Monday, March 10, 2008

The Voyage to Mombasa on the SS Wangoni (complete with Ship's Cat)

The Wangoni was one of the great German East African /Woermann Line steamships that took adventurers across the world. It operated passenger and cargo services between Germany and East African, West African and South African ports and between South Africa and India.
The journey must have been fascinating with such a motley crowd of passengers from adventurers, business men, tourists, big game hunters and military personnel.
I found out by accident that Carl Jung was also travelling on this ship on his way to make a survey for the British Government. In his excellent book, Jung in Africa Blake Burleson devotes a chapter to this voyage He describes the atmosphere on board, the passengers' reasons for travelling, the after dinner conversations ranging from the terrible catalogue of diseases they may encounter to " fears and fantasies of this "terra incognita" of the Dark Continent.

I have yet to find out who Mr and Mrs Percy Woodmore were and what relationship they had with Allan Thackeray, but here is a photo of the three of them with small unnamed girl.. (I wonder what happened to her).

Photo on Board

Written on the back is
"Mr and Mrs Woodmore & Self. photo by Capt Maxwell, Bay of Biscay."

Postcard of the Wangoni : It must have been sent to Mum in a letter..

“My Darling Joyce. This is the steamer Father is in, You would like to see my little cabin and the narrow bed like a couch where I sleep. We have a nice Pussycat on the steamer, but not a dog. Sometimes the spray of the sea comes right over the deck and we have to run or else it would soak us. Your loving Father”

The Deck of the Wangoni.

Another photo postcard. I would assume these were for sale on board.

On the back is written “Bay of Biscay, S.S Wangoni outward bound to Mombasa 1925”

A few word about the journey in the next post.