Born in San Lazzaro Parmense in 1860, Vittorio Bottego was an Italian army officier and one of the first explorers of Jubaland in north-east Africa, now part of Somalia, where he led two expeditions.
Between 1889 and 1890 he sent to Parma a collection for the Natural History Museum. Arriving up to the clifts of mounts Faches, in his first expedition (1892-1893) he explored the regions near the Uebi and Jmi rivers in the Juba.
In his second expedition (1895-1897) he ventured in the still then unknown region of Lake Rudolf and the Sobat, along the Omo River, trying to return passing through Ethiopia, then at war with Italy. In a battle with the Oromo tribe, he found his death near Jellen and his body was never found. His last story was told years later by two of his companions, Vannutelli and Citerni, who survived the battle and were kept in prison for two years by Menelik II, emperor of Ethiopia.