Alexander Keith Johnston (1844–1879)

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Memorial to Alexander Keith Johnston, Grange Cemetery

Alexander Keith Johnston (November 11, 1844 in Edinburgh – June 28, 1879 in Tanzania) was a Scottish explorer, cartographer and geographer.

He was the son of published geographer Alexander Keith Johnston (1804–1871) and Mary Grey.

From 1873 to 1875 he was geographer to a commission for the survey of Paraguay. He led a Royal Geographical Society expedition to Lake Nyasa and Lake Tanganyika. After only six weeks of the expedition Johnston died from malaria and dysentry in the village of Beho Beho in what is now the Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania .[1] He was accompanied by fellow Scot Joseph Thomson (explorer) who successfully completed the expedition.

Several expeditions were conducted by * Mike Shand (University of Glasgow) to find the grave of Keith Johnston at Behobeho between 2001 and 2004. The grave searches have been documented in a chapter of the book *Wild Heart of Africa - The Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania, edited by Rolf Baldus and published by Rowland Ward in 2009.

He died at Beho Beho in South Africa[2] and is memorialised on his father's grave in Grange Cemetery in Edinburgh.


  1. ^ Shaw, Karl (2010). Curing hiccups with small fires : a delightful miscellany of Great British eccentrics. London: Pan. ISBN 978-0-330-51292-3.
  2. ^ Grave of A K Johnston, Grange Cemetery