Lake Katwe

Lake Katwe is a famous lake because of salt miners positioned in the north of Mweya Peninsula in the south western direction of Uganda within Queen Elizabeth national park. The unique crater lakes in Queen Elizabeth national park are the most prominent craters in western Uganda. When visiting the park, you can engage in rewardable an eye-catching crater drive at around 27 kilometres with beautiful attractive crater lakes like Katwe and Nyamunuka. Above all, Lake katwe has been existing for years as an attractive lake in the park in the south-western region of Uganda. Interestingly the salt lake is served by the streams with no outlet thus making it a salt lake with enormous evaporation on the dry season and contains minerals in the hypersaline water.  However, there are 3 major concentration crater lakes in the park that is Lake Katwe Explosion craters which are positioned in Queen Elizabeth national park next by Bunyaraguru crater field on the amazing Kichwamba escarpment as well as the nice-looking Ndali Kasenda crater field close to Kibale National park and among the thriving Katwe Explosion craters there is enormous Kyemengo crater which is absolutely the most mysterious attractive lake.

Lake Katwe

How crater lakes were formed?

The alluring crater lakes were formed has volcanic explosion craters and in the ancient years, these geographic features were formed by volcanic activity about 800 to 1000 years ago. To note, when the molten lava lake from the earth’s crust tried to escape blocked fissure ended up using a lot of pressure thus resulting into a wide depression of craters.

The wastes from the explosions that happened on the sides around the crater formed a realm of volcanic pile and the kind of explosion is known as a violent volcanic explosion. Time went on and later on the depressions were filled with water to form a crater lake and the volcanic process which is responsible for the formation of crater lakes is in South-western Uganda. The crater lakes are also known as extinct volcanoes in fact a few still free sulphurous gas smells meaning an eruption any time may cause danger to the neighbours.

Location to Katwe Salt Lake

The Lake katwe Saltworks are located just north of the impressive Mweya peninsula and actually sits on the highest elevation inside Queen Elizabeth national park. The park provides a spectacular view of the crater drive that runs on the total area of about 27 kilometres which present distant sight-seeing of the stunning crater lakes while enjoying your drive. And the drive carried out along the lake is such interesting, the water area offers with wide number of wildlife being seen linking for water and along the drive is a fantastic experience of viewing animals most especially the Buffaloes, Elephants among others and you can  as well have great viewing of lake kitagata ,a hot springs with no wildlife around but with impressive beauty of its kind. The drive made around rewards you with sight-seeing of great western Rift valley plus its escarpments, the snow mountain Rwenzori ranges, kazinga channel and you will have a high chance to visit the mysterious katwe lake and its ancient salt mining works.

Why is Lake Katwe Salty?

The reason as to why lake katwe is salty because it has a number of water tributaries that lead in water inlets but it has no water outlets. This is the reason as to why ocean water is saline too most especially during the dry season when there is a lot of evaporation that makes the salt solution gather to make salt rocks.

The fact is that this unique activity of salt mining at lake katwe crater has lost its worth. This has happened because of other salt mines that have been discovered in other countries. Though it has lost its value it has contributed lucrative economic activity to the resident of Katunguru and Katwe like a few years back. The salt which was mined from lake Katwe contributed to East African countries economically because they could export it to Congo and Rwanda before the discovery of salt in other parts of East Africa.

How salt mining is made from the acidic lake?

The production of salt mining at lake katwe in Queen Elizabeth national park is best during the dry seasons from January to March and July to September when there is a lot of evaporation making the saline water of lake katwe to concentrate to make a hyper solution that forms salt. 

The hard-working women who are seen along the lake they collect off the outer layer of salt formed on the surface and it is clearly known that the filtered table salt is made out this salt. Then men for them they remove the salt blocks from the bottom of the lake and it is usually made at the shallow end of the katwe lake. 

The mined salt is used for human consumption and the dirty muddy salt is sold as salt links for cows in Uganda.

How salt mining activity is processed?

After being got from the lake salt miners stay around the mines full day long under much sunshine and if it is still wet it brings out that bad smell from the evaporating saline water. Basically if the salt is in the depression and the temperature raises low during the sunny season.

However, the salty water in katwe lake is very dangerous to both women and men to their reproductive health, so what they do to control this toxic to enter into their privacy, women apply flour in their private parts to avoid the toxic water by entering their private part which can cause infectious diseases well men put on condoms to avoid that saltwater through affecting their penises.

Salt Mining in Lake Katwe
Salt Mining in Lake Katwe

What is really interesting about katwe Salt Lake?

This is a half-day itinerary for travellers who prefer visiting the salt works at lake katwe which can be made during the tour in Queen Elizabeth national park. The visit to salt work is accompanied by the help of the guide who will give out important information about salt mining and the history concerning about the area from the miners.

The salt mining in the major economic activity for the katwe area which is source of income to people living around though they still face poor standards because of the little money they get from salt mining.

The katwe lake is surrounded by the local people in the community who love making craft materials, you can visit this craft shop and buy the crafts from their local people, just as another way to support the salt mining jobs.

These are other activities that can be done around Lake Katwe: 

  • Craft making made by the local people.
  • Culture encounter along lake katwe can be done through visiting the katwe tourism information centre, leopard villages many more.
  • Enjoy the lifestyle of the locals of katwe town
  • Have a spectacular view of green vegetation and wildlife along the way or the shores of the lake.

Visit Lake Katwe Salt Works and be able to view the process of salt mining and also enjoy the views of the crater lake.

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