party. A mamba
possibly disturbed by the shot and the bird's fall was approaching from the oppo-
site direction, evidently intending to make the flycatcher its own until a charge of
shot cut short its career. When moving through tangled secondary growth in
forest or in other localities in which mambas are likely to occur, it is as well to
walk warily, for though these snakes are not naturally aggressive there is always
the possibility of an example being encountered amongst the vegetation about
head-high, which might be startled before it could escape when of course it would
bite from fear or sheer desperation. It is fortunately a thousandth chance, highly
improbable, but nevertheless one can never be too careful.
This mamba is one of the species so frequently mobbed by birds in its forest
haunts, and many a time have I been led to examples by these noisy avian antics.
It is extraordinary how close tiny birds will approach a snake which they have
discovered, and the latter evidentlyaware of the alertness of its tormentors makes
no effort to strike. Even more remarkable is the difficulty experienced in detect-
ing the mamba amongst the foliage, sometimes at a distance of a few feet only,
when its position is outlined by the cordon of vociferous birds.
Stomachs of specimens personally examined have all been empty: the female
measuring 80o inches killed at Entebbe was full of fat but contained no eggs.
This species is known to prey to a certain extent on small mammals, though
from its habits one would imagine it to be more of a bird-eater; however, it is possible.
that arboreal rats and the smaller squirrels satisfy most of its requirements. Lo-
veridge (i936) found a tree rat in one, and a swamp rat in another, both specimens
being collected at Kaimosi (Kenya).
The writer so far has no data available concerning breeding habits,
Venom-The venom of this species is primarily a neurotoxin, though in view
of its preference for mammalian diet it probably includes haemotoxic properties. It
has not yet however, been specifically investigated, though generally it is unlikely
to differ from that of the common (or black) mamba.
DENDROASPIS ANGUSTICEPS (Smith).
Common Mamba, Black Mamba, Green Mamba, South African Mamba
(Plate XIV, Fig. 2: Coloured Plate (PY, Fig. 3).
Native names-None are definitely known, but according to Driberg the Lango
refer to snakes of the genus Dendroaspis by the names "Obiya" and "Omeja", and
call the mamba "Mam'a", though no evidence of authenticated identification is of-
fered. It is not yet known whether D. angusticeps is found in Lango, but the oc-
currence of D. jamesoni (known from Serere, in Teso) is probable.
Distribution-The range of D. angusticeps is West Africa south of the Cong6,
South Central Africa (including S.E. Belgian Congo, Northern Rhodesia, Nyasa-
land and Southern Rhodesia), Transvaal, Natal, and East Africa from Portuguese
East Africa to Tanganyika Territory, Kenya Colony, Somaliland, Abyssinia, Uga-
nda, N.E. Belgian Congo and possibly the Southern Sudan. Corkill (1935) in the
absence of tangible evidence of its occurrence in the Sudan is of the opinion "that
the notorious Mambas of the genus Dendroaspis are almost certain to be repre-
sented by one or more species in the extreme south." In the Field Museum of
Natural History at Chicago there is a specimen from "Near Lake Tana, Ethiopia".
The mamba is found mostly on the wooded eastern side of Africa, though by
no means confined to forest areas, being mainly a snake of the lower-lying dry-bush
country. It is most plentiful at altitudes not in excess of 2,000 feet.
Occurrence in Uganda-The only authenticated records of the occurrence of
this fearsome species in Uganda come from the vicinity of Moroto in Karamoja, and
it is not unreasonable to suggest that it will be found throughout Karamoja, parti-
cularly in the vicinity of the outcrops of rocky hills, and in the eastern part of Chua
as far as the Sudan border in the north. A reliable observer recently informed me
that while on tour in S.E. Chua, in typical mamba country, he had a glimpse of an
extremely large snake which had moved with remarkable speed.
De Witte's (1933) record of a specimen collected by Schouteden at Mahagi Port
(N, W. extremity of Lake Albert) in May, 1925, also suggests that this species ought
to occur in the adjacent West Nile District, though the writer in the course of seve-
ral tours made in the regions either side of the Albert Nile has so far never come
across it. In consequence of recent authenticated records of the occurrence of the
black mamba in Eastern Karamoja, the reference to the non-occurrence of this spe-
cies in Uganda videe Uganda Journal, Vol. III, July, 1935, No. i, p. 52) requires
Description-This well-known mamba, in its "black" form, is credited with at-
taining the amazing length of 14 feet, a size only exceeded in the deadly elapine
snakes by the king cobra or hamadryad of Asia. The "black" (a term which will
be explained in due course) is only a phase of the common mamba which in its other
form is known as the green mamba. It is only certain adults which become
"black": juveniles of this coloration are unknown and "black" mambas are rarely
found under 8 feet.
This is a species in which the average length of adults is exceptional and in-
dividuals between o and 12 feet in length are by no means uncommon. Boulenger
in a series of eight from East and South Africa gives the greatest measurement
2000 (tail 430) mm., approx. 6 feet 7 inches, the long tail being contained in the
total length a little more than four-and-a-half times. It should be realized, that
snakes ofexceptional size are rarely found in museum collections owing to the obvio-
us difficulty in preserving and storing, in the field.
A large female collected personally in the low-lying Luangwa Valley in Nor-
thern Rhodesia measured 9 feet ol inches (tail 224 inches), and was not considered
out of the ordinary for the locality. Sternfeld (19to, Fauna derdeutsche Kolonien)
refers to a specimen of 265 cm. (approx. 8 feet 84 inches).
Another Northern Rhodesia black mamba which was killed in the Barotse
Valley, where it had created a reign of terror for three years in which period it had
accounted for eleven human victims, measured 1i feet 9 inches.
According to Fitzsimons (1932):- "The average total length of a Mamba is
round about twelve feet, although some are known to have exceeded this length".
Loveridge (1936) records an Ethiopian specimen from near Lake Tana :- "Total
length of skin with head and tail attached 2420 (900+520) mm.": the same author
(1928) estimates a living specimen seen at Dodoma (Tanganyika) to have been "some
1o feet long". The largest of eight Kenya examples collected by this author (Bull.
Mus. Comp. Zool., Vol. LXXIX, No. 5, Nov. 1936), a female, measured 9 feet, i.e.
2630 (2110+520) mm., the tip of the tail being missing. Captive East African speci-
mens kept by Loveridge measured respectively 8 feet i inches and 7 feet 34 inches.
Scale-rows 19, 21, 23, or 25: ventrals 204-264: subcaudals 97-124. Prominent
characters are detailed in the descriptive note on the genus. In addition the anal
is divided: the long tail and somewhat large eye are features shared with certain
other species, but the extremely advanced position of the fangs will immediately
identify a mamba. The jaws are lined jet-black.
Boulenger gives the coloration as :-"Green, olive or blackish, uniform or some
of the scales edged black; yellowish or pale green beneath; caudal scales and
shields not black-edged." According to Ditmars (1931):-"There are two phases
of coloration. One is green and the other dark olive, so dark that unless in
the sunlight the snake appears quite black. This latter phase is the so-called
Black Mamba growing very much longer than the green phase." The "black"
mamba therefore is not really black but dark olive; a large female of feet in length
examined personally in Northern Rhodesia was in colour brownish-olive with
a certain amount of interstitial black.
Fitzsimons (1932) probably gives the best description:-"The colour of the
Mamba varies from dead black to varying shades of grey, light chocolate-brown,
leaden, dull olive-green, and gunmetal. But the colour is deceptive when the snake
is seen on the move. In the sunshine, the body seems to scintillate with every shade
of gleaming purple, shot with green and gold. In open and dry situations the
Mamba is grey in colour"...... and is called "lead snake"...... "The Green Mamba
is classified as the same species, because there is no perceptible difference in the
formation and number of the head-shields; but in coloration it differs markedly, for
the Green Mamba is uniform emerald green above, shading to lighter beneath; and
this colour does not vary like that of the so-called 'black' variety."
