In February 1864, weak with fever, Sir Samuel Baker and Lady
Florence Baker met King Kamurasi near here “I ordered my
men to carry me in their arms to the king, and to accompany me
with the presents, as I was determined to have a personal interview,
although only fit for a hospital! Upon my approach, the crowd
gave way, and I was shortly laid on a mat at the king's feet.
King Kamurasi was a fine-looking man dressed in a long robe of
bark-cloth most gracefully folded. He sat upon a copper stool
placed upon a carpet of leopard skins, and he was surrounded by
about ten of his principal chiefs. I asked the King to give me
a guide to the Lake Luta N'zige. He laughed at the name and repeated
it several times with his chiefs !” After an exchange of
gifts, Samuel Baker was carried back to his hut, where he found
Mrs. Baker lying down with fever, and neither could help each
Assisted by the King, who provided them with an escort, Sam
and Florence left M’rooli on the 23 February. Ill with fever,
they travelled south along the river Kafu, sometimes on foot and
sometimes carried by oxen, on, on towards their objective, that
great source of the Nile, Lake Albert.
Much later, in April 1872, Sir Samuel Baker returned, together
with Lady Baker, at the time when Kabba Rega was King of the Bunyoro.
He wrote “Kabba Rega and his chiefs were assured of a grand
reform. Already the slave-hunters had been punished: the vakeel,
Suleiman, was secured in the stocks, and the slaves that had been
kidnapped had been restored to their homes in Bunyoro.”
However, stirred up by the slavers, mistrust grew up between Baker
and the King and, in June 1872, Baker was forced to retreat back
to Fort Patiko. Lady Baker wrote in her diary “showers of
spears passed our faces”.
Sir Samuel Baker with Lady Florence Baker were determined to
put down the evil slave trade all along the Nile; due to their
courage and determination, they were largely successful even though
often out-numbered by the slavers.