Africa Calling – Lake

Islands. Alone, yet paramount to the flourishing of the continent, Africa’s lakes boast something special that set them apart from anything we have ever seen. Their sheer size and magnitude gave rise to wonder as we were privileged to visit some of Africa’s lakes that are as big and diverse as the countries which they border, acting as though they are islands amongst the vast African savanna. This Tale highlights some of the major lakes we visited as we traversed Africa:


Lake Kariba

Often referred to as a Dam because of the 128 metre high wall that assists with its formation, this lake is the world’s largest man-made lake by volume. In the damming of the Zambezi River for hydroelectric power between 1958 and 1963, around 57 000 people were displaced and were without alternate settlements. A world renown operation dubbed ‘Operation Noah’ rescued around 6000 animals stranded on islands that were formed by the rising waters of the mighty Zambezi River. These animals were relocated. The volume of water in this dam has even caused seismic earthquake activity in recent years. Today, Lake Kariba shares a border with Zambia and Zimbabwe which was formally Northern Rhodesia and Southern Rhodesia respectively during its filling.

Zimbabwe, distant, above and below.


Lake Malawi

Also known as Lake Nyasa in Tanzania and Lago Niassa in Mozambique, to this day there lies a dispute between Tanzania and Malawi as to where the north eastern international border lies with this lake. Along the shore or shared along an imagery line through the middle? Together with five other lakes in Africa, Lake Malawi’s water layers do not mix.

                               From the beach and into the water we crossed the disputed border line.

                               Livingstone Mountains, Tanzania.


Lake Tanganyika

The world’s longest fresh water lake, second deepest (1470 m) and second largest by volume, this Lake is remote and shrouded with World War I history. Carrying the world’s oldest, still operational passenger ferry, the MV Liemba, the lake has been a means of transport for many a displaced refugee from the Democratic Republic of the Congo which part of the lake is occupied by.

                               Mpulungu, Zambia is one of the three ports where the MV Liemba docks.

Various missions of antiquity dot the shores of Lake Tanganyika. Although derelict today, many a modern day mission exists, silently working for more than themselves...

                               Transporter ship making its way back to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, distant.


Lake Victoria

Named after Queen Victoria, this is Africa’s largest lake by area and the world’s largest tropical lake located on the Equator. So big it feels like one is standing next to an ocean. The three countries of Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya share its vast waters, often rising above normal flow level and giving rise to the mighty river Nile which flows north to the Mediterranean Sea.

Our introduction to Lake Victoria was enjoying the water via ferry to Entebbe city, also host to Entebbe airport, below.


All these lakes are fresh water, teeming with life that feed the multitudes that line their shores. Of course, some of them have their fill of hippopotamuses, Bilharzia and crocodiles too! Seeing and savouring these Lakes was simply special.

Life is Living

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