“The Heart of Africa”

The Largest Freshwater Lake in Africa

Fishing Paradise & Source of the Nile

A boat on Lake Victoria as the sun sets

Bigger than the country of Ireland, it’s the largest tropical lake in the world. Named for the British monarch, Queen Victoria, Africa’s largest body of water is the immense source of the mighty Nile River and home to the millions living along its shores.

A visit here will bring you to an active fishing scene, especially sought-after world-class fish, like the Nile Perch. And though the area is not heavily touristed, the shores of Victoria offer a relaxing contrast to Tanzania’s safari activities.

The bird watching is excellent, not just from Victoria’s coasts but also on the series of offshore islands, dotting this second-largest freshwater lake in the world. Temperate and breezy, you can embark to these islands by boat or light aircraft and relax at a charming waterfront cottage.

Plus, Lake Victoria offers its own varied collection of wildlife, befitting such a vast lake. On its shores and wetlands, you’ll find hippo, otter, reedbuck, Nile crocodile, and many varieties of turtles. Its colorful and busy world of avian life includes fish eagles, egrets, cormorants, and gannets.

Victoria’s Islands

Don’t miss an excursion to one or more of Victoria’s beautiful offshore islands where you can unwind, view the wildlife and learn about the local cultures.

With its enchanting lakeshores, Rubondo Island is such a seductive gem and has been established as a national park. Birdwatching is key on its quiet shores but you can also take game drives, viewing the island’s elephants, giraffes, antelope, colobus monkeys, and chimps.

Both Rusinga and Mfangano Islands offer tranquil camps right on the shore. Of special note, you can view 2,000-year-old rock art, thought to have been created by the Twa people, or pygmies.

Ukara Island presents opportunities to go fishing, kayaking, and visiting at the local villages. There are no cars on the island, making it perfect for biking tours.

Aeriel view of a vast expanse of trees on Rubondo Island in Lake Victoria
Fishing boats that are used for tours on the banks of Lake Victoria

A Fishing Paradise

As its visitors will gladly share, Lake Victoria is an ideal location for hiking, biking, picnics, BBQs, kayaking, bird watching… but especially fishing. The fisheries in the lake area have been active in stocking the lake with native fish like trout, cod, and golden perch.

Make use of the jetties along the lakeshore – ideal spots to angle for the above species but also redfin, carp, and yellowbelly. And of course, tourists are drawn to the lake hoping for a chance to catch one of the huge Nile perch, for which the lake is known.

The fishing is active year-round and especially busy at sunrise or sundown.

Don’t Miss

Sukuma Museum – located in the city of Mwanza, this community open-air museum proudly displays the history and traditions of the Sukuma tribe. View their dwellings, art, and even a dance festival highlighting the culture of one of the largest tribes in Tanzania.

Katuruka Heritage Site – A fascinating historical site – hundreds of years before iron smelting was known in Europe, the furnace here was forging iron for the local population around 500 B.C. Other colorful relics here include shrines to gods and the local royalty, King Rugomora. You’ll also find a small archeological museum on the grounds.

Fishing Trips – Being a fishing bonanza, the area offers many kinds of fishing trips, from morning outings to multiple-day excursions. Besides pursuing behemoth Nile Perch, you can angle for tilapia, catfish, and yellow fish.

Traditional building at Sukuma Village Museum in Mwanza in Tanzania

Survey: Lake Victoria

At 59,947 sq. km (23,146 sq mi), Lake Victoria is the second largest fresh-water lake in the world, after Lake Superior, and the largest body of water in continental Africa.

Best hotels & Resorts around Lake Victoria

Our recommended safari hotels around  Lake Victoria

This is Lake Victoria

The undisputed source of the Nile and the largest freshwater lake in Africa, Lake Victoria lives up to its namesake as being central to the lives of the millions who live along its shores. The lake’s beautiful and serene islands are not to be missed nor are opportunities to partake in its active fishing environment.

Join us at Lake Victoria

Africa Kenya Safaris offers journeys to Lake Victoria and other attractions in the region. Just contact us to get your safari started.

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Help us create your perfect Safari! Tell us about your travel choices, any unique experiences you desire, and upcoming special occasions.