East Africa. Land of Sunshine
Matthews, Dennis Owen FRS
Date of Creation:
This lively map of East Africa, includes modern day Kenya, Tanzania, Zanzibar, and Uganda. Centered on the Rift Valley, which is colored in a darker green, the map covers from Lake Tanganyika to the Indian Ocean and from the Sudan/Ethiopia border to Ruvuma River.
The map, intended to promote East African tourism, and sponsored by the East African Airways, and give the impression of a playground of wonderful exotic beasts well-connected by a comprehensive transportation network, also includes some very practical information about ‘Immigration Requirements’, and visitor ‘Health’.
The map identifies many of East Africa's great game parks, including the Serengeti, Tsavo, Ngorongoro, Marsabit, and Selous, among others. Noted as well is Lake Victoria, along with its supposed lake monster, Lukwata. Throughout the great beasts of the East African's plains, elephants, lions, rhinos, giraffes, buffalo, zebras, and antelopes abound. Moreover, much of the regional transport network is illustrated. The road network, complete with 1930s style automobiles, winds its way between cities and Nature Pakrs. It also illustrates several early African railroads, including routes from Nairobi and Arusha (Mout Kilimanjaro) to Mobasa and Tanga, and the Kigoma – Dar es Salaam Route.
"The Tanganyika Groundnut Scheme", located at the bottom center of the map is a darker area identified as the 'Ground-Nut Scheme.' In 1946, Frank Samuel, head of the United Africa Company, devised a plan to cultivate peanuts in vast portions of modern-day Tanzania. While the scheme initially seemed hopeful, difficulties with terrain, dangerous wild-life, limited transport, and lack of a reliable water-source ultimately undermined the plan. When this map was made in 1949, principles were still trying to get the plan off the ground by, by 1951, at considerable cost, the project was abandoned. Today it has become a byword for a hopeless and ill-conceived but expensive business venture.