The Victoria River Nile

The river that flows out of Victoria Nyanza is the White Nile and the section between Lake Victoria and Lake Albert is called the Victoria Nile. The river leaves the north end of Lake Albert as the Albert Nile, flows through northern Uganda, and at the Sudan border becomes the Bahr al-Jabal or White Nile in Arabic. Various tributaries flow through the Bahr al-Ghazal district.

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The source of the Nile was discovered in the 1860s by John Hanning Speke, an English soldier and explorer. In December 1856 Speke accepted an invitation from Burton to join an expedition to search for the reported great lakes in east central Africa and, particularly, to try and find Lake Nyassa, said to be the origin of the Nile. They left Zanzibar in June 1857 and, after exploring the East African coast for six months to find the best route inland, became the first Europeans to reach Lake Tanganyika in February 1858. During the return trip, Speke left Burton, who was unwell, and struck out northward alone. In July he found his lake, which he named in honour of Queen Victoria.

Speke's conclusion about the lake as a Nile source was rejected by Burton and was disputed by many in England. However, the Royal Geographical Society, which had sponsored the expedition, honoured Speke for his exploits and commissioned a second expedition in 1860 to resolve the dispute. Speke and Captain James Grant mapped a portion of Lake Victoria. In July 1862 Speke, unaccompanied by Grant, found the Nile's exit from the lake and named it Ripon Falls located in Jinja (Uganda).


  • Murchison Falls NP is bisected by the Victoria River Nile, which divides the park into the northern and southern parts. The river flows between Lake Kyoga and Lake Albert, and falls 43 m over a 7 meter gap.

  • The rapids of the Victoria Nile: The Victoria Nile has several beautiful rapids that can be seen at Jinja and Karuma. A day trip to Jinja to view the beautiful rapids of the Victoria River Nile is an impressive experience.

  • Rafting: If you are up for a day full of adrenaline, then don't miss rafting the Nile. The rafting trip starts at Jinja near the source of the Nile and will take you 25 km downstream, a trip which includes grade 5 rapids. This activity is offered in co-operation with specialised operators.
  • Weather conditions: Warm & sunny.

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