Lake Edward – Queen Elizabeth National Park
Lake Edward is one of the smallest lakes among the African great lakes which is found at the edge of the Albertine Rift valley in the western branch of the East Africa Rift. It is located between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda and is a few kilometres to the south of the Equator. It is a water body that beautifies Queen Elizabeth National park since it crosses the park. The park ranks 15th in size among the sizable lakes in Africa.
Historical Geography about Lake Edward
The first European explorer to discover Lake Edward was called Henry Morton Stanley in later 1888, during the Emin Pasha Relief Expedition and it was named in the privilege of prince Albert Edward the son of British monarch ‘’Queen Victoria by then and latterly turned to be King Edward V11. And during the regime of Idi Amin Dada who was the president of Uganda by then, he decided to name it lake Edward by his name which didn’t last for long. The downfall of Idi Amin in 1979 and his government in Uganda, resumed its former name Lake Edward locally known as Rutanzige or Edward Nyanza before being baptized by a new name Edward.
The lake lies in kasese district in the south western region of Uganda and the northern shoreline of lake Edward is positioned close to the major latitude of Equator. The part of the lake shared by Uganda is about 29% of the lake’s surface area.
Lake Edward being the smallest lake in the Albertine region covers a surface area of about 2325 square kilometers lying at an elevation of 920 meters with a sizable average range of about 39.5 are water volume, maximum depth 112 meters, maximum length covers 77 kilometers and width measures 40 kilometers at its maximum points. The lake is fed by several rivers like Ishasha River, Rutshuru River, Ntungwe River, Rwindi River, Nyamugasani River among many. Lake Edward also has inlets from River Semliki and Kazinga channel which empties to the northeast of Lake George. However, the western escarpment of the rift valley makes up 2,000 meters above the sea levels of the western shore of the lake. And to the southern and eastern lakeshores are lava plain and 20 kilometers in the north of the lake there is a spectacular view of Rwenzori Mountain.
Wildlife to see along Lake Edward
Along Lake Edward, there is a clear view of the beautiful scenery of snow Rwenzori Mountain and since it adjoins the open savannah grassland of Queen Elizabeth national park there is a rewardable view of savannah plains of the park. On the banks of Lake Edward, it inhabits attractive animals like buffaloes, elephants, crocodiles, hippos as well as great viewing of beautiful birds in the sky above shores’ playground.
The lake inhabits many types of fish species making the fishing activity awesome and such fish species include Bugrass Docmark, Oreo Chromil, Leocosticus, Haplochromis, and Haplochromine and many more. To note, the lake’s shores no longer have human settlement because the waters of the lake had swallowed away the dry places around, apart from the Ishango community on the north side of the democratic republic of Congo.
While you’re at lake Edward the spectacular view is rewarding of montane woodland in the western Albertine rift region which is next to Virunga national park in the North of Democratic Republic of Congo, the semiliki river valley game reserve which lies in the northwestern shore, swamps like Rwindi, Ishasha, Rutshuru river swamp in the northeastern shores of Edward.
Above all, the lake is positioned in the top-visited and second largest national park of Uganda which features with number of species mostly the famous tree-climbing lions and other mammal species, crate lakes, primates which almost are our cousins known as endangered chimpanzees, black and white monkeys, beautiful scenery of land scape in Queen Elizabeth national park and all these notable experience can make your tour or visit to lake Edward awesome encounter and apart from visiting the lake you can engage in game viewing, guided nature walk , chimpanzee tracking, mongoose tracking , community tour, visiting the coffee plantation, visiting the lake katwe on your Uganda safaris.