Africa is home to some of the world’s most breathtaking lakes, many of which are situated along the East African Rift Valley, which also houses some of the continent’s most remarkable mountains.
With the second-largest freshwater lake in the world and the longest lake on the planet, Africa’s lakes are as diverse as they are vast. Many of these lakes straddle the borders of multiple countries, making them amazing and culturally rich destinations to visit in Africa.
Based on reviews, personal experiences from different tourists, and experts’ opinions of the lakes in Africa, here are our top 10.
1. Lake Malawi
Having looked for the best Lake in Africa, Lake Malawi has been found among them as one of the best lakes in Africa. This Lake crosses three countries which include Malawi, Tanzania, and Mozambique.
Lake Malawi is the 3rd largest Lake. It covered about 29,600 Square kilometres and has existed for over one or two million years. The Lake has different names in the three countries it spread to. In Tanzania, it is referred to as Lake Nyasa, in Mozambique, it is called Lago Niassa, and in Malawi, it is called Lake Malawi.
The lake has the most diverse species of fish than other lakes on Earth, and fishermen visit the lake for fishing.
Lake Malawi is best visited during the dry season, which runs between October through May. The weather temperature is always about 64°C to 91°F in any part of the Lake. There are lodges on the Lake for those who wish to stay more than a day. Some popular clubs in Malawi include Nkhudzi Beach Lodge, Safari beach lodge, Tranquilo Resorts Cape Maclear, Mgoza Lodge etc.
The Lake is a UNESCO World Heritage site with bird watching as its side attraction. It has many species of birds that can interest you when at the Lake. The massive Marabou Stork is one of the unique birds to be seen around the Lake. Other birds, such as Pel’s fishing own, mourning dove, Trumpeter Hornbill, African fish eagle etc., can be sighted at the Lake.
At the Lake, you can also engage in fun water activities such as snorkelling, scuba diving, kayaking, sailing etc.
Entry fee to Lake Malawi
Children under 12 years: free
Private cars: $3- $7 depending on the weight of the vehicle
2. Lake Retba
This is another peaceful lake in Africa. It can be found in Senegal. Lake Retba is also called The Pink Lake of Senegal. The Lake got its colour from a type of algae that grows due to the large amount of salt in the Lake.
Like the dead sea, the beautiful Lake has up to 40% salt content in some areas. It is also interesting to know that the fishes living in this Lake are smaller than the regular fishes due to the presence of saline in the Lake. It is best visited during the dry season( June to November).
The Lake is salt-producing, and the beautiful sight of women extracting salt from the Lake can be breathtaking. The Lake has beautiful and affordable lodges such as Novotel Dakar, Le Chamama, Le Calao du Lac Rose etc.
The ticket fee starts from $307.7o per adult.
3. Lake Assal
One of the best lakes you can visit during the dry season is Lake Assal. It is 155 meters below sea level, and it is surrounded by the Danakil Desert.
Lake Assal is a crater lake found in Djibouti and Africa’s lowest point. It is also the largest salt reserve in the world because its saline levels are ten times greater than that of the sea. This Lake is one of the centres of attraction in Djibouti. There is no wildlife around the Lake due to the harsh conditions of the desert.
The best time to visit the Assal is between November to January. By this time, the weather is cool because it is the winter period in Djibouti.
$1,327, which includes moon walking and visiting other places.
4. Lake Nassar
The enormous Lake Nasser is found between the borders of Egypt and Sudan. It is the world’s largest manufactured Lake. The central part of the Lake is located in Egypt, while the remaining extends to Sudan. In Sudan, the Lake is called Lake Nubia.
The Lake is best for boat cruises where you can view other attractions around the Lake, e.g. a statue of Ramses II at the Abu Simbel Temple on the shoreside of the Lake is also known for the fishing activities done there.
Children between 6- 11: $352.10
Children under six years: free
5. Lake Kyoga
Lake Kyoga is a shallow lake found in Uganda. The most profound side of the Lake is only 18 ft deep, while most other parts of the Lake are below 12 feet. The Lake spreads around 660 square miles and lies between Lake Albert and Victoria, with the Victoria Nile flowing through this shallow Lake.
Water lilies grow at the most shallow part of the Lake, and the shoreline is extraordinarily swampy and covered with papyrus and an invasive water hyacinth species.
The beautiful lily’s coverage and the papyrus, which also forms floating islands that drift around the Lake, are suitable for photography.
Lake Kyoga is not classified as one of the world’s best lakes though it is part of Africa’s Great Lake system.
Kyoga lake has accommodations for visitors who wish to stay over. Examples of a lodge in lake Kyoga include Soroti Hotel 2001, Strikers Hotel, etc.
Around the Lake there are lots of exciting features to see there. You can also see wildlife like zebras, hyenas, hippos, elephants, and crocodiles. Then different bird species of over 46 species are there. There are also over 46 species of fish for sport fishing.
6. Lake Nakuru
This Lake is the Lake in the Rift Valley that is most famous for its large population of flamingos, and it can resemble a sea of pink sometimes.
Around the Lake is the Nakuru part that houses many great animals like white and black rhinos, warthogs, baboons, cheetahs, etc.
The Lake is best visited around the wet summer months, which run from November through April. The Lake has beautiful and tall flames, which are a good sight to behold. The Lake also offers wide life viewing and remarkable bird life.
