The Discovery of the Source of the Nile

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John Hanning Speke (1827 -1864) was an officer in the British Indian army, who made three voyages of exploration to Africa. He is best known for his search for the source of the Nile. In 1854 he made his first voyage, joining Richard Francis Burton on an expedition to Somalia. The trip went badly. Both men were wounded and returned to England to recover. In 1856 Speke and Burton made a voyage to East Africa to find the great lakes which were rumored to exist in the center of the continent. They also hoped to find the source of the Nile River. When they heard of a second great lake, Speke went alone, and found the lake, which he christened Lake Victoria. It was later determined that this was the source of the Nile. On a later expedition Speke went back to Lake Victoria and sailed from there down the Nile.

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