Loveridge (in lit.) mentions:- "The 'black' mamba in East Africa appears to
be dark olive to a gunmetal colour," and (1928) draws attention to the superficial
similarity ofnewly-hatched mambas to the harmless Green Snakes (Chlorophis spp.)
or Spotted Wood Snake (Philothamnus semivariegata). The same author also
refers to newly-hatched examples of 171 inches in length, and recently hatched of
Habits-The type of country to which the mamba is partial has already been
described, and repetition is unnecessary. The speed of this snake is incredible;
in dusty country its passage is marked by a trail of rising dust as its swiftness
renders it practically invisible. In woodland when travelling at top speed its ap-
proach and departure have been likened to the wind among leaves--a loud rustling
not easily identified on a still day-and the sudden stirring of the leaves on the
ground or amongst the shrubs alone marks its passing. Probably this exceptional
speed can be maintained only over a limited distance.
Willoughby Lowe on pp.94-96, and again on pp.i78-180, of his interesting
travel volume The Trail that is Always New gives some entertaining descriptions
of the mamba's speed.
Fitzsimons (1932) from lengthy practical experience records much of interest
in connection with this species:- "The diabolical ingenuity of Nature is brought
to the highest peak of perfection in this snake"...... "In form it is long, slender,
and tapering and its movements are wonderfully graceful"...... "For speed and
beauty of movement there is no other species to equal it; the nearest rival in this
respect being the Boomslang"......"To see a Mamba skimming over the tops of low
bushes and matted drooping grass and through the foliage of trees suggests the
flight of an arrow"........Its native name amongst certain South African tribes
means "the shadow of death."
The same author mentions further:- "One meets it on the highest mountain
ranges, low hill slopes, the bushveld, and on broken, stony, scrub-covered ground.
It also especially favours reedy marshes because of the abundance of frogs and birds
which are commonly termed vinks, viz. Bishopbirds, which breed in those situations
in great numbers. Mambas found in these localities are invariably blacker than
those inhabiting dry lands"......... "The Green Mamba inhabits the forest areas
and dense scrub, and is seldom met with in the open bushveld. In disposition it
is timid and invariably retreats to cover when disturbed. I have never known or
heard of a Green Mamba deliberately, and without provocation, attacking or chas-
ing a man, and, moreover, it is exceedingly difficult to see in its leafy surround-
ings". Natives are sometimes bitten by frightened green mambas lying amongst
The speed of the black mamba is often quoted as being swifter than that of a
galloping horse; this, however, is undoubtedly an exaggeration, though a large ma-
mba can easily reach up to the leg of a man on horseback. One could only obtain
a true estimate of the mamba's exceptional speed by practical test, though the wri-
ter can visualise no more suicidal form of amusement than that of deliberately
provoking a large mamba in order to put it through its paces!
There are innumerable tales about the aggressiveness of the black mamba, and
its amazing swiftness in attack, But, fortunately, according to Loveridge (in lit.):-
"As far as one can ascertain, neither species displays that aggressiveness of
temperament in Uganda which is exhibited by the mamba in South-east Africa ?"
and he also adds:- "Famed for their swiftness, the mambas are the deadliest snakes
in the whole continent."
There is no doubt that in South-east Africa the sinister reputation of the
mamba is well-merited, though the exaggerated repetition of the story of the same
ghastly tragedy for many years gives rise to the belief that mamba fatalities are of
almost daily occurrence, an entirely erroneous idea.
Fitzsimons (1932) in his extremely interesting and entertaining book Snakes
treats one to a truly gruesome assortment of mamba 'thrillers', but it should be
remembered that the incidents therein related have been collected together from a
very extensive area over a long period of years. The temper of the black mamba
is uncertain and can never be relied on; in the mating season (in the summer-time
in South Africa) this snake is especially unreliable and apt to be aggressive.
Quoting further extensively from Fitzsimons (1932):- "The Mamba when on
the look-out for prey or an enemy, or preparatory to making an attack, raises the
forepart of its body a full half of its total length; not straight up like a cobra, but
in a sloping direction. When angered, the throat, and sometimes the anterior
portion of the body, is inflated, and at the same time the reptile sways ominously
from side to side slowly, gracefully, but with deadly portent, These actions denote
rising anger"......"When a Mamba charges with intent to bite, it invariably raises its
head and body slopingly; and should the intended victim be a man, it strikes him
somewhere upon the body, neck or face" ...... In attack "a blurred greyish streak
coming for me in a straight line," quite easy to miss with a shot-gun at point-
blank range ...... It is usually best to retreat from a defiant Mamba backwards
or sideways, so as to keep the reptile in view all the time"...... An eighteen-
year-old European boy died twenty minutes after being bitten. Another case,
"All he saw was a blackish confusion of coils before he felt the smart of the
bite on his upraised arm, which was bare at the elbow. He soon became paralys-
ed, and died within two hours"...... "A streak, leaden in colour, seemed to pass by
like a shadow"......"Colour of polished gunmetal measuring ten feet nine inches"
...."An old Mamba, which has become a man-chaser and stock-killer......loses
his fear of our race and gets aggressive......is more to be feared than the very devil
himself "......"Mambas are' fond of making their lair in disused termite mounds,
which decay, leaving appreciable cavities inside which make nice warm hiding-
places for snakes; and in these they often hibernate."
Fitzsimons also quotes the notorious case of the native family killed by a
mamba in a dark hut in Natal; the two parents, two girls and a boy, all being killed
by the terrified, enraged snake in the course of a wild scramble for the door: the
only survivor was a little girl who, petrified with terror, hid motionless under a
blanket. A man-killer in Southern Rhodesia had the deaths of five natives, and
more than two hundred geese, fowls, goats, calves and dogs to its credit! Another
rogue mamba killed goats, sheep and poultry, and then attacked cattle.
An alarmed mamba wishing to escape or attack will if necessary rapidly dis-
gorge a meal. A large cannibal Cape cobra in the Snake Park at Port Elizabeth
(South Africa) killed and swallowed a black mamba, but died from the effects of a
bite received in the course of the encounter.
Johannes the well-known attendant in the Port Elizabeth Snake Park was
deliberately attacked by a black mamba which he had tried to locate in a bush. An
extraordinary incident emphasising the folly of attempting to run over snakes with
motor vehicles is mentioned by Fitzsimons, when a black mamba, struck by a fast-
moving car, was thrown up into the air with great violence, passed across the faces
of three occupants! and then fortunately hit the back of the open car and fell off.
The same author also records the case of a black mamba which had been wall-
ed up by termites in a large mound which it had entered to feed on the eggs of a
monitor lizard. When dug out unexpectedly it was naturally in none too pleasant
a humour. The mamba evidently has a great predilection for dwelling, or taking
refuge, in termite heaps.
According to Fitzsimons:- "Cobras, Boomslangs, Night Adders and even
Mambas become so tame that you may allow them to creep, climb and slither
round your neck and inside your garments!" (1 would rather it were he than I!:-
It is difficult to account for the aggressiveness of the mamba and the hama-
dryad, respectively the largest elapine snakes in Africa and Asia. Both probably
possess an irritable temperament coupled with an instinct to pursue-a common
attribute amongst many species of dangerous vertebrates. It is possible that cer-
tain of these death-dealing 'racers' delight in making man and large creatures flee
before them, and then pursuing and overtaking, bite out of sheer devilment. What
is worse, however, seems to be the subsequent deliberate aggressiveness towards
man and his beasts once a mamba has killed a human being and been allowed to
escape. There are definite cases on record, some of which have been previously
mentioned, of man-killing mambas which have established a reign of terror in cer-
tain localities for periods extending into years.
On the other hand it is interesting to be able to record an incident when a
startled mamba was far too occupied in trying to escape to think of molesting a hu-
man being standing in its way. It is one of the numerous mamba encounters in
Kenya described by Loveridge on pp. 274-276, Bull. Mus.Comp. Zool., Vol. LXXIX,
No.5, November, 1936, and is quoted in toto.
"One day, I was standing on a large mass of smooth, but slightly sloping, rock
on a boulder-strewn hill southeast of the station. Below, and to the left of me, was
a gunbearer searching for a hyrax which I had just shot. Above; and behind me,
a second native was descending after going to retrieve a lizard which I had shot.
Apparently, in descending he disturbed a mamba, possibly six feet in length, cer-
tainly not an inch less than five feet. It was so quick in its rush that he never saw
it. I felt something bump and brush against my shoe, as I half-turned the snake
was already in mid-air having shot off the rock with the impetus of its descent.
