Skip to content ↓

View entry

Back to search results

Name: BOTTEGO, Vittorio

image of individualimage of individual

Birth Date: 29.7.1860 Parma

Death Date: 17.3.1897 Daga Roba

First Date: 1895

Profession: Explorer- Italian exped to find source of River Omo

Book Reference: North

General Information:

Killed by Abyssinians at Daga Roba
Wikipedia In his first expedition Bottego concentrated on tracing the channels of the tributaries of the Ganale Doria, that he named after the Italian biologist Giacomo Doria. With Captain Matteo Grixoni, Bottego left Bardera on 30 September 1892, with one hundred and twenty-four men. They reached the Shebeli River at Imi on 7 November. After eight days they crossed the river, entering the country of the Arsi Oromo, who proved hostile to Bottego. He passed through Arkebla and reached the Ganale Guracha ("Black Ganale") on 11 December, along whose banks he led his men upstream for 20 days.

Concluding that this was not the main stream of the river, Bottego left the river in a west-south-western direction until he reached the Ganale Doria, or the main fork of the Ganale, on 16 January 1893. Sick with fever, here Bottego was left by Grixoni who marched for the coast on 15 February with 30 men. Four days after Grixoni left, Bottego pushed inland as far as Mount Fakes, but unwilling to encounter raiding parties of the Ethiopians, he returned to the camp where Grixoni had left him. Bottego then crossed the tract separating him from the Dawa, and ascended that river until lack of provisions compelled him to retrace his steps. His party reached the Ganale Doria once more after six forced marches, in the course of which eleven men died of hunger. Two more died in camp from exhaustion, and two were drowned while hunting hippopotamuses.

In his second expedition (1895–1897), Bottego ventured into the then unknown region of the upper Juba, Lake Rudolf and the Sobat. He was the first European explorer to follow the course of the lower Omo River to its confluence with Lake Turkana. He reached and first found Lake Abaya, which he renamed Lake Margherita after Queen Margherita of Savoy wife of King Humbert I of Italy.

He then tried to return through Ethiopia, unaware that the country was at war with Italy, let alone that there had been a recent Ethiopian victory at Adwa. He was killed in the Maji range near Jellen when he was attacked by an Oromo tribe. His body was never recovered, and the account of his demise was told years later by two of his companions, Vannutelli and Citerni, who survived but were kept in prison for two years by Menelik II, emperor of Ethiopia.

Back to search results