More than just water at Source of the Nile
Posted Sunday, October 27 2013 at 00:00
Whenever one talks about the famous Source of the Nile, you will always imagine flowing river water. But there is more to that for you to gaze at.
On August 3, 1858, John Hanning Speke, an army officer’s son from the West, became the first white explorer to discover the source of the Nile. Today, you can discover more than just the source of the mighty Nile here.
As you drive through the villages leading to this source, there is hardly anything to muse about- save for busy days when the quad bikers are out roaring with their big machines as they are cheered on by smiley children.
Otherwise, it is a humbling drive whose destination is a big prize for your eyes. The drive-in is not that fancy, just a gateman waiting to flag down visitors for a security check and receipt your entrance fee payment of Shs2, 000.
Is it still worth it? Every second of the visitor if you are out to relax, get entertained and wash your head of boredom.
The green and grey
As you get in, you will see a number of trees which form beautiful canopy to shield you from the sunshine. The walkway is tarmacked and in a way creates a lovely contrast between the green and the grey.
At some point, it has a rise and if you are two people or more and like to keep memories, this is one point to take pictures using natural light as the sun sips through the branches and shrubbery.
From this point, you will be hearing a coordinated, musical beat of drums, shakers and then ululations which when you move closer will be of entertainers under the performing name Balifunaki Cultural Group.
They perform on the slope along a number of grass-thatched huts selling handmade crafts. Slightly before, is a monument stone of Mahatma Gandhi, a universal apostle of peace and non-violence.
The stone has words engraved on it that state that his ashes were immersed in the River Nile in 1948. This stone was unveiled by His Excellency Inder Kumar Gujral, former Prime Minister of India, in 1997.
Lonely Planet, the largest travel guide book publisher in the world, in their review of Source of the Nile says before the building of the Owen Falls Dam, this was the site of the Ripon Falls, where the Nile, known locally as Omugga Kiyara, thundered out of Lake Victoria on its long journey to the Mediterranean Sea.
“The falls were blown away to ensure a steady flow of water for the dam, but it is just not possible to make out where they were from the turbulence in the river. There is a large plaque covering the ‘discovery’ of the source by John Speke, although many Africans contend that their ancestors knew this was the Nile’s source long before the white man found out about it,” the review reads in part.
If you wish to watch the peaceful waters, birds flying across or simply have a meal as you take all this in. Then, Rumours at the Source of the Nile, a well-constructed and good viewpoint is the place to try.
On the signpost is an announcement that those heading to Samuka Island can dock here. From here you will see birds perched on stones either taking a rest from a swim or simply sunbathing.