Photographic Look at Lake Victoria from Kampala Uganda

One of my favorite parts of this particular trip was getting to go across Lake Victoria to the Bethany Village Orphanage (see this post on the orphanage). Of course to get to Bethany Village, we had to cross the lake. Lake Victoria is the second largest lake in the world (by surface area), the largest lake in Africa, and is the source to feed the Nile River. Obviously being the largest lake and bordering three different countries we only put eyes on a tiny little sliver of Lake Victoria on this crossing. We were also able to see the shoreline from the Botanical Gardens in Entebbe, Uganda on the way to the airport but I’ll save that for another post. The Lake Victoria we crossed was an amazingly peaceful place. Almost all traffic on the lake was from local fisherman, many who mainly paddled across different parts of the lake while they fished. There were no high-speed motor boats, no large commercial fishing vessels, just us and a few fishing farmers.

One aspect of crossing the lake that was unmistakable was the view we had of the air quality in and around the lake and outward towards Kampala. Not just in the air above us but the water beneath us as well, which was covered in a thick mix of green algae. The photos below were basically right out of the camera but they highlight the water and air quality in that particular area on that particular day. Historically the areas surrounding the lake from Kenya to Tanzania to Uganda have had to deal with pollution on different levels and “is mainly due to discharge of raw sewage into the lake, dumping of domestic and industrial waste, and fertiliser and chemicals from farms” and from factories who dump their waste directly into the lake untreated. [1] I am certainly no water or air expert (and there actually are water experts going on our next trip) but I know what pollution does for photography. It’s great for incredible colors at sunset and sunrise, and nearly colorless at midday like most of what was shot below. It does make for an interesting surreal mix of beauty and a 1970’s Los Angeles feel.

The crossing for us took about 30-45 minutes. As we traveled parallel to the banks we could see small villages all along the way, each having their own routine and way of life. On the second trip over to Bethany Village we took a shorter crossing and landed among the local fishing boats of the area shown in the last two shots below (notice the water in the closeup of the motorboat). As usual the most incredible part that day were the people we met on the lake and at the orphanage.

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