Lembarene Is Strictly Speaking A District Which Includes Adanlinan
Langa And The Island, But The Name Is Locally Used To Denote The
Great Island In The Ogowe, Whose Native Name Is Nenge Ezangy; But
For The Sake Of The General Reader I Will Keep To The Everyday Term
Of Lembarene Island.
Lembarene Island is the largest of the islands on the Ogowe.
some fifteen miles long, east and west, and a mile to a mile and a
half wide. It is hilly and rocky, uniformly clad with forest, and
several little permanent streams run from it on both sides into the
Ogowe. It is situated 130 miles from the sea, at the point, just
below the entrance of the N'guni, where the Ogowe commences to
divide up into that network of channels by which, like all great
West African rivers save the Congo, it chooses to enter the Ocean.
The island, as we mainlanders at Kangwe used to call it, was a great
haunt of mine, particularly after I came down from Talagouga and saw
fit to regard myself as competent to control a canoe.
From Andande, the beach of Kangwe, the breadth of the arm of the
Ogowe to the nearest village on the island, was about that of the
Thames at Blackwall. One half of the way was slack water, the other
half was broadside on to a stiff current. Now my pet canoe at
Andande was about six feet long, pointed at both ends, flat
bottomed, so that it floated on the top of the water; its freeboard
was, when nothing was in it, some three inches, and the poor thing
had seen trouble in its time, for it had a hole you could put your
hand in at one end; so in order to navigate it successfully, you had
to squat in the other, which immersed that to the water level but
safely elevated the damaged end in the air.
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