Lake Victoria

Landsat 7 imagery of Lake Victoria
Victoria Nyanza. The black line indicates Stanley's route.
Topographical map of Lake Victoria
Lake Victoria and the Great Rift Valley
Lake Victoria bathymetric model
Unlike many other Lake Victoria cichlids, Haplochromis nyererei remains common. Compared to several other cichlids, its eyes are particularly sensitive to light, especially red, which is less affected by the decrease in water clarity caused by eutrophication than short wavelength colors
Haplochromis thereuterion survives in low numbers. Initially feared extinct, when rediscovered it had changed habitat (from near surface to rocky outcrops) and feeding behavior (from surface insects to insect larvae)
Fishers and their boats on the shore of Lake Victoria
The Nile perch was introduced to Lake Victoria for fishing, and can reach up to 2 m and 200 kg.
A hyacinth-choked lakeshore at Ndere Island, Lake Victoria, Kenya.
Population density around Lake Victoria
Bismarck Rock
The lake as it is visible from the shores of the Speke Resort in Kampala, Uganda
The Nalubaale Hydroelectric Power Station in Njeru, Uganda.

One of the African Great Lakes.

- Lake Victoria

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John Hanning Speke

English explorer and officer in the British Indian Army who made three exploratory expeditions to Africa.

Arms of John Hanning Speke (1827-1864): Argent, two bars azure overall an eagle with two heads displayed gules (Speke of Whitelackington) with honourable augmentation a chief azure thereon a representation of flowing water proper superinscribed with the word "Nile" in letters gold
Routes taken by the expeditions of Burton and Speke (1857–1858) and Speke and Grant (1863)
Speke introduces Grant to the Queen-Dowager of Uganda
An obelisk dedicated to Speke stands in Kensington Gardens, London

He is most associated with the search for the source of the Nile and was the first European to reach Lake Victoria (known to locals as Nam Lolwe in Dholuo and Nnalubaale or Ukerewe in Luganda).

African Great Lakes

The African Great Lakes (Maziwa Makuu, Ibiyaga bigari) are a series of lakes constituting the part of the Rift Valley lakes in and around the East African Rift.

Satellite view of the African Great Lakes region and its coastline.
The African Great Lakes system, in blue.
Map of larger region including the East African Rift and the entire so-called Great Rift Valley

They include Lake Victoria, the second-largest fresh water lake in the world by area, Lake Tanganyika, the world's second-largest freshwater lake by volume and depth, and Lake Malawi, the world's eighth-largest fresh water lake by area.


Country in East Africa within the African Great Lakes region.

A 1.8-million-year-old stone chopping tool discovered at Olduvai Gorge and on display at the British Museum.
A 1572 depiction of the portuguese city of Kilwa, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Battle during the Maji Maji Rebellion against German colonial rule in 1905.
The Arusha Declaration Monument
Wildebeest migration in the Serengeti
Tanzania map of Köppen climate classification
The Masai giraffe is Tanzania's national animal
The semi-autonomous Zanzibar Archipelago
Regions of Tanzania
Tanzanian ambassador to Russia Jaka Mwambi presenting his credentials to the Russian President Dmitry Medvedev
Tanzanian Embassy in West End, Washington, D.C., USA
FIB Tanzanian special forces during training
A proportional representation of Tanzania exports, 2019
Historical development of real GDP per capita in Tanzania, since 1950
Tea fields in Tukuyu
Nyerere Bridge in Kigamboni, Dar es Salaam
The snowcapped Uhuru Peak
One of the main trunk roads
Zanzibar harbour
Domestic expenditure on research in Southern Africa as a percentage of GDP, 2012 or closest year. Source: UNESCO Science Report: towards 2030 (2015), Figure 20.3
A Tanzanian woman cooks Pilau rice dish wearing traditional Kanga.
Farmers using a rice harvester to harvest rice in Igunga District, Tanzania
Example of a World Food Programme parcel
Researchers (HC) in Southern Africa per million inhabitants, 2013 or closest year
Scientific publications per million inhabitants in SADC countries in 2014. Source: UNESCO Science Report (2015), data from Thomson Reuters' Web of Science, Science Citation Index Expanded
The Hadza live as hunter-gatherers.
A carved door with Arabic calligraphy in Zanzibar
Nkrumah Hall at the University of Dar es Salaam
Development of life expectancy
Tanzanian woman harvest tea leaves
Judith Wambura (Lady Jaydee) is a popular Bongo Flava recording singer.
A Tingatinga painting
National Stadium in Dar es Salaam.
St Joseph's Catholic cathedral, Zanzibar

These movements took place at about the same time as the settlement of the Mashariki Bantu from West Africa in the Lake Victoria and Lake Tanganyika areas.


