WATER BODIES IN UGANDA
Uganda has an assortment of Lakes and rivers which offer great walking and exploration opportunities. The lakes include; Victoria, Albert, George, Edward, Kyoga, Mburo, Bisinia, Bunyonyi, Nabugabo and Kabaka’s Lake, which are better known. Others such as Opeta, and the crater lakes which are as Nkuruba, Lyantonde, Nyinambuga, Nyabikere, Bunyonyi, Mutanda, Mutolere ,Bulera,Bunyampaka, Kitagata Murumali Bagusa, Nshenyi, Chibwera Nyamanyuka, Muhoma, Bujuku and Nyamusingire besides others, and Rivers that spread out through the country are; greater known Victoria Nile, Albert Nile, Murchison Nile, Semiliki, Katonga and Mpanga. Others are; Narus, Bujuku, Nyamugasani, Lamia, Manafa, Nyamwamba, Mubuku, All of these offer great opportunities for sight seeing, exploration and adventure.
It is the largest lake in Africa and the second largest freshwater lake in the world at 68,800 sq km of area and 1100m above sea level It is shared by Uganda and Kenya. Arguably, Lake Victoria’s appeal are the cruises and fishing trips. Cruises on Lake Victoria are available on boats-for-hire and fishing trips where the catch is the gigantic Nile Perch which weighs over 100kg is offered by several safari companies.
Lakes Edward and George
These are two Lakes that are both rift lakes but that’s as far their similarity probably goes. Edward is ( 2325 sq km), and has an elongated shape and is a deep lake at 913m. It is shared by Uganda and Congo. Lake George is smaller (250sq km) is shallow and lined by swamp. It’s silted, and the silt washing down from the Rwenzori threatens it’s existence as it’s no more than 2.4m The two are connected by the 40km Kazinga Channel that is a meandering silver strand which runs right through Queen Elizabeth National Park.
It has the same elongated feature characteristic of all rift valley lakes and is 612m deep.
Lake Albert named after Albert prince consort of Britain in 1864 by Sir Samuel Baker a British explorer and the first European to spot the lake, like Lake Edward is shared between Uganda and Congo. Besides the beauty of the lake, the people around the lake are mainly a fishing community and are a subject of interest especially late morning when
they erupt into a flurry of activity for the day’s catch is coming in.
It is not elongated but has the most distinct features of any lake in Uganda. It undulates greatly from the bulk of the lake and recedes, undulates again and recedes, then finally undulates and recedes. It’s three offshoots are almost tentacle-like. Apart from the beautiful sight it affords, and watching the fishermen bring in the catch, it’s near Bugondo Forest Reserve. How about killing two birds with one stone? Figuratively speaking of course!
The lake is just 20 km from Masaka. Apart from the beautiful sights, it is an excellent place for relaxation, and some birds and animals are to be found beyond the lakeshore, such as; broad-billed roller, Ross’s turaco, vervet monkeys, monitor lizards and squirrels.
It is a large and irregular lake with a number of Islands which are great for exploration. It affords besides the sights, opportunities for activities such as canoeing, cycling or hiking on the surrounding hillsides. It is found in Kabale in western Uganda.
Also formerly known as Lake Salisbury, Bisinia is an attractive freshwater lake. Found in eastern Uganda, it is long, narrow, shallow and fringed by swamp that is extensive which support a number of localized bird species including the legendary shoebill and rare papyrus gonolek, white-winged warbler, pigmy goose, lesser jacana and fox’s weaver, a bird that habitats swap fringes and is endemic to Bisinia. To the avid birder, Lake Bisinia is a tasty bit of morsel, so to speak.
It is surrounded by a 550km stretch of swamps and other wetlands. The lake and swamps protect one of the most prolific shoebill populations in Africa, breeding colonies of the endemic fox’s weaver, papyrus gonoleks, rufus-bellied heron and the marsh dwelling sitatunga antelope. It’s found in eastern Uganda in Soroti, about 50km.
Ndali-Kasienda Crater Lakes
It is an extensive crater lake field that formed about 10,000 years ago, consisting of about 60 sixty permanent and seasonal freshwater lakes. The lakes are very beautiful and on top of the distinct sights afforded, the surrounding countryside contains monkeys , birds and butterflies and offers limitless opportunities for exploration.
Lakes Mutanda and Mutolere are beautiful, surrounded by mountain and are found in Kisoro in western Uganda. In Fort Portal is Lake Saka which is the largest in this town. A visit of Saka can be combined with that of Lake Kaitabarogo nearby. These though are not the only lakes in Uganda for many others haven’t even been mentioned. However, they are also beautiful and offer the same and opportunities as other lakes but reserve certain distinct differences.