A new long distance trail is set to open in Africa in early
2014. The new trail will give adventure seekers the opportunity
to follow in the footsteps of a legendary explorer while also
visiting the newest country on the planet – South Sudan.
Along the way they'll get the chance to experience parts of
Africa that remain wild and undeveloped, passing through landscapes
that have remained largely unchanged for centuries.
The Sir Samuel and Lady Florence Baker Historical Trail will
stretch from Juba in South Sudan to Baker's View, which overlooks
Lake Albert in western Uganda. The route will cover approximately
575 km (357 miles) along the same path that the Bakers followed
on their two expeditions to Africa, which took place in the
1860's and 70's. The route will end at the point where Sir
Samuel became the first European to ever set eyes on Lake
Albert, which he himself named after Prince Albert.
The trail is being created through the efforts of Anthropologist
and explorer Julian Monroe Fisher who is working closely with
the Uganda Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife & Antiquities,
The Uganda Wildlife Authority and the Ministry of Wildlife,
Conservation & Tourism for South Sudan. The descendants
of Sir Samual and Lady Florence Baker are also taking part
in the creation of this new route, which is being developed
with the support of RailRiders Adventure Clothing and Costa
Del Mar Sunglasses, both of which are sponsors of Fisher's
Great African Expedition. It was during Phase Two of that
expedition when Fisher assisted by the guidance of local indeginous
Ugandans and South Sudanese found the exact location of Baker's
View. The GAE team are accredited by the Ugandan Government
with correcting key locations on maps. Fisher will return
to Uganda in June 2013 to begin placing historical markers
along the trail which will designate places that the Bakers
camped while they were exploring the region.
During the 1860's and 70's, Samuel Baker explored much of
central Africa and later along the path of the Nile. His wife,
Lady Florence, traveled with him on his expeditions as he
wandered throughout much of what is now Uganda and South Sudan.
One of his early adventures took him to the shores of Lake
Albert, which he discovered in 1864. In addition to their
contributions towards filling in the blank spots on the map,
the Bakers were also staunchly against slavery. The couple
publicly called for the abolition of the slave trade, a fact
that is not forgotten in the region even in the 21st century.
The new trail is set to officially open in January of 2014
in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of Baker's expedition.
Unlike many trails of this kind, access will not only be granted
to hikers, but also mountain bikers and eventually 4x4 vehicles
as well. Future extensions to the trail will expand on its
length, including a long loop in South Sudan that will lead
to the summit of Mount Kinyeti, the tallest peak in the region
at 3187 meters (10,456 ft).
The trail is also being seen as an economic boon for both
Uganda and South Sudan. The hope is that the scenic route
will lure trekkers to the area bring much needed in flux of