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EGYPT: Where is the source of the Nile?

Europeans began to learn about the origins of the Nile in the 15th and 16th centuries, when travellers to Ethiopia visited Lake Tana and the source of the Blue Nile in the mountains south of the lake. Although James Bruce claimed to be the first European to have visited the headwaters, modern writers give the credit to the Pedro Páez - a Spanish Jesuit missionary in Ethiopia. during the beginning of the 16th century.

More recently, John Hanning Speke (4 May 1827 – 15 September 1864)  - an officer in the British Indian Army -  made three exploratory expeditions to Africa. 

It is Speke who is most associated with the 'modern' search for the source of the Nile. he is also known for the discovery and naming of Lake Victoria.

The source of the Nile is sometimes considered to be Lake Victoria, but the lake has feeder rivers of considerable size. 

The Kagera River, which flows into Lake Victoria near the Tanzanian town of Bukoba, is the longest feeder, although sources do not agree on which is the longest tributary of the Kagera and hence the most distant source of the Nile itself.

It is either the Ruvyironza, which emerges in Bururi Province, Burundi, or the Nyabarongo, which flows from Nyungwe Forest in Rwanda.

The two feeder rivers meet near Rusumo Falls on the Rwanda-Tanzania border.

A recent exploration party that formed a documentary program produced by Tiger Aspect Productions and aired as 'Joanna Lumley's Nile'.

The team went to a place described as the source of the Rukarara tributary, and by hacking a path up steep jungle-choked mountain slopes in the Nyungwe forest found (in the dry season) an appreciable incoming surface flow for many miles upstream. 

They found a new source, giving the Nile a length of 4199 miles (6758 kilometers).

More recently, an attempt by the presenters of the popular television show 'Top Gear' was also made to find the source of the Nile.

 They succeeded in finding a spring somewhere to the South East of Lake Victoria that feeds it and ultimately into the Nile. But whether this the source or just a source has yet to be determined.

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