I realize I have yet to report on the second day of my Jinja trip where we visited the Source of the Nile, and what better place than sitting in front of the Nile (again)! I’m currently back in Jinja. Well, by the time this is posted, I won’t be in Jinja, as internet access is rare. However, here is my current view of the Nile as I drink a beer:
Due to some unforeseen (but most welcome) opportunities, I was invited to Tororo to check out the ToLab, and then to Jinja, to follow/chat with a PhD student as she’s recruiting children for her anti-malarial clinical drug trial. For the last week and a bit, I’ve been working really hard in the lab (10-11 hour days) in order to complete as much work as possible to be able to take over a week off of lab work. But before I tell of those adventures, I need to write about the Source of the Nile.
So last I left off, it was Canada Day and we had finished rafting the day before. We took a walk that morning and caught the tail end of the sunrise:
Before heading back to Kampala, S and I decided to check out the “source” of the Nile. We ventured onto the back of a… taxi (? sure)
…snapped some views of one of the main streets:
…and then proceeded to find this infamous source. Of course we had to pay 10,000 UGX (4 CAD) each to get in. The walk down was littered with shops selling overpriced souvenirs, and tour guides offering Nile tours were aplenty (probably because we were the first tourists of the day). We bargained one of them down from 50,000 UGX each to 30,000 UGX each, and headed onto the Ugandan-painted boat:
Our guide, Simon, was REALLY helpful. Him and his boat driver (Siobhan), took us around the Nile and pointed out many animals and birds. In fact, Simon was so good, I took his number and email, and pass along a good word (Simon Kitra – +256 788 069 126 – firstname.lastname@example.org).
We landed on the manmade island (built for environmental purposes to “preserve and enhance the wildlife on the Nile”), where we saw the origin of the Nile. Well, 30% of the Nile comes from springs about 40m below the surface, while 70% of the Nile comes from Lake Victoria (which may come from Rwanda or Burundi). They combine into one river (dubbed the White Nile) and flow to Sudan, where the White Nile connects with the Blue Nile which originates in Ethiopia), and both flow to the Mediterranean Sea.
The springs used to be more prominent until the Bujagali Power Station/Dam was built, which made the water levels rise significantly. Consequently, a number of rapids were affected, so rafting companies had to reroute their trails.
Ghandi’s ashes were sprinkled at the Source of the Nile and to commemorate this, a statue was built.
To finish off the day in Jinja, S and I celebrated with a Nile on the Nile, then headed back to Kampala: