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Richard Kandt
physician and explorer
Born (1867-12-17)17 December 1867
Posen, Kingdom of Prussia (now Poznań, Poland)
Died 29 April 1918(1918-04-29) (aged 50)
Nuremberg, Germany

Richard Kandt (17 December 1867, in Posen – 29 April 1918, in Nuremberg; original name Kantorowicz) was a German physician and explorer of Africa.


Richard Kandt started as a psychiatrist in Bayreuth and Munich. Between 1897 and 1904 he explored the North-West of German East Africa and in 1907 was appointed as Resident of Rwanda, where he founded Kigali. Nearly a century after his death, Kandt still is a well-respected person in Rwanda. His former house in Kigali is now a natural history museum.[1]

File:Kandt-Reise 1897-98.jpg

Kandt's expedition 1897-1901

House of Kandt in Kigali

In July 1897 he started from Bagamoyo and in July 1898 Richard Kandt discovered one of the Nile-sources in the Nyungwe Forest of Rwanda, the essential Nile-source in his opinion. Kandt tells about this in his book Caput Nili, a deliberately more fancy than erudite work. In 1898, he discovered the source of the Kagera River.[2] Between 1899 and 1901 he explored the Lake Kivu.

Since about 1900 he was a close friend with the writer Richard Voss.

On 2 July 1917 Kandt suffered a gas poisoning in World War I on the eastern front. Little later he caught a miliary tuberculosis in Poland. He died 29 April 1918 in a military hospital in Nuremberg.[3]


  • Caput Nili – eine empfindsame Reise zu den Quellen des Nils. Dietrich Reimer Verlag Berlin, 1904, 6.ergänzte Auflage 1921
  • Seele klingt. Dietrich Reimer Verlag, Berlin 1918. Poems, edited posthumously by Franz Stuhlmann.

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