In part II of these series we ended where Dr. Richard Kandt had, in 1913, proposed to have a railway line connecting Rwanda to the East African coast. A German company known as Siemens Krupp is said to have carried out feasibility studies, which we have not yet been able to know where it ended and why it was never implemented. When he arrived in central Rwanda, Kandt is said to have presented himself to the King’s Court in Nyanza. His happiest moment came in August 1898, when he declared he had accomplished his main motive of the Africa exploration, that of discovering the source of river Nile! Kandt declared and later wrote in his book, “Caput Nili” (a sentimental journey to the source of the Nile), that the source of river Nile was located in Nyungwe Forest. One historian wrote, “in August 1898, he found what he was looking for: the source of the River Rukarara, which lies about 30 kilometres northwest of Gikongoro (current Nyamagabe District), and is the source of the Kagera and, therefore, the source of the White Nile”. To Richard Kandt, that moment was like discovering the Holy Grail in Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code. The discovery came 40 years after another European explorer of British origin, John Speke, had claimed he discovered the source of the Nile in Lake Victoria in Uganda. The controversy surrounding the source of the Nile is still unresolved to date, more than 100 years later, though recent geographical expeditions point at Dr. Richard Kandt’s Nyungwe discovery as the furthest source of arguably the world’s longest river. Though my concern here is not to determine who was right or wrong on the true source of the Nile, it is interesting to note that the controversy in the story of Speke and Burton, where Burton who was Speke’s companion on the river Nile source discovery expedition in Uganda disagreed with him: … “Returning to London to address a special meeting of the Royal Geographical Society, Speke was the hero of the hour. In December 1863, he published his book, The Journal of the Discovery of the Source of the Nile. Unfortunately for him, it had been badly edited and appeared both inaccurate and disagreeably boastful. In 1864 he published What Led to the Discovery of the Source of the Nile about the earlier expedition, which also did his reputation no good. Burton was still refusing to admit that Speke had discovered the source of the Nile; the two men were completely at loggerheads and a debate between them was scheduled at the British Association on September 16. Speke went shooting partridges in Wiltshire the day before, climbed over a wall with his gun cocked and shot himself. His death was probably an accident, but word spread that he had committed suicide because he was too scared to face Burton in debate. It was not until years later that he was proved to have been ‘right’ and that Lake Victoria Nyanza is the source of the White Nile –though the lake has several feeder rivers…”: (Richard Cavendish). Kandt had accomplished his biggest dream but was not done yet with his work in Rwanda. When he set off from Germany his friends had cautioned him not to focus only on discovering the source of the Nile. He went further north and, in March1899, he is said to have reached Gisenyi (now Rubavu), continued to Cyangugu and settled at a place called Shangi on the shores of Lake Kivu. The place later became another venue of history making where Dr. Richard Kandt is said to have welcomed the White Fathers and the first place in Rwanda where a catholic religious mass was conducted. It was from Shangi, also called “station Bergfrieden”, where Kandt is reported to have “thoroughly discovered Rwanda”. With his home on the shores of Lake Kivu, Kandt began another task of measuring and drawing the map of Lake Kivu, between 1899 and 1901. His work became handy to the German-Congolese boundary commission that established the boundaries between Congo Belge and German East Africa. The rich flora and fauna of Rwanda also attracted Kandt’s attention. He is said to have, “built a collection of botanical, zoological and ethnological objects many of which can still be found today at the museum for Ethnology in Berlin”. Is there any other achievement that Dr. Richard Kandt is remembered for in Rwanda? Watch this space.