John Hanning Speke was a British explorer who arrived in Jinja, Uganda in 1862. He came in search of the answer to an age-old question: "where is the source of the Nile?"

In 1859, using Zanzibar as a starting point, Speke crossed to east Africa and ventured into the hinterland where he found a huge lake that he believed to be the source of the Nile.

The following year – on a new expedition - he travelled around this lake – today known as Lake Victoria - to discover the Nile flowing out from its northern side.

The Royal Geographical Society in London, established in 1830, sponsored expeditions into the heart of Africa.

It houses the maps, navigation tools and personal belongings of famous explorers from the 19th century – men who were in the grip of a romantic obsession to discover the source of the Nile.

Dane Kennedy, a British historian, talks about the legends and speculations that have arisen around the River Nile. 

"For Europeans, the exploration of the Nile is probably the biggest goal,  that drives their enterprise in the 19th century because it is seen as the largest and the most important river, and also because there is this long heritage, or history, associated with it … so to actually, sort of claim, we have found the source, brings with it, a kind of prestige and status … that really is much greater, than probably any other, sort of geographical discovery that anyone could make in Africa, at that time." 

Source: Al Jazeera