Few tourists or even Ugandans know of Lake Kwania but if you have ever been to the Northern Uganda districts of Amolatar, Apac and Lira, then you have probably heard or even explored this spectacular tranquil Lake.
This Lake’s primary inflows are Abalang and Adip Rivers while its main outflow is the Victoria Nile but is found within an area of elevation of 1033 meters (3389 feet) above sea level with a maximum length of 66 kilometers (41 miles), average depth of only 4 meters (13 feet) but a maximum depth of at least 5.4 meters (18 feet) hence making it one of the shallow Lakes in Uganda.
Covering a total Surface Area of 540 square kilometers (210 square miles), Lake Kwania is part of the extensive 3420-square kilometer/1320 square miles open water and 2180 square kilometers permanent swamps (that includes the larger Lake Kyoga, Kwania as well as swamps of other water bodies) lying along the White Nile (Victoria Nile) between Lakes Albert and Victoria. Of the total 3420 square kilometers of open water, this shallow Lake makes part of only 16% of the entire area.
Species of Flora and Fauna within and around Lake Kwania
Large beds of papyrus swamps are fringed around Lake Kwania and dominate the surrounding wetland vegetation, and there are some parts of these beds that move from the shores of the Lake and eventually become floating Islands. There are several aquatic species of flora that greatly thrive in and around the Lake and the nearby Lake Kyoga, but trees and grasses are also found in areas of the watershed, especially those that are not always flooded.
The ecosystem of Lake Kwania and the surrounding areas have become habitats of several mammals especially the marsh mongoose, African clawless otters, Hippos, the swamp-dwelling sitatunga and the spotted-necked otters as well as Nile crocodiles that are even scarce because they are always hunted near the Lake. Common fish species here are the Nile Perch, Lungfish, Nile Tilapia, Catfish, Silverfish, mudfish, and the Victoria Tilapia among others.
However even with the endowments, Lake Kwania is heavily fished for Nile Perch and Tilapia that has contributed to decline in fish populations. Much as overfishing, infestation of water weeds (like water hyacinth) and civil unrest sometimes affected fishing in the Lake, there are still over 18 landing sites and a fleet of over 1500 hand-made canoes operated by more than 4000 fishermen.
Although unknown to many tourists on safaris in Uganda, Lake Kwania is one of the most blessed water bodies with numerous species of fish (making fishing one of the must-do activities), aquatic and swamp bird species and mammals. Don’t miss exploring this hidden treasure in the districts of Amolatar, Apac and Lira in Northern Uganda.