With two ships, Hanno continued south down the western coast of Africa and discovered the broad Senegal River where it emptied into the Atlantic.
He sailed up the river into the interior of the continent and marveled at the crocodiles and hippopotamuses. Later, he wrote that the ship was attacked by “savages clad in wild beast hides.
They drove us off by hurling stones at us and would not let us land.” The attackers were most likely inhabitants terrified by Hanno’s ship. His curiosity still unsatisfied, Hanno ordered the ship to turn south.
The ship passed a landscape of boiling flame and smoke, which Hanno named Chariot of the Gods. Historians believe Hanno saw Mount Kakulima, a volcano in what is now Sierra Leone. Finally, Hanno describes sighting hairy, humanlike beasts.
“Far the most of these were women with hairy bodies,” he wrote, “whom our interpreters called gorillas.” If Hanno did spot gorillas, it means he reached the Gulf of Guinea and may have ventured as far as Cameroon.
Hanno ends his account by stating, “Provisions failing, we sailed no further.” The voyage was an incredible achievement. It would take Europeans almost 2,000 years to repeat Hanno’s feat.