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Lakes in Uganda

Tourists can also visit and discover some of Uganda’s lakes of which Uganda is one of the countries in the great Lakes region of East Africa that includes Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi.

There are many lakes in Uganda offering the best bird watching opportunities, boat cruises, nature walks, adventures, swimming and safaris unique to Uganda.

Many of the lakes have great economic importance to the local people and Uganda especially those who live near to them.

Lake Victoria

It is Africa’s largest fresh water lake and world’s second largest after America’s Lake Superior and it covers an estimated 68,800sq km and it is shared among three East African countries which comprise of Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.

Lake Victoria is so important on the economy of Uganda since it offers economic activities to its citizens such as fishing where the mostly caught fish species from the Lake are Nile Perch, Silver fish and Tilapia though there are also many other species.

The Lake is also the source of world’s second longest river and Africa’s longest (River Nile) of which the River harbors Uganda’s main Hydro Electric Power Station at Owen Falls Dam in Jinja. Many enjoyable activities are conducted at the Lake such as boat cruises, fishing, sunset cruises, beach holiday activities at its established beaches such as Spinner beach, Lido beach, Lutembe beach, one love beach, Water front beach and many others.

The lake consists of many beautiful Islands including the Ngamba Island which is mostly known for being a sanctuary for chimpanzees and Ssese Islands (Kalangala) which is also known for luxurious holidays.

Lake Kyoga

It is located near Budongo forest reserve thus offering chimpanzee tracking activities in the fores and is situated at the heart of central Uganda on the northern route of River Nile flowing north to the Mediterranean Sea in Egypt.

The lake consists of many interesting and distinct features including the finger-like shoots which define the swamps that overflow during the rainy season.

The lake boosts a variety of activities to the people who live near to it though the major one is fishing thus also improving on the standards of living to Ugandans especially those who do fishing.

Lake Edward

The lake is located in the rift valley escarpment in south western Uganda together with Lake George and both lakes are connected by the Kazinga Channel.

Lake Edward shared between Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo with some parts of the Lake being in Queen Elizabeth National Park where the Kaxinga channel which connects it to Lake George is found.

Lake George is the smaller of the two and shallow as well occupying 250sq km. Fishing is also the most important and economical activity for the people living near the two lakes.

Lake Albert

The lake was named after the British Royalty on discovery in 1864 in Uganda by Sir Samuel Baker and like other Uganda’s lakes it is also a better place for fishing activities thus being so productive to the surrounding communities and its inhabitants (people).

It is a rift valley lake and its waters also extend to the borders of DR Congo from western Uganda as the upper Nile (Victoria Nile) continues on its course and currently the lake basin is popular for its recent oil and Gas explorations in Uganda.

Tourists going to visit the Lake will also get spectacular views of many things on the way such as various small rivers which feed Lake Albert, swamps and the Murchison falls all which will make your visit a colorful one.

Lake Bunyonyi

It is found in south western Uganda and is one of the deepest lakes in Africa. The lake offers holiday safaris especially to visitors who annually visit the south and western protected areas such as Bwindi impenetrable forest national park, Mgahinga national park, Kibale forest national park and Queen Elisabeth national park.

The name ‘’Bunyonyi’’ is a local word meaning birds and thus the lake was named after the many birds that reside and migrate to the swamps and islands in the lake. It is a fresh water lake, bilharzias free and good for swimming since there are no water predators such as hippos and crocodiles and other luxurious activities at the lake include spot fishing, boat cruises, bird watching, nature walks and many more thus visitors there will have a lot of fun.

Lake Katwe

The lake is found in Kasese district in western Uganda south east of Lake George and north east of Lake Edward. The lake is 550km away from Uganda’s capital city (Kampala) and is most famous for its economic activity of salt extraction of which there are three types of salt extracted from the lake such as; sodium chloride also known as Edible salt, Un-washed salt and Crude salt for animal leak.

Geographically the lake is found within an explosion crater in the formerly active volcanic area in the small run-down town of Katwe on the outskirts of Queen Elizabeth National Park covering an area of approximately eight square miles.

Its shores are lined with small ponds of water from which salt is extracted from the bottom in a process called salt panning.

Salt content of the lake waters is about 13.5 % and the lake bed is 0.8 meters thick containing approximately over 12 million tones of salt varying in composition and depth and has salt stocks which are estimated to sustain an industrial extraction plant with a production rate of 7 tones of salt per hour for 34 years.

On this basis, an industry to mechanize the salt production process was put in place in the 1970s by Uganda’s former president (late Iddi Amin Dada) to extract and recover salts from the Lake Katwe brine deposits.

However, for a number of reasons, the project never took off to date and the Katwe salt project is now on the brink of privatization.

Thus the lake is one of Uganda’s major sources of income and most tourists prefer visiting the lake in order to see and observe how salt is extracted from the lake.

Ndali-Kasienda Crater lakes

The lakes are believed to be a result of volcanic activity that took place in south west Uganda some 100,000 years ago. The extensive lake has more than 50 smaller lakes and water streams that flood in the course of the rainy season.

The surrounding area boasts sights of monkey, butterflies, birds and fishing activity. Thus the lakes are so attractive that every Ugandan tourist should not miss to visit in order to sight a variety of things from there and get involved in various interesting activities such as bird watching and many more.

Lake Bisina

Lake Bisina is a fresh water lake found in the Eastern parts of Uganda. The Lake is so long and narrow but besides that, it is a source of livelihood for the fishing communities in Eastern Uganda and it also boosts a large number of birds thus being an ideal destination for birders especially those who want viewing water birds such as; Shoebill stork, White winged warbler, Lesser Jacana, Gonolek, Pygmy goose, Fox’s Weaver and many more. Activities at the lake include; bird watching, fishing, boating and many more.

Other lakes are seasonal and mainly found in Uganda’s protected areas such as national parks and reserves and the major rivers that drain Uganda’s lakes include River Nile and its tributaries such as (Victoria Nile, Albert Nile & Blue Nile), River Narus, River Katonga,  River Lamia, Mpanga, Manafwa, Nyamwamba, Mubuku and many others.