Lake Victoria. Where is on the world map in Africa, area, who discovered, photo and description
Lake Victoria is a vast natural body of fresh water – the largest lake in terms of area on the African continent. It is rich in flora, fauna, and many species of exotic animals.
The local population calls it “Nyanza,” which literally means “big water. A world map shows that the lake is located in eastern Africa and is part of three states: Tanzania, Kenya, and Uganda.
Location of the lake
Lake Victoria is located in eastern Africa along the equator. Tourists are attracted by the various species of flowers and fish, as well as the unique nature reserves. Visitors will not be left indifferent by the beautiful natural scenery. Lake Victoria is a great place for professional fishermen, but it is a dangerous occupation.
After all, there is a chance that fishermen can become prey, as the lake is teeming with crocodiles. Because of this, hunting tours have been created for extreme hunters. Some species of animals are on the verge of extinction, due to frequent hunting activities.
Many tourists are attracted to the unique nature reserves, which were formed around the lake. On the map you can see their location. Lake Victoria has endemic species of animals and plants. Its waters are inhabited by a special species of fish Lang, which according to scientists lived here about three hundred million years ago. Lang fish can’t be found anywhere else in the world.
Among the reserves is a very famous park, its terrain is inhabited by more than half a thousand species of birds. The park is located on the island of Rubondo. The island allows scientists to study different species of animals in their natural environment. In the park there is a chance to meet the Sitatungu antelope.
Most visitors want to visit the island to meet the unique beauty of the animal. The antelope is attracted to the lakes and wetlands. Only walking is allowed in the park, and driving is prohibited in order to preserve nature.
Saanane Island is located in Tanzania, it is the smallest national park there. Also the island of Mhingo, which is popular for fishing.
Lake Victoria can be reached by plane to the airport in Mwanza or by train. Then it is better to get to the lake shore by car or cab. It will take about half an hour to drive.
It is advisable to visit the national parks from November to March. During this period, the islands in the southwestern part of the climate becomes humid, tropical downpours begin. Thanks to this area acquires beautiful wildflowers and more than 30 species of orchids.
The origin of Lake Victoria and its name
Until 1920, the lake was called Victoria Nyanza. Then the lake was named by an English traveler after Queen Victoria. Due to the fact that the lake borders with three countries, it has several names. In 1960, there were proposals by countries to give the lake one name. But there was never a final decision.
Exploration and development of Lake Victoria
The lake was discovered by the English traveler John Henning Speke. It was he who gave the lake its name. The development of the lake was on July 30, 1858. John Speke assumed that the body of water comes from the Nile. After Henry Stanley’s expedition returned, John Speke’s claim was confirmed.
History of Lake Victoria
According to scientists, the reservoir arose due to the formation of the Edward and Albert Depressions. Their location was in a fault zone in eastern Africa. It happened in the middle of the Anthropogenic period. The place where the watercourse originated was facing east, on a plateau trough. A large body of water was formed, the volume of which was considered huge.
Physical and Geographical Characteristics of Lake Victoria
Lake Victoria reads as a relict lake. The shores of the lake are marshy, highly indented, and low and flat. Victoria has beautiful sandy beaches. For example, the shores of Saanane Island are mostly rocky, but there are also gentle areas. Around the lake are savannahs, to the northwest of the coast is the equatorial forest with a humid climate.
In some places, the transparency of the lake can reach up to 8 meters. Due to the large number of islands and bays, a variety of underwater landscapes are created: sandy soils, rocky talus. Lake Victoria exceeds the size of the Azov Sea, so it is often called a sea.
During strong hurricanes, bays and gulfs are a refuge for ships. According to studies by scientists, it is believed that Lake Victoria had a larger area than it does today. At that time the lake covered the entire area of Uganda. Its eastern shore had a boundary with Lake Rudolph. It is not uncommon for the water level of Lake Victoria to fluctuate.
A large number of water rises were noted in 1961-1964. The coastline is more than 7000 km long. The height above sea level is 1134 m. The area of the lake is more than 68 thousand km2. The biggest depth of the reservoir is 80 m. The length is more than 300 km and width is more than 200 km. The average depth of the lake is 40 m.
Lake Victoria on the map of the world is much different, it is more in area than most lakes. The lake has numerous islands, the largest of which are Kome Island, Ukerewe, Mansome.
The climate is equatorial-tropical. It rains two seasons a year. Due to the large amount of water in the lake, the climate is softened in a radius of about 80 km. There is a decrease in the dryness of the air and its temperature.
The seasons are distinguished by the amount of precipitation. In summer there are periods of heavy rain, which leads to a deluge, and in winter there is less rainfall. There may be no precipitation during the month in winter.
In summer, about 1,700 ml. of rainfall may fall almost daily. This often occurs during the tropical rainy season. April and May have more rainfall, which are particularly rainy months.
