Lake Victoria is the largest tropical lake in Africa, and it is shared by three East Africa countries (Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania). Discovered by John Speke in 1858 and named after the then Queen (Victoria) who was at the reins of England that time. Scattered along the beautiful shores of Lake Victoria, there are approximately 84 secluded clusters of islands, known as the Ssese islands.
These islands have become a major source of tourist attraction, thanks to their exhilarating natural environs, exotic wildlife, flora and fauna. All the islands are significantly different from each other, in terms of their shape, size, and vegetation including people and wildlife. In this post we will cover some of our favorite islands to explore and their unique characteristics.
Rusinga Island – Lake Victoria – Kenya
Rusinga Island is located on the northeastern side of Lake Victoria. The island has a historic significance to the Luo community. This is an amazing place to go for fishing, swimming, hiking and bird watching being home to several species of birds. Visit the Ruma National Park on Rusinga Island to see the rare wildlife like Rothschild giraffe, Roan and Oribi antelope and Jackson’s hartebeest among other wildlife.
Mfangano Island – Lake Victoria – Kenya
Mfangano is also located in the eastern part of the lake.The inhabitants are mainly the Suba people. The Island has two ancient rock art sites with some historically important cave art that are worth visiting. To enjoy the island better, try out activities such as fishing, bird watching, boat cruises, experiencing a scenic sun-downer boat ride and enjoying island walks to nearby villages Since the island is remote, guests enjoy an intimate safari there. There are over 300 species of birds and several giant monitor lizards.
Rubondo Island – Lake Victoria – Tanzania
Rubondo Island is tucked away in the southwest corner of Lake Victoria, north-west of Mwanza Town. The island hosts the largest island national park in Africa. The waters around Rubondo Island is a breeding ground for fish and other aquatic animals. The great variety of vegetation from savannah to open woodland forests and swamps makes a suitable habitat for different animals on Rubondo island. The national park is home to bushbucks, crocodiles, giraffes and vervet monkeys.
Ukerewe Island – Lake Victoria – Tanzania
Ukerewe Island is the largest of the islands on Lake Victoria, located north of Mwanza Town. The curved shoreline of Ukerewe Island is the reason for numerous bays, it is also surrounded by a dozen smaller islands occupied by fishermen and their families. A tour around the island offers you an opportunity to explore some of the attractions such as visiting the oldest Roman Church built in 1895. The church has similar name to the island’s oldest school and dispensary, built between 1902 and 1913 respectively. Other places of interest include the chief’s palace built in European style, Rubya Forest and Rutare Hill.
Ready to explore the islands of Lake Victoria? Contact us today and we will connect you with one of our Africa experts to explore different ideas and itineraries. We look forward to having you with us!