This is the earliest account of the places from
whence gold is brought,
and of the course of its trade through Africa, and thence into Europe;
and is even more particular and exact than any that has been given by
Of the River Senegal and the Jalofs, with some Account of the Manners, Customs, Government, Religion, and Dress of that Nation.
Leaving Cape Branco, and the Gulf of Arguin, we continued our course along the coast to the river Senegal, which divides the desert and the tawny Azanhaji from the fruitful lands of the Negroes. Five years before I went on this voyage, this river was discovered by three caravels belonging to Don Henry, which entered it, and their commanders settled peace and trade with the Moors; since which time ships have been sent to this place every year to trade with the natives. The river Senegal is of considerable size, being a mile wide at the mouth, and of sufficient depth. A little farther on it has another entrance, and between the two, there is an island which forms a cape, running into the sea, having sand-banks at each mouth that extend a mile from the shore. All ships that frequent the Senegal ought carefully to observe the course of the tides, the flux and reflux of which extend for seventy miles up the river, as I was informed by certain Portuguese, who had been a great way up this river with their caravels. From Cape Branco, which is 280 miles distant, the whole coast is sandy till within twenty miles of the river. This is called the coast of Anterota, and belongs entirely to the Azanhaji or Tawny Moors. I was quite astonished to find so prodigious a difference in so narrow a space, as appeared at the Senegal: For, on the south side of the river, the inhabitants are all exceedingly black, tall, corpulent and well proportioned, and the country all clothed in fine verdure, and full of fruit trees; whereas, on the north side of the river, the men are tawny, meagre, and of small stature, and the country all dry and barren. This river, in the opinion of the learned, is a branch of the Gihon, which flows from the Terrestrial Paradise, and was named the Niger by the ancients, which flows through the whole of Ethiopia, and which, on approaching the ocean to the west, divides into many other branches. The Nile, which is another branch of the Gihon, falls into the Mediterranean, after flowing through Egypt.
The first kingdom of the Negroes is on the banks of the Senegal, and its inhabitants are called Gilofi or Jalofs. All the country is low, not only from the north to that river, but also beyond it, as far south as Cape Verd, which is the highest land on all this coast, and is 400 miles from Cape Branco. This kingdom of the Jalofs, on the Senegal, is bounded on the east by the country called Tukhusor;