oa Botswana Notes & Records - The Real Baines' Drift, 1871

Volume 38 Number 1
  • ISSN : 0525-5090



In 1871 the painter and explorer Thomas Baines crossed the Limpopo River at a point in northeastern Botswana into what was then the Transvaal Republic. Baines left detailed diaries of his trips to and from Mashonaland. These were subsequently edited by Wallis and therefore the information is generally accessible. Baines, however, did make mistakes in his mapwork. The historical result of these errors has been enormous. I believe that the cartographic inaccuracy of the course of the Limpopo over the three subsequent decades as well as the so-called Old Baines Drift is a direct consequence of Baines' erroneous longitudes.

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