The Source of the Nile

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If there ever was the epitome of a Victorian era English explorer/hunter, it was Sir Samuel White Baker. On this day, 14 March in 1864, Sir Samuel White Baker confirmed that the great lake lying between what is now Uganda and Congo is the source of the Nile. He named it after the recently deceased Prince Albert, claiming it was the source of the Nile.

Sir Samuel White Baker was born on 8 June 1821 to a wealthy family in London. Baker graduated MA as a civil engineer in Germany. He married in 1843 and went to Mauritius to manage the family plantations. The lack of large game made him journey, with his wife, to Ceylon where he hunted elephant, water buffalo, and deer. In 1855 the Bakers returned to England where his wife died after the birth of their child. In 1860 he remarried a slave girl he had rescued in Eastern Europe and cast his eyes toward Africa. In 1861 he and his new wife, Florence, whom he greatly loved, left to explore Abyssinia via the Nile. He took ten rifles, one of which was a 4-bore nicknamed “Baby,” as well as some pistols for good measure. His main quarry was elephants. Thereafter they journeyed to the southern Sudan and after much hardship the Bakers arrived in Cairo in 1865. In 1866 he was knighted by Queen Victoria. In 1869 he undertook the suppression of the slave trade in what is today the southern Sudan, with the Pasha of Egypt. In 1878 Baker and his wife went to Cyprus and thereafter made a three-year world tour, hunting wherever he could. They then settled in Devon while making trips to Cairo and India occasionally. In 1893 he died of a heart attack at the age of 72.

BAker

The following is a list of some of his published works:

  • THE RIFLE AND HOUND IN CEYLON
  • EIGHT YEARS WANDERINGS IN CEYLON
  • THE ALBERT N’YANZA, GREAT BASIN OF THE NILE
  • EXPLORATION OF THE NILE TRIBUTARIES OF ABYSSINIA
  • THE NILE TRIBUTARIES OF ABYSSINIA
  • ISMAILIA
  • TRUE TALES FOR MY GRANDSONS
  • THE EGYPTIAN QUESTION: BEING LETTERS TO “THE TIMES” AND  “PALL GAZETTE”
  • WILD BEASTS AND THEIR WAYS
  • CYPRUS AS I SAW IT IN 1897
  • IN THE HEART OF AFRICA

 

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The Source of the Nile is written by for www.safaripress.com

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