This film is held by the BFI (ID: 435508).


INTEREST. A trip via rail, car and ferry from Cape Town to Cairo, showing the imperial and economic aspirations of the railway builders.

Main title (15). A map of the route (44-57). View from Table Mountain (69-79). Pan of Cape Town from Table Mountain (98). Groot Schuur the home of Cecil Rhodes and now the residence of the Prime Minister of South Africa (113-137). View from Rhodes' bedroom window (140-148). Photograph of Rhodes (157-167). The Rhodes Monument (177-194). MS of the bust of Rhodes (204). A statue of Rhodes (227-235). Travelling shot from a train through the bush (239). The Union Express steam train (No. 2824?) leaving Cape Town station (289). Travelling shot from the train of Table Moutain and the suburbs of Cape Town (300). Travelling through the Hex River valley; XLS of the train (315-355); travelling shot from the back of the train, two engines pull the coaches up the incline (354); ground shot as the train rounds a bend, the coaches are pulled by one engine, with another pulling up the rear (382); travelling shot of two engines pulling the coaches (405). Map of route to Kimberley (419-426). Street scene in Kimberley with trams and cars (434); a car park outside the Vignes Auction mart (438). Map of rail extentions to Port Elizabeth and East London (457-468). Photograph of Robert Williams, business partner of Cecil Rhodes (493-503). The Wesselton diamond mine; railway trucks carrying spoil, `blue ground', are moved along the tracks (529); HAS pan of the complex (534). MS two natives sorting diamonds (536-545). MCU of hands sorting through a typical day's output of diamonds (583). Map of the railway system to Johannesburg (593-603). LS pan right of gold mines complex near Johannesburg (619). HAS pan of suburbs (652). Scenes in Eloff Street (664-693). Map of railway system (713-724). Native gold miners enjoying Sunday off; they dance and play homemade xylophones. They wear a mixture of native and European dress. The dances are mainly performed by Zulus with shields, spears and headdresses (873). The railway station sign for Vyburg (877-883). The rail station, a train pulls in (888). HAS pan right of the town (893-904). An oxen train moves of, followed by another - recreation (?) of the expedition led by Robert Williams in 1891 to Rhodesia and Beira (936). Map of Rhodesian railway system (1014). Railway station sign for Bulawayo (in Zimbabwe, Rhodesia) (1033-1038). The train (No. 242) pulls into the station (1048). Main Street in Bulawayo (1051-1062); the Rhodes statue in Main Street (1068). Map of railway system continuing to Khartoum (Sudan) (1098). Explanitory titles describing the building of the Benguela Railway through the Congo (1214). The cottage at Muizenberg where Rhodes died in 1902 (1230). Map of the rail routes to Cairo; a model ship moves into Lobito Bay (in Angola) (1236). Travelling shot from a ship as it moves into the bay; passengers on the deck (1241); passing a two-funneled liner - possibly Union Castle liner (1249). The docks at Lobito Bay (1257). Map showing the route from Lobito to Cape Town (1273). A liner (two-funnels) arrives at Cape Town (Table Mountain in the background) (1292). Adderley Street (1297-1322). The grave of Rhodes in the Matapos Hills (1335-1356). Map showing the route of the Benguela Railway (1427-1441). Train (No. 204 of Rhodesian Railways) pulls into Wankie (Hwange) station (1477-1508). LS pan of Wankie (1523).

