THE NILE TRIBUTARIES OF ABYSSINIA AND THE SWORD HUNTERS OF THE HAMRAN ARABS
BY SIR SAMUEL W. BAKER, M.A., F.R.G.S.
I DEDICATE THIS BOOK,
WITH SPECIAL PERMISSION,
TO HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS ALBERT EDWARD,
PRINCE OF WALES,
AS THE FIRST OF
ENGLAND'S ROYAL RACE
WHO HAS SAILED UPON THE WATERS OF
THE LAKE SOURCES OF WHICH MIGHTY RIVER ARE HONOURED
BY THE NAMES OF
HIS AUGUST PARENTS.
THE work entitled "The Albert N'yanza Great Basin of the Nile,"
published in 1866, has given an account of the equatorial lake
system from which the Egyptian river derives its source. It has
been determined by the joint explorations of Speke, Grant, and
myself, that the rainfall of the equatorial districts supplies
two vast lakes, the Victoria and the Albert, of sufficient volume
to support the Nile throughout its entire course of thirty
degrees of latitude. Thus the parent stream, fed by never-failing
reservoirs, supplied by the ten months' rainfall of the equator,
rolls steadily on its way through arid sands and burning deserts
until it reaches the Delta of Lower Egypt.
It would at first sight appear that the discovery of the lake
sources of the Nile had completely solved the mystery of ages,
and that the fertility of Egypt depended upon the rainfall of the
equator concentrated in the lakes Victoria and Albert; but the
exploration of the Nile tributaries of Abyssinia divides the Nile
system into two proportions, and unravels the entire mystery of
the river, by assigning to each its due share in ministering to
the prosperity of Egypt.
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