Lake Victoria is a tectonic reservoir located in the East African Highlands, in the valley between the Great West Row and the Great Eastern Trench.
The current name of the reservoir was given in 1858 by the English traveler John H. Speke in honor of the English queen, but in Tanzania you can also meet with other terms for the lake – Ukerewe, The Eye of the Rhino, Nalubaale, Sango or Lolwe. It is the largest freshwater reservoir in Africa.
It covers an area of 68.8 thousand. km², and its catchment area is 193,000 km². The lake was formed over 400,000 years ago by the rise of rock masses that cut off the outflow of rivers. White Nile flows from it – the longest and most important inflow of the Nile.
The largest tributary of the lake is the Kegera River, however, the reservoir is fed mainly with water from precipitation. The coastline is over 3,400 km long and is very varied. Steep rocks dominate the southwest coastwith a height of up to 200 m a.s.l., while the northern shore is completely flat and full of swamps.
The lake also has about 3,000 islands and islets of various sizes, with a total area of 6,000 km2. Most of them are inhabited, they are also a tourist attraction. Politically, the lake area is divided between three countries – Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda – an important element of the economy of these countries.
The lake area is one of the most populated in Africa – about one million people live on its shores.