It landed twenty feet below on a mass of scrub and thorn, never paused, slid
straight over another huge slab in full view, then dived into a tangle of vegetation
beyond this rock and was seen no more. The boy on the rocks to the left below me,
exclaimed : "Did you see that big snake go right between your legs ?" As a mat-
ter of fact it was not actually between, what happened was that it had side-slipped
with the velocity with which it arrived on the rock, then cannoned against my
shoe. I was thankful that my back was towards it for had I been facing the other
way I should doubtless have gone to swell the ranks of those who thought they
had been attacked by a mamba. Though I had a twelve-bore shotgun in my hand
there was not time to use it and had there been I should have hesitated to do so
with the descending native just twenty feet behind the snake (Tsavo, April 4, 1934) .
The mamba feeds almost entirely on warm-blooded prey, both birds and mam-
mals, preferably the latter: the remains of rodents and birds have been recorded
from examples scientifically examined. In Northern Rhodesia, the writer shot a
female just over 9 feet in length: its body was pressed tightly against the trunk of
a large tree, and its head was in a hole--i feet above the ground-where it had
just seized a tree rat. In Northern Rhodesia there seems to be a very definite
association between the black mamba and the curious "mopane" woodland, as well
as with the squirrels which abound in this type of country, and it is believed that
there this small mammal constitutes the mamba's staple diet. In support of this
theory it is particularly noticeable how extremely tame the squirrels are in the
upland plateau woodland where there are no mambas whereas in the sultry, low-
lying "mopane" areas the squirrels, though abundant, are exceptionally timid and
indulge in a "safety-first" policy which has probably been induced by the activities
of a swift-moving and relentless destroying agent.
According to Loveridge (1928) although mambas in captivity feed freely
on dead rats, they are evidently nervous of them alive. They will strike at and kill
large rats introduced into their cage from fear, but very rarely attempt to swallow
them. Also, when watched they are exceedingly shy of feeding, which may be due
to the realisation that they can then easily be taken at a disadvantage, and in con-
sequence will not start to feed when anybody is about. Digestion is rapid, and the
flesh and fur of a large black rat swallowed eight hours previously were found to
be already digested. A mamba surprised swallowing a dead weaver bird dropped
it at once to menace the human intruder.
There seems to be little on record concerning the breeding habits of the
In handling mambas evidently one has to exercise especial caution on account
of the loose skin on the neck, for Loveridge has recorded :- "As I took the snake
from him, it very nearly got me by twisting round, the skin on the neck of mambas
being very slack."
Ditmars (1931, P. 7 5) gives a most entertaining account of his first experience
with mambas in captivity: the snakes, eight in all, were being transferred from a
travelling box to an exhibition cage, and their lack of enterprise quite contrary to
general expectations was a source of considerable disappointment; but suddenly a
remarkable change came over the proceedings:- "The last mamba started to slide
off the rod which had been gently manipulated. In attempting to balance this snake,
the end of the rod accidentally poked one of the tree-climbing members. I have
never noted a quicker movement on the part of a snake. It was about seven feet
long. Its full length came through the door with a speed looking like the shaft of
a travelling arrow. We blinked, for the mamba had seemed to vanish, but turning
we saw him on a shelf fully five feet from the ground, which he had gained by fol-
lowing up the projecting corner of a door frame. His anterior length was in several
loops ready to strike and we then noted the location of mamba fangs, right under
the snout, where the merest nip would imbed them. Then and there we decided
the mamba deserved its reputation."
Loveridge (1936) records a bat in a stomach he examined. C.R.S.P,
Ticks are often found on these snakes.
Fitzsimons has recorded that a pair of Secretary birds killed a Black Mamba
which had retreated into a small scrubby bush about two feet in height, after a full
According to Flower (P.Z.S., 1937, p. 35) a captive specimen still alive in
South Africa on z8th October, 1936, was 5 years 3 months and 19 days old.
Venom-In the course of recent research into the relative toxicities of various
South African colubrine (elapine) and viperine venoms, it has been discovered that
the potency of mamba venom is not unusually high, and in many instances is ac-
tually lower than that of the Cape cobra (Najaflava), though generally consider-
ably more potent in effect than that of Naja haje and N. nigricollis.
The venom was found to be readily distinguished from that of any African cobra
handled in the course of the research in that after desiccation it is almost pure
white. The average yield of venom by manual manipulation of the glands is in the
neighbourhood of o.i gramme. The comparatively small yield may be due to the
fact'that the aggressive nature of tlfe mamba is responsible for a regular wastage
of its venom.
It was also ascertained that South African mongooses and the meerkat are gen-
erally highly resistant to black mamba venom, while frogs, 20 grammes in weight,
of the interesting genus Xenopus were killed in ten hours by subcutaneous injec-
tion of 0.08 milligramme of mamba venom.
Fitzsimons (1932) makes numerous extremely interesting observations on the
subject ofmamba venom and its effects:- "It takes a larger quantity of Adder venom
to cause death than is.the case with the venom of the Cobra or Mamba. The venom
of these (latter) snakes is a neurotoxin or nerve poison. It poisons the nerve centres
controlling the lungs, causing the latter to collapse. At the same time it paralyses
the inhibitory nerve which regulates the pumping of the heart, resulting in a wild
and rapid beating of that organ"......"There is no swelling"...... "Two drops of ven-
om is a fatal dose for the strongest man; and a large Black Mamba can shed in a
few successive bites ten, and sometimes thirteen drops of venom."
The same author describing some of the after-effects of a mamba bite mentions:-
"Breathing became shallow and yet shallower until, with gasps and terrible strug-
gles for breath, he died. A curious phenomenon is that, after breathing ceases, the
heart still goes on beating, and only slows down and stops entirely after a consi-
Fitzsimons knows of no authenticated case of human recovery in instances of
untended mamba bite; though definite cases of human recovery are known after
injection of the antivenene prepared in South Africa, 1o cc. of which is not enough
the full dose of o2 cc. being essential.
A European, without resort to the use of antivenomous serum, recovered from
the hasty bite of a mamba delivered with one fang, "but five years later he became
quite blind owing to paralysis of the optic nerve".
A naked Zulu bitten in the neck by a mamba ran fifty yards and pitched fof-
ward on to his face, and a few minutes later he was dead; it is, however, probable
that the venom did not work so speedily as narrated, and it is more likely that in
the first instance the man collapsed unconscious from shock and acute fear. Sub-
sequently the virulent toxin injected with the bite prevented his recovering con-
sciousness, and he could have been apparently dead sometime before death actually
occurred. A European youth bitten on the bare back died sixty minutes or so later:
a powerful Matabele herd boy bitten on the shoulder by a mamba lived for only
half-an-hour; this mamba was eventually caught in a cage baited with live doves
(another was captured with a break-back rat-trap in a house-roof). A native bitten
in the face died in a few minutes. With reference to the Northern Rhodesia (Ba-
rotse) man-killing mamba previously mentioned:- "In no instance did the victims
live beyond one hour- most of them died in twenty minutes, owing to the fact of their
being bitten on the bare body". At Gatooma in Southern Rhodesia six hunt club
dogs were one day killed out of the pack by a single mamba: in South Africa one
of these snakes killed three fine cows at the same time.
A mamba bite on leather leggings will not penetrate, and in all probability the
snake will break its fangs on the leather.
Loveridge (The Snakes of Tanganyika Territory) has recorded:- "If it gets in
a good bite there is no hope for the victim. Living in trees it frequently, and ap-
parently wantonly, strikes at persons passing beneath. That the Wanyamwezi and
Wakami have a treatment for snake-bite by a lengthy process of inoculation there
is no doubt. My snake-collector, Machairi, was bitten by a half-grown mamba and
the only result was that he was violently sick and unwell for three days and had
a nasty ulcer on the back of the hand where he was bitten. On being bitten he
took his 'dawa' (medicine) orally and by inoculation." Initiates of the Tanganyika
'snake sect' before admission as duly qualified 'snake men' have to catch a mamba
with the bare hands in the presence of the expert snake doctors; in so doing the
novice usually gets bitten and becomes seriously ill, but recovers after treatment.
According to Ditmars (1931, pp. 173-174):- "The toxicity of Mamba poison
tests very high. While series of comparisons of the various African cobras and
viper poisons are not available the author believes that the Mambas secrete the
most powerful poison of any of the fanged serpents of that country. This does not
mean that they are the most deadly, as some of the cobras with their larger heads
secrete much more poison, and then again the big vipers (Bitis) carry powerful
poisons and their huge fangs are capable of deeply injecting large quantities of it."
