Basso Naebor Stefanie - Encyclopedia




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BASSO STEFANIE Naebor, or Chuwaha, a lake of East Africa, lying in 37° E., between 4°25' and 5° N., and measuring some 40 m. by 15. It is the southernmost and lowest (1880 ft.) of a series of lakes which lie in what appears to be a north-easterly continuation of the great East African rift valley, although this loses its clearly marked character in about 3° N. There is, however, a well defined watershed extending from the hills east of Stefanie to the Harrar range. The character of the lake, which has no outlet, varies greatly according to the amount of water brought down by its principal feeder, the Dulei, which enters at its north end, being there a fairly rapid stream so yds. wide and 32 ft. deep. At low water the western part of the lake is dry. The Dulei, which rises north of 6° N., is joined in about 36° 55' E., 5° 8' N. by the Galana Sagan or Galana Amara. The Sagan in times of flood receives the overflow of the next lake in the series, Chambo or Ganjule, which lies, at a height of 3460 ft., 70 m. north-north-east of Stefanie. Chambo in turn receives the waters of a larger lake - Abai, Abaya, Pagade or Regina Margherita - through the river Walo, across a plain only 2 m. wide. Abai lies 4200 ft. above the sea, is 45 m. long and 18 m. across at its greatest width. It is cut by 38° E. There are a number of islands on the lake. All the lakes of the series are shut in by high mountains, those surrounding Lake Abai, together with the islands with which its surface is broken, being clothed with luxuriant vegetation. The chief feeder of Abai, the Bilate, rises in about 8° N. North-east of Abai are several smaller lakes unconnected with the more southerly system.

Lake Stefanie was discovered by Count Samuel Teleki in 1881, and has since, with others of the series, been explored by Donaldson Smith, V. Bottego, M. S. Welby, Oscar Neumann and others. J. J. Harrison in 1899 found the lake quite dried up, and two years later Count Wickenburg found water only in the northern part. An agreement of 1907 with Great Britain recognized the lake as within the Abyssinian Empire.

See Geographical Journal (Sept. 1896, Sept. and Dec. 1900, Sept. 1901, Oct. 1902). L. von Hamel, Discovery of Lakes Rudolf and Stefanie (London, 1894); L. Vannutelli and C. Citerni, L'Omo (Milan, 1899); British War Office map, Africa, sheet 79.

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