African Resources Thread

If you have ever done any research into African history I'm sure you have quickly come to realize how frustratingly hard it is to find good maps, if any at all. Maps are often hidden in academic articles, ancient blogs or buried in archives and it is a very time consuming process to find them. So the aim of this thread is to collect and organize these maps we do find and make them easily accessible for people that are interested in African history or people that would like to make Africa in their maps a little less bland.

I hope this thread comes to inspire more people to learn about the history of Africa and aids in the diffusion of knowledge of the continent and its peoples. Its such an amazingly diverse and fascinating part of the world with a huge potential for good story telling and really deserves a lot more attention than its currently getting.

If you have anything to contribute, be it maps, sources, texts or interesting anecdotes please do so!

  • Basler Mission Archive: features a huge collection of historical maps showcasing native polities, ethnic regions and many interesting photographs and images from as early as 1550.
  • Worldstatesmen: for many countries there is a section named "traditional states" which list native states and their rulers (including their traditional titles, extracted from, great place for getting an overview.
  • ethnia: among many other things this site lists native polities and organizations that existed within colonial or modern states from 1900 until today. Sadly it has a tendency for breaking.
  • porodicnoporeklo: a Russian blog giving a comprehensive overview of east African monarchical titles, pretty legible when translated through google translate.
  • gulf2000: a great resource on the modern islamic world. Its mostly focused on the Middle East but there are some maps on western and northern Africa

Northern Africa
Western Africa
Central Africa
Eastern Africa
Southern Africa
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Namibia, ~1900, Distribution of ethnicities before the Nama and Herero Uprisings
Ethnien ~1900.png
Ethnien ~1900 Legende.png

Namibia, Native landownership in 1901
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Sokoto Caliphate, including the division between the Sokoto and Gwandu Courts, as well as a listing of other subordinate emirates.

The various Mossi Kingdoms, though most were vassals of either Yatenga, Tenkudugo, or Wogodogo. Also called the Mossi Empire due to their close ties

Internal Divisions of the Gonja Kingdom
Togo, 1907, Grosser Deutscher Kolonialatlas; Regions outlined in red (Landschaftsgrenzen) correspond to tribal/lingual/ethnical areas of influence. Using worldstatesmen or ethnia you can approximate how centralized power is (i.E. larger kingdoms vs clans)

Northern Sheet
Southern Sheet
Kongo, (?), People in central Kivu, the accompanying text gives an overview of their relations and monarchical structure

NOTE: The text on the right is from a book called Lies of the Tutsi in Eastern Congo/Zaire, which leads me to believe that it might not be the most objective source. But since most of this list seems consistent with a more academic source I chose to add it here.

SOURCE: Monarchies, plantes et rituels agraires dans l’Afrique des Grands Lacs est-africains (XVe–XIXe siècle)
The various degrees of control over Madagascar held by the Merina Kingdom (sadly doesn't label the exact states)

Kingdoms of the Upper Volta Region, for some reason only the northern two Mossi Kingdoms are shown as separate from the rest. The kingdom north of Gondja and east of Bouna is the Wa Kingdom.

Smaller map showing the ownership of the Penguin Islands by Great Britain.
Uganda, 1900, Buganda Kingdom and its Counties (Note that Buddu extends into modern day Tanzania up to the Kagera river. The counties of Buyaga and Bugangaizi were part of Bunyoro until 1893 when the British assigned them to Buganda for their part in the invasion of Bunyoro)
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Uganda, 1900, Toro Kingdom and its counties
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Uganda, 1901, Ankole Kingdom showing the area of influence of the original Nkore Kingdom before the 1901 Ankole Agreement with Britain)
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Uganda, 1902, Kingdoms and Principalities of the Busoga Confederation
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SOURCE: Fabrication of Empire, The British and the Uganda Kingdoms 1890–1902
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Is there a way to mass download from BM? As a massive data hoarder, I'd love to have that many maps on standby.
I'm not sure there is a convenient way to do its, especially when you want to download them in a legible resolution. Maybe there is a way to do that by setting up an account in the "My archive" section? I havent gotten around to trying that yet
Madagascar, 17th-19th Century, Expansion of the Sakalava


Madagascar, 1720, Minor Sakalava Kingdoms

Madagascar, 1842, Minor Sakalava Kingdoms and Merina Influence

SOURCE: Im Land "dazwischen" Die Sakalava-Königreiche von Ambongo und Mailaka. (westliches Madagaskar, 17.-19. Jahrhundert)

Madagascar, ~1850, Influence of the Meringa Kingdom