In this connection the recent tests carried out in South Africa concerning the
relative toxicities of the venoms of certain deadly species is of particular interest.
Synonymy-Vide Loveridge, African Reptiles and Amphibians in Field Mus-
eum of Natural History, Chicago, Vol.XXII, Number i, Publication 360, August
x5th, 1936-Zoological Series, Field Museum of Natural History, p.43:--"It appears
probable that antinorii which was described from Anseba, Ethiopia, should be, like
sjoestedti Lonnberg and transvallensis Gough, relegated to the synonymy of angus-
Legend-According to Colonel H.F. Stoneham (in lit.) and in confirmation d
the note on p. 78, Uganda Journal, Vol. III, July, 1935, No.i :- "It is quite true
that the Luo peoples of Kenya used to use the mamba for killing buffalo and
elephant, and, although I have not actually seen it done I have had it described
to me by various people on different occasions in different parts of the Reserve."
It would be interesting to ascertain exactly which species of mamba was used for
this purpose, for as far as the writer is aware D. jamesoni kaimosc is the only species
of mamba occurring in the Luo country.
In corroboration of the account describing the strange use which is sometimes
made of the mamba I have been told a horrible authenticated story of a grim trag-
edy in South Africa.
A white man traversing a strip of woodland early one morning observed in the
distance a large mamba poised in the middle of the path. Its behaviour was most
odd for there it remained upright and menacing but attempting neither to attack
nor escape. It was shot and then it was discovered that the snake was securely
tethered by its tail.
The rest of the story is soon told-a native who had a grudge against a chief,
and the latter known to be travelling that path by night after a beer party: only too
well had the dreaded reptile played its role of executioner.
Note-The skins of this species, although not yet collected commercially, both
in its 'black' and green forms have attracted the attention of the fancy leather indus-
try, and in the Report by the Advisory Committee on Hides and Skins, Imperial In-
stitute (1933) are listed as worthy of consideration.
"Black Mamba" skins at present supplied to the trade from West Africa are in
reality those of the "spitting" cobra, Naja nigricollis.
This is the last family of snakes included in the Uganda List, many of its
members being exceptionally deadly. As opposed to the Crotalidce or Pit Vipers
which are found in the New World, Asia and Australia, the distribution of the
Viperidw is restricted to the Old World where its members range generally through-
out Europe, Asia, Malaysia and Africa. According to Ditmars (1931, p. 165), with
reference to Africa:- "Here, apparently is the land of origin of the typical vipers
- Viperidce as they exist in great variety, from heavy terrestrial kinds to forms
adapted to move over or burrow into the loose sands of desert areas, and again
slender-bodied, big-headed arboreal species in shades of green that are highly specia-
lized to climb and to 'mimic' their surroundings."
The members of this family represent a stage further in fang specialisation
than do the Elapine snakes, and are often referred to as Solenoglypha or the Vip-
erine snakes. The Solenoglypha include both the families Viperide and Crotalidce.
The pair of erectile poison fangs-often duplicated-are greatly enlarged and are
situated at the very front of the mouth on movable facial (premaxillary) bones which,
when necessary for striking, enable the fangs to be rotated into freedom from their
sheathing membrane through an angle of 900. The venom flows down a hollow
canal in the centre of the tooth and is discharged from the point, the action being
likened to that of a hypodermic needle, so that even if the fangs are only slightly
embedded the victim gets the full benefit of the poison.
Dr. Burgess Barnett writing in the Field(26-6-37) describes the viper fangs as:-
"altogether a fiendishly perfect weapon developed from a comparatively innocent
device"...... "the very much more deadly fangs and virulent venom of the vipers are
thought to have evolved from.......the poison apparatus of the back-fanged snakes".
The fangs are of proportionately great length and the movable bones to which
they are attached enable them to be folded against the roof of the mouth, protect-
ed and almost entirely concealed from view in a membraneous sheath, when the
jaws are closed. In one African genus, Atractaspis, the fangs are of such enormous
comparative length that they nearly'defeat their free use and purpose.
The fangs of a viper can be erected mechanically for examination by pressure
brought to bear above between them and the upper jaw. On account of their great
length these fangs can only be erected with the remarkable speed necessary for
offence or defence if their owners indulge in what at first appear to be curious acro-
batics. If one closely observes a viper in the act of striking it often appears to make
a back somersault, though actually it is throwing the whole head right back or side-
ways with rapidity of movement faster than the eye can follow to enable the lower
jaw to open to its full extent, i.e. into the same plane as the upper, and allow the
terrible fangs to assume the striking position.
It has been claimed that the great length of fangs, combined with their shape
and setting in the jaw, precludes their rapid withdrawal from the tissue of a victim,
but this idea is erroneous, as the normal action is a combination strike and bite
coupled with instantaneous withdrawal, the whole movement executed in a flash.
For a viper to hang on and "chew" at its victim as is done by cobras, and on occasion
by mambas, is exceptional.
According to Barbour (Reptiles and Amphibians):- "Vipers strike by stabbing
forward, often with terrific speed and force, and the fangs are driven deep and then
at once withdrawn, while the snake waits for the death of its victim. This results
in the frequent loss of fangs, so that spare teeth, graded from full size to tiny tooth
germs, lie in a fold of tissue behind the fang, so that if a fang is lost one of these
teeth moves forward and in a short time becomes firmly cemented into the place of
the lost tooth."
In cases of viper bite through clothing, owing to the poison being conducted
down an internal channel in the fangs, there is no possibility of any venom being
absorbed externally as would probably happen in the case of a cobra or mamba bite
through a similar interfering medium.
Nature is diabolically ingenious in protecting the vipers from the effects of
misadventure due to the exaggerated fang. If one examines for a moment the
almost clumsy-looking fangs one is justified in assuming that when a viper misses
its bite they are likely to pierce the lower mouth parts, but this is obviated, as men-
tioned on a previous page, by nature's provision that the two halves of the lower
jaw connected by an elastic ligament at the chin can be drawn into each other and
so avoid the strike.
At the instant of biting, the muscle over each temporal poison gland is con-
tracted, forcing venom forward and out of the hollow fangs: as far as the eye can
see the strike and bite are simultaneous: when the fangs are embedded in an object
the protecting sheath is forced back.
In the Viperine snakes the hemolytic (blood-destroying) or hemorrhagic ele-
ment predominates, but.in certain species, for instance the Gaboon viper, Bitis gab-
onica, the venom not only produces a furious blood and tissue destruction but has
nearly as much power besides in attacking the nerve centres.
The symptoms of viperine poison are severe and persistent pain at the posi-
tion of the bite and oozing of blood from the punctures. Death may take place
from paralysis of the heart or from clotting of blood in the vessels if the dose is
large or is injected into a vein, but if life is prolonged hemorrhages take place
from the mouth, nose or intestines or in various parts of the body. Mortification
and gangrene occur at the site of the fang marks and the finger or hand may be
lost in this way after the general symptoms have passed off: extensive swellings
are caused as well as considerable discoloration. The usual effect on the human sub-
ject is to induce such extensive internal bleeding that the victim dies of exhaustion.
According to Fitzsimons (1932):- "The primary action of Adder or Viper venom
is on the blood and the endothelial cells which line the capillary blood vessels,
causing hemorrhage into the tissues, more or less extensive according to the quantity
of venom injected. Although possessing nerve-poisoning properties, the chief effect
of Adder venom is haemolytic"..........."It takes a larger quantity of Adder venom
to cause death than is the case with the venom of the Cobra or Mamba."
In cases of viper bite drinking alcohol is exceedingly harmful, for it promotes
hemorrhage into the tissues and body cavities, as the venom dissolves the red
blood corpuscles, at the same time expanding the blood-vessel walls and making
them porous. Alcohol temporarily stimulates the heart, causing extra pressure
of blood and inducing more severe hemorrhage: it also retards the elimination
and oxidization of the venom. When serum or anti-venene is injected, on no ac-
count must alcohol be taken. Also, after a viper bite physical human activity,
which very efficiently circulates the venom, should be avoided.
