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Tanzanian Holiday in Lake Victoria

Location and Size in Lake Victoria

John Hanning Speke was the first explorer from Europe who discovered the lake when he was on an expedition in search of the Nile’s source. He named it Lake Victoria after Queen Victoria.  The lake falls into the category of being the second largest in the world with Lake Superior in North America being the largest. Lake Victoria is the largest in the African continent and one of Africa’s Great Lakes. It is also the most extensive freshwater tropical water body with a surface extent measuring 68,800 sq. km (26,600 sq. mi). It is relatively a shallow lake with an average depth of 20 meters (66 ft.) The maximum depth of the lake is about 84 meters (276 ft.) and is an irregular quadrangular shape. The length of the lake is 210 miles (337 km) from north to south, and its utmost breadth being 150 miles (240 km). The entire coastline measures over 2,000 miles (3,220 km). Also referred to as the Victoria Nyanza Lake, Victoria is the chief reservoir that contributes to the waters of the Nile. Visitors going on a Tanzanian Holiday will find the lake is mainly located in Tanzania and Uganda bordering on Kenya.

The Lake’s water is by direct precipitation. The Kagera River is its largest contributor with its mouth located on the Lake’s western shore. The White Nile a branch of the Nile also known as the “Victoria Nile” is the only river that leaves the lake from its North shore at Jinja in Uganda. North of Kagera entering the lake from the west is Katonga which is the only other river.  The surface area of the lake is 3,720 feet (1,134 m) measuring above sea level.

Special Features in Lake Victoria

A Tanzania Safari to the lake can start from any point on the coastline that exceeds 2,000 miles (3,220 km). The lake also has many islands within its waters along with a number of reefs often found just below the clear waters. Over 200 species of fish abound in Lake Victoria. The most economical of which is the Tilapia. Approximately 92,240 square miles (238,900 square km) covers the lake’s area.   

The backdrop of the south-western coast of the lake is formed by 300 feet (90 m) high precipices, which gives way to papyrus and ambatch swamps on the western coast marking the delta of the Kagera River.

Speke Gulf is at the south-eastern corner of the lake. At the south-western corner is the Emin Pasha Gulf. The lake’s deeply indented north coast is bare flat terrain. A narrow channel with an average width of 16 miles (25 km) leads into the Kavirondo Gulf, which extends eastward to Kisumu, Kenya by 40 miles (64 km). The cities of Entebbe and Kampala are along or near to the north coast in Uganda.  The Island Ukerewe, north of Speke Gulf, is the largest of the many archipelagos in the lake. Wooded hills rise 650 feet (200 m) above the lake and are densely populated. The Sese archipelago’s 62 islands are at the lake’s north-western corner. Several of them are extremely gorgeous.

Why to go there in Lake Victoria

There are many wildlife parks that surround the expanse of Lake Victoria and the Serengeti is one of them for an enjoyable Tanzanian Holiday. Wildlife in vast numbers and variety roams the plains and the savannahs competing for survival. Access roads are not the very best especially during the wet season. The smallest of the parks is the Gombe Stream National Park famous for its chimpanzees and the research studies conducted there since 1960 by the famous naturalist Jane Godall who spent many years studying these magnificent creatures. The great migration of animals is another sight to experience. The surrounds of Lake Victoria has much to offer any Tanzania Safari visitor on a Tanzania Budget Safari. Bird life is exceptional. A great variety both endemic and migratory can be seen. Lake Manyara National Park is another where visitors on a Tanzania Safari can observe over 100 varieties of wildlife species.

When To Go / Weather in Lake Victoria

From June through October is the dry season in Tanzania. Tanzania is a tropical country and affected by monsoonal weather. There are two seasons of rain. One is from May to June and the other from November to December. January to May can be sunny with clear skies. The great migration can take place at any time but more likely between July and December or the peak of the dry season in search of greener pastures and water. A Tanzania Budget Safari is available at any time of the year for anyone who may want to embark on a Tanzania Safari or take a Tanzanian Holiday.

Extra Information in Lake Victoria

The waters of the Lake Victoria fill a shallow depression in the centre of the vast plateau. It stretches between the Western and Eastern Rift Valleys.

The lake’s shores vary in aspect. The region of Lake Victoria is one that is densely populated in Africa. Several millions of people live within 50 miles (80 km) of its shore, and nearly all speak Bantu-ing. Local steamer services operate around the lake.

Sir William Garstin made a detailed survey of the lake in 1901.  The Owen Falls Dam now known as the Nalubaale Dam was constructed on the Victoria Nile at Jinja, which completed the plans for raising the level of the lake’s waters in 1954. The dam, provides large scale hydroelectric power, and made the lake a great reservoir.  The second dam Kiira was completed 0.6 mile (1 km) from Nalubaale in 1999 producing hydroelectric power the following year.

be brave, be on the lookout!