Monday, July 19, 2010

Murchison Falls (River Nile), Uganda

Murchison Falls on River Nile, Uganda

Murchison Falls seen from above

Murchison Falls (also known as Kabalega Falls or Kabarega Falls), is a waterfall on the River Nile. The waterfall breaks the Victoria Nile, which flows from Lake Victoria across northern Uganda to Lake Kyoga and then to the north end of Lake Albert in western arm of the East African Rift Valley. On top of Murchison Falls, the Nile forces its way through a narrow gap in the rocks, only 7 meters (23 feet) wide and falls down 43 meters (141 feet), and then flows westward into Lake Albert. Lake Victoria sends out around 300 cubic meters per second (11,000 cubic feet/second) of water over the Murchison Falls squeezed through a gorge less than ten meters (30 feet) wide.

Sir Samuel Baker named the falls after the name of Sir Roderick Murchison, who was the president of the Royal Geographical Society. Murchison Falls also lend its name to the Murchison Falls National Park, lying inland from the shore of Lake Albert around the Victoria Nile.

The 1970s the name Murchison Falls was changed to the Kabarega Falls during the reign of Idi Amin, after King Kabarega of Bunyoro (a region of Uganda), although it was never legally promulgated. However, after the downfall of Idi Amin the name was reverted back to Murchison Falls, though it is still sometimes referred to as Kabarega Falls.

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