Viper venoms are being used more and more frequently in the treatment of hu-
man ailments, and in this connection considerable research is taking place. A poison,
one of the constituents of the venom of a certain species of viper, acts as a power-
ful drug in cases of epilepsy: the venom of another kind of viper can be used to
reduce bleeding in natural bleederss," a most valuable discovery in the case of
people on whom surgical operations and dentistry are impossible without special
Most of the African vipers or adders have a thick body-some excessively so
and bloated-and a wide, flat, distinct head. A few arboreal species have a slender
body with an exaggeratedly wide-in certain instances quite grotesque-and distinct
head. The members of the burrowing genus Alractaspis are slim, small, slender
and glossy, and inoffensive in appearance.
The tails are usually remarkably short, and when set off by heavy, bloated
bodies the stubby, spike effect is accentuated.
A typical characteristic of most vipers, though this is not the case in the
genera Causus and Atractaspis, is the arrangement on the snout and crown of small
scales similar to those on the back of the body, instead of the usual symmetrical
shields which normally help considerably in classification. The species of Causus
and Atractaspis on the contrary are somewhat Colubrine in form with narrow heads
covered with the usual shields.
The pupil is more often elliptical than round, and the ventrals are always extra-
ordinarily broad stretching right across the under portion of the body: in the mas-
sive species in which the belly must flatten out considerably this is only to be
With the exception of the genera Causus and Atractaspis the African vipers
are ovo-viviparous producing their young alive which are "born to the world one
by one in the natural way of back-boned animals" in "a fine transparent membrane
in which the youngster is coiled." Some species produce remarkably large broods.
The breeding habits of the ovo-viviparous vipers are of course responsible for
the claim that some snakes swallow their young for purposes of protection. This
fable is a popular and constant source of controversy, and it is indeed strange in
these enlightened times that there are people so lacking in elementary knowledge
of anatomy that they still insist on its belief. As Barbourvery aptly has recorded:-
"If young snakes ever were swallowed for protective purposes, there would have
to be some way of temporarily turning off the excessively active digestive fluid."
These snakes feed mainly on warm-blooded prey, though the members of the
genus Causus on the contrary are almost exclusively frog and toad eaters. A char-
acteristic of desiccated viper venom is the readiness with which it dissolves, pro-
ducing a solution which is cloudy with considerable precipitation.
The family Viperidae includes terrestrial, semi-aquatic, arboreal and burrow-
ing types: with the exception of the high mountains its representatives are found
everywhere in Africa and even penetrate in the case of (Cerastes) the desert wastes
so long as their necessary food is available.
Although the vipers or adders are often described as nocturnal, the most pro-
minent Uganda representatives, i.e. the huge vipers of the genus Bitis and the gro-
tesque tree and bush vipers belonging to Atheris, particularly the latter, are to a
great extent diurnal.
Genus CAUSUS Wagler.
This is a widely distributed Tropical and South African genus represented by
four species, three of which occur in Uganda. Quoting from Ditmars (1931, p.
176):- "Causus is a particularly interesting genus as its four members are rather
like Colubrine snakes in form with but moderately distinct head, covered with sym-
metrical shields. Moreover, the members lay eggs. Together with the species of
Atractaspis (small burrowing vipers) they are thus unique among the African long-
fanged snakes. The eye has a round pupil."
UGANDA SNAKES (Q)
JohnBale, Sons & Curnw, London
la. Lateral Section.
2a. Lateral Section.
3a. Lateral Section.
lb. Ventral Section.
2b. Ventral Section.
3b. Ventral Section.
Presented by the Uganda Government.
The mandibular teeth are well-developed: the eye is of moderate size and se-
parated from the labials by suboculars: a loreal shield (separating the praeocular
and the nasal shields) is present: the body is cylindrical: the scales, smooth or keeled,
oblique on the sides, have apical pits; the ventrals are rounded; the tail, short;
and the subcaudals are in 2 rows or single.
This genus is remarkable on account of the elongated poison glands which reach
back several inches into the body cavity. Although by no means the rule these vipers
often have a very definite association with damp localities, no doubt due to their
preying largely on toads and frogs, and in this selection of cold-blooded prey they
differ from most members of the viper family.
The prevailing coloration is grey to greenish, and all are similarly patterned
with rhomboid or chevron-like markings. Two of the species have an upturned
snout, presumably for burrowing.
These snakes are found at altitudes varying from sea-level to about 7,000 feet:
one species (C. rhombeatus) is very partial to lurking in rubbish heaps and in piles
CAUSUS RHOMBEATUS (Lichtenstein).
Night Adder, Common Night Adder, African Night Adder,
Demon Night Adder or Cape Viper.
(Plate XIV, Fig. 3: Coloured Plate (Q), Fig. 1).
Native names-In Luganda "Embalasasa", this name being evidently applicable
to all local members of this genus. By the Lango it is called "Choichodo". Undoubt-
edly further investigation will reveal other vernacular names for this widespread,
and often conspicuous, species.
Distribution-C. rhombeatus is the most common and widely distributed mem-
ber of this genus, and although usually plentiful throughout its range is particularly
so in the greater portion of Southern Africa: it appears to be as much at home in
the arid north as in the moist forest belt. It occurs throughout Africa south of the
Sahara, the northern limits of its range extending from Gambia, Sierra Leone
and Northern Nigeria to the northern Nile region of the Sudan (there appear to be
no records from Egypt), Abyssinia and Somaliland, and in many parts it is the
most abundant form. According to Schmidt (1923, p. 133):-"Its range does not
appear to be influenced appreciably by the Rain Forest, although it is probably
less abundant inside the forest boundary. The distribution in the Ituri region is
peculiar in that it is recorded only from Stanleyville within the forest, where eleven
specimens were taken, although it was taken at four localities outside the forest;
and Causus lichtensteinii, characteristic of the forest, was collected at Stanleyville;
the suggestion being that the two species are more or less exclusive, and that
C. rhombeatus occurs only in colonies inside the forest limits, offering an interesting
question for further investigations." The extensive collections made in the Bel-
gian Congo by Schouteden and de Witte indicate that this species normally keeps
to the forest edge and the savanna regions beyond.
Occurrence in Uganda-With the exception of the higher altitudes, the Rain
Forest patches and forest islandss", this species is probably ubiquitous. Jts local
association with damp areas is most marked. Recorded localities include:-
Entebbe, Kampala, Bukalasa (30 miles north of Kampala), Kasiriye (Kyagwe),
Jinja, Tororo, Mbale, Serere (Teso), River Aswa (or Moroto)near Paranga in Acho-
li, West Nile District, the outskirts of the Budongo Forest (Bunyoro), and Lake
Chahafi in south-western Kigezi. So far there appear to be no records from the
Lake Edward and Lake George region.
Description-Boulenger gives a total length of 700 mm. in which the tail of 75
mm. is contained about nine-and-a-half times. Thirty-eight specimens were col-
lected (and many others were rejected as being too badly damaged to preserve) by
the American Museum Expedition to the Belgian Congo, and according to Schmidt
(1923, p. 133):- "Comparison of the Stanleyville specimens with those from the
open country to the north fails to discover any appreciable difference. The ex-
tremes in length are 149 mm. and 605 mm. The tail length varies from .06 to .Io
of the total."
Some Northern Rhodesia examples personally collected measured as follows:-
28 (tail 31), 27 (tail 31) female, 27 (tail 21), 19(tail i)and I81 (tail 2) inches. Three
Uganda examples measured by the writer are respectively 23- (tail 21), 2zo (tail i|)
and I7 (tail li) inches. 1
Loveridge (1929, U.S. N. M., Bull iyi) out of a series of fifteen East African
examples refers to a maximum length, a Kenya specimen, of 596 (540+ 56) mm.:
the same author (1933) mentions a Kampala male measuring 438 (400+38) mm.,
and a Tanganyika female of 616 (550+66) mm.: and again (1936) in a series of
seven in the collection of the Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, quotes
the largest (from Nairobi) as 674 (607+67) mm.
There is on record an East African example measuring 30 (tail 3) inches,
which probably constitutes a maximum; but from the foregoing data it would ap-
pear that in Eastern Africa and the Belgian Congo a length of 24 inches can be
considered large, and anything above this size is abnormal. From the few speci-
mens examined the indications are that in Northern Rhodesia this species aver-
ages considerably larger than in Eastern Africa.
