Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Lake Victoria

Lake Victoria covers an area of 26,828 square miles (69,472 sq km) and the largest fresh water lake in Africa and second largest in the world. It is a shallow water lake. Named after former British Queen Victoria, the lake known for its colorful fishing villages, papyrus lined shore, numerous bays and islands. At an elevation of 3,718 feet above sea level, the lake shares itself with Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.  It is one of the major sources of the Nile River.

Rusinga Island along the Lake is the site of the famous 17 million year old fossil skull of  Proconsul  Africans’  found by  renowned anthropologist, Mary Leakey. Once, an important source for tilapia and ciclid fish species, the lake has experienced a dramatic decline in vital commercial fishing harvests. Over fishing and the ill advised introduction, in the1960s of the voracious and very large Nile perch has effectively reduced the lakes once very productive output of fish for food.

Nile perch are common in Lake Victoria weighing between 60 and 100 pounds. Large adults are big enough to damage and break through fishing nets and eat massive quantities of smaller native fish species. It is also home to a wide variety of birds, such as cormorant, pelican, stork, ibis, heron, egret, duck and the majestic fish eagle. Hippopotamus and Nile crocodile are occasionally still found along the lakes extensive shore lines.

JBA- Kenya Safaris