Cichlids are fish from the family Cichlidae in the order Cichliformes.

Relationships within the Labrodei
Pelmatolapia mariae, caught on a hook and line, in Australia: Originally from Africa, the species established feral populations in Australia.
The bumblebee cichlid, Pseudotropheus crabro, is specialised in feeding on parasites from the catfish Bagrus meridionalis.
A substrate brooding female managuense cichlid, Parachromis managuense, guards a clutch of eggs in the aquarium.
A female Cyphotilapia frontosa mouthbrooding fry, which can be seen looking out her mouth
Cichlids of the African rift lake system evolved from an original hybrid swarm.
Haplochromis thereuterion has declined, but still survives in low numbers.
The discus, Symphysodon spp., has been popular among aquarium enthusiasts.
The "red Texas" cichlid is not a Texas cichlid (Herichthys cyanoguttatus) but an intergeneric hybrid of Herichthys and Amphilophus parents.
A leucistic long-finned form of the oscar, A. ocellatus
The oscar (Astronotus ocellatus) is one of the most popular cichlids in the fishkeeping hobby.
The butterfly peacock bass (Cichla ocellaris) was introduced intentionally in Florida as gamefish.
The Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) is farmed extensively as food fish in many parts of the world.
The angelfish (Pterophyllum scalare) has long been commercially bred for the aquarium trade.
Sexual dimorphism is common in cichlids. Shown here are a male (front, with egg spots) and a female (rear) Maylandia lombardoi.
A pair of blue rams (Mikrogeophagus ramirezi), male in front, female behind. Many cichlids form strong pair bonds while breeding.
A discus (Symphysodon spp.) is guarding its eggs. Advanced broodcare is one of the defining characteristics of cichlids.
Lake Malawi, Eastern Africa, is home to numerous cichild species including this Livingston's cichlid (Nimbochromis livingstonii).
Also from Lake Malawi
Also from Lake Malawi
A shell-brooding cichlid of the genus Lamprologus from Lake Tanganyika in East Africa
The Texas cichlid (Herichthys cyanoguttatus) is the only cichlid native to the United States.
Pelvicachromis pulcher is a West African riverine cichlid, and part of the aquarists dwarf cichlid group.
The flowerhorn cichlid is a man-made hybrid that has recently gained popularity among aquarists, particularly in Asia.
Ivanacara adoketa, a dwarf cichlid from Brazil
The red terror cichlid is a highly aggressive species from the rivers of Northeast South America.
A juvenile female Maylandia lombardoi with faint stripes
A juvenile Aequidens diadema

Cichlids are particularly well known for having evolved rapidly into many closely related but morphologically diverse species within large lakes, particularly Lakes Tanganyika, Victoria, Malawi, and Edward.

White Nile

River in Africa, one of the two main tributaries of the Nile, the other being the Blue Nile.

A map showing the White Nile and the Blue Nile in East Africa.
Rusumo Falls
Rafters flipping in Bujagali Falls near the mouth of the Victoria Nile
Bridge on Albert Nile
Confluence of Blue and White Nile near Khartoum
The White and Blue Niles merge at Khartoum, the capital of Sudan.

In the wider sense, "White Nile" refers to all the stretches of river draining from Lake Victoria through to the merger with the Blue Nile; the "Victoria Nile" from Lake Victoria via Lake Kyoga to Lake Albert, then the "Albert Nile" to the South Sudan border, and then the "Mountain Nile" or "Bahr-al-Jabal" down to Lake No. "White Nile" may sometimes include the headwaters of Lake Victoria, the most remote of which being 2300 mi from the Blue Nile.

