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The 15 Largest Lakes in Africa

Africa just isn’t solely house to jungles, savannas, deserts, and wealthy wildlife endemic to the continent. It additionally boasts a large assortment of lakes, and the most important of them ranks because the second-largest freshwater lake in all the world. If North America has the Nice Lakes, Africa additionally has its model of deep lakes that might not be as huge because the North American Nice Lakes however are absolutely as magnificent. However other than that, there are various different lakes within the space that lie undiscovered. This text will discover 15 of the most important lakes in Africa, ranked from largest to smallest.

The 15 Largest Lakes in Africa

1. Lake Victoria, Uganda/Kenya/Tanzania

With a floor space of 23,146 sq. miles, Lake Victoria is the most important lake in Africa.

Stefan Haider/

Lake Victoria sits as the most important lake within the African continent. It encompasses a floor space of 23,146 sq mi or 59,947 sq km. Protecting this huge house, the lake can be the world’s largest tropical lake. It seconds Lake Superior’s dimension in terms of the most important freshwater lakes on this planet. The lake receives most of its water from rainfall with just one outlet by means of the Nile River. It was named after Queen Victoria by explorer John Hanning Speke, the primary man to doc the lake in 1858. With a quantity of two,424 cubic kilometers and a most depth of 276 toes or 84 meters, Lake Victoria holds the ninth spot as the most important lake on this planet by quantity. It touches three African nations, particularly Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. Because of its dimension and in depth shoreline, together with islands claiming 3.7% of its complete shoreline, the lake hosts various fish species endemic to the realm. Some fish that solely inhabit Lake Victoria embody cichlids, Nile perch, and extra.

2. Lake Tanganyika, Tanzania/Democratic Republic of the Congo/Burundi/Zambia

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Lake Tanganyika is the second-largest lake in Africa.

Naoki Kakuta/

Crossing 4 African nations, particularly, Tanzania, Zambia, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lake Tanganyika is the second-largest lake within the continent and the second deepest lake on this planet, subsequent to Russia‘s Lake Baikal. The lake covers a complete floor space of 12,700 sq mi or 32,900 sq km. Lake Tanganyika has a 1,136 mi or 1,828 km shoreline, making it the longest freshwater lake globally. With a most depth of 4,826 toes or 1,471 meters, it seems to be extra like a strait from afar and a trench inside. Aside from all of the titles it already holds, Lake Tanganyika can be one of many oldest lakes, estimated at 10 million years outdated. There are lower than 20 historic lakes globally, and the lake’s age makes it one in all them. Regardless of the lake’s exceptionally lengthy and slim geography, it amazingly supplies a house to about 18% of the world’s freshwater fish and different marine animals, together with sponges, sardines, and jellyfish which can be solely discovered within the lake. The lake’s wealthy biodiversity feeds roughly 10 million individuals settling round Lake Tanganyika.

3. Lake Malawi, Mozambique/Tanzania

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With a depth of 2316 toes, Lake Malawi is the sixth deepest lake on this planet.

Scott Biales DitchTheMap/

Generally known as Lake Nyasa, Lake Malawi covers 11,400 sq mi or 29,600 sq km. Like Lake Tanganyika, it’s a lengthy and slim lake with deep depths. Measuring a depth of two,316 toes or 706 meters, Lake Tanganyika ranks because the world’s sixth deepest lake. It’s also an outdated lake, fashioned 1-2 million years in the past. This trench-like lake extends throughout two African nations – Mozambique and Tanzania. Regardless of the lake’s depth, it sports activities crystal-clear waters with most underwater visibility of 20 meters on a cloudless day. Lake Malawi shares many options with Lake Tanganyika, however other than their geographical similarities, Lake Malawi additionally hosts an awfully considerable ecosystem the place hundreds of fish species are discovered. About 15% of the Earth’s freshwater marine species inhabit the lake.

4. Lake Turkana, Kenya

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Lake Turkana is the world’s largest alkaline lake.


Previously often known as Lake Rudolf, Lake Turkana is situated within the Kenyan Rift Valley in Kenya and crosses into Ethiopia at its northern finish. Lake Turkana has a complete floor space of two,473 sq mi or 6,405 sq km, making it the world’s largest everlasting desert lake and the world’s largest alkaline lake. It’s nicknamed the “Jade Sea” due to its beautiful turquoise shade. As a desert lake and an alkaline lake, Lake Turkana is usually shallow and salty on account of its excessive focus of dissolved salt minerals. Lake Turkana additionally holds the quantity 4 spot on the most important salt lakes on this planet by water quantity. Whereas the waters in Lake Turkana have generally been used as consuming water, their salinity degree and excessive fluoride ranges make it unsuitable. Regardless of Lake Turkana’s salinity, it’s nonetheless house to many fish species and different land animals like crocodiles, hippos, and a whole bunch of fowl species endemic to Kenya. Lake Turkana additionally has its species of mud turtle that can not be discovered anyplace else on this planet.

