19 April, 2012

Uganda's Wonderful Great Lakes

Uganda's Great Lakes
In Africa, no other country is as rich with as many incredibly, stunningly, beautiful and picturesque lakes as Uganda. Except for the North Eastern, Karamoja region which hardly has any lake, almost every part of the country, the central and southern parts in particular - has a lake. Some of the lakes are so magnificent that it is hard to believe that they are real.

Those who have had the luck of traveling around in the mountainous, and in many parts - forested, South-Western Uganda, will have seen such incredibly, wonderful lakes. Lakes: Bunyonyi, Kyaninga, Mutanda, Mburo, Nabugabo and many other smaller ones; all unbelievably beautiful and picturesque. Making these lakes even more attractive and delightful, are the many varieties of wildlife in and around them: trees, flowers, birds and animals of many kinds - small and large. In central and eastern Uganda, lakes Kyoga and Kwania, on an almost flat land, are as wonderful and picturesque; east of Kyoga are many pristine lakes and wetlands: Nyasala, Adais, Nyagwo; and the amazing lakes further east: Bisina and Opeta. 
Uganda's Great Lakes
I still recall, many years ago, as a boy, growing up around Lake Kyoga. I didn't know then how very lucky I was. At the age of eight, I learned how to swim in these waters. Then - Murchison Falls and around it, were places I visited many times. Then, there were so many elephants, buffaloes, hippos (I can never forget my encounter with these fearsome animals) and the Ugandan Crested Cranes - that any one traveling close to Lake Kyoga or the many swamps and wetlands around it, would easily see them.
Uganda's Great Lakes
Not any more. Now, the animals have been so reduced in numbers that, to see them - you have to really look for them or go to a national game park. Then, too, years ago - the lakes were extremely pristine and uncontaminated. There wasn't a single plastic bag or bottle in or around the lakes or any waste or oily product around or in them. Still, today, the lakes in Uganda remain as mesmerizing and awesomely beautiful as before. Most people know of lakes: Victoria, Albert, George and Edward. But there are many others in the country. Some so tiny that when one is traveling along some of those winding roads on the sides of hills or mountains in South-West Uganda - you can see them, down, below, as simply blue specks, surrounded by lush green forests. And some are in such remote areas that strangers very rarely get to see them.
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