Source of the Nile?

Ugandans will tell you that the source of the great Nile River is found in the town of Jinja, where the river flows out of Lake Victoria.  They will recount the story of the explorer John Hanning Speke and how he was commissioned to find the source of the Nile and declared that it is there, giving the waterfall he found the name Ripon Falls after a British politician.  (There is some disagreement over where exactly the source of the Nile is located: Burundi also claims the source of the Nile, saying that it is found at a spring on Mt Kikizi, southeast of Bujumbura.)

The source of the Nile must be very different now, as we are informed that  Owen Falls Dam was built downstream which backed up the river and then Ripon Falls was blasted to get the water flowing again.  In any case, we cannot really tell you much about how it looks, because they also blocked the view of the source for tourist exploitation.  We refuse to pay the Ksh10,000 cover charge to enter the “Source du Nil Gardens” just to eat at a restaurant near the mouth of the river.  Instead, we crane our necks to see it over a fence in a field a few hundred metres away.  Anyway, our experience with Lake Victoria has been that it is better viewed from afar, after our visit to its mucky shores in Entebbe.

We decide to head several kilometres downstream to swim in the Nile near Bujagali Falls.  The water is still slightly unappealing.  Perhaps we’ll find a better spot on the Nile as we make our way towards Egypt.

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