Besides vast areas of savannas and towering mountains Africa, the birthplace of humankind, has an ample number of beautiful natural lakes. These are the most important sources of water for the continent; supporting life in different forms and offering tourists amazing experiences. Here’s a deeper dive into 10 of Africa’s most captivating natural lakes

  1. Lake Victoria (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda): The largest freshwater lake in Africa and the second largest in the world, Lake Victoria is known as the crown jewel of Africa. Picture yourself on a boat cruise where you come across a network of beautiful islands with colors of birds galore. You may even be lucky to spot the shoebill stork, a bird that has been listed as endangered due to its huge wingspan of more than eight feet.


  1. Lake Malawi (Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania): Lake Malawi National Park is a World Heritage site attracting divers and snorkelers. Popular for various species of brightly colored cichlid fish, it boasts of its clear waters that give a real taste of a tropical fish tank. Just picture the coral gardens crowded with hundreds of species of these bright fish, every one of them different in color patterns and movements.


  1. Lake Bunyonyi (Uganda): Known as “The Place of Little Birds,” Lake Bunyonyi has always been a calm and serene place. The lake is inhabited by numerous islands, some of which are veiled with legends, and the possibility to relax is beyond competition. Paddle through the calm waters towards the shores of the green hills silhouetted on the water’s surface. Hear the sounds of the numerous bird species, that gave the lake its name.


  1. Lake Nakuru (Kenya): This Great Rift Valley’s alkaline lake is a photographer’s delight. J Just think of a moment when you can see thousands of flamingos in bright pink color feeding by the shore and what an unforgettable sight this is! Besides, the national park that surrounds the landscape accommodates many wild animals ranging from tall giraffes, powerful lions, and playful black rhinos.


  1. Lake Tana (Ethiopia): Located in the highlands of Ethiopia, Lake Tana is the origin of the Blue Nile, which is one of the major branches of the Nile River. Great monasteries founded on islands and ancient churches located along the coastline give a glimpse of the historical past of Ethiopia and its deeply rooted religious culture. Cruises are also an opportunity to view not only the familiar hippopotamuses but also bird species that can be found nowhere else, making the lake even more special.


  1. Lake Turkana (Kenya): Known as the ‘Jade Sea’ due to its greenish-blue hue, Lake Turkana is a rather unforgiving but stunning location. This lake is so far as the eye can see and it is home to birds such as flamingos, pelicans and many more. The landscape here presents an insight into the birthplace of mankind with fossils still being unearthed and the area is a blend of natural beauty and scientific history.


  1. Lake Kivu (Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda): Located in between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lake Kivu is a sight to behold. Lying between towering volcanic ranges with steep slopes that touch the water’s edge, the lake has space for recreation on sandy shores. Savor the stunning views from the water, or go ashore to walk through the lush vegetation that surrounds the calm clear waters.


  1. Etosha Pan (Namibia): While it is actually a large, shallow, interior drainage depression or salt pan, Etosha Pan presents an unusual water experience. During the rainy season, water accumulates in the pan changing the scenery into a perfect photoshoot backdrop. Envision extensive plains of water, mirroring the pink fluffy clouds in the sky; the ecology of this area welcomes diverse animals such as zebras roaming the plains, springboks jumping off tall grass, and flamingos wading at the shores of the water body.


  1. Lake Manyara (Tanzania): This is a shallow alkaline lake in Tanzania’s Manyara National Park that is known for the lions that climb trees. Picture finding a pride of lions taking a nap in the branches of acacia trees – this is only possible in this area. The park also presents various wild animals such as elephants raising their voices, hippos sunning themselves in the mud and various colored birds flying from trees.


  1. Lake Baringo (Kenya): This is a freshwater lake located in the central Rift Valley region of Kenya and is a birders’ paradise. The lake is also home to over 450 species and one of them is the Baringo goose, which is a flightless bird that is also an endangered species. Cruises offer chances to observe the enormous hippos floating in the water as well as a crocodile occasionally lying on the bank. Hot springs and waterfalls also make the region beautiful besides being an important ecological area, making Lake Baringo unique.

These are just some of the many marvelous natural lakes that can be found on the African continent. Every lake is a different opportunity to be met by fascinating fauna and flora, stunning landscapes, cultural landmarks, and archaeological sites.