Most of the major lakes in Africa lie along a continental fault line known as the East African Rift Valley, which runs through the south eastern portion of the continent, creating both spectacular mountains such as Kilimanjaro and a system of deep lakes known collectively as the Great Lakes of Africa.
Africa contains the second-largest freshwater lake in the world, as well as the longest. While not quite as large as the North American Great Lakes system, the system nonetheless looms significant in both the physical and economic geography of the continent and their beauty definitely adds to the list of reasons why you should visit Africa.
The scenery is breath-taking, and you only need to cross your legs by the shore, or on a boat, to take in the stunning views. Here are some stunning lakes of Africa that will stay with you for a lifetime:
Not only is Lake Victoria the largest lake in Africa, it is also the second-largest freshwater lake in the world. Bordered by Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania, it supports a diverse ecosystem of reefs and islands, including many unique species of fish. Lake Victoria is also one of the sources of the Nile River. The land around Lake Victoria is densely populated, and the lake plays an important economic role in the lives Ugandans. For tourists, sport fishing for Nile perch is a major attraction, as well as bird watching activity.
Though largely affected by water hyacinth, there are many spots in all the 3 countries that make Lake Victoria one of Africa’s stunning lakes.
Lake Malawi (Lake Nyasa) is one of Africa’s largest lakes and it appears in many lists featuring the world’s most beautiful lakes. Lake Malawi touches Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania and you can enjoy the beautiful scenery or swim or snorkel in the aquamarine waters that host numerous fish species.
Lake Bunyonyi, Uganda
Lake Bunyonyi in the south western part of Uganda is very beautiful, and it is safe to swim in. In addition, there are over 25 islands that scatter around the lake waters, and the scenery around includes lush green hills that make the area such a beauty to behold. You can pass by the lake if you happen to get a vacation or holiday in Uganda enroute to most of Uganda’s national parks like Bwindi Gorilla Park, Queen Elizabeth Park, Lake Mburo park among others.
Lake Tanganyika, the longest lake is ranked second in the list of world’s deepest lakes. The fact that it touches Tanzania, Zambia, Burundi and DRC gives visitors or residents of all these countries the opportunity to experience the beauty that extends to the horizon.
Lake Albert is also sometimes known as Lake Mobutu Sese Seko. The lake is relatively shallow, reaching only 80 feet in depth, but in terms of surface area it’s the fourth largest of the Rift Valley lakes. It’s significant also for acting as a source of the White Nile River. Lake Albert borders Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Due to the terrain, which includes steep surrounding mountains, the shores of Lake Albert are sparsely populated, and the area is off the beaten path in terms of tourism, but some tourists are interested in the wildlife and forest preserves that surround the lake, as well as Murchison Falls National Park.
Lake Chad is northern Africa’s largest lake in terms of area, but it is strikingly shallow, reaching only 34 feet at its deepest point. This is because Lake Chad is surrounded by the arid Sahara Desert. In fact, the exact dimensions of the lake can vary widely from year to year depending on the local drought conditions. Chad, Cameroon, Nigeria and Niger share a border with the lake. Lake Chad is a vital wildlife sanctuary, and birdwatchers will find much to occupy themselves here. The best time to visit is during the rainy season, roughly August to December, when the water level is high.
Pink Lake of Senegal, Lake Retba
Well, we know lakes to have blue or turquoise waters, but Lake Retba (Lac Rose) is the renowned Pink Lake of Senegal. The lake gets its pink colour from Dunaliella salina bacteria which are attracted by the high salinity content of the Lake. The pink hues and the views on this lake are unlike any other in Africa.
Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe
Lake Kariba in Zimbabwe is one of the spots you need to visit while in the country. It is beautiful and it makes such a great destination especially for those who love nature. The scenery is amazing and you get to engage in various activities in the different lodges by the lake.
Lake Kivu, Rwanda.
Lake Kivu is found on the border of Rwanda and DR Congo. This Lake is part of the reason why Rwanda does not really feel landlocked, because on the good spots, you will get the sandy beaches and turquoise waters that other countries boat about. There are plenty of decent lodges from which you can enjoy the views, sunsets and other water activities.
Not forgetting that Rwanda has some of the remaining mountain gorillas apart from the lake.
Lake Alice and Lake Rutundu, Kenya
These 2 lakes are grouped together by virtue of their location above 10,000 feet on the slopes of Mount Kenya. You will not find the beauty and tranquillity on Mt Kenya in many places, and these lakes only emphasize why you should go. You can hike up when the weather is good, or get there via a helicopter ride- either way; these lakes will make your trip extra special.
Umm-al-Maa Lake, Libya
Umm-al-Maa Lake is a lake oasis found amidst sand dunes in the desert region of Libya. Part of what makes it so stunning is the surrounding desert landscape, which is reflected in the Lake waters. The warm waters make for a great swim but there are not too many other facilities around the lake.
Lake Sale, Comoros
Lake Sale (Lac Sale) in Comoros is also referred to as a bottomless salt lake and it is set in a great location with beautiful surroundings. The landscape is stunning and blends in so well with the turquoise waters.
Lake Naverone, South Africa
Lake Naverone is located on the foot of Southern Drakensberg in South Africa. There are various cottages and lodges around that offer amazing views of the lake, unmatched serenity and overall great vacation spot.
Lake Nakuru, Kenya
Lake Nakuru in Kenya’s Rift Valley region is renowned for flamingos which give it a pink hue when viewed from afar. The location and surrounding landscape are a nature lover’s paradise, and it is easy to see why birds flock this lake as well. This lake should be in the list of places to visit in Kenya’s Rift Valley region
. Lake Bogoria, Kenya
Kenya’s Lake Bogoria is known for the bubbling geysers that bring attract people from all over the world. The surrounding is rough, but beautiful, and the flamingos add to the list of things that make the Lake one of Kenya’s most stunning.
Africa has got very many lakes that are very unique and worth seeing. Please include visiting some of these great lakes on your itineraries for your Africa Holidays.