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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 other.

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.

The Sir Samuel and Lady Florence Baker Historical Trail is supported by the following partners:

For further information contact:
Julian Monroe Fisher FRGS FI'00


copyright Julian Monroe Fisher 2013-2016