Lake Kyoga /Great Lake–Uganda Safari Destination-African Great Lakes
Lake Kyoga; Is one of Uganda’s great lakes located north of Lake Victoria in central Uganda which is formed by the Victoria Nile in its middle, the lake is shallow with swampy, papyrus reeded shores and sometime completely block the river to flow its water in. Furthermore, Lake Kyoga is a touristic lake located in the Centre of Uganda and it is a very shallow lake with a depth of about 5.7 meter with most parts being less than 4 meters deep and sit about 1,720 square kilometers in the area at an elevation of 1,033 meters. More so, the lake is about 80 miles long and about 3,390 feet above sea level. And the main inflow from Lake Victoria is regulated by the Nalubaale power station which starts in Jinja. Another source of water is the Mount Elgon region on the border between Uganda and Kenya. The fact is that, Lake Kyoga is part of the African Great Lakes system, the lake itself is not considered a great lake.
The biggest part of the lake is occupied by lake extensions of which are seasonal and during dry seasons, they dry up including ; Lake Kwanza, lake bikini and lake operation surrounded by yet more seasonal swamps.
More about lake Kyoga is not a well-known destination than Lake Victoria which is the most alternative to travelers who have an interest in fishing or aquatic wildlife species.
Lake Kyoga inhabits 46 fish species and most of the type of species are endemic. Many of Lake Kyoga’s endemic species are closely related to species in Lake Victoria.
Therefore ,Lake Victoria and Lake Kyoga have experienced a loss in biodiversity since the introduction of the Nile perch in the year of 1950s. These two water bodies are also home to the Nile crocodile which measure up to 5metres in length. These Nile crocodile are the main attraction to the lake. In Uganda’s lakes are home to high concentration of the Nile crocodiles which are aquatic fauna.
Activities to do around Lake Kyoga
On visit to Lake Kyoga, you can also visit the Nyero rock painting located 12 kilometers away from the Lake Kyoga. Note, Nyero rock painting are known as ancient geometric painting and one of the most important rock art sites in Uganda. Guided tours are available at the entry gate.
Historically, Nyero rock painting become a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997 and it is under control of body of government –Uganda wildlife Authority.
The main activities done around Lake Kyoga are fishing and birding and the most spotted bird species is a rare Fox’s weaver.
Lake Kyoga is a shallow lake with an average depth of just 3meter and a maximum depth of 5. 5meter.The swampy shoreline is the largest because of variety of bird species that encountered along its shore which are frequented by birders.
People who live around Lake Kyoga thrive on fishing and farming. To others thrive on keeping livestock but on a smaller scale as well as just for survival.
Tribes around Lake Kyoga
There are many tribes which is their main source of food, employment and wealth. The main people around are the Baruuli people who are the herdsmen, farmer, fishermen and charcoal burners. Other tribes include Baguugu people, Basonga people and Acholi people who migrated here to practice in fishing. These tribes also carry out trade with the neighborhood in fish, charcoal and food. The staple food for baruuli people is sweet potatoes and matooke. They also grow millet, yams, ground nuts, sorghum, cassava, cotton, maize, vegetables among others.
Buruuli sub-county is located in Nakasongola district deep in the village with dry land since rain takes long to fall in the area which cause people’s crops to get dry before the time of getting ready for the harvest. So for this reason, they do farming near the shores of the lake for their crops to get enough water mostly jam, millets, sorghum, sweet potatoes many more. The lake being shallow, people get papyrus reeds and use them to make different craft works.
Since Lake Kyoga acts as a landing site for fishing with locals and it is also surrounded with other busiest landing sites which you can visit and make up a full package of product on different fish landing site on Uganda’s safaris, they are next to each other such as Lwampanga landing site, Kikoyiro landing site, Kikaranganya landing site, Kibuye landing site, Namasale landing site, Kisonye landing site, Moone landing site many more. Travelers on visit here, you can encounter how species of fish being offloaded from the boats and the process done is sun drying them before they pack them to the market and the sun drying fish in local name are called ‘’Babaala’’ a staple food for Congolese.
Lake Kyoga is also a good location to go cool off the afternoon heat by swimming in its shallow waters. If you want to do fishing, tourists are recommended to carry their own fishing gears.
The lake can be accessed from Kampala in eastern Uganda via Lale road. Another option, you can use a boat from Nakasongola to Namasale.
With no worry, Lake Kyoga is surrounded with very many accommodation units where tourists can lodge from, ranging from budget to Luxurious accommodation facilities.