Scales in 17-21 rows: ventrals 120-165: subcaudals 15-33. Referring to the
American Museum Congo material Schmidt (1923) states :- "An even number of
scale rows being rather frequent"; but in Uganda examples the occurrence of even
scale-rows is a rarity. A midbody scale count of 19 is the most frequent.
Scale counts, etc., of a Uganda series in the British Museum collection, are as
Locality. Sex. Scale-tows. Ventrals. gubcaudals,
Budongo (Bunyoro) Juvenile 19 131 16
Serere (Teso) male 19 142 20
Serere (Teso) male 19 141 19
Serere (Teso) male 20 141 22
Serere (Teso) female 9 146 16
Serere (Teso) female 19 154 i2
Serere (Teso) juvenile 19 138 19
Serere (Teso) juvenile 19 143 18
Serere (Teso) juvenile 19 144 20
Mulema (Ankole) female 19 148 23
Entebbe juvenile 19 156 20
Entebbe male 19 148 25
Entebbe male 19 151 22
Entebbe juv. male 19 151 z2
Aswa river (Lango) half-grown 19 146 18
Semliki river female 19 141 17
(Semliki valley) half-grown 21 132 21
The maximum ventral count (165) is from an Abyssinian specimen, while the
caudal count of two Northern Rhodesia examples is respectively 31 and 32.
In the previously mentioned series of thirty-eight Congo specimens Schmidt
(1937) has noted:- "The subcaudals are all divided except in two specimens, one
of which has the last eight entire, the other the first seven."
Prominent characteristics are detailed comprehensively in the descriptive note
on the genus. In addition, the snout is obtusely pointed, but not turned up and
conspicuous: dorsals feebly keeled: anal entire: subcaudals all or greater part in
2 rows: and tail short. This snake is somewhat fat-bodied.
Boulenger gives the coloration:- "Olive or pale brown above, rarely uniform,
usually with a dorsal series of large rhomboidal or V-shaped dark brown spots
which may be edged with whitish; usually a large dark A-shaped marking on the
back of the head, the point on the frontal, and an oblique dark streak behind the
eye; labials usually dark-edged; lower parts yellowish white or grey, uniform or
the shields edged with black."
Schmidt (1923) referring to Congo material gives a comprehensive description
of the coloration and pattern:- 'The coloration is fairly uniform. In life it is 'pink-
ish or reddisli brown, with dark brown dorsal markings; chin, pinkish white, throat
yellow, remainder of venter pinkish white with a metallic iridescence of blue and
purple'" (H. Lang). All of the specimens show a median dark line on the upper
side of the tail. In many this can be seen to be the continuation of a dorsal band
covering at its widest point about 9 middle scale rows (coinciding with the keeled
and less obliquely placed scales). This band is rarely distinct on the anterior half
of the body, while it is plainly visible in most specimens on the posterior half.
The color might be said to consist of three shades of brown, the lighter ground
color on the sides, the darker dorsal band, and the still darker dorsal spots on the
dorsal band. The subtriangular dorsal spots have their apex directed backward,
and the lateral corners more or less continuous with irregular transverse groups
of small dark spots on the sides, which usually cover only the upper half of a
scale. The number of dorsal spots is fairly constant, 28-30 to the anus, with occa-
sionally a few less due to irregular spacing.
The arrow-head-shaped mark on the head and nape is extremely constant, its
tip on the frontal. In four of the thirty-eight specimens the dorsal spots are out-
lined with white dots, a character which does not appear to be related to age or
In a long series of Uganda and Northern Rhodesia specimens personally ex-
amined the coloration varies considerably. Entebbe specimens are light brown above
with a dorsal series of large rhomboidal or V-shaped dark brown spots. There is a
large, dark A-shaped marking on the back of the head, the point on the frontal,
and an oblique dark-edged streak behind the eye. Below greyish. In Northern
Rhodesia several specimens were obtained; they were all, with one exception-which
was vividly and handsomely marked, and which the local variety of Dasypeltis sca-
ber evidently mimics-ofa dingy brownish or dull grey-brown, and superficially sug-
gesting a small cobra. The colour may also be olive or pale-brown above, rarely
uniform, and the dark markings edged whitish: the belly yellowish-white. The
labials are usually dark-edged. The belly is either uniform or with the shields edged
black. When approaching the time for a change of skin the snake's appearance is
extremely dull and dingy and it may not always be easily recognized: subsequently
it is vividly handsome.
Specimens are sometimes described in my field notes as "rough scaled." The
eye is grey-brown.
Habits-This species' association with water has already been mentioned, and
the writer has found it to be abundant along the shores of the Victoria Nyanza and
in the swampy areas to the south and east of Lake Bangweulu in Northern Rho-
desia. In the latter region C. rhombeatus was particularly plentiful in a vast swamp
inhabited by hundreds of thousands of the brilliant yellow (male) toad Biufo lemairei.
It is only towards evening that this adder emerges from its retreat and com-
mences to roam in search of food: belated specimens are often found out in the
open in suitable localities in the early morning. It is owing to its nocturnal habits
that it is seemingly scarce in regions where in reality it is abundant. It is very
partial to hiding in rubbish heaps, piles of stone or among the litter of outbuildings
-at Entebbe it is found commonly in all these situations.
tt is a curious little creature in captivity, and when first handled is apt to strike
viciously and demonstrate ferociously, but it soon settles down and becomes ex-
tremely docile. It is amongst the species mentioned by Fitzsimons (1932) which
"become so tame that you may allow them to creep, climb and slither round your
neck and inside your garments!"
Loveridge (i 928) offers some interesting remarks on the subject of this snake's
re-action to interference:- "When molested it coils and displays a vicious dis-
position; having intimidated the aggressor to its satisfaction, it moves off with neck
flattened out cobra-fashion, and hood raised some five inches from the ground" and:-
"When approached the snake attempted to bite, savagely striking my boot a score
of times. Such was the force with which it precipitated itself at any object that
annoyed it, that it very nearly cleared the cement floor, only an inch or two of tail
remaining in contact."
Due to these remarkable acrobatics, in certain parts of East Africa this species
is somewhat aptly referred to as the "jumping" snake. In its normal disposition
it is inclined to be sluggish.
There are numerous published references in connection with the frog-and
toad-eating tendencies of this species, and captive specimens are usually fed on this
cold-blooded diet. Fitzsimons (1912, p. 233), however, refers to the abundance of
night adders in houses and woodsheds in South Africa in search of mice.
A frog dies very soon after being bitten; but a toad struggles vigorously and
inflates itself prodigiously, and does not abandon the unequal combat, even after it
has been punctured by the viper's fangs and deflated, until actually swallowed.
Even then if the snake is killed immediately and the toad removed, it will revive
and hop away as if nothing was wrong with it!
Numerous stomachs investigated personally contained the remains of toads
and frogs. In October, 1935, one of the writer's native staff who is a keen and
capable naturalist brought in a Night Adder 17 inches in length with a toad in its
stomach, which he had killed amongst some rocks. The native's attention had been
attracted to the lair by a curious, penetrating chirrup or gasping, squeaky croak,
and on investigation he discovered the snake and assured me that the strange sound
was being produced by the snake. The toad-an exceptionally large example of
Bufo regulars -was only recently dead when the snake was examined, and the only
suggestion the writer can offer if the snake itself was not actually responsible for
the noise is that the toad was still alive and the weird sound heard represented its
sepulchral 'S 0 S'!
The question of snakes uttering any noise other than the proverbial hiss is one
of constant controversy, and in this respect on p. 1570 of the Harmsworth Natural
History it is stated that the Indian Rat Snake "when irritated utters a peculiar
sound which has been compared to that produced by gently striking a tuning-fork."
In captivity, according to Loveridge (1928), this snake feeds voraciously:-
"During a single week one of these adders swallowed a rather large frog, 3 small
toads and 9 very small toads: a week later its stomach was examined, all were found
to be completely digested except the feet of the frog. Another snake was seen by
me to take 7 small toads one after the other, each about the size of a thimble."
C. rhombeatus may constitute one of the favourite food snakes ot species of the
cannibal genus Mehelya (File Snakes) for Loveridge (1928) was shown "a Butler's
File Snake Mehelya butler, some four feet in length, which had been killed in the
act of swallowing a Night Adder half its own length": and Fitzsimons 1932 mentions
a File Snake in the Port Elizabeth Snake Park which swallowed two Night Adders
which had tried to deprive it of a frog it was in the act of swallowing, and which
suffered no ill-effects from its abnormally heavy meal.