Lake Albert (Africa)

Lake located in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

2002 NASA MODIS satellite picture. The dotted grey line is the border between Congo (DRC) (left) and Uganda (right).
Sir Samuel exploring the lake
Rivers and lakes of Uganda
Giraffe by the lake

Its main sources are the White Nile, ultimately coming from Lake Victoria to the southeast, and the Semliki River, which issues from Lake Edward to the southwest.


Major north-flowing river in northeastern Africa.

The Nile's drainage basin
Spring at Lake Victoria
White Nile in Uganda
Nile Delta from space
The Blue Nile Falls fed by Lake Tana near the city of Bahir Dar, Ethiopia
Annotated view of the Nile and Red Sea, with a dust storm
Map of Nile tributaries in modern Sudan, showing the Yellow Nile
Reconstruction of the Oikoumene (inhabited world), an ancient map based on Herodotus' description of the world, circa 450 BC
An aerial view of irrigation from the Nile River supporting agriculture in Luxor, Egypt
A felucca traversing the Nile near Aswan
John Hanning Speke c. 1863. Speke was the Victorian explorer who first reached Lake Victoria in 1858, returning to establish it as the source of the Nile by 1862.
A map of the Nile c. 1911, a time when its entire primary course ran through British occupations, condominiums, colonies, and protectorates
The confluence of the Kagera and Ruvubu rivers near Rusumo Falls, part of the Nile's upper reaches
Dhows on the Nile
The Nile passes through Cairo, Egypt's capital city.
Hydropower dams in the Nile (plus huge dam under construction in Ethiopia)
View of the Qasr El Nil Bridge in Cairo, with Gezira Island in the background
El Mek Nimr Bridge in Khartoum
Henry Morton Stanley in 1872. Stanley circumnavigated the lake and confirmed Speke's observations in 1875.
Composite satellite image of the White Nile
Village on the Nile, 1891
Riverboat on the Nile, Egypt 1900
Marsh along the Nile
A river boat crossing the Nile in Uganda
Murchison Falls in Uganda, between Lake Victoria and Lake Kyoga
The Nile in Luxor
The Nile at Dendera, as seen from the SPOT satellite
The Nile flows through Cairo, here contrasting ancient customs of daily life with the modern city of today.
Nile in Cairo

The Nile has two major tributaries – the White Nile, which begins at Jinja, Lake Victoria, and the Blue Nile.

Nile perch

Species of freshwater

Nile perch can grow to 2 m and 200 kg.

Common names include African snook, Victoria perch (a misleading trade name, as the species is not native to Lake Victoria, though they have been introduced there), and many local names in various African languages, such as the Luo name mbuta or mputa.

African humid period

Climate period in Africa during the late Pleistocene and Holocene geologic epochs, when northern Africa was wetter than today.

The Sahara was not a desert during the African humid period. Instead, most of northern Africa was covered by grass, trees, and lakes.
African vegetation during the last glacial maximum
Milankovich cycles over the past one million years
Vegetation and water bodies in the Eemian (bottom) and Holocene (top)
A present-day savannah, Tarangire National Park, Tanzania
Lake Megachad, with present-day Lake Chad highlighted in green
Images of swimming people in the Cave of Swimmers
The Lakes of Ounianga are recharged from fossil groundwater that originated partly during the AHP
Some lakes formed or expanded during the African humid period
A glacier on Mount Kilimanjaro. The oldest now present ice of Kilimanjaro formed during the African humid period
Temperatures in Greenland during the Younger Dryas
The pyramids of Giza, the most recognizable trace left by the Egyptian civilization
Dust originating in the Bodele depression
Greening of the Sahel between 1982 and 1999

It was much larger than today, but its lakes and rivers such as Lake Victoria and the White Nile were either dry or at low levels.

Albertine Rift

Western branch of the East African Rift, covering parts of Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo , Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania.

An artificial rendering of the Albertine Rift. Visible features include (from background to foreground, looking north): Lake Albert, Rwenzori Mountains, Lake Edward, Virunga Mountains, Lake Kivu, and northern Lake Tanganyika
Map of the region showing the Albertine Rift to the west
Mount Stanley in the Rwenzori range. With an elevation of 5,109 m (16,763 ft), it is the tallest mountain in the Albertine Rift and the third tallest in Africa.

The Victoria Nile flows from Lake Victoria into the northern end of Lake Albert and exits as the White Nile from a point slightly to the west, flowing north to the Mediterranean.