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After their extended stay in Obbo waiting for the river Assua to become passable, Sir Samuel and Lady Baker at last set off south on the 5th January 1864. Both Sam and Florence were ill with malaria and had used their last grains of quinine. Though weak they continued south towards their obstacle , the river. Sir Samuel writes “The river was a hundred and twenty paces broad, and from the bed to the top of the perpendicular banks was about fifteen feet. At this season it was almost dry, and a narrow channel of about six inches deep flowed through the centre of the otherwise exhausted river. It formed the great drain of the country, all its waters flowing to the Nile, but during the dry months it was most insignificant. The country between Farajoke and the Assua, although lovely, was very thinly populated”

“Our resting-place was on the dry, rocky bed of the river, close to the edge of the shallow but clear stream that rippled over the uneven surface. Some beautiful tamarind trees afforded a most agreeable shade, and altogether it was a charming place to bivouac. Refreshed by a bathe in the cool river, I slept as sound as though in the most luxurious bed in England.” Dining on antelope soup and cutlets, it is clear that Sir Samuel had recovered his energy and good spirits!

Sir Samuel and Lady Florence travelled on from what is now Nimule towards the country of the Patiko tribes. They found in Shooa a land of plenty “a land flowing with milk and honey” with fowls, butter, goats, in abundance. Sesame was grown in large quantities and carefully harvested, the crop gathered and arranged in oblong frames about twenty feet long by twelve high, so drying the crop before it was stored in large beautifully constructed granaries.

Welcomed by the people and well fed Sir Samuel and his party were greatly encouraged on their way south to find that great basin of the Nile Lake Albert Nyanza.


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