In one month, Lake Victoria receives about 250 ml of water. The air temperature very rarely falls below +26 ° C. The water temperature of the upper layer can warm up to +24 ° C. Frosts and snow do not usually occur in this area.
Possible hurricanes and tornadoes, so the lake is ranked among the dangerous places in the world. In addition, the area of Lake Victoria has a large number of poisonous insects. Because of the hot climate a lot of water evaporates, but the lake is never shallow.
Huge evaporation is offset by tropical downpours. The climate is very variable, hot weather may be replaced in a day by cold and wet winds. This is due to the fact that the lake is located above sea level.
The amount of precipitation in millimeters from 1956 to 1978:
|City||Amount of precipitation per year|
Flora and fauna
Reeds, papyrus, and banana palms are not uncommon on the coast. The most common plants are considered: acacia, mimosa, cypress.
Lake Victoria on the world map has picturesque islands. It is home to hippos, flamingos, Venetian cranes. It is here that some varieties of fish live, which can live in an aquarium. The lake has more than 300 thousand species of aquatic life, of which there are known species that do not live anywhere else.
The lake is home to fireback, purplejacket, representatives of the cichlova family. They have one peculiar feature – when danger approaches, the fry tend to hide in the mouth of the female. When the danger has passed, they swim out. The lake is home to an unusual species of fish called protoptera.
The fish is distinguished by the fact that it can breathe not only with its gills, but also with its lungs. The island is home to various species of exotic butterflies. Here you can see a variety of poisonous snakes, so it is advisable to have a guide.
Green monkeys, hippos, porcupines, rhinoceroses, elephants, chimpanzees, mongooses, and giraffes are found in Rubondo Reserve. A lot of birds are the adornment of the lake shore, with different bright colors.
Varieties of birds can be found here: storks, eagles, cormorants, kingfishers, ibises. New species of fish appear in the lake. About 5 species have been found that differ in their coloration.
The lake is home to the Nile perch, which can reach up to 1 m in length. The presence of hippos in the lake is sometimes fatal. The animal weighs anywhere from 1.5 to 4 tons, so it can easily capsize a boat.
The rivers that flow into the lake bring about 18% of the water.
Some of the rivers that flow into Lake Victoria and their characteristics:
- Kagera River – is the main river that flows into the body of water from the east, more than 30 km long.
- The Nzoia is about 250 km long, located in Kenya, is an important natural resource and has many waterfalls.
The ecological condition of Lake Victoria is in great danger. This is due to the rapid cutting of trees along the entire shoreline. In addition, the population along the coast is increasing. Due to global warming, rainfall is decreasing – another reason for the decrease in the lake’s water volume.
More than 40 percent of the fish are disappearing because businesses are dumping dirty water as well as sewage from local settlements. The bottom of the lake is polluted with different wastes and chemicals. During heavy rains, some of the fertilizer is washed away from the fields and pollutes Victoria. Nile perch were introduced into the body of water to increase fish representatives, then many fish in the lake disappeared.
The damage has been enormous and mostly irreparable. In addition, the water lilies introduced into Africa caused damage to the lake and their inhabitants. Lilies are very resilient and have a strong reproduction rate.
In 1990, fish habitat in the lake was very much reduced, caused by the lilies, which absorb large amounts of oxygen. Also their tendrils close the inflow and outflow of water, and this makes navigation difficult.
During the 20th century, phosphorus levels in Lake Victoria doubled, due to the reproduction of the Nile perch, as well as overcrowding and deforestation. This may have been what led to the cyanobacteria that caused the fish to be killed.
The Owen Falls Dam has allowed the water level to rise to 3 meters. Environmentalists warn that within 60 years all the water inhabitants can die because of the flow of harmful chemicals into the reservoir. Local residents, as well as some organizations participate in the preservation of the reservoir. Experts recommend reducing fishing and pollution of the lake with chemicals.
How Lake Victoria is used
Most of the local population grows coffee, bamboo and cotton. Several ports are organized on the shores of the lake, and shipping is active. Residents of Africa use the fresh water of Lake Victoria. Water transport is well developed here with big ports organized.
Near Africa is a large deposit of gold and diamonds. The Nile perch is well purchased for the people of Europe, at an expensive price. The local population is engaged in fishing, fish processing takes place in factories near the coast of Lake Victoria.
Recreational resources of Lake Victoria
Due to the construction of a power plant on the shore and basin of the lake, the lake’s hydro resources are viewed. Lake Victoria’s leakage occurs in the village, which is located in the city of Uganda. About 12 thousand years ago the White Nile was located in this area.
This section of the river broke a dam of rocks and rocks. In 1952, a power plant was established. Engineers improved this natural dam and reservoir. In 2002, a second power plant was established. According to studies by hydrologists, it was found that the large leakage of water through the power plants led to a huge change in the water level of the reservoir.
