Africa is the second largest continent in terms of both area and population. It is located to the south of Europe and the southwest of Asia. Africa is home to the Nile River, which is the longest on the planet, and this river is fed by large lakes and streams on the east of the continent. The series of lakes in this region in known as the African Great Lakes and it is here that the largest lake on the continent is found. Let’s find out which lake is the largest in Africa.
What is the largest lake in Africa?
Lake Victoria is the largest lake by area in Africa with a total surface area of 68,000 km2. This makes it the second largest lake by area in the world after Lake Superior in North America. It has a water volume of approximately 2,750 km3, which makes it the 9th largest continental lake in the world by volume. It is a relatively shallow lake with an average depth of 40 m (130 ft) and a maximum depth of 83 m (272 ft). Lake Victoria is divided between Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania and these countries also share the 184,000 km2 catchment area for the lake. The lake was named after Queen Victoria by English explorer John Hanning Speke.
The largest African lake by volume is Lake Tanganyika with a total water volume of 18,900 km3. It is the second deepest lake in the world with an average depth of 570 m (1,870 ft) and a maximum depth of 1,470 m (4,820 ft). This lake is also the longest freshwater lake in the world with a maximum length of 673 km (418 mi). Lake Tanganyika is divided between Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi and Zambia.
Did you know?
Lake Victoria is an extremely important lake to the surrounding countries. Unfortunately, the lake suffers with high levels of pollution from raw sewerage, waste dumping, chemicals and fertilizers.
The introduction of the Nile Perch and other introduced fish into the lake has created a very successful and valuable fishery, but has led to the extinction of many native species of fish.