The source of the Nile River is found in Jinja a town situated in the eastern part of Uganda approximately about 87km by road from Kampala and also referred to as the adventure capital of Uganda. In Jinja the mighty Nile flows out of Lake Victoria as well as from an underground source to start its journey northwards to the Mediterranean Sea (Egypt) as was discovered by the explorer John Hanning Speke on August 3rd, 1858.
History about the source of the Nile
John Hanning Speke a European explorer eagerly joined an expedition to East Africa in 1854 under the command of Captain Richard Burton. The purpose of this was to follow up rumours of the great in the interior but the main concern was the search for the source of the Nile.
Burton and Speke became ill along the way but later Speke proceeded with the expedition. Later on he came upon what he described as a vast expanse of the pale blue waters of the northern lake. He named it Lake Victoria and believed correctly that it was the source of the Nile.
Burton would not accept Speke’s claim to have discovered the source of the Nile for which he felt there was no convincing evidence. He believed that the true source was more likely to be Lake Tanganyika. But Speke got back to England in May 1859 before Burton, and announced that he had found the source of the Nile. His conclusions were doubted by many only to be confirmed later by Sir Samuel Baker on one of his expeditions into Uganda.
There were also rumours about the source of the Nile with Rwanda the land of a thousand hills claiming that the source of the Nile River is in Nyungwe forest.
How to get to the source of the Nile?
Travellers in and around Kampala need no worries about reaching the source of the Nile as it is a one and a half or two hours’ drive from drive from Kampala the capital of Uganda via Lugazi commonly known for large tea and sugarcane plantations and Mabira forest famous for a number of bird species to Jinja town. From mainland, get onto a boat to the exact point of the source of the Nile. The boat takes 20 to 30 minutes depending on the navigator.
Things to do at the source of the Nile
There are a number of activities to engage in at and around the source of the Nile River and some of these include birding watching, boat cruise, fishing, white water rafting, kayaking, among others.
The source of the Nile area is surrounded with a number of accommodating facilities ranging from budget, mid-range to luxurious choices. Some of these include Nile Village Hotel & Spa, Source of the Nile Hotel, Source of the Smile Guesthouse, Jinja Nile Resort, The tourist bay hotel, Pearl on the Nile hotel, among others.
Note: By visiting the source of the Nile, you really tell that Uganda is the pearl of Africa and you also see the source of the longest river in the world and the largest flesh water lake in Africa.