MYTHS OF THE NILE

An expedition to meet the Nile and its legends

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In addition to this, you will need to know more about it.

In addition to this, you will need to know more about it.

After 5 months on foot in 2012 and 2013 between Zanzibar and Jinja (Uganda), passing through all the sources announced, the expedition will end in 2014 after a final fieldwork.

In addition to this, you will need to know more about it.

Several thousand kilometers on foot alone for a deep dive in the heart of Africa, from the sea to its highest peaks.

MYTHS OF THE NIL is an expedition around the geographical Nile, its sources and tributaries, still sometimes discussed, and on the legends and beliefs of the peoples who live by the river. Led by Christian Clot mainly solo, it aims to better understand the different aspects of the most legendary of the whole river!

An experience where each step constitutes a new discovery.

In addition to this, you will need to know more about it.

The aim of the expedition is to better understand the interest aroused by the Nile and its basin for thousands of years until today. Several questions have marked the course, in order to better understand the current realities of the countries of its main basin:

  • Why its sources (here from the White Nile) have generated so much controversy that is still topical?

  • How are countries and peoples built today after centuries of slave trade - the abolition of which is not so old - and many internal conflicts not always resolved?

  • Life at the edge of the river whose waters, so important, are subject to important political negotiations which exclude the local people.

In addition to this, you will need to know more about it.

After 5 months on foot in 2012 and 2013 between Zanzibar and Jinja (Uganda), passing through all the

The aim of the expedition is to better understand the interest aroused by the Nile and its basin for thousands of years until today. Several questions have marked the course, in order to better understand the current realities of the countries of its main basin:

  • Why its sources (here from the White Nile) have generated so much controversy that is still topical?

  • How are countries and peoples built today after centuries of slave trade - the abolition of which is not so old - and many internal conflicts not always resolved?

  • Life at the edge of the river whose waters, so important, are subject to important political negotiations which exclude the local people.

Work will be carried out during the course, including a photogeoreferencing of the places in comparison with old images and a questioning of the evolution of the slave trade in the large Tanzanian counters.
The trip, carried out without motorized means, made it possible to stay as close as possible to the populations and the realities of the land with its varied and very rich climates and biodiversity, between 0 and 5,100 meters.

THE ROUTE OF THE EXPEDITION

A journey between history and current affairs, in very varied environments and landscapes, in direct contact with the populations

The route includes four completed stages, the first two of which were carried out during the same 2012 expedition, with a complement in 2013:

  • Stage 1 : Crossing on foot of Tanzania from east to west, following mainly the old slave routes.

  • Stage 2 : Ascent to the North through Burundi and Rwanda, as far as Uganda, the territories of the many sources announced for the Nile.

  • The steps ahead are initially to make a trip to Ethiopia, to the Blue Nile sources to compare the two basins of the Nile, and if policy allows current to fully kayak down the Nile.

Step 1: The slave routes

  • From Zanzibar to Ujiji at the edge of Lake Tanganyika (the place of the famous “Dr Livingston I presume” of Stanley) through the center of Tanzania.

  • 1900 kilometers of route between islands in the Indian Ocean, African savannah, large lakes and low mountains.


This stage, like a meeting of Africa and the imaginaries of the Nile, evolved around two main concepts, the slave markets and the expeditions to search for the sources of the Nile.

Tanzania and its "hidden" trading posts, Tabora, Dodoma, Zanzibar and others has, for centuries, been a hub of slave trafficking, concentrating the "catches" carried out throughout the upper eastern basin of the Nile ( Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda and part of southern Kenya). An Arab slave trade that only officially ended less than a century ago. How do these regions, these peoples live today, which have been emptied of their vitality and which are still struggling to rebuild themselves today?

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Step 2: The sources of life

  • From Lake Tanganyika (Ujiji) to Lake Victoria (Jinja), passing through the various declared sources of the Nile.

  • 4 countries: Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda.

  • 1,100 kilometers and more than 40,000 meters of vertical drop between tropical forest, mountainous foothills with tiered cultures, high mountains and one of the richest flora and fauna in the region.

This very varied stage, between four countries, several climates and with very rich flora and fauna, led Christian to the various declared sources of the Nile: from the most distant in Burundi to the highest in the Ruwenzori mountains, he retraced the main stages of the search for a myth.
The sources of the master river have always been the subject of controversy! The first inhabitants of Egypt imagined an inland sea giving life to the river. Then Ptolemy calculated that a high mountain must have been there source and from dozens of expeditions left in search of these mountains. It was finally the English, 1600 years later, who arrived at Lake Victoria from where the Nile leaves… Without really solving the mystery since several rivers feed this lake and several points are successively designated as the real sources. Again in 2006, an English expedition declared to have really found this illusory grail. Today, four "official" sources exist in Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda although it is still possible to discover several ...
This journey ended at Lake Victoria, considered the true source of the White Nile and the real beginning of the great river.

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