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On March 14, 1864 Samuel and Florence Baker after
over two years of arduous travel from Cairo, arrived at this point.
Baker writes in his book Albert Nyanza, “That night I hardly
slept. For years I had striven to reach the "sources of the
Nile." In my nightly dreams during that arduous voyage I
had always failed, but after so much hard work and perseverance
the cup was at my very lips, and I was to drink at the mysterious
fountain before another sun should set—at that great reservoir
of Nature that ever since creation had baffled all discovery.
We had both determined to die upon the road rather than return
The sun had not risen when I was spurring my ox
after the guide, who had caught the enthusiasm of the moment.
The day broke beautifully clear, and having crossed a deep valley
between the hills, we toiled up the opposite slope. I hurried
to the summit. The glory of our prize burst suddenly upon me!
There, like a sea of quicksilver, lay far beneath the grand expanse
of water,—a boundless sea horizon on the south and southwest,
glittering in the noonday sun; and on the west, at fifty or sixty
miles' distance, blue mountains rose from the bosom of the lake
to a height of about 7,000 feet above its level.
It is impossible to describe the triumph of that moment;—here
was the reward for all our labour—for the years of tenacity
with which we had toiled through Africa.
Long before I reached this spot, I had arranged
to give three cheers with all our men in English style in honour
of the discovery, but now that I looked down upon the great inland
sea lying nestled in the very heart of Africa, and thought how
vainly mankind had sought these sources throughout so many ages,
and reflected that I had been the humble instrument permitted
to unravel this portion of the great mystery when so many greater
than I had failed, I felt too serious to vent my feelings in vain
cheers for victory, and I sincerely thanked God for having guided
and supported us through all dangers…..”