The Brief Description Of Lake Victoria

Africa as a continent is blessed with several remarkable rivers and lakes which has attracted several explorers, geologists and researchers over the decades. Lake Victoria isnt an exception especially being the largest in Africa and second largest in the world. This enormous lake which is located in eastern central Africa was named after Queen Victoria following its discovery by John Hanning Speke who was an explorer. The lake which has been in existence since the 12th century according to reports was discovered by Speke in 1858 while he was on an expedition with another explorer named Richard Francis Burton on a quest to locate the source of the River Nile.

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Lake Victoria is said to be about 400,000 years old and it cuts across three African countries lying majorly in Uganda and Tanzania with borders in Kenya. Covering an area of 69,484 square km (26,828 square miles), the lake has an irregular quadrilateral shape with its west shore deeply indented. With a length of 210 miles from north to south, and breadth of 150 miles, it has a coastline that exceeds 2000 miles. The surface of the lake is 3,724 feet (1,135 metres) above sea level, and its greatest depth which has been ascertained is 270 feet (82 metres).

Due to the enormous size of the lake, it cuts across several regions and countries. It is divided between these 3 countries as follows: Tanzania holds 49% with (33,700 km2 or 13,000 sq mi), Uganda holds 45% with (31,000 km2 or 12,000 sq mi) and Kenya holds the smallest percentage with 6% at (4,100 km2 or 1,600 sq mi).

How big is lake Victoria

Lake Victoria is known in Uganda as ’Nnalubaale (Home of the Gods), in Kenya it is known as Nam Lowe (body of endless water). Both of its names are allusions to its grand scale. Several explorers have spent several years studying this lake and its dimensions. Lake Victoria has been ascertained the largest lake in Africa by area and the largest tropical lake in the world. When it comes to fresh water lakes, it comes second behind Lake Superior in North America. It has a surface area approximated at 59,947 km2 (23,146 sq mi). When it comes to the volume, it is the world’s 9th largest continental lake, containing approximately 424 km3 of water.

How deep is lake Victoria

Lake Victoria has a maximum depth of around 80 and 84 m and an average depth of 40 m. For one of the greatest lakes in Africa, that is quite shallow. Its catchment area is said to cover 169,858 km2. It also has a shoreline of 7,142 km (4,438 mi) when it is digitized at the level of 1:25,000 and 3.7% of its length is constituted by islands.

How long does it take to cross Lake Victoria?

Over the years, the Lake Victoria has been utilized as a way of transporting freights, passengers and vehicles across Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. There are several ferries operational on the lake while some are dedicated to passengers transport only (catamarans), some are used for simultaneous transport of goods, passengers and vehicles (Ro-Pax ferries) and some are used to transport vehicles and goods alone (cargo ships, Ro-Ro ferries and train ferries)

According to reports a typical journey time crossing the lake is said to be 13 hours from Port Bell in Uganda to Kisumu in Kenya, and then 19 hours from Port Bell to Mwanza in Tanzania.

Is Lake Victoria dangerous and Unsafe to Swim in?

Despite being a vital resource for the millions of people who live around its shores, this lake isnt without its perils. Local officials have reported that due to the erratic nature of the weather, and several other unfortunate circumstances they have estimated death on the lake at 5,000 per year which makes it one of the most dangerous places to swim on the planet. Moreover, the lake is home to several wild animals among them are crocodiles, hippopotamus, various reptiles, African clawless otter, snails, marsh mongoose, and several fish species which can be dangerous to man. The risk of (Schistosomiasis) Bilharzia is also an important dangerous factor.

Are there crocodiles or sharks in Lake Victoria?

It is impossible to have a lake as big as Lake Victoria without some reptiles. So yes! There are crocodiles in the lake. The ones mostly found in the lake and its wetlands are Nile crocodiles. The Nile crocodiles are mostly found in fresh waters even though they can survive in salt waters. They are very aggressive species who can take on a variety of preys. They can feed on different species including fishes, mammals, birds and even reptiles. They are very agile and ambush predators who can wait for hours and days for the right moment to attack.

According to reports, the Victorian lake is home to atleast 7 shark species. Some of them are the great whites which can be seven meters long and weigh close to 3 tonnes, the iridescent elephant sharks, the grey nurses, bronze whalers, the broad broadnose sevengills, the gummies and the tie and dye Port Jacksons.

What makes lake Victoria special?

One of the most incredible things about nature and natural phenomena is that it isn’t prone to human manipulation. It is just as it is wherever it chooses to be. If it were to be given by wealth, a continent like Africa might not be able to afford a lake as enormous as this but this prestigious lake has chosen to root itself in Africa. Its aso almost ironic when international history claims that this enormous lake was discovered in 1858 and then go ahead to name it when it has been in existence for over 400,000 years. Despite all this, lake Victoria remains a special heirloom in Africa.

The lake has a rich history, incredible wildlife and a source of enormous cultural wealth for Africans. Moreover, Lake Victoria is one of the only two places in East Africa where one can actually watch the sunset over water without being on the coast! How cool is that?

The enormous Lake Victoria stretches across three African countries with their diverse cultures and histories. Visitors are afforded the opportunity to explore the diverse and unique culture of the local communities and sighting some of Africa’s most prized wildlife.

Another special thing about the Lake Victoria is some of the wonders found in the body of water itself. One of such is the monumental Ssese Islands. They are a 84 island archipelago located in the northwestern section of Lake Victoria within Uganda. Some of these islands, like the Buggala Island, have been made accessible to tourists who are interested in exploring unique local sceneries. Another of Lake Victoria’s famous islands are Maboko Island in Kenya and Ukerewe Island in Tanzania in all the lake is said to have more than 3,000 islets.  

07 July 2022

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