Lake Albert

Tranquil Lake Albert

Lake Albert is one of the Great Lakes of Africa. It is Africa’s seventh largest lake. Located in the centre of the continent, on the border between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lake Albert is the northernmost of the chain of lakes in the Great Rift Valley. It is about 160 km long and 30 km wide, with a maximum depth of 51 metres, and a surface elevation of 619 m (2,030 ft) above sea level.

In 1864, the explorer Samuel Baker became the first European to discover the lake. He named it after the recently deceased Prince Albert, consort of Queen Victoria.

Lake Albert is part of the complicated system of the upper Nile. Its main sources are the Victoria Nile, ultimately coming from Lake Victoria to the southeast, and the Semliki River, which issues from Lake Edward to the southwest. The water of the Victoria Nile is much less saline than that of Lake Albert. Its outlet, at the northernmost tip of the lake, is the Albert Nile (which becomes known as the Mountain Nile when it enters Sudan).

At the southern end of the lake, where the Semliki enters, there are swamps. Further south loom the mighty Rwenzori Mountains, while a range of hills called the Blue Mountains tower over the northwestern shore.

The few settlements along the shore include Butiaba, a fishing village which can be visited en route to Uganda’s Murchison Falls. Boat and fishing trips can be enjoyed on the far southern shores of the lake in Semliki Wildlife Reserve.

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