LAKE VICTORIA : Lake Nalubaale
Lake Victoria is the second largest fresh water lake in the world after Lake Superior in North America. It has a surface area of 68,800 square miles. Before its name was changed to Lake Victoria, it was and is still locally known as Lake Nalubaale. It was named after Queen Victoria by explorer John Hanning Speke. Lake Victoria is one of the largest African great lakes and is shared by three east African countries Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda which shares the largest portion. This lake is also the source of the longest river, the Nile. The first foreign explorers to see where the River Nile finds its way out of Lake Victoria were John Hanning Speke and Richard Burton when they were on their Uganda Safari adventure in the 1850s.
Lake Victoria is a destination for a number of tourist activities in the countries where it is shared. There are islands with amazing wildlife on the lake, beautiful landscapes around the lake and there are numerous accommodations where you stay and enjoy the scenery and cool breeze from the fresh water lake. Beside the lake are beautiful beaches for swimming and relaxation. As you plan for your safari to Uganda, consider a bout cruise on Lake Victoria, this is one of the things you’ll enjoy on your safari.
Lake Victoria is the source of the world’s longest river, the Nile which flows northwards through Lake Kyoga to the upper part of Lake Albert and then proceeds through the Albert Nile through counties like south Sudan, Sudan, to Egypt and forms a large delta as it pours in the Mediterranean sea. This river forms a number of thrilling waterfalls and among them are Murchison falls which are the most powerful waterfalls in the world. Others are Karuma falls, Owen falls, Rippon falls. Apart from the Nile, another main outlet on Lake Victoria is River Katonga.
Wildlife on and in Lake Victoria
In Lake Victoria, there are a variety of aquatic and semi-aquatic wildlife and on the islands are also lots of mammals, primates, birds and other species. There are helmeted turtles, mud turtles, loach catfish, Nile crocodiles, hippos, fresh water crabs and lots of fish including Haplochromis Nyererei, lung fish, African tetra, Climbing Gourami, Spiny Eel and more. There are many beautiful primates on the islands of Lake Victoria for example chimps on Ngamba Island, monkeys. There is a wide range of bird species on the islands and around the shores as well as mammals such as Bohor reedbuck and Sitatunga.
Activities to do on Lake Victoria in Uganda
Lake Victoria offers many different tourist activities around the lake and on the lake. You can visit areas like;
The Ssese Islands are one of the most beautiful tropical areas to relax after your gorilla trekking, mountain climbing and wildlife safari tours in remote areas. These islands are about 84 in number they are found in Kalangala district. They have beautiful beaches with stunning sites for wonderful vacations and relaxation. There are exciting things to do at Ssese islands and these include visiting the island club, a forest walk, visiting Kihumuro cave, spot fishing among others. There are a number of lodges to stay at on your safari to Ssese islands such as Ssese Islands beach resort, the Philo leisure gardens, Ssese Habitat lodge, Victoria forest resort, Panaroma cottages and many more.
Ngamba is one of the numerous islands found on Lake Victoria and it is where we find Ngamba island chimp sanctuary, a home to orphaned chimps that were rescued from poachers by Uganda Wildlife Authority. The island is a rainforest covering 100acres. So this is another alternative where you can watch the chimps of Uganda apart from the forest destinations in remote areas from Kampala. The chimps at the island are taken care of by a team and you participate in some of the daily activities of these people such as feeding the chimps. There are much more wildlife at Ngamba island beside the chimps. They include monitor lizards, otters and a variety of birds.
Fishing trip on Lake Victoria
Lake Victoria is one of the lakes in Uganda that are a large source of fish with common catches of tilapia and Nile perch. Those who want to have an experience of fishing on this lake can now add this to their activities of the safari so that they will do it before returning to their home.
As you stay around areas close to lake Victoria mainly Entebbe before embarking on your return journey home, there are beautiful and amazing areas to visit such as the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre where you’ll watch a variety of animals and birds such as rhinos, lion, elephant, chimp, Mabamba wetland where you’ll spot shoebills, visiting the Entebbe Botanical garden and relax the beautiful cool beaches around the lake.