Ssese Islands & Lake Victoria

Lake Victoria Travel Blog

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View of lake victoria from the plane

Lake Victoria is the largest lake in Africa and one of the largest fresh water lake in the world: it is the main reservoir of the Nile with a larger portion of it in Tanzania and Uganda respectively. Among the freshwater lakes of the world it is exceeded in size only by Lake Superior in North America. Its waters fill a shallow depression in the plateau that stretches between the Western and Eastern Rift Valleys. At 1,134 m above sea level, it has an area of 69,484 square km, max north-south length of 337 km, max breadth of 240 km, and a coastline over 3,220 km. Many archipelagos are contained within the lake, as are numerous reefs, often just below the surface of the clear waters. It has more than 200 species of fish, of which the Tilapia is the most economically important.

View of lake victoria from the plane
 
At the lake's northwestern corner are the 62 islands of the Ssese archipelago, some of them of awe inspiring beauty. The cities of Kampala and Entebbe lie along or near the northern coast. The search by Europeans for the source of the Nile led to the sighting of the lake by the British explorer John Hanning Speke in 1858. Formerly known to the Arabs as Ukerewe, the lake was named by Speke in honor of Queen Victoria of England. A detailed survey of the lake was made by Sir William Garstin in 1901. Plans for gradually raising the level of the lake's waters were completed in 1954 with the construction of the Owen Falls Dam on the Victoria Nile at Jinja, Uganda; the dam, which provides hydroelectric power on a large scale, made the lake a vast reservoir.

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View of lake victoria from the pla…
View of lake victoria from the pl…
View of lake victoria from the pla…
View of lake victoria from the pl…
Lake Victoria
photo by: Niki-Travelfan