Gustav Nachtigal is assuredly the most neglected, and the most unjustly so, of the major European travellers in Africa. On February 18, 1869, he set out from Tripoli, travelling southwards towards Bornu, just west of Lake Chad; he re-emerged from the African interior almost exactly five and a half years later, on August 10, 1874, at El-Obeid in what is today the Republic of Sudan. Of this marathon journey, Nachtigal left an account of correspondingly epic proportions, Sahara and Sudan. Published between 1879 and 1889, partly posthumously (Nachtigal died in 1885), the German text totalled some 2,000 pages. This rather daunting length, Nachtigal's somewhat rococo, even Doughty-esque style, and the lack for almost a century of a complete translation into any other language, have not dislodged him from the bibliographies of scholarly books about the area, but they have certainly limited the number of times he appears in footnotes. Yet the range of his interests is encyclopaedic. A qualified medical doctor, whose training had included some study with Professor Rudolf Virchow, one of the fathers of modern anthropology, at Wiirzburg, he had a keen sense of scientific precision in observation and description. He had lived, and practised medicine, for several years in North Africa, chiefly in Tunis, thus gaining a familiarity with at least Muslim Africa, and a command of Arabic. He continued to make his medical skills and supplies as widely available as possibly throughout his travels.