Rift Valley Lakes in Uganda
Rift valley lakes in Uganda are lakes found in the East African Rift valley that runs through Eastern African from the country of Ethiopia in the north to Malawi in the south and also includes the African Great Lakes in the south. These include some of the world’s oldest largest lakes by area, largest lakes by volume and deepest lakes among others. However, Uganda is also among the countries with rift valley lakes though they are not famously known in the world because the Ugandan Albertine Rift Valley part is tracked by the Kenyan arm of the great African rift valley but the fact is that, the Ugandan Rift valley side is greater than the Kenyan arm.
The rift valley lakes in Uganda are mainly four, i.e. Lake Edward, Lake Albert, Lake George, and Lake Kyoga. Queen Elizabeth National park has some of the Rift valley lakes, for example, lake George and lake Edward which are connected by the Kazinga channel which is positioned in the southeastern part of the park.
The area of the rift valley lakes is acknowledged as the best biodiversity hotspot by world heritage site and one of the world’s biosphere reserve. This is the reason why Queen Elizabeth national park became famously known because of the crater lakes come along with wild animals making it a known image on the worldwide dialog. Interestingly the rift valley lakes habits with a lot of beautiful species with over 1000 bird species of which some are endemic like the endangered shoe bill stork, greater flamingo many more, over 97 mammals, reptiles found in Queen Elizabeth national park.
Lake Edward happens to be among the small lakes of Uganda when we compare it to other lakes, which is positioned on the border of Uganda and Congo in the southwest of Queen Elizabeth national park. Lake Edward which is a rift valley lake measures an area of 2325 square kilometers with the depth that raises about 376ft and water volume of about 39.5 cubic km. This rift valley lake has its primary inlets such as River Nyamugasani, River Ishasha, River Rutshuru, River Rwindi, River Ntungwe, River Rubilia among others and the main outlets is River semiliki that flows into Lake Albert.Besides being a small lake to so ever visits it can be able to have sight-seeing of lots of wildlife along its banks and such animals include elephants, hippos, buffaloes, notable bird species such as king fishers, fish eagles, white-backed vulture, greater flamingos among others and also have spectacular view of variation in the green vegetation within the rift valley lake area.
Lake Edward is the most beautiful one among the rift valley lakes in Uganda which was named by the first European explorer to come to Uganda and happens to be Sir Henry Morton Stanley in later 1889. Fortunately, it was named after the British prince of wales knowns as Edward the son to Queen of England. The naming of lake Edward has historical background has it is associated with a number of factors like the first president of Uganda by then Idi Amin Dada who named lake Edward by his name ‘’Lake Idi Amin during his reign on power but latterly on the lake was renamed has its permanent name Lake Edward in 1973 when president Idi Amin lost the chair of presidential.
The rift valley lakes in Uganda are composed of four lakes in a way that Lake George seems to be the smallest and shallower than the other. Above all, it is recorded to have a papyrus swamp alliance among the Ramsar sites in Africa. Nevertheless, the silt from the Rwenzori through River Mubuku, inlets the lake and its depth in some part is even not more than 2.4meters.
Lake George is voided by river Mubuku in the north and then river Mpanga is the main inlets to lake George and in fact, lake George has only one outlet that is kazinga channel which sits in the south of mweya within Queen Elizabeth national park.
Despite the fact that lake George is surrounded with amazing activities, you come along visiting the communities which are located nearby and such activities include; sport fishing where you can catch a fresh fish and they prepare it for you at spot , regattas, canoeing as well as having panoramic view of snow Rwenzori mountain and other rewardable swampy vegetation with overlooking of buffaloes, elephants, lucky, sitatungas, you can also sightsee birds around as you enjoy your boat sailing on waters of lake George in Queen Elizabeth national park.
Lake Albert is the largest lake among the rift valley covering an area of about 53000 square kilometers as it raises northwards, it is an elongated rift valley lake and deepest among Uganda’s rift valley lakes. Most importantly it estimates 613-meter-deep and ranked to be the 7th largest lake in Africa. Historically lake Albert was named after Prince Albert of England by the first European explorer Sir Samuel Baker who discovered it in 1973
Lake Albert has been seen in newspapers, television headlines due to the discovery of oil in the northern shoreline several times. Despite the fact that, there are both positive and neglect things through the discovery of oil in this area, the positive things will come along with the discovery of the oil while as the other side of negativity will affect the biodiversity area of Murchison falls national park though the discovering of oil is a story that seems to be for another day as a future plan strategic. Unfortunately, Lake Albert has no useful town nearby its shoreline apart from the Buliisa community which is positioned in the north of the lake itself. The people who live around the lake are nomadic pastoralists with no much civilization and they live in traditional huts.
Lake Kyoga is also known as a rift valley lake which is an extension of the Victoria Nile that flows through the lake and also its way from Lake Victoria to lake Albert, the major inlet from Lake Victoria is controlled by the Nalubaale power station in Eastern Jinja. Lake Kyoga is large and shallow covering an area of about 1720 square kilometers at an elevation of around 1,033 meters. To note, lake Kyoga is one of the African Great lakes though it’s self does not consider as a great lake.
Lastly, Lake Kyoga raises a depth of about 5.7 meters and 4 meters of its deeps and the area that measures 3 meters deep are covered by water lilies, whereas other parts of the shoreline are extended over with papyrus to form a floating island that accumulates between the amount of small permanent islands.
During your visit on Uganda Safari tours, include rift valley lakes on your itinerary because they harbor with a lot of unique wildlife species and other amazing attractions.