Tag Archives: Lake

Lakeside Living – Part 2

Lake Victoria is an amazing place. Even though you’d never want to swim in it, nonetheless it provides some stunning scenery.

We are lucky that within ten minutes by car we can be on the lakeside for an afternoon stroll or a sundowner.

Over the past few months we have been fortunate to see some hidden places on the lake in the company of a colleague we have hiked the back roads of Mwanza and seen some hitherto unvisisited beaches. We have also had a couple of recent boat trips and a follow up visit to a little area of parkland.

So here is part 2 of  a summary are some of the experiences of the past few months in Mwanza.

Part 1 is here.

Riding the Waves

A couple of times this holiday we have ventured out onto the waters of Lake Victoria. The first time was a boat trip organised by some friends. We took a speed boat out from Mwanza, passing by the many islands which dot the lake, including Senane Island – home to a small safari park, then returning for a glorious sunset. It got a bit wet too as the waves crashed over the speeding boat.

 

Ferry Cross the Strait

Our second boat trip took us across the Mwanza Strait to Kamanga, followed by a walk up a hill to watch the sunset. At 1000TzS (37p) each way, a bargain!

Lakeside Living – Part 1

Lake Victoria is an amazing place. Even though you’d never want to swim in it, nonetheless it provides some stunning scenery.

We are lucky that within ten minutes by car we can be on the lakeside for an afternoon stroll or a sundowner.

Over the past few months we have been fortunate to see some hidden places on the lake in the company of a colleague we have hiked the back roads of Mwanza and seen some hitherto unvisisited beaches. We have also had a couple of recent boat trips and a follow up visit to a little area of parkland.

So here is part 1 of  a summary are some of the experiences of the past few months in Mwanza. Part 2 to follow soon.

Hiking the Back Roads

We have been on a number of walks this Autumn – these have taken along lakeside tracks difficult to access by car and provided some stunning views.

Taken from three separate walks in September (Jembe Beach area), October (Mwanza Brewery area) and November (Fish Market and peninsular walk).

Familiar Haunts: Swanholme & Hartsholme

Our time in England has been a time of reminiscing, firstly back in MK and now in Lincoln. These two places where I lived for 38 years in total, so familiar. As well as visiting old friends it has been a chance to revisit places – familiar haunts.

Swanholme & Hartsholme Lakes

Right on our doorstep in Lincoln is an area of woodland and gravel pit reservoirs.

Familiar Haunts: Caldecotte Lake

Our time in England has been a time of reminiscing, firstly back in MK and now in Lincoln. These two places where I lived for 38 years in total, so familiar. As well as visiting old friends it has been a chance to revisit places – familiar haunts.

Caldecotte Lake

Probably the place I visited most often in my time in MK – place of countless runs and walks over the years. We walked it On one of the hottest days of the U.K. this year. A large lake on our old doorstep when we lived there.

 


Weekly Photo Challenge: Looking into the Future by Looking into the Past

These photos taken on Lake Kivu in Rwanda last week are a second submission to this week’s photo challenge: Future.

When we look at anything we are looking into the past as the light from the event, even an event like a lightning strike, takes time to reach our eyes. Yet we could also be observing our future – in this case the oncoming storm which hit just after we landed our boat.

A Boat Trip to the Hot Springs

One of the things we wanted to do whilst here in Gisenyi was to take a trip to the Hot Springs. A result geological conditions here in the Rift Valley and the location on the volcano ( Mt Nyiragongo) super heated water emerges from the rocks on the coast of Lake Kivu where it mixes with the lake waters.

Initially we intended to walk to the Springs (a 4 hour round trip) but whilst on the beach we encountered a man with a boat and negotiated a trip by water – much more relaxed. It also gave us a chance to view the coast from out in the lake, including the massive Nyiragongo Volcano across the border in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) – see previous post

Our trip took a circuitous route out past the gas drilling platform avoiding it’s pipeline before heading around the coast.

Rounding the peninsular we approached a fishing village, this was also the location of the hot springs where we disembarked. Walking to the Spring we were shown to a bench and placed our feet on rocks in the hot waters of the lake, which had been cordoned off by sanbags. Two ladies then began a massage of arms and legs using the hot water which they rubbed onto the skin. The water in this pool was very warm – the temperature of a hot bath. There were other springs on land which were scaldingly hot as well as some in the lake which bubbled up into the lake water making the waters warm. After the massage we made our way to a second pool where I went for a dip in warm water – I will spare you the close up pictures!

