Ssese Islands, Lake Victoria, Uganda

Lake Victoria is the largest lake in Africa and chief reservoir of the Nile, lying mainly in Tanzania and Uganda. Among the freshwater lakes of the world it is exceeded in size only by Lake Superior in North America. Its waters fill a shallow depression in the plateau that stretches between the Western and Eastern Rift Valleys. At 1,134 m above sea level, it has an area of 69,484 square km, max north-south length of 337 km, max breadth of 240 km, and a coastline over 3,220 km. Many archipelagos are contained within the lake, as are numerous reefs, often just below the surface of the clear waters. It has more than 200 species of fish, of which the Tilapia is the most economically important.

At the lake's northwestern corner are the 62 islands of the Ssese archipelago, some of them of striking beauty. The Ugandan cities of Kampala and Entebbe lie along or near the northern coast. The search by Europeans for the source of the Nile led to the sighting of the lake by the British explorer John Hanning Speke in 1858. Formerly known to the Arabs as Ukerewe, the lake was named by Speke in honor of Queen Victoria of England. A detailed survey of the lake was made by Sir William Garstin in 1901. Plans for gradually raising the level of the lake's waters were completed in 1954 with the construction of the Owen Falls Dam on the Victoria Nile at Jinja, Uganda; the dam, which provides hydroelectric power on a large scale, made the lake a vast reservoir. [—Adapted from Encyclopedia Britannica, 2004]

Pastor and fisherman

Malachite kingfisher

Salon Ssese

Lake Victoria sunset

Rutoboka village, Buggala

Kalangala children


Panorama camping lodge

Lake vista

Fishing boats

Tropical island


Boda boda

Evening on Lake Victoria

Burning brick kiln






Tilapia & Nile perch fishing


Nice haul?

Lake vista

Time for rest

White beach


Lake Victoria sunset

Dewy spider web

Ssese islands

Vista point

Vista point

Local flora

Former house of John Speke

View from Buggala island


Distant village

Kalangala central market

Lake Victoria sunset

Main street

Smoking fish

Smoked fish

Senior citizen

Ugandan cows

With possibly the largest horns in the world

Ferry from Bukakata


Coming home?


Island transportation

Boda boda taxi service

Fresh off the ferry

The dreaded matatu


Campground owners

A Dutch farmer and his Ugandan wife run a campground.


Lake Victoria sunset


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