Gondokoro - Encyclopedia




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GONDOKORO, a government station and trading-place on the east bank of the upper Nile, in 4° 5 4 ' N., 31° 43' E. It is the headquarters of the Northern Province of the (British) Uganda protectorate, is 1070 m. by river S. of Khartum and 350 m. N.N.W. in a direct line of Entebbe on Victoria Nyanza. The station, which is very unhealthy, is at the top of a cliff 25 ft. above the river-level. Besides houses for the civil and military authorities and the lines for the troops, there are a few huts inhabited by Bari, the natives of this part of the Nile. The importance of Gondokoro lies in the fact that it is within a few miles of the limit of navigability of the Nile from Khartum up stream. From this point the journey to Uganda is continued overland.

Gondokoro was first visited by Europeans in 1841-1842, when expeditions sent out by Mehemet Ali, pasha of Egypt, ascended the Nile as far as the foot of the rapids above Gondokoro. It soon became an ivory and slave-trading centre. In 1851 an Austrian Roman Catholic mission was established here, but it was abandoned in 185 9. It was at Gondokoro that J. H. Speke and J. A. Grant, descending the Nile after their discovery of its source, met, on the 15th of February 1863, Mr (afterwards Sir) Samuel Baker and his wife who were journeying up the river. In 1871 Baker, then governor-general of the equatorial provinces of Egypt, established a military post at Gondokoro which he named Ismailia, after the then khedive. Baker made this post his headquarters, but Colonel (afterwards General) C. G. Gordon, who succeeded him in 1874, abandoned the station on account of its unhealthy site, removing to Lado. Gondokoro, however, remained a trading-station. It fell into the hands of the Mandists in 1885. After the destruction of the Mandist power in 1898 Gondokoro was occupied by British troops and has since formed the northernmost post on the Nile of the Uganda protectorate (see Sudan; Nile; and Uganda).

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