The world's second largest fresh-water lake, with 68,000 sq. km is as large as Ireland. Lake Victoria lies at an altitude of 1133m and is widely accepted to be the main source of the Nile, as it receives more water as rainfall than all its combined tributaries provide. Rivers from large areas of Western Kenya, Northern Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda gather in this shallow (only 80m deep) lake and begin, as Victoria Nile, their 6000km journey to the Mediterranean Sea. The lake's high rate of evaporation due to its location on the Equator makes this immense body of water a major factor in the local climate. In the morning the area is usually cloudy, but during the day the sky clears up. The northern, Ugandan shore is characterised by countless small and larger islands and long, finger-like peninsulas. In between, swampy bays reach deep into the mainland, their Papyrus-swamps providing a preferred habitat for the Sitatunga-Antelope. Small fishing villages along the shore signify the importance of this trade, with the huge Nile perch, the tasty Tilapia and the tiny Omena being the main catches.
Situated 23 km southeast of Entebbe, the 50ha Ngamba Islands forms part of the Kome archipelago, a group of about 15 islands and islets separated from the northern shore of Lake Victoria by the 10km-wide Damba Channel. The island is divided into two unequal parts separated by an electric fence. One area is for the visitors and the staff centre. The rest of the island is reserved for the chimps and their attendants, however it is possible to do a chimpanzee walk. Africa Miracles can arrange a visit to Ngamba Island or Ssese Islands for you. The chimps on Ngamba Island can be visited as a day excursion from Entebbe or Kampala, but you can also choose to book a 2-day Chimp package with us, in which case you overnight in Ngamba Island Tented Camp.
The jewel in Lake Victoria's' crown is the Ssese Archipelago, whose 84 islands - some large and dotted with local fishing villages, others small and uninhabited are all well-watered and lushly forested. Mainlanders traditionally revere Ssese as the Islands of the Gods, and one specific island called Bubembe is regarded to be home to Mukasa, the spirit presiding over Lake Victoria. The Ssese Islands make for an ideal retreat after a long safari, and they also offer superb opportunities for bird watching and for hooking heavyweight Nile Perch.