Baker, Samuel White (1821–1893), a British explorer of Africa. Accompanied by his wife, Florence, he discovered Lake Albert in 1864. The discovery was a result of the Bakers' intention to find the source of the Nile. During 1861–62, they had explored Nile tributaries in Ethiopia, but in 1863 while in the Sudan they met British explorer John Hanning Speke, who, to their disappointment, reported that he had just discovered the source, Lake Victoria. Speke, however, provided information that helped them find Lake Albert. During 1869–73, Baker led an expedition of 1,200 Egyptian troops into the Sudan to suppress the slave trade and to extend Egyptian rule.
Baker was a highly prosperous plantation owner in Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) before he became an explorer.