The springs are sited opposite the local brewery which we passed upon our return. The boat sailed back past the peninsular and gas rig and on to the Congolese border before returning to the beach. Our return gave use excellent views of the Volcano plus a front row seat of a thunderstorm.

    
 

Lakeland

When many people think of Tanzania, they probably think of the Serengeti with it’s arid plains teaming with Wildebeest and Zebra.

… or possibly Kilimanjaro’s snow capped peak.

… or maybe Zanzibar and it’s white sands and azure waters.IMG_9951

All these are amazing places and we’ve been to all three  (though we’ve yet to see Kilimanjaro’s peak personally), but Tanzania is as much defined by it’s lakes as anything else – more so in that much of it’s Western Border is Lake and a portion of it’s Northern Border too.

There are three Great Lakes here : Victoria, Tanganyika and Nyassa (more commonly known as Lake Malawi in the outside world – but not in Tanzania or Mozambeque which share it).

We have been lucky enough to visit all three in the past 15 months – in fact we live next to the largest (Lake Victoria) so we visit that one all the time.

Lake Victoria

Shared Between: Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya

Area:68,800 square kilometers (26,600 sq miles)

Lake Victoria is the world’s second largest freshwater lake by surface area; only Lake Superior in North America is larger.

Victoria is Africa’s largest lake by area, and is also the largest tropical lake in the world.

The lake is an average of 40m deep and its deepest point is 83m deep. It is therefore quite a shallow lake.

Named after Queen Victoria by it’s European discoverer John Speke it is known as Lake Nyaza in Bantu languages.

Sadly the lake’s ecosystem has been decimated by the introduction of Nile Perch and eutrophication. Thus hundreds of native cichlids have been driven to extinction in the past 50 years. The perch have no natural predator and have destroyed the natural food chains which existed. Increased algae have further choked the lake and the drop in fish population has severely damaged the fishing industry here.

The lake looks lovely but you wouldn’t swim in it’s toxic waters. Raw sewage is dumped into the lake by factories and settlements and increases the eutrophication further.

Bilharzia snails are present in high quantities and as a carrier of Shistosomiasis a potentially fatal disease if left untreated. Sadly locals do swim and wash in it, having no choice but to do so.

It’s sad that this massive body of water on our doorstep is so polluted.

Lake Tanganyika

Shared Between: Tanzania, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia

Area:32,900 square kilometers (12,700 sq miles)

We visited this beautiful lake over half term, staying near Kigoma at Jacobsen’s Beach.

It is estimated to be the second largest freshwater lake in the world by volume, and the second deepest.  It is 570m deep on average and at it’s deepest it is 1470m deep. Only Lake Baikal in Siberia is deeper and has greater volume.

It is also the world’s longest freshwater lake.

The name “Tanganyika” means “Great Lake spreading out like a plain”

Located in the Rift Valley the lake is relatively unpolluted. Over 250 species of cichlids live in the lake and 75 other species too.

Fishing is a major industry here and has impacted upon the fish.

No lake in Africa is free of Shistosomiasis but it seems to be low level/ risk  in Tanganyika unlike Victoria. We will take praziquantel to be certain but you have to wait a couple of months.

Lake Nyassa (Lake Malawi)

Shared Between: Tanzania, Malawi and Mozambique

Area:29,600 square kilometers (11,400 sq miles)

We visited this lake in the summer travelling from Mbamba Bay in Tanzania to Likoma Islands on to Monkey Bay in Malawi.

It is the ninth largest lake in the world and the third largest and second deepest lake in Africa.

It has a depth of 292m on average with a maximum of 706m.

It’s over 1000 species of cichlids makes it very bio diverse. It has in fact the most variety of species of any lake.

The lake is subject to a border dispute with slaw I claiming the entire lake up to the shore of Tanzania whilst Tanzania claims the border is in the middle of the lake.

It is probable that the lake contains Shistosomiasis and slthough we were assured otherwise and although we did swim in it’s clear waters at both Likoma and Monkey Bay we have taken medication to be safe.

Three Great Lakes – all different in their own way and all part of Tanzania.