Great Lakes Of Uganda
Introduction to the lakes of Uganda.
Nearly a fifth of Uganda’s land area is swampland or open water, making it a member of the African Great Lakes region. The lakes of Uganda are essential to the country’s biodiversity and economy, but environmental problems are threatening their viability.
The countries that border the African Great Lakes are referred to as the African Great Lakes region, together with Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, and Tanzania.
Lake Victoria, Lake Albert, and Lake Edward are three of the Great Lakes of Africa that are partially located in Uganda. All of these lakes empty into the White Nile, one of the Nile’s two principal tributaries. Nearly the whole surface of Uganda is contained inside the Nile basin.
Great Lakes Of Uganda
Nestled between Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania is the largest lake in Africa. Entebbe is situated on a peninsula, and Uganda is home to 45 percent of Lake Victoria’s 68,800 km2 surface area. Millions of people in East Africa depend on Lake Victoria for their lives in addition to being a draw for adventurers.
The lake was a part of local lore long before explorer John Hanning Speke discovered it in 1858 and gave it the name Queen Victoria. Any adventure in Uganda must include a stop at Lake Victoria because of its animals, archipelagos, and sheer size.
Many different animals can be found around Lake Victoria. Numerous mammal species, like as hippopotamuses, marsh mongooses, and giant otter shrews, call the area around Lake Victoria home.
The lake is home to numerous crustaceans, including four different species of freshwater crabs, as well as reptiles like the Nile crocodile and the African helmeted turtle.
The haplochromine cichlid is the dominant endemic group of the more than 200 species of fish found in Lake Victoria. However, many species have gone extinct in the previous 50 years, and scientists believe that the native fish species in Lake Victoria have declined by 80%. The most notorious invasive species in Lake Victoria is the Nile perch.
Ngamba Island, one of Lake Victoria’s most well-known islands, lies about 27 kilometers south-east of Entebbe. The Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary is worth a trip, where you may spend a memorable day with 50 orphaned chimps.
In the northwest of Lake Victoria, the Ssese Islands are a hidden paradise with white sand beaches and turquoise waters. For any adventurer, the distinctive archipelago of 84 islands is a must-see.
Lake Albert, the second-largest lake in Uganda and the seventh-largest lake in Africa, is situated on the boundary between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. With a maximum length of 160 km and a maximum width of 30 km, the lake has a surface area of 5,300 km2.
Wildlife from Uganda kob antelopes to African softshell turtles can be found in Lake Albert. The native Nile perch, which is an invasive species in Lake Victoria, is one of the lake’s 55 fish species.
Numerous aquatic birds, like the rare Shoebill, reside in Albert.
Locals called the lake “Mwitanzige” (locusts’ killer) before the explorer Samuel Baker renamed it in 1864.
A fantastic way to break up the trip from Murchison Falls National Park to Kampala or Entebbe is to stop at Lake Albert. Visitors can explore the adjacent Kabwoya Wildlife Reserve for game drives and fossil searching, or they can visit the surrounding fishing village to soak in the breathtaking views.
Lake George, which located in the southwest of Uganda, has a modest average depth of only 2.4 meters. The lake was given the name King George V by the explorer Henry M. Stanley and is located in the western portion of the Great Rift Valley.
With a surface area of 250 km2, Lake George receives water from a number of rivers and streams that originate in the Rwenzori Mountains.
The Kazinga Channel connects Lake George to its larger neighbor, Lake Edward. An important aspect of the Queen Elizabeth National Park is this 32-kilometer-long freshwater canal. It has one of the highest densities of hippos in the entire globe (around 2,000).
Wetland grass surrounds Lake George, and this wetland ecosystem is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including more than 150 different bird species. The Sitatunga antelope and elephant are among the many species that live close to the marshes.
Numerous fish species, such as the Nile tilapia and the Haplochromis, call Lake George home, and it is home to various fishing communities.
Lake Edward, which lies on the border between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, is shared by the two countries.
The northern side of Lake Edward, the smallest of the African Great Lakes, is only a few kilometers south of the equator. The 32 km long Kazinga Channel connects Lake George and Lake Edward for drainage. Boat tours on the Kazinga Channel are a popular activity at Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Prince Albert Edward, the son of Queen Victoria, inspired Henry Morton Stanley, a British explorer, to give the lake his name in 1888. Idi Amin, the dictator of Uganda, however, gave the lake his own name in 1973. After Amin was deposed in 1979, the former name was restored.
Lake Edward, like Lake George, is a Ramsar site because of the value of its wetland ecosystem. Numerous migratory water bird species use Lake Edward, and the lesser flamingo has been seen a few times.
The Nile tilapia and the blue-spotted tilapia are only two of the many fish species that live in the lake. The largest of the local fishing communities is Vitshumbi.
Elephants, chimpanzees, buffalo, and crocodiles live along the banks of Lake Edward.
Lake Mburo is located inside Lake Mburo National Park Area, in the Kiruhura District in Western Uganda, lies practically midway between Entebbe and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
The largest of the five lakes in Lake Mburo National Park, Lake Mburo, is Lake Mburo (13km2). Lake Mburo is a component of a wetland system that spans 50 km, along with 13 other nearby lakes.
