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Source of the Nile



Uganda Map

Last Visited: 2008

Site of the Rippon Falls

Site of the Rippon Falls

Not really as the plaque claims, the Source of the Nile, of course, thatʼs miles away in in southern Rwanda, but the place claimed as the source by English explorer John Henning Speke when he "discovered" Lake Victoria in 1858.

The lake was, of course well known not only to the indigenous Bugandans but also to arab traders who called it Ukerewe. The Bugandans just referred to it as Nyanza, which means Lake in the local language, Luganda.

It is, however and impressive start to one of the worldʼs great rivers even if it is not the most distant from the sea. It would have been even more impressive in Spekeʼs day when the waters flowed out over the Rippon Falls. These were submerged when the Owen Falls hydro-electric dam was built. At the time of my visit, the notorious and controversial Bujagali Dam was under construction and I can only imagine what the whole of the Jinja area must now look like.

The Nile Source

The Nile Source

Regular tripper boats are available to hire from the gardens on the east bank that take you out to an island with a concrete pillar that looks like a WWII tank trap that is supposed to mark the point from which the length of the Nile is measured. Yeah, right! There is, however, some wonderful wildlife to be seen, particularly the birds which seem to have no fear of the boats.