On p. 61 of the Proceedings of the United Slates National Museum, No. 2738,
Vol. 73, Art. 17, 1928, Loveridge gives an interesting description of the behaviour
of Night Adders when feeding: he also mentions:- "When swallowing began the fang
appeared to be no longer used and remained folded back during deglutition".
Beyond the fact that it lays eggs instead of producing the young alive there
appears to be little on record concerning the breeding habits of this species.
Venom-The great length of poison glands suggests a copious yield of venom
which, however, is not the case. The average yield per dose of venom has been
found to be only 0.065 gramme. In physical appearance it is very distinctive, and
instead of the usual sharp, glistening, almost crystalline particles, when desiccated
it consists of dull, spongy flakes.
In spite of its preference for cold-blooded prey it is interesting to learn that
the venom of C. rhombeatus is particularly deadly when injected into a rat, far more
so than the venom of either the Puff Adder (Bitis arietans) or the Gaboon Viper
It is believed that the Night Adder's poison is not highly toxic where man is
concerned, though in this respect little is known definitely.
Corkill (1935, p. 26) mentions:- "A boy of five years of age was bitten by
an adult snake of this species ...... He recovered after i i days' illness characterized
by swelling of the bitten toe, hemorrhage from it, slight fever and mild heema-
CAUSUS RESIMUS (Peters).
Green Night Adder, Night Adder or Green Viper.
(Plate XIV, Fig. 4: Coloured Plate (Q), Fig. 2).
Native names-At present no definite information is available, but, where oc-
curring, this snake will possibly be known by any names applicable to Causus rhom-
Distribution-This is a Tropical African species, evidently distributed widely,
though somewhat locally, outside the Equatorial Forest region, occurring mainly
in the eastern portion of the continent. It seems to be generally absent from the
Belgian Congo as it is not represented in the extensive collections made by
the American Museum Congo Expedition, Schouteden and de Witte: it has how-
ever been recorded from Angola. In the Sudan, in parts of which it is very
common especially in the rains, it is found up to about 150 N.; it also ranges into
Somaliland, Uganda, Kenya Colony, Tanganyika Territory (including Ukerewe
Island in the Victoria Nyanza) and Northern Rhodesia (Luangwa Valley), and one
would expect to find it in Abyssinia, Nyasaland and Portuguese East Africa.
Occurrence in Uganda-Apart from the fact that specimens have been obtained
respectively at Bussu (near Jinja) and at Kabulamuliro in the Mengo District, noth-
ing is known abut the local distribution of this handsome species, which it is sur-
mised is likely to turn up anywhere in the Protectorate at altitudes of about 4,000
feet and under. Its occurrence in the southern provinces of the Sudan suggests
that parts of the Northern Province of Uganda are included in its range. Extra-
limitally, it has been collected by Loveridge in adjacent Kenya Colony at Kaimosi.
Description-This is a small snake of exceptionally striking appearance, Boulen-
ger giving a maximum length of 470 mm,, in which the tail of 40 mm. is contained
eleven-and-three-quarters times. Sternfeld (9go0) refers to a Kavirondo (Kenya
Colony) example measuring 47 cm. According to GUnther (Snakes of Tropical
Africa, 1888):- "The largest is 18 inches, the tail being ia inch." Loveridge
(1936) mentions a Kenya male 572 (517+55) mm. and a female 552 (512+40) mm.
in length: the same author (1929) refers to a Kenya example, the largest in a series
of five, which measured 492 (444+48) mm.: and again (1933) gives the length of
one from Ukerewe Island as 424 (390+34) mm. According to the East African
Sportsman's Handbook (1934):- "Length 1'6" to 2'o," the latter figure unusually
large as the data available indicate that about 18 inches is the normal maximum.
As a characteristic for identification purposes Corkill (935,p.27)states:- "The
tail of resimus is one eleventh of its body length, while that of rhombeatus is one
From the data quoted in connection with this species and C. rhombeatus this is
not correct, as in the case of the latter several body lengths well over ten times
that of the tail are quoted-all presumably females for as in the great vipers of the
genus Bitis so in the members of Causus the tails of the females are markedly longer
than those of the males. In C. resimus, generally, the body length is eleven or more
times that of the tail.
Scales in 19,20,21 or 22 rows: ventrals 134-153: subcaudals 16-27.
Some scale-counts, etc., of Uganda specimens, and of others from neigh-
bouring territories, in the British Museum collection are as follow:-
Sex. Scale-rows. Ventrals. Subcaudals
White Nile (Sudan?)
Bahr el Gebel (Sudan?)
Khor Attar (Sudan)
East Africa (Kenya?)
half-grown 20 151
male 19 148
juvenile 19 151
female 19 139
? 21 150
? 19 149
female 21 143
male 21 143
? 22 138
female 22 146
juvenile 22 143
female 22 145
juvenile 21 146
Prominent characteristics are detailed in the descriptive note on the genus.
Others include :- the definitely turned up snout: smooth or faintly keeled scales:
anal entire: and subcaudals in 2 rows.
This species, especially when the skin becomes old and dingy, superficially
resembles C. rhombeatus though it should be readily recognized by the more promi-
nent and turned up snout, as well as by the situation of the A-marking on the head
which barely touches the frontal shield.
Never having been fortunate enough to handle in the flesh an example of this
-evidently remarkably beautiful-species, it is necessary for me to rely entirely on
the colour descriptions of others.
Boulenger's description, probably from faded spirit material, does not seem to
do it justice, i.e., "Greyish olive above, uniform or with curved or chevron-shaped
black cross-bars pointing backwards; uniform white beneath."
Gunther's (1888) description of Causus jacksonii (= resimus) is:- "Adult, uni-
form greenish-olive, the abdomen whitish. A very young specimen has the back
crossed by numerous narrow curved bands, the convexity being directed backwards.
The neck and occiput are ornamented by the outlines of the arrow-shaped spot
which is observed in the two other species, but which in this species is lost in the
22 144 19
Loveridge (1933) records:- "The uniformly plumbeus appearance of the pre-
served snake gives a poor idea of the wonderfully vivid, yet velvety, green colour
of the living night adder. It is one of the most beautiful of East African reptiles ":
and the same author (in lit.) also refers to:- "a lovely velvety green shade with a
series of dark, inverted, chevron-shaped markings down the back." In life it has
also been referred to as being grass-green or olive in colour.
Habits-In general habits this species is unlikely to differ from its near and
commoner relation C. rihombeatus. Loveridge (in lit.) states that it is a frog-and
toad-eater, "and rather sluggish in disposition." It seems to be mainly associated
with moist, warm, low-lying localities.
According to Loveridge (1936) one Kenya female he collected contained 9 eggs
measuring 12 x 5 mm., and another 4 eggs of 19 x 9 mm.: he also obtained a juve-
nile 176 mm. in length at Kaimosi on 25th February.
The same author (1936) records finding a cestode in a male example, and spe-
cimens of the curious Linguatulids in others.
Venom-There is little on record concerning the properties of this snake's
venom which in all probability is not normally fatal to mankind.
CAUSUS LICHTENSTEINII (Jan).
Lichtenstein's Night Adder or Olive-green Viper.
(Plate XIV, Fig 5: Coloured Plate (Q), Fig. 3).
Native names-In Luganda, "Embalasasa": elsewhere it will probably be known
by any names applicable to C. rhombeatus wherever the two species occur side-by-
Distribution--This is a Rain Forest species, and according to Schmidt (1923,
P- 135):- "Causus lichtensteinii (Jan) is the most distinctive of the four members of
the genus, and is confined to the Rain Forest, while C. resimus and C. defilippi are
found in the Savannah Province, and C. rhombeatus in both Savannah and Forest."
This snake ranges from the Gold Coast through the Belgian Congo (including the
Katanga region) to Uganda and Western Kenya Colony (Yala river in the Kavi-
rondo country near Mt. Elgon).
Occurrence in Uganda-Vide the remarks on "Distribution" C. lichtensteinii
will only be found in the remaining forest patches and forest "islands". Recorded
localities include:- Entebbe, Lake Nabugabo (Masaka), Mabira Forest, Budongo
Forest, and the Bwamba region (2,800 feet) of the Semliki valley.
