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History of lake Victoria | Mwanza Travel

History of lake Victoria | Mwanza Travel

Lake Victoria was discovered by John Hanning Speke in 1858 on his famous quest to find the source of the Nile, along with his travel companion Richard Francis Burton. Speke named it Lake Victoria after the reigning Queen of England. At the time, Speke caused much debate in the scientific community by claiming Lake Victoria was the source of the Nile River.

Its existence was confirmed by the Welsh-American explorer Henry Morton Stanley who at the time circumnavigated the lake and reported the great outflow was at Ripon Falls on the northern shore of Lake Victoria.

Prior to Speke’s arrival, Lake Victoria was well-known to the Arab traders who explored the inland routes in search of gold and ivory as well as sourced slaves from the region. An ancient map of the lake has been discovered and dates back to approximately 1160 AD.


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Discover the best day trips from Mwanza or try one of the best tours Mwanza and nearby regions. If you’re here as a family, you’ll find plenty of things to do in Mwanza with kids and find suitable accommodation such as Mwanza holiday apartments. Whether you’re looking for the best weekend breaks in Mwanza or planning a longer holiday in Tanzania, you can be sure you’ll find all the information you need. 

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