Lake George : Lake in Uganda

Lake George is one of Uganda’s swampy lakes. It is located in Kasese district on the escarpments of the western arm of the great East African rift valley. Lake George Uganda covers a total surface area of 250 square kilometers with an average depth of 2.4 meters. The lake is situated in Uganda’s second largest national park Queen Elizabeth and you have an opportunity to see this lake on your Uganda safari to or through Queen Elizabeth national park. Lake George Uganda is drained by Kazinga channel to Lake Edward which are all found in Queen Elizabeth national park.

Lake George was named after a member of the British royal family Prince George who later on became king of the United Kingdom, King George V. Explorer Henry M. Stanley was the first European to see Lake George in 1875. During his trans-African expedition, he followed the course of Katonga River from Lake Victoria which led him to Lake George. Explorer Henry named the lake Beatrice Gulf thinking that it was part of Lake Albert. However, he could not proceed with his work because of the threat of conflict with Bunyoro kingdom. He later on visited the area again in 1888 during the Emin Pasha Relief Expedition and found Lake Edward. He realized that these were two separate lakes and named it Lake George.

Also known as Lake Dweru, Lake George is mainly supplied by a number of streams flowing from the Rwenzori mountains. They include rivers Rwimi, Mpanga, Nsonge and Mubuku. Other rivers supplying the lake are Katonga and Dura. The lake was designated as a Ramsar site wetland system on 4th March 1988. It is surrounded by dense swamp with thick papyrus on the northern shoreline. The swamps improve water quality before it proceeds through Kazinga channel which flows about 40 kilometers with lots of wildlife en-route before it finally pours into Lake Edward.

Lake George Uganda has three small islands namely Iranqara, Akika and Kankuranga. Although the lake is not considered one of the Great Lakes, it is part of Africa’s Great lakes system. The lake lies at 914 m above the sea level and the area experiences two rainy seasons.

Lake George is a habitat to a variety of fish. The main economic activity that takes place on there is fishing. Common types of fish in this lake include Tilapia Nilotica, Haplocromis, Nigripinnis and Themocyclops hyelinus among others. Fish caught form Lake George is said to be one of the most delicious in uganda because of the saline waters of the lake. The fish is sold to the nearby towns such as Kasese and Katunguru. There are a number of fishing villages around the lake including Kahendero fish landing site which can be visited during your game drive around Kasenyi. Visiting such fishing villages offers an opportunity to know about their lifestyle, the different methods of fishing used, the problems they face around the area and on water when fishing and other activities they do top survive.

The swampy lake is also a home to a number of hippos and crocodiles. Different bird species can be seen around the shores of the lake and sometimes elephants are seen around the nearby wetlands. From Lake George Uganda, you can capture a spectacular view of the sunset besides the beautiful scenic views of the surrounding including views of the Rwenzori ranges.

There are a number of accommodations near Lake George and most of them can be booked during your arrangements for you Uganda safari to Queen Elizabeth national park. You can enjoy the best views of the lake from Ihamba safari lodge and Simba safari camp among others.

Getting there

Lake George  is located in the western part of Uganda in Kasese district. It can be accessed Kampala-Fort Portal road and then to Kasese which is about 380km. alternatively, you can pass via Masaka and Mbarara to Kasese which is about 340km by road.

Air transport can be used from Entebbe to Kasese airfield.