[QODLink]
Struggle Over the Nile
Dane Kennedy: The legends of the Nile
The British historian talks about the legends and speculations that have arisen around the River Nile.
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2011 12:45

"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." Dane Kennedy

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. 

 
Watch Struggle Over the Nile each week at the following times GMT: Tuesday: 2000; Wednesday: 1200; Thursday: 0100; Friday: 0600; Saturday: 2000; Sunday: 1200; Monday: 0100; Tuesday: 0600.

Click here for more on Struggle Over the Nile.
Source:
Al Jazeera
Topics in this article
People
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.