The source of the Nile alluded to hazily in the ancient writing of Ptolemy, stood as one of the great geographical mysteries of Victorian age.
The desire to uncover this geographic Holy Grail inspired epic journey of exploration undertaken by Livingstone, Stanley, Burton and Speke. And it was the Later, John Hanningtone Speak, on a pioneering 1862-3 took expedition around Lake Victoria, who first controversially suggested that, a small waterfalls was following northward out of the lake might be the legendary spring – a theory whose accuracy was confirmed more than ten years later by Stanley.
Flanked today by the city of Jinja, the water falls described by Speke now lies submerged beneath the Owen falls Dam, Uganda’s’ main source of Hydro Electric power. Still, a visit to the source of the Nile by boat remains a moving and wondrous experience, no less so to those who have seen some River water as it flows past the ancient Egyptian temples of Luxor some 6,000km down stream.
Closer to home the Nile down river from Jinja offers supper white water rafting and game fishing. It crowning glory, however, is Murchison falls, where the world’s longest river funnels through narrow fissure in the rift escarpment to erupt out of the other side in a crashing 43 meters plume of white water. The river below the falls is no less spectacular in its own way, with its profuse birdlife, thousands of hippos and outsized, gape-mouthed crocodiles