Description-This is another small species for which Boulenger gives a total
length of 413 mm., in which the tail of 35 mm. is contained nearly twelve times.
Sternfeld (1910) refers to an Entebbe specimen measuring 41 cm., and Loveridge
(1936) mentions a Kenya male of 527 (480+47)mm. and a Belgian Congo example
of 480 (442+38) mm. Three Uganda specimens collected personally measure res-
pectively Ir9 (tail 2) inches, a male, i83 (tail Qi) inches, and a female 570(525+45)
In a series of twenty-seven obtained by the American Museum Expedition to
the Belgian Congo, according to Schmidt (1923, p. 135):- "The greatest length observ-
ed is 572 mm. The proportionate tail length varies from .08 to .xo in the male
(average .090), and from.o07 to .08 in the female (average .074). The ventrals num-
ber from 133 to 149, the subcaudals in the male from 18 to 22, in the female from 17
to 19". The normal length seems to be about 18 to 20 inches, and the maximum is
unlikely to exceed 2 feet.
Scales in 15 rows: ventrals 133-152: subcaudals 17-22.
Scale-counts, etc., of specimens in the British Museum collection are as follow:-
Locality, Sex. Scale-rows. Ventrals. Subcaudals.
Entebbe female 15 152 17
Mabira Forest female 15 142 19
(2,800 ft.) female 15 142 20
(Belgian Congo) female 15 140 21
Bisu, Bunyoro 15 137 20
Entebbe 15 148 17
Mabira Forest female 15 145 19
Prominent characters are detailed in the descriptive note on the genus. Others
include:- the obtuse snout: feebly keeled dorsal scales: entire anal: and single
subcaudals, this last-named a feature which will immediately distinguish C. lich-
tensteinii from any others of the genus.
According to Schmidt (1923):- "This species is one of the least variable of
snakes, certain characters being almost absolutely stable." Loveridge (in lit.)
suggests that this viper "in its colour and markings might well be mistaken for
the garter snake (Elapsoidea gtintherii).........It is one of the three night adders
whose heads are not greatly broadened until the snake is annoyed: then it flattens,
not merely the head, but the whole body."
Boulenger, evidently referring to faded spirit material, gives the coloration:-
"Greyish above, with rather indistinct darker chevron-shaped cross-bands point-
Schmidt (1923, pp. 135-136) deals comprehensively with the subject of colora-
tion:- "Milller (19io, p. 616) has described the coloration in this species for both
adult and juvenile stages. The narrow dark chevrons described by Boulenger as
pointing forward and by Miller as directed backward are in most cases indistinct.
In one or two specimens, however, these crossbands reach a more complete deve-
lopment as rhombic markings, so that both descriptions may be correct, though a
backward direction of the chevrons is normal.
In the writer's collection, C,R.S,P.
The juvenile coloration is even more distinct than in Mlliler's description. The
smallest specimen (137 mm.) is dark brown above; a white line from the rostral over
the canthus, above the eye, across the temporals to the corners of the mouth, joining
a second on the border of the upper labials. A prominently white V, with the apex,
at the parietal suture, on the nape, edged anteriorly with darker brown. About 18
dark chevrons, the points directed backward, most distinct at midbody. Venter
anteriorly with dark crossbands the light interspaces invading the sides. Three of
these are distinct and subequally spaced, while the remainder are indicated only by
symmetrical white notches reaching the third scale row, the notch as wide as 2
ventrals, the interspace about 14. The tail has a white band, 5 dorsal scales in width,
at its base, and another, 2 scales wide, near the tip ......... Of the characters of the
juvenile color pattern, the white V on the nape is most persistent, although in many
of the adults of the present series (unfortunately much darkened by preservation
in formalin) it is entirely invisible. The dark chevrons are frequently entirely
obscured, the dorsal color being a uniform bluish olive. As in Causus rhombeatus,
the presence of white marks on the edges of the scales, originally probably as out-
lines of the dark chevrons, is an inconstant character; these cross rows of white
spots may persist after the entire disappearance of any other color pattern".
Examples personally collected in Uganda are of a general velvety olive-green
or resida-green colour marked characteristically. The eye is brownish, rather a
Habits-Uganda specimens were collected in the same type of localities in which
C. rhombeatus is locally found, in rather swampy areas near water, but all exam-
ples were associated with forest. One contained the almost-digested remains of a
frog. C. lichtensteinii in common with other members of the genus is almost ex-
clusively a frog-and toad-eater. It is highly nocturnal, and in disposition normally
sluggish. In general behaviour it is unlikely to differ from the two species already
described. All species of Causus, as has been previously mentioned, lay eggs. Ova
were forming in a female obtained in the Mabira Forest on i6th September.
Venom-There appears to be nothing definite on record concerning the pro-
perties of the venom of this night adder, though it is probably not normally lethal
Genus BITIS Gray.
No more fitting opening remarks on the subject of this truly horrid and fear-
some African genus will be found than those recorded by Ditmars on page 177 of
The Snakes of the World. "Bitis, with eight mostly big species, is the most spect-
acular genus of the family. Its members are really frightful looking creatures, the
personification of deadliness, and as dangerous as they look. Their distribution
covers the continent almost as broadly as that of the cobras.
These snakes are excessively stout for their length with very wide head. Their
fangs are enormously developed. They strike with a lightning-like flash, injecting
their poison by a combination strike and bite as do the pit vipers". The abnormally
long fangs not infrequently get broken during the act of striking, and Nature's
ingenious device for their replacement is detailed in the descriptive note on the
Viperidml. If the mouths of the three large Uganda representatives of the genus
Bitis are examined, more often than not it will be found that the snakes have the
appearance of being double-fanged, there being two large closely-situated fangs on
each side of the upper jaw: the extra fang either side is a fully developed renewal,
ready to move forward. There are records, published and other, of a fang or fangs
being left in the clothing of a human being after an ineffectual strike.
As previously indicated three species of Bitis, all of large size, occur in Uga-
nda. As they differ widely in habits, one or other species is likely to be found
throughout the Protectorate, but their mode of life is detailed fully in each descrip-
In the snakes of this genus small, rough scales similar to those on the back of
the body cover the snout and crown instead of the usual symmetrical shields. The
body is excessively bloated and frequently enormous: on the snout there is some-
times an arrangement of protruding or raised scales which produce a horn-like
effect: the pupil is vertically elliptical: and the stubby tail sharply acuminate. The
members of Bitis are ovo-viviparous, and often produce remarkably large broods.
Their food is principally warm-blooded, and although the hsemotoxic element in the
venom predominates, in two of the Uganda species-B. gabonica and B. nasicornis-
the poison also contains powerful neurotoxic properties. Fortunately the deadliness
of the two species just enumerated, which is intensified by considerable storage
capacity for their venom, is somewhat compensated by a placid disposition which
Some of the representatives of Bitis attain to the maximum dimensions and
weights recorded of any African viper, and individuals of more than one species
are known of truly gigantic and terrifying size.
Popularly, theserepulsive snakes are known as "puff" adder, an excellent nick-
name derived from a clever protective device endowed by kindly nature. Normally,
these creatures are of exceptionally sluggish habits, and in consequence prefer to
frighten.away an unwelcome intruder rather than move off themselves. So, like
the proverbial frog, when an example of Bitis wishes to demonstrate, it begins to
puff itself out swelling visibly as it inflates: then the process of deflation is accom-
panied by a loud, minatory hissing. Those who are wise accept the warning and
move on, or at least take heed.
According to Barbour, exceptionally loud hissing is produced by "the great
heavy-bodied species having a large lung capacity and powerful musculature".
In the course of the foregoing remarks most of the typical characteristics of
the various species of Bills have been mentioned: in addition the broad, flattened
head is conspicuously distinct from the neck; the nostrils directed upwards or up-
wards and outwards; the scales keeled, with apical pits, the laterals in some spe-
cies slightly oblique; the ventrals rounded; and the subcaudals in 2 rows.
Boulenger, referring to the nostrils describes them:- "with a deep pit or pocket
above, closed by a valvular, crescentic supranasal." According to Parker- (Linn.
Soc. Jour., Zoology, Vol. XXXVIII, October 1932) when describing a new species
of Bitis from Kenya Colony:- "But the best indication of generic relationship is