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The Lakes of Kenya

Rhona Lewis

We’re back on another visit to my homeland Kenya, this time to visit its huge and magnificent lakes.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

kenya lakeWe’ll start off with Lake Victoria, which lies between the Eastern and Western Rifts. Do you recognize the name as belonging to a past queen of England? Quite correct. The lake was named for Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom by the European who discovered it. Lake Victoria is HUGE; at over 26,800 sq. miles (69,000 sq. km) it’s 80 times larger than New York City! It’s the world’s second largest freshwater lake (only Lake Superior in North America is larger) and is divided among three countries: Kenya (6%), Uganda (45%), and Tanzania (49%).

Lake Victoria is famous for its fisheries. During the 1950s, the lake had over 500 species of fish. Most of them were pretty small, which made commercial fishing difficult, so people decide to introduce a commercial fish called the Nile Perch into the lake. Nile Perch are enormous: Some can weigh 440 lbs (200 kg) which is much more than the average man weighs! That was good for the fishing industry and many fisheries opened up along the lake. When you next eat Nile Perch, remember that it probably comes from Kenya.

 

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