Lake Victoria, Lake Tanganyika, and Lake Malawi are the 3 largest in Africa. These are large lakes that are often spread across 2 or 3 countries.
Many of them have been named after their European explorers. Today, these lakes often serve as transport links as they can facilitate travel from one country to another or as fishing grounds.
Lake Victoria 23.100 square miles
Lake Victoria is located between Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania. This is the largest lake in Africa by surface. However, it isn’t very deep. It has an average depth of 40m, which makes it accessible for small fishing boats. It is used for transport for those traveling between Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania.
Lake Victoria has been named after Queen Victoria of Great Britain. The first British explorers of the lake named it after the queen and the lake’s name has remained the same ever since. It is also the home of Africa’s largest fishery. This lake is mainly populated by endemic fish species which tend to eliminate other species quickly. The Nile perch has been introduced here for fishing. This fish can reach lengths of up to 2 meters, which makes it an excellent source of food.
Lake Tanganyika 12.600 square miles
Lake Tanganyika sits between Burundi, Tanzania, Zambia, and Congo. The large lake is one of the most beautiful in the world. But it also plays an important role in feeding the people of the lake’s basin. It’s estimated that this lake feeds around 10 million people locally and through exports to East Africa. A rough estimate shows that more than 100.000 people are directly involved with fishing activities here.
Their role is crucial in feeding the local population around the lake. Protein sources are rare in this region of the world. For some groups, fish from Lake Tanganyika equates to around 40% of their daily protein intake which shows the strategic role of this lake.
Lake Malawi 11.400 square miles
Lake Malawi sits between Malawi, Mozambique, and Tanzania. It is known as the lake with the most species of fish in the world. This lake is one of the most beautiful in Africa. It has plenty of superb leisure locations such as Mwaya Beach.
This is also a lake that has been explored by European colonists first. It’s the Portuguese that first came here giving the lake different names. In time, it simply became known as Lake Malawi.
It’s the best place to fish in Africa since it has nearly 1.000 species of fish. This lake is also known for its impact in the African fishing industries, particularly for sardines which are exported throughout the world. But the lake is an excellent destination for tourists as well. You can find Likoma Island here, one of the most authentic and underrated islands in the world. It’s one of the few inhabited islands of Lake Malawi and one that has seen a rise in tourism numbers, particularly in all-inclusive holiday plans.