- Lake Victoria has the bulk of fresh water. It is ranked among the largest freshwater bodies of the entire planet.
- According to studies, geologists believe that the lake has dried up several times.
- More than 34 million people live around the lake. The area of Lake Victoria is comparable to the territory of Ireland.
- The history of Victoria begins about 400,000 years ago.
- Because the lake is infected with schistomatosis, you can’t swim in it.
- On the shores of the lake there is a fly that infects the sleeping sickness.
- In this area it is possible to catch yellow fever or malaria.
- Lake Victoria has more than 2,000 islands.
Despite the deteriorating ecology and reduced torrential rains, the lake retains unique animal species. A visit to this place will allow you to enjoy the picturesque nature and meet rare ichthyofauna. You can see all the rivers flowing into Lake Victoria on a world map. Some of them have beautiful waterfalls.
African Lake Victoria
Lake Victoria is a lake in Africa, in Tanzania, Kenya, and Uganda, the largest lake in Africa and the second freshest lake in the world.
Lake Victoria is one of the most striking natural attractions in Africa, no less famous than Mount Sinai, the Color Canyon, Volcano Cameroon or Lake Chad. Victoria is the largest freshwater body of water on the black continent and the second largest in the world after one of the American Great Lakes, Lake Superior.
The outlines of its shores resemble a huge irregularly shaped oval.
Its surface area is about 68,000 square kilometers, in some places the depth of the lake reaches 80 meters.
The most majestic river in Africa, the Nile, starts there.
Where is Lake Victoria
Lake Victoria is the natural border between Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. In the coastal areas a significant number of aboriginal people – according to various reports, from 30 to 35 million people. The locals have a different name for the place, Nyanza, which means “big water.
In 1858, the lake was discovered by the famous British explorer John Speke, who named it after the British Queen.
The lake and its surroundings are very popular with fans of hunting and fishing. More than 100 species of fish live in these waters, including rare ones, such as the Nile perch.
This is also the only place in the world where the fossil lang fish, which inhabited the Earth as early as 300 million years ago, has been preserved. This unique species is considered a transitional link from fish to terrestrial animals, because it has an amazing respiratory system, which includes both gills and lungs.
Fishing in Lake Victoria is a fascinating but quite dangerous activity. These waters are just teeming with crocodiles, so that the gaping fisherman himself can turn into prey.
By the way, hunting tours for crocodiles and hippos – one of the most extreme local entertainment offered to tourists.
There are several famous nature reserves and national parks around the lake.
One of the most popular tourist destinations is the park on Rubondo Island, which is home to several hundred species of birds and dozens of animal species. Flocks of colorful tropical birds “paint” the coast in all the colors of the rainbow – perhaps few places in the world where you can see such a fantastic spectacle. You can see elephants, rhinos, giraffes, mongooses and lots of other exotic animals in the park.
A special pride of the park is a population of Sitatunga antelope, distinguished by their unique grace and beauty.
Ruma National Park is no less interesting – a great place to observe wild animals in their natural habitat.
Within the lake are numerous islands, both quite large and small. Some of them are inhabited by people and have facilities for tourist accommodation.
Fabulous scenery, romantic walks on the lake in a canoe, the opportunity to observe rare animals or explore the life of local fishermen, such a vacation is just perfect for those who seek peace and quiet.
One of the most distinctive islands here is Mgingo Island. The island is famous for excellent fishing and has a very original history. For a long time, Mhingo was uninhabited – the inhabitants of coastal areas believed that an evil spirit lived on the island.
In the early 1990s, a local shaman conducted a rite of exorcism, and the island settled two brave men – Kenyan fishermen. Soon other fishermen began to settle on the island, attracted by the excellent catches. About 130 people now live on Mhingo. The catch of high-value Nile perch allows fishermen to earn up to $200 a week, which is considered huge money by local standards.
Because the island is a disputed territory, the locals have to pay taxes to both Kenyan and Ugandan coffers.
However, the islanders consider Mhingo a free republic, have their own government and live as a friendly commune under their own laws. The worst punishment for breaking these laws is banishment from the island.
The lake also has its own legends. If you believe one of them, near Rubondo Island lives Lukvata – a mysterious monster, which from time to time rises from the bottom of the lake and takes the prey from the fishermen.
Of course, the mysterious Lukwata is not as popular as its “counterpart” from the lake Loch Ness, and yet thousands of tourists every year come to this region in the hope to meet the strange creature.
On the coast there is no pronounced division of the year into seasons. The air temperature is around 25°C all year round, and the water temperature rarely drops below 22°C.
The change of seasons in these places is determined by the amount of rain. Spring and summer are a time of tropical downpours, so the best time to visit Victoria is November and February.