5. Lake Rukwa, Tanzania

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By floor space, Lake Rukwa is the fifth largest lake in Africa.

Lichinga / Artistic Commons – License

Encompassing 2,220 sq mi or 5,760 sq km, Lake Rukwa is the fifth largest lake in Africa by floor space. Nevertheless, Lake Rukwa’s dimension typically varies, making it change and switch positions with Lake Albert within the continent’s largest lakes checklist. Positioned in Tanzania, the lake typically experiences fluctuations in floor dimension due to the various influx of seasonal streams, the lake’s major supply of water. In 2016, 1.53 billion cubic meters or 54.2 billion cubic toes of helium fuel was found in Lake Rukwa.

6. Lake Albert, Uganda/the Democratic Republic of the Congo

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The sixth largest lake in Africa is Lake Albert. Bunt

Lake Albert doesn’t have loads of vacationers visiting its space due to the steep mountains surrounding it. Nevertheless, these resilient and devoted sufficient to come back by means of shall be rewarded by an impressive sight. Encompassing a floor space of two,046 sq mi or 5,300 sq km, Lake Albert ranks because the sixth largest lake in Africa. Previously often known as Lake Mwitanzige and Lake Mobutu Sese Seko, one in all Uganda’s largest Nice Lakes is situated between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The lake is likely one of the most important sources of the White Nile River waters. Lake Albert’s 82-feet-deep basin is comparatively shallow in comparison with different African lakes, with its deepest level mendacity at 167 toes down. 

7. Lake Mweru, Zambia/the Democratic Republic of the Congo

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Lake Mweru is understood for its longfin tilapia.

Makandwe Mwape / Artistic Commons – License

Protecting a floor space of 1,976 sq mi or 5,120 sq km, Lake Mweru is one in all Africa’s largest lakes. It’s situated on the border that separates Zambia and the Republic of Congo. The Luapula River primarily feeds Lake Mweru by way of swamps coming from the south. Subsequent to Lake Albert, it’s the second-largest lake touching Congo and is located 93 miles west of the large Lake Tanganyika. The lake hosts a number of fishing villages. There are three inhabited islands inside the lake, which additionally present extra alternatives for fishing. Lake Mweru is well-known for its longfin tilapia, a preferred merchandise within the nation’s markets. Different species of fish that may be caught across the lake embody catfish, elephant fish, carp, and tigerfish.

8. Lake Kivu, Rwanda/Democratic Republic of the Congo

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Although it’s actual floor space is tough to measure, Lake Kivu is estimated to cowl 1040 sq. miles.

Lake Kivu borders Congo and Rwanda in Africa. Because of its irregular form, its actual floor space is troublesome to measure. Nonetheless, it’s estimated to cowl roughly 1,040 sq mi or 2,700 sq km, making it the continent’s eighth largest lake. With a most depth of 722 toes or 220 meters, it’s the nineteenth deepest lake in all the world. It’s located on a rift valley slowly being pulled aside, leading to volcanic exercise across the lake’s basin.

9. Lake Edward, Uganda

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Lake Edward is likely one of the smallest African Nice Lakes and the ninth largest in Africa.

Arnold Mugasha/

Protecting a floor space of 897 sq mi or 2,325 sq km, Lake Edward makes it to the highest ten largest lakes in Africa however one of many smallest among the many African Nice Lakes. It’s one other lake that sits between Uganda and Congo. 5 rivers feed the lake, which lies at 3,020 toes or 920 meters. The lake’s space has proven proof of volcanic actions for hundreds of years. It’s house to fish species and land animals, together with chimpanzees, elephants, crocodiles, and lions.

10. Lake Tana, Ethiopia

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Lake Tana sits at an elevation of 5,866 toes. undefined

Reigning as the most important lake in Ethiopia, Lake Tana can be the supply of Blue Nile waters. Its floor space expands to 832 sq mi or 2,156 sq km. As it’s situated within the Ethiopian Highlands, the lake sits at an elevation of 5,866 toes or 1,788 meters above sea degree. In 2015, the lake was acknowledged internationally for its pure and cultural significance.

Listed below are the runner-ups within the checklist of the most important lakes in Africa:

11. Lake Kyoga – 644 sq mi or 1,720 sq km

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Joanne Mumbey ( / Artistic Commons – License

12. Lake Chad – 521 sq mi or 1,350 sq km

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NASA / This file is within the public area in the USA as a result of it was solely created by NASA. NASA copyright coverage states that “NASA materials just isn’t protected by copyright until famous”. (See Template:PD-USGov, NASA copyright coverage web page or JPL Picture Use Coverage.)

13. Abaya Lake – 448 sq mi or 1,162 sq km

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Rod Waddington / flickr – License

14. Lake Eyasi – 405 sq mi or 1,050 sq km

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Gabor Kovacs Pictures/

15. Lake Natron – 401 sq mi or 1,040 sq km

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