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Mungo Park, Scottish surgeon

Mungo Park, Scottish surgeon

C038/5848

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Credit

SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Mungo Park (1771-1806), Scottish surgeon and explorer in West Africa. He was backed by the African Association to explore the true course of the Niger River. In June 1795 he travelled 200 miles up the Gambia River, crossed the Senegal River Basin and discovered the Niger at Segou. He followed the river downstream for 80 miles but was forced to turn back for lack of supplies. Surviving fever, robbery and imprisonment he returned to Britain and published a popular account Travels in the Interior of Africa (1797) which made him famous. He was commissioned by the government to lead another expedition to the Niger. He left in 1805, but after a 1000-mile journey down the Niger, Park was attacked by local inhabitants and drowned in the Bussa Rapids.

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