Rl.2. Map of railway system continued to Broken Hill (Kabwe, Zambia), where the railway arrived in 1907 (4-13). HAS of street in Broken Hill (18). HAS of Broken Hill (32-37). Map showing the the rail links to Kansanshi and Elisabethville (Lubumbashi) (34-93). The Kansanshi copper area; a native sits by the old native workings (115); the modern mining complex, pan right (130); the pit head (138). Street scene in Elisabethville (163); road junction and the post office (175). The Katanga copper mines (183-188). Photograph of the railway station at Elisabethville (204-209). Map showing rail line to N'tenke (Tenke) (237-241). Photograph showing railway line and sign for N'tenke (246). Map of the Benguela Railway line (259); closer view of map showing all of the stations along the route (325). A trip on the Benguela Railway from the River Luau to Lobito; goods train (CFB No. 200) pulls out of the station at N'tenke (?) (374-399). Travelling shot from train (422). The River Luau (426-435). Monument (a boulder with a plaque) commemorating the opening of the Benguela Railway (449-458). The station at Vila Luzo (475-499). MS of native women (511). The Koemba falls (522-562). Coffee plantations (566-590). The bridge at Quanza (Cuanza); LS of the bridge (606); travelling shot across the bridge (624); ground shot of the arrival at the other side (the train has flags on the engine) (651). Interior of the restaurant car - all the passengers and servants are European (656-680). The Angola Estates cattle ranches at Silva Porto; herds of cattle (695-705). Street scenes in Nova Lisboa (715-735). LS pan right of the railway workshops - huge square builings set on a bushland plain (746-781). The purpose-built `garden suburb' for the railway employees, rows and rows of square houses set in a plain (790-813). Maize sacks are loaded at Nova Lisboa (Huambo?) station (829-842). Travelling shot of the goods train through a cutting (engine CFB 304) (874). Still photograph of Robert Williams rail station with Europeans posing on the platform (890-904). Nearing Lepi; three mountains stand in a bushland landscape. The train can just be seen winding its way through the bush (916-924). Travelling shot from train (949). The sisal plantations of the Benguela Estates at Alta Catumbela (964-981). The train passes through the sugar plantations (991-1008). Crossing the bridge at Catumbela (1019-1029). Arrival at Catumbela station (1066). Train (CFB No 24) pulls into Lobito station (1101).

Rl 3. The docks of Lobito; a merchant ship docked, pan left to docks (12-43), loading a ship by the dockside; loading live cattle via a crane (51-78); loading sacks of maize from railway trucks marked CFB (Chemin de Fer Benguela) (78). Two natives move and stack large copper ingots marked `UMO' (98). The unloading of rolling stock; a steam engine (marked CFB and No. 230) is lowered by a large crane onto the dockside. The train has a sign `North British Locomotive Company Glasgow' above it (122); MS of unloading of the tender marked No. 229 (143). The unloading of a goods coach (onto the track on the dock); the coach is nmoved away (184). Pan left of the residential quarter of Lobito (198-215). Three Europeans, one woman and two men, walk along the beach (219-241). Map of Lobito Bay (264-278). Map of rail links from Lobito to N'Tenke and on to Dar-es-Salaam, Khartoum and Cape Town (362). Map of the rail system around Bukama (377-384). Train pulls out of Bukama station, passengers (mainly natives) cross railway lines (404). Natives moving long copper ingots and loading them onto barges on the Lualaba river (429). Barge loaded and floating on the river (443-449). Map showing the routes to Dar-es-Saleem, part river part railway; and the journey to Matadi (Pointe-Noire (?) on the Congo coast) (486). Map showing transport routes in Uganda, Kenya and Sudan (532-552). A paddle-steamer docked on the Lualaba River; a large steel girder bridge is in the background; natives stand by the steamer; the steamer moves off into mid stream (646). The paddle steamer `Comte (?) de Flandre' on the river (666). Map showing the route to Stanleyville (Kisangani) (674). Palm avenues in Stanleyville; natives walk down the avenues, many of the women carrying goods on their heads, a bullock cart passes (679-710). Map showing route to Mbarara in South West Uganda (742-762). Four cars travel through scrubland and along rough track (786). Crossing a small river by ferry - a makeshift raft (816). LS of tin workings in Katenge (822-830). Main entrance to the mine (850). Two Europeans check samples (853-877). CU of samples (882). Natives, under Eureopean supervision, build a large rectangular house from grass (884-897). MS three native men making grass mats (898-908). Crossing Lake Victoria by steamer - `Clementhill' filmed from another ship (913-934); closer view of the steamer (one funnel), passengers (mainly European) wave to the camera (948). Travelling shot as the steamer leaves pier (963). A native family group on the dock (975). Pan over Kampala (986-994). Street scenes (1021). The High Courts of Justice in Kampala (1023-1032). The native bus centre; crowds surround large cars and lorries in an open space; a man proudly stands by his `bus' (1037-1066). Ankole cattle (1068-1088).

