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6 Features That Make Lake Victoria Unique and Facts about the Great Lake

Lake Victoria is the biggest lake in Africa and the main reservoir of the Nile River, touching the equator on the northern side. 

The lake sits between Tanzania and Uganda, forming an edge in Kenya while covering the land area that measures 26,828 square miles [69,484 square km]. 

Amazingly, the lake has some unique features which make it exceptional from other lakes.

Africans call it ‘the pride of Africa’ because it is the largest in Africa, housing scenic, archaeological sites, national parks, historical sites, museums, and wildlife reserves, including a zoo.

Proceed with your reading to see the attribute that constitutes the uniqueness of Lake Victoria. 

Unique features of Lake Victoria 

1. Rich historical and archaeological attractions

One unique attraction of Lake Victoria is the rich historical and archeological endowment that makes it more significant than every other lake across the continent and beyond.

Some examples of this rich history and archeology of impact are: 

-Archaeological site in Mfangano Island in the eastern part of Lake Victoria.

-Archaeological site in Ruma National Park, Western Kenya, near the shores of Lake Victoria

-Tom Mboya Mausoleum in Rusinga Island

-Thimlch Ohinga Archeological Site

-Kisumu Museum and Kisumu Man Market

-Rock Paintings

These spots make fascinating and educational historical impacts on tourists visitors to the lake. 

2. Spectacular wildlife

Another unique feature of the lake is the sight of captivating wildlife of diverse categories and species.

There are many wildlife reserve centers and conservancies located within and around the lake for tourists to explore.

Places to spot wildlife conservations while in Lake Victoria are:

-Ruma National Park

-Ndera Island Nationa Park

-Mbasa Island or Bird Island

-Impala Sanctuary of local hippos and Kenyan antelope

Wildlife Reserve in Mbita & Rusinga Island

At these wildlife spots, one can see various mammal species, including the following;

– Hippopotamus

– African clawless otter

– Spotted-necked otter

– Marsh mongoose sitatunga

– Bohor reedbuck

– Marsh mongoose

– Sitatunga

-Various species of fish

Other eye-catching animals in Lake Victoria are defassa waterbucks, cane rats, and the giant otter shrew.

3. Sunset over water (Sunset over Lake Victoria)

Another incredible sight to behold is the sunset over the water on the shores of Lake Victoria, making it a special and unique lake on the continent.

It’s an amazingly triangular landform jutting directly into the lake, with the sun reflecting into the water.

Its features are what attract most tourists to the area and make it exceptional from others.

Lake Victoria is the best tourism or getaway location to view the sunset above water without going to the coast or the coastlines.

One of the major attractions at Lake Victoria is the “sunset cruise on the River Nile and within the lake itself.”

4. Irregular quadrilateral shape

Unlike other lakes that have a circular shape, Lake Victoria has an irregular quadrilateral shape.

The irregular quadrilateral shape means that the sides of the lake are not equal in length, which is a unique quality that makes it exceptional. 

5. Picturesque shores

Lake Victoria has beautiful and exciting lands that are along the edge of the Lake.

Some of the shores in the lake are close to main cities and towns such as Kampala, Jinja, Entebbe, Kisumu, Kisii, Homa Bay in Kenya, and many others.

6. Coastline exceeding 2,000 miles

The key feature of this lake is that its coastline meaning a line considered as the boundary between the sea and land, is above 2,000 miles.

World’s 2nd largest freshwater lake

Concerning its coastline, Lake Victoria ranks as the second-largest freshwater lake globally, after Lake Superior in North America.

The estimated surface area measures 59,947 km2 (23,146 sq mi), giving it the rank as 2nd largest freshwater lake. 

World’s ninth-largest continental lake

Also, Lake Victoria is unique because it is the ninth largest continental lake, containing the approximately 2,750 cubic Km of water in terms of volume.

Top Attractions in Lake Victoria

In addition to the unique features mentioned above, there are other can’t miss destinations and attractions in Lake Victoria, Africa. They include;

  • The Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary
  • Fishing trip in search of the giant Nile Perch
  • Jet-boating on river Nile in Jinja
  • Bungee jumping into the River Nile at Jinja
  • White water rafting on river Nile in Jinja
  • Mabamba Bay wetlands at Lake Victoria
  • Uganda Wildlife Education Centre
  • Horseback riding across the Nile river/Jinja
  • Quad Biking around Jinja
  • And exploitation of Lake Victoria’s Equator Island, Ssese Islands, Ukara Island, Damba Island, Bulingugwe Island, Ukerewe Island, Yuweh Island, Nabuyongo Island, and Koome Island.

Lake Victoria at a glance

Lake Victoria, otherwise called Victoria Nyanza, with some native names like Nam Lolwe (Dholu o), Nnalubaale (Luganda), Nyanza (Kinyarwanda), and Ukerewe is an excellent lake in East-central Africa, bordering Tanzania, Uganda, and Kenya. 

Discovery of the lake

A British explorer, John Hanning Speke, discovered Lake Victoria in 1858 and documented it to honor the then queen of England, Queen Victoria. 

It is one of Africa’s largest lakes, named Queen Victoria, in honor of a formal queen of Great Britain and Ireland, United Kingdom. 

Lake Victoria coordinates about 1°S 33°E, and the primary inflow of Lake Victoria is from the Kagera River. The basin countries of the lake are Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda.

It has the water volume of 2,424 km3 (582 cu mi) [3], while its max length is 359 km (223 mi) [2] and its max-width of 337 km (209 mi) [2].

Also the surface area is 59,947 km2 (23,146 sq mi) [3], the average depth is 41 m (135 ft) [3] and the max depth is 81 m (266 ft) [3].

Source

Most lakes get water through the board region that flows from other lakes, streams, and groundwater, but Lake Victoria receives most of its water from rainfall.

The water level it contains each year is solely dependent on the amount of rainfall in that year.

Colour

Among the unique qualities of Lake Victoria is its black color. The lake appears black due to the dark-brown mud and silt just below the water.

Economic benefits

Lake Victoria is an important transport route linking the East African States, serving as a reservoir for about four hydropower stations along the Nile.

It provides water for industrial and domestic use and regulates the local climate.

Most industrial expansion in the African Great Lakes region is in the Lake Victoria basin. 

The Economic benefits of Lake Victoria in Africa include the following;

  • Source of electricity for Uganda

Lake Victoria is the primary source of electricity for Uganda. The abundant waters of the lake generate power via two hydroelectric dams in Uganda. 

The people of Uganda operate multiple hydroelectric plants and various water bodies, including Lake Victoria, which is the primary source.

Some Ugandan power plants close to Lake Victoria include the Nalubaale Hydroelectric Power Station and the Kiira Power Station.

  • Transportation path, linking major states in East African

Lake Victoria is also unique for serving as the main port and coastline transport medium, creating more paths ways that bring about connectivity in East Africa. 

An example of this is the port constructed in 1901, serving as the central East African rail water transportation system. 

Important facts to note about Lake Victoria

-Lake Victoria is a shallow lake 

-It is the primary source of water for the Nile River

-Lake Victoria has a larger wildlife

-It has a captivating universe of fish, such as catfish and the rest.

Bottom Line

The features of Lake Victory are indeed unique and marveling. Apart from being the largest in Africa, it also has unique features that give it an edge over other lakes in Africa.

For those seeking the best location for a getaway, beach vacation, family holiday, and water adventures in Africa, Lake Victoria is a perfect destination.

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