Frank Oates

Matabele Land and the Victoria Falls

Kegan Paul, Trench, & Co., London, 1881

A scarce and important travelogue regarding South Africa. Taken from the letters and journals of British naturalist, Frank Oates. The first edition lost many copies in a fire at the publishers, with the second edition not published until eight years later. The second edition sees an extended appendix and additional color illustrations. There are also slight additions to the narrative portion and extended footnotes on botanical points. The illustrations are 'all from original drawings taken on the spot, or from the objects they purport to represent.' Some are from sketches by the late Frank Oates; the remainder- and these the larger number - from those of his brother W E Oates who accompanied him during a portion of his journey. With a memoir of the author to the start of the work. Oates discusses the flora and fauna of the area in great detail, with accompanying illustrations. In particular, he describes the Baobab tree and many other natural sights that Europeans were not familiar with. This work is also one of the earliest accounts of Europeans witnessing the Victoria Falls.

Frontispiece and title-page of the Second Edition

My facsimile reprint of the 1881 First Edition

My facsimile reprint of the 1889 Second Edition