Finding the Source of the Nile

"One of the Greatest Mysteries of All Time."

The John Speke and Burton Expedition

In 1858, Richard Burton and John Hanning Speke, teamed up to go to Africa to try to discover the source of the Nile, one of the world's biggest mysteries. They say that the journey was full of mystery and adventure, and scary events. Burton as well as Speke, state that their partnership was "harmonious". Burton and Speke both heard rumors of Great Lakes that are thought to be the source of the Nile in central Africa. Their journey took them to Lake Tanganiyaka. When starting off, they also started hiking up the Mountains of the Moon. Later on in their journey, Burton and Speke both became ill because of the harsh weather and hiking conditions. After a little while, Speke felt better, but Burton was still feeling ill. Speke decided to leave for a few days so that they could do more exploring and left Burton to rest. Speke stumbled upon something that he'd spent so much time in his life trying to find, what he thought was the source of the Nile. Lake Victoria, is what he claimed to be the source of the Nile. However, towards the end, Richard Burton was upset at John Speke for which he found the source of the Nile without him.

Google Earth

How has Google Earth Helped Us Today by Finding the Source of the Nile?

Today, we don't need as many explorers hiking around Earth because of applications like Google Earth. Google Earth helps us explore the whole world on just one screen, pretty amazing, right? So by looking at Google Earth, today, we can clearly see what feeds the Nile River and learn more about the Nile.

This group of explorers called themselves the Ascend the Nile team. They started off in the Nyungwe Forest in Rwanda. The Ascend the Nile team took the quest to be the first people ever to travel the length of the Nile to its longest source. They had to fight back crocodiles, hippos, and armies of mosquitos, which sounds complicated. They had to fight off other wild life as well and had to end up taking unexpected routes with difficulty. These adventurers ran into an unexpected ambush. While the expedition members barely escaped into the bush, the driver, Steve Willis--a former British Diplomat living in Uganda who had come to help the team--was shot to death. The other explorers state that their family and friends helped encourage them to continue on with their journey. After 80 days of traveling along the Nile, they found what they thought was the longest source of the Nile, deep in the Nyungwe Forest in Rwanda.