Lake Mburo National Park covers 260km² and 20% of the park’s surface area is formed of wetland habitats including lakes and marshland. The park also contains other rich habitats such as grassland and acacia woodland.
Sandy, well-drained soils are supported by the roughly 500 million year old Precambrian bedrock beneath. Despite having a healthy wetland habitat, the park only receives 800mm of rainfall annually.
There are 68 different kinds of mammals in the park, several of which are endemic. The beautiful impala can only be found at Lake Mburo National Park in Uganda.
Common eland and Burchell’s zebra can be found at Lake Mburo National Park and Kidepo Valley National Park, respectively, in Uganda. Around 315 different bird species can be found in the park.
Boat safaris are a fantastic opportunity to discover Lake Mburo’s beauties. A morning boat safari takes you along Lake Mburo’s shore for 90 minutes. Buffaloes, hippos, kingfishers, fish eagles, and hammerkops may be visible to lucky adventurers.
A small freshwater lake, Lake Mutanda is drained by the Rutshuru River and flows northward to Lake Edward. It is located in the extreme southwest of Uganda, near to the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Kisoro is 30 minutes away.
At 1,800 meters above sea level, Lake Mutanda offers fantastic hiking trails with breathtaking views of the Virunga Mountains. The extinct volcanoes of Mount Muhabura, Mount Sabyinyo, and Mount Gahinga are all visible from the lake.
Mount Muhabura, the third-highest mountain in the Virunga Mountains, with an elevation of 4,127m. The most physically taxing climb offers breathtaking views of Lake Edward, Bwindi, and the top of the Rwenzori Mountains, but it is also the steepest.
Mount Gahinga is lower in elevation than Mount Muhabura and Mount Sabyinyo at 3,473m. Since the hike is easier, novice hikers can complete it. Adventurers who are interested in discovering more about regional cultures may find the Garama Cave to be a great draw.
The United Organization for Batwa Development in Uganda and the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) collaborated to develop this tourism route. The Batwa, who lived in the caverns for a long time before being relocated, are supported by the trail.
You can view Lake Mutanda from a fresh angle thanks to island cruises. There are 15 small islands in the lake, and Mutanda Island is home to the Abagesera clan.
Visit the island and the church the Abagesera have constructed on top of it in a traditional dugout canoe or boat.
Lake Bunyonyi, which is situated in south-western Uganda, is situated between Kabale (53 km away) and Kisoro (48 km away). After going gorilla trekking in nearby Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Bunyonyi is the ideal place to unwind due to its breathtaking vistas.
The water’s maximum depth is thought to be roughly 40 meters, though this is up for contention. Bunyonyi has a maximum width of 5 km and a 25 km northward extension.
One of the safest lakes in Africa is Lake Bunyonyi. There aren’t any crocodiles or hippos, and bilharzia isn’t a concern. The lake is home to more than 200 different bird species, hence the name Bunyonyi, which means “the place of the small birds.”
It’s an excellent place to watch weaver colonies, and the nearby marshlands are home to a wide range of water birds as well. The crowned crane, herons, and egrets are larger favorites.
The African clawless otter and the spotted-necked otter are just two of the fascinating species of marine life that may be found in the lake.
Swimming is a fantastic activity for getting outside and experiencing the surroundings.
As an alternative, you might visit a few of the 29 islands Bunyonyi surrounds. In a dugout canoe, glide over the sparkling rivers while taking in the stunning environment.
There are many trails available at Bunyonyi, and taking long nature walks there is restorative. Several wonderful neighborhood walks are also accessible in the nearby villages.
Lake Kyoga, a shallow, 129 km long lake that is a component of the African Great Lakes system, is situated in central Uganda. On its way from Lake Victoria to Lake Albert, the Victoria Nile passes through Lake Kyoga.
The surface area of Lake Kyoga, which has numerous arms, is about 1,720 km2. The lake is fairly shallow, with a maximum depth of about 5.7 meters.
Three distinct areas make up Lake Kyoga: the open water, which is deeper than three meters, the shallower water, which is covered in water lilies, and the marshy shoreline, which is almost entirely covered in papyrus and the invasive water hyacinth.
There are 46 fish species in Lake Kyoga, the majority of which are indigenous. Similar to Lake Victoria, Lake Kyoga has suffered since the invasive Nile perch was introduced in the 1950s. The ecosystem of Lake Kyoga’s ecosystem has been disturbed over a number of decades by the Nile perch. The 5-meter-long Nile crocodile, which lives in Lake Kyoga, is another local species.
You may relax at Lake Kyoga by going fishing or taking a lengthy nature walk. Lake Kyoga is only 12 kilometers away from the Nyero rock art. One of the most significant rock art sites in Uganda is these ancient geometric designs, and guided excursions are informative.
Soroti Hotel 2001 is the lodging most convenient to Lake Kyoga. Soroti Hotel 2001 is a convenient starting point for adventures and is located 27 miles from the lake. Strikers Hotel, which is 44 miles from Lake Kyoga, provides a wider selection of lodging options, including deluxe double rooms.