There are lodging options around the Lake, some of which are Lake Nakuru Sopa Lodge, Ziwa Bush Lodge, Maili Saba Camp etc.
7. Lake Chad
The famous Lake Chad borders four countries which include: Chad, Cameroon, Nigeria, and Niger. Despite being shallow, it is the largest Lake in northern Africa.
The deepest part of the Lake reaches only 30 feet in depth. The Sahara Desert surrounds the Lake, and it is a refuge for many animals and a comfort zone.
If you plan to visit Lake Chad, the best time to do it is between August and December, when the rain is high and the water level increases. There are lodges available in Lake Chad for visitors who wish to stay over for some time. These lodges include Lake Chad Palace Hotel and Sinclaire Lake Chad.
8. Lake Albert
Lake Albert is not visited mainly by tourists. This is because it is harder to access than other Lakes in the African continent, but if you find your way there, you will enjoy the beautiful view of the Lake.
Steep mountains surround the Lake while the Victoria Nile River flows through a narrow, rocky gap before making a massive drop into a pool. The pool is about 80 ft deep, and wildlife and forest reserves are on its shore.
The Lake is the excellent supply for the White Nile river, and it is the seventh largest Lake in Africa, but in Uganda, it is the second largest. The wildlife on the shore includes elephants, chimpanzees etc.
The best time to visit Lake Albert is during the dry season, usually from December and February, then June to September.
If you wish to stay over at Lake Albert, you can lodge at Lake Albert Safari Lodge, Murchison Treehouse, Western Sand hotel etc.
There is no ticket or entry fee for lake Albert; however, when you want to use the Lake surrounding for occasions or activities, you will be asked to pay a certain amount.
9. Lake Kariba
This is the largest manmade Lake in the world. It borders Zimbabwe and Zambia. It is known for wildlife and fishing. This Lake covers about 5580 square kilometres. Lake Kariba in 1960 got some small Sardine fishes from Lake Tanganyika, which marked the beginning of commercial fishing activities. The uncommon indigenous Tigerfish has contributed to the tourism to the Great Lake. The Lake is the primary source of power for the Zimbabweans and Zambians.
Around the Lake are other exciting areas, including Matusadona National Park, located on the West side of the Kariba Dam. During Noah’s Operation, most I the animals got refuge from there. The green grasses are a good food source for animals such as kudu, waterbuck, zebra, impala etc. and predators such as lions, leopards, and crocodiles are also found in and around the Lake.
Another interesting hill and rocky area, known as Chete Safari Area, is close to Kariba lake. The site is rocky and hilly and can’t be accessed by car but by boat or foot. It is a controlled hunting area.
The sight of the Island surrounding the Lake is also beautiful to behold. Islands such as Maaze island, Mashape island, Sampa Kuruma Island, Bed island etc
You will enjoy the tour of the Lake using a houseboat. There are also lodging areas where travellers can stay for their terms, e.g. Rhino Safari camp, Lyawa lodge, Bumi Hills Safari Lodge – African Bush Camps, etc. The best time to visit this Lake is between June to October, which are sweltering months.
Zimbabwean Residents: $3.00 per person per night to travel on the Lake
Regional Residents: $6.00 per person per night to travel on the
International Resident: $8.00 per person per night to travel on the Lake, Cleo Lake Vivu Hotel, Kivu lodge, The palm beach resort etc
10. Lake Kivu
This is located between the border of Rwanda and the Republic of Congo. It is another great lake. Africa.
Around the Lake, you’ll find the lakeside town called Gisenyi, where beaches, hotels, and restaurant activities are done. You can also swim here or do stand-up paddleboarding or sea kayaking.
The Lake is one of the three lakes in the world that undergo the powerful process of limnic eruption. Lake Kivu is one the largest lakes in the world, while it is the largest in Africa that does not have hippopotami and crocodiles; therefore, it is suitable for swimming and other water games. The Lake has about 30 species of fish in it.
Other side attractions in this place are the interesting water game such as boat cruising, kayaking, fish sporting, etc.
Interestingly, Lake Kivu is also known for Island hopping and coffee; The Lake has many islands which house the enormous coffee plantations. On this side of the Lake, you can decide to see and learn the processes of making a coffee tea right from planting, harvesting, drying, roasting and other processes involved in making coffee tea.
The Lake also looks suitable for bird viewing while passing through the forest surrounding the Lake, at the Lake’s shore, or even while cruising on the boat. Examples of some birds that can be viewed include the African fish eagle, African Pied Wagtail, Speckled Pigeons, Ashy Flycatcher, White-tailed Blue Flycatcher and many other interesting ones.
Around the Lake are also mountains that individuals can use for hiking and biking. While doing this, you view the beautiful small communities and also behold the great site of the lake shore.
The lodge at the view includes Yewfield Vegetarian Guesthouse, Kivu lodge, Waterfront Resort Lake Kivu, The palm beach resort Kivu, Cleo Lake Kivu Hotel, Rushel Kivu Lodge, etc.
When planning a visit to Lake Kivu, the best time to do so is within the following months: January, June, July and August. This is because these months are dry seasons with low or no rainfall.
The ticket to the lake costs about $3, depending on the package.
Africa has beautiful and stunning lakes, and making a choice on which one to visit can be a tough choice. We have helped you streamline the number of lakes to the best 10 lakes in Africa.
No matter which lake you choose to visit, you are sure to enjoy the experience that Africa’s lakes have to offer.