On this day in 1862…

…John Hanning Speke made a triumphant note in his diary:

 Though beautiful, the scene was not exactly what I expected; for the broad surface of the lake was shut out from view by a spur of hill and the falls, about 12 feet deep, and 400 to 500 feet broad, were broken by rocks. Still it was a sight that attracted one to it for hours — the roar of the waters, the thousands of passenger-fish leaping at the falls with all their might, the Wasoga and Waganda fishermen coming out in boats and taking post on all the rocks with rod and hook, hippopotami and crocodiles lying sleepily on the water, the ferry at work above the falls, and cattle driven down to drink at the margin of the lake, — made, in all, with the pretty nature of the country — small hills, grassy-topped, with trees in the folds, and gardens on the lower slopes — as interesting a picture as one could wish to see. The expedition had now performed its function. I saw that old father Nile without any doubt rises in the Victoria N’yanza, and as I had foretold, that lake is the great source of the holy river which cradled the first expounder of our religious belief.

John Hanning Speke, The Journal of the Discovery of the Source of the Nile, 1862.

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