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African old map VICTORIAN AFRICA MAPS African old map

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Whither Africa? Much of the continent's exploration was by intrepid gentleman scientists who wanted to map the unknown. But it was slow going. Even maps from the late 19th century bear significant blank areas. The idea of mapping Africa seems easy enough today, but in the 19th century everything had to be done by hand. Navigating and surveying involved cumbersome often sensitive instruments that all had to be portered to unknown regions. The hazards were legion: diseases such as malaria, yellow fever and sleeping sickness, wild animals, strange languages, exposure to all weathers, and hostile native tribes and belligerent Arab traders. Yet, slowly but surely, more gaps were filled, and the interior of the continent was unveiled. The maps here tell the story—as you go from older to more recent maps you will see how more and more of "Darkest Africa" became less and less unknown.

Click below for old map images and information:

17th Century maps

Ortelius 1603 map Ortelius 1603 map

Hondius 1609 map Hondius 1609 map

Sanson 1650 map Sanson 1650 map

This way for Victorian maps More photos of Victorian map

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