Lake Victoria is Africa’s largest lake by area, the world’s largest tropical lake, and the world’s second-largest freshwater lake by surface area after Lake Superior in North America. Lake Victoria is also known in local dialects as “Nam Lolwe” in Luo and “Nalubaale” in Luganda, its ecosystem services serve a population of 30 million people.
Lake Victoria occupies a shallow depression in Africa. The lake has a maximum depth of between 80 and 84 metres (262 and 276 feet ] and an average depth of 40 metres (130 feet). Lake Victoria area is divided among three countries: Kenya (6 per cent or 4,100 square kilometres or 1,600 square miles), Uganda (45 per cent or 31,000 square kilometres or 12,000 square miles), and Tanzania (49 per cent or 33,700 square kilometres or 13,000 square miles. Lake Victoria is the source of the Nile River near Jinja, Uganda, on the lake’s northern shore. Lake Victoria contains over 200 species of fish and the cichlid is the main endemic group. However, many species have become extinct in the last 50 years and scientists estimate that Lake Victoria’s indigenous fish species have decreased by 80 percent. The Nile perch is Lake Victoria’s most notorious invasive species.
Many mammal species live in the region of Lake Victoria, and some of these are closely associated with the lake itself and the nearby wetlands. Among these are the hippopotamus, sitatunga, African Clawless Otter, Spotted-necked Otter, Marsh Mongoose, Reedbuck, Waterbuck, Cane Rats, and Giant Otter Shrew
On the shores of Lake Victoria, there are very productive wetland ecosystems, which are the Dunga, Kusa, Koguta, Yala, and Sio Siteko wetlands. These wetlands are bestowed with fascinating wildlife and a splendid bird population among them the Papyrus Endemics, The vulnerable White-winged Warbler, the near-threatened Papyrus Gonolek, the vulnerable Papyrus Yellow Warbler, and the Papyrus Canary. Birding in Lake Victoria is done on a boat that silently paddles through the marsh and reeds to enable birders to have a closer look at the birds, the boat ride takes two to four hours, walking in some sections so that you can be able to go close to the papyrus to get a better glimpse of the area specialties. Lake Victoria is known for many other activities other than birding and fishing. You can do rafting on the source of the Nile, do boat cruises, and sport fishing. Lake Victoria has around 84 islands that are all exceptional with different highlights. Other birds to keep an eye for in Lake Victoria; Eastern Plantain-eater, African Harrier, Double-toothed Barbet, Angola Swallow, African Thrush, Yellow-fronted Canary, Blue-spotted Wood-Dove, Meyer’s Parrot, Carruthers Cisticola, Slender-billed Weaver, Orange Weaver, Weyns’s Weaver, Northern Brown-throated Weaver, Blue-headed Coucal, Broad-billed Roller, African Hobby, Banded Snake Eagle, Allen’s Gallinule, Fan-tail Widowbird, Copper Sunbird, Southern Red Bishop.