Rl. 4. Bearers crossing the river Mabuko, heading for Ruwenzori and the Mountains of the Moon (14-50). The settlement at Kilembi and the mine workings (53-82). An entrance to one of the mines, a native turns a handle to an air pump, another native leaves the mine with a wheelbarrow (98). Other entrances (108-128). Dollying samples; under European supervision, six natives grind and pound samples (140). Two young boys beat a drum - the call to end work (148). Sunset behind the Mountains of the Moon (152-172). The journey re-enters the Congo at Aba; four lorries driving along a road (181-196). A long arched building, in each arch is a lorry. The lorries (around 15) drive out of the building. The lorries are marked `Societe du Haute Belle (?) de Nile Aba' (210). The lorries cross the border into Sudan; a uniformed native raises the barrier across the road and allows the lorries to drive through (225-248). Major Hindley, manager of the mineral deposits agency - Nile/Congo Divide Syndicate, outside his house offering directions to one of the party. The man gets into a car and drives off. The car travelling along a road (277). Gold sluicing operations; three natives in water to their waist shovel up mud from a river bed (285-294). A similar sight, though more complex, with the sluicing operations seen (305). Two men, one European, one an African, pan for gold (316). CU of gold in pan (325). A channel cut along the River Yei ready to sluice gold - the channel is dry (337-342). Men, women and children dance in a circle (345-364). MS Pan along line of natives (374). Map showing route to Juba (384-393). HAS of road through scrubland, two lorries pass along the road - the road to Juba (403). A ferry (Nile paddle steamer) crossing on the Nile; the ferry crosses the Nile with a car aboard. A car pulls up on the near bank of the river; the car on the ferry drives off once the ferry has docked (465). A Nile steamer (481-489). Map of journey to El'Obeid and proposed rail link to Kosti (519-548). Nile paddle steamer (with Union Jack) arriving near Malakal (560-570). A Shilluk in traditional costume and with sculptured hair (581); CU of the hair (586); pan along a group of young male Shilluks (618). Travelling shot from Nile steamers as they pass through the open swing rail bridge at Kotsi (632-694). Map of journey to Khartoum (726-734). Arrival at Khartoum train station (trains are marked SGR (Sudan Government Railway)) (756). Travelling shot from Nile of Governor-General's Palace (777-789); view from gardens of rear of building (799). The statue of General Gordon in Khedive Avenue (804-812). Gordon Memorial College; young African men march through the grounds (824-844). Statue of Lord Kitchener in front of the Government Offices (857-865). The zoological gardens; in a parkland setting with formal pond, antelope, deer and ostriches run around (889). A working `saskia' - a oxen-driven water wheel pumping up water from the Nile (899-922). Street scenes in Omdurman; children run to the camera (935-955). Train crosses the seven span bridge near Atbara (969-983). Map showing route to Atbara (993). Pan of Atbara (1022). Map of rail route to Port Sudan (1037-1048). CU of Hadendoas men (Fuzzy-Wuzzies) (1070). Pan of the docks at Port Sudan (1082-1104). Map of journey from Atbara to Wadi Halfa (118-1130). A train passes through the Nubian desert (1151). The Secod Nile Cataract (1165-1172); natives with inflated goat skins swim in the cataracts (1217). Native bus service in Halfa; three lorries are crammed with people, the lorries drive off (1239); four packed lorries drive off (1249). A camel train entering Halfa (1257-1282). Map of journey to Shellal (1295-1302). Nile steamer (1318). Abu Simbel temple (1329-1342). Philae (1355-1364). Aswan Dam (1381-1389). Map of journey to Luxor (1402-1410). Luxor and the Temple of Karnak (1428). Temple of Rameses II (1431-1447). Colossi of Memnon (1450-1461). Map of journy to Cairo (1468-1487). Arrival by train at Cairo station (1514). HAS of square in Cairo with cars, trams and pedestrians (1529). Pan of the city skyline (1556). The Syphinx and Pyramid (1580-1603). (5315ft).

Note: This film is dated after June 1929 since it shows the monument commemorating the opening of the Benguela Railway which took place on that date. The sound version shows the inaugural journey.




Technical Data

Film Gauge (Format):
35mm Film
5315 ft

Production Credits

Production Countries:
Great Britain
Benguela Railway Company
Production Company
Wardour Films