Travels in South Africa in the Years 1849 to 1857


László Magyar (1814-64) was a Hungarian explorer who lived for 17 years in Angola and made important contributions to the study of the geography and ethnography of equatorial Africa. He was trained as a naval officer and served in the naval forces of Austria and Argentina. In 1846, he undertook his first expedition in Africa, a voyage up the Congo River. Magyar subsequently married a daughter of the King of Bihé and used his family connections to gain access to interior regions of the continent. Accompanied by a royal guard, between 1849 and 1857 he made six voyages to the sources of the Congo and Zambezi rivers, regions at that time still very difficult for Europeans to visit. He completed three volumes of geographical and ethnographic observations, with a focus on the Kimbundu people of present-day Angola. One volume was published in Hungary, but the manuscripts of the other two volumes, along with Magyar’s journals, were lost, most likely destroyed in a warehouse fire after his death. Shown here is the German translation of Magyar’s one surviving volume. It was published in Leipzig two years after the appearance of the Hungarian edition, and enabled non-Hungarian scholars to access Magyar’s pioneering work.

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Publication Information

Lauffer und Stolp, Pest, Hungary


Title in Original Language

Reisen in Süd-Afrika in den Jahren 1849 bis 1857

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Physical Description

xii, 450 pages, 8 plates, folded color map; 24 centimeters

Last updated: February 12, 2016