The Lakes of Tanzania

There are many lakes in Tanzania each one presenting something different to the visitor. Lake Manyara and Lake Natron, are soda lakes where wildlife gather on the desolate salt flats and the shimmering views are often referred to as lunar landscaped, the sunset plunges this landscape into haunting shades of muted pastels. The soda lakes are home to large populations of pink flamingos, storks, and herons. Bird-watching and game viewing are best done from a distance as the soda flats along the lake shore are difficult for walking and driving.

A visit to the soda lakes of Tanzania is an unforgettable experience. Game still thrive along the unpopulated shores and the sheer eerie beauty of the water, colored silver and white by the mineral deposits, is an unforgettable part of the African safari.Arusha National park has many small lakes, one known as 'Small Momela' allows canoeing safaris - this is a great way to see the park from a new perspective. It is good to get out of your vehicle and actually get some exercise and get 'down and personal' with the African Bush.

This chance to view the animals in their natural habitat should not be passed by. These canoes can be booked direct, though an operator, or even your driver/guide will be able to organize this mini-adventure for you. From the lake you are able to get a closer look at hippos and the amazing bird life that normally would go unnoticed from your safari vehicle.

The Tanzanian section of Lake Victoria is one of the least visited parts of the country. Although it is Africa's largest body of inland water most tourist visit Lake Victoria in Kenya or Uganda. This results in the Tanzania section of Lake Victoria being one of the least visited parts of the country.

The lake can be a wild and dangerous place, with enormous storms that have been known to often sink ferries and fishing boats. The main towns of Bukoba, Musoma and Mwanza are sleepy ports with an easygoing tropical atmosphere. For those who do make it to this remote part of Tanzania these towns make the journey worth the effort with immensely friendly people, an almost total lack of tourists, and the chance to visit the peculiar Rubondo Island National Park, one of the least visited parks in Africa.

Among the chain of lakes on the bottom of the Western Great Rift Valley, Lake Tanganyika is outstanding for its extraordinary beauty. It is the second largest of African lakes, the second deepest and the longest lake in the world. Its very ancient origin has resulted in a great number of indigenous organisms. At its lowest point, Lake Tanganyika is 642 meters below sea level.

It holds a volume of water seven times that of Lake Victoria, and while it is 677km long from north to south, its average width is only 50km. For divers and anglers, this is paradise, with over 350 species of fish, and some of the finest game fish in Africa, including goliath Tiger Fish and Nile Perch. You can even go body surfing after big storms, with waves reaching up to six meters. Passionate snorkellers are rewarded with a dazzling array of tropical fish, however keep an eye open for crocodiles.

.For more information on any of these subjects visit http://www.tanzania-info. and also for tourism and cultural issues see ? Using tourism to change lives.

By: Ian Williamson

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