A guide To Lake Victoria
At Kenya’s Western frontier lies the great expanse of Lake Victoria. This massive (67,493 sq kms) lake, commonly known as Nyanza, is twice the size of Wales, and forms a natural boundary between Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.
Lake Victoria is the heart of the African continent, the source of its mightiest river, the Nile. In the 19th century the riddle of the Nile was one of the great enigmas of African exploration. After many expeditions failed, John Hanning Speke finally reached these shores in 1858.
The Nile flows northwards, carrying the waters of Nyanza to Egypt and beyond into the Mediterranean.
This mighty body of water is rich in fish life, with shimmering shoals of colourful cichlids and large Nile Perch. Nyanza province is the heartland of the Luo, a tribe known as formidable fisherman.
Fishing brings many visitors to this lake, mainly in search of the Nile Perch, considered a world class game fish. There are three separate fishing lodges on islands within Victoria.
Kisumu is a quiet port town on the Lakeshore, with wide streets and fine colonial architecture. To the south fishing villages line the lake towards the broad waters of Homa Bay.
This area is home to Ruma National Park, a small but attractive park with many unique species.
The best way to appreciate the beauty of this region is on Lake Victoria itself. The sun shines brightly, and gentle breezes rise from the water. In trees along the shore, Fish Eagles call to each other with long haunting cries. Sunsets turn the water to gold, as the local fisherman in their canoes pull in their nets and slowly turn for home…
Amazing facts about Lake Victoria
- It is Africa’s largest lake and has a surface area of 26,600 square miles (68,800 square kilometers).
- It is the largest tropical lake in the world.
- It is the world’s second largest freshwater lake measured by surface area. The only larger freshwater lake is Lake Superior in North America.
- This body of water is named after Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom.
- Lake Victoria is about 400,000 years old.
- The average depth is 130 feet (40 meters) with the deepest point being 276 feet (84 meters).
- Approximately 80 percent of the lakes water comes from rain. The other 20 percent comes from small streams flowing into the lake.
- Geological studies have shown that the lake has dried up completely a few times in the past. The last time was approximately 17,300 years ago.
- The Kagera River is the largest river that flows into the lake.
- Two rivers flow out of the lake. They are the White Nile (called the “Victoria Nile” where it leaves the lake), and the Katonga River.
How to get to Lake Victoria
Main road access to Lake Victoria is via Kisumu, directly from Nairobi by bus/matatu or private transport. Kisumu is also accessible by rail from Nairobi. There is an airport in Kisumu with scheduled flights. Charters can also use the airport.
There is a private airstrip on Mfangano Island. Nearby Malaba is the main border crossing with Uganda. A traditional way of accessing the border is by a cycle taxi called the Boda Boda (Border-Border).
Islands in Lake Victoria
- Bubembe Island
- Bugaia Island
- Bugala Island
- Bulingugwe Island
- Buvuma Island
- Damba Island
- Koome Island
- Maboko Island
- Mfangano Island
- Migingo Island
- Nabuyongo Island
- Ndere Island
- Pyramid Island
- Rubondo Island
- Rusinga Island
- Ssese Islands
- Ukara Island
- Ukerewe Island
- Yuweh Island
Lake Victoria Map
Getting Around Lake Victoria
From Kisumu there is some road access to the Lake south to Homa Bay. Ferries and Private Boats are used to access the islands.
More About Kenya
Kenya is a world unto itself. Kenya is Africa’s original safari destination, attracting explorers, adventurers, and travelers for centuries. A safari to Kenya is a trip of a lifetime.
Tourist Attractions in Kenya:
Kenya has one of the world’s greatest tourist attractions sites, known for its diversity of landscape, wildlife, and cultures. From sweeping savannahs to tropical beaches and coral reef, dense equatorial forests to mighty snow-capped mountains, and more.
For more information visit: Tourists Attractions in Kenya
Kenya is the ultimate safari destination, providing travelers with a window into the heart of Africa. But this is not all that Kenya has to offer. Located near the equator, Kenya´s magic lies in the fact that the country encompasses an astounding variety of landscapes and climates, flora and fauna, as well as communities and cultures, home to water sports, a swim with dolphins and adventure.
For more information visit: Kenya Safari
Hotels and Accommodation in Kenya
Hotels in Kenya vary enormously in price and facilities. Luxury hotels in Kenya offer excellent standards of service and are comparable to the best hotels anywhere in the world. Kenya’s abundance of natural produce, combined with the rich variety of cultures and traditions, has created a great culinary nation.
The fertile volcanic soil of the Rift Valley produces a bounty of fresh vegetables, while the coast is a great source of tropical fruit and fresh seafood. The Kenyan coast is also the home of the world-renowned Swahili cuisine, a blend of Middle Eastern and African cooking with a particular coastal twist.
For more information visit: Hotels in Kenya
Towns in Kenya
Apart from the towns of Nairobi , Mombasa, Kisumu and Nakuru, Kenya has other major towns each a unique representation of the country’s striking abundance in flora and fauna. Most of these towns are headquarters in their respective counties or major economic bases in their regions. Luxury hotels and lodges located here provide good accommodation and conferencing facilities for guests who dare to try out a taste different from the capital or the coast.
For more information visit: Towns in Kenya
The Kenyan People Culture and Tradition
Kenya’s culture blends together diverse tribes, traditions, and religions into one beautiful, well-woven tapestry. These traditions complement each other while incorporating the modern influences of globalization – resulting in a vibrant cultural spirit that is uniquely Kenyan. Kenya has over 42 different tribes with different languages and several dialects. Kenyan tourism has made the Maasai and Samburu tribes the most famous because of their long preserved culture.
For more information visit: Kenya People and Tribes
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