Major rivers, lakes, mountains, and other terrestrial features of Uganda
Uganda is a well-watered country. Nearly one-fifth of the total area, or 44,000 square kilometers, is open water or swampland. Most of the country lies in the watershed of the Nile River.
Rivers and lakes of Uganda. Source: Ezeu/Wikipedia
Highlights includes Lake Victoria, the largest lake in Africa and the second largest freshwater lake in the world, whichdominates the southeastern corner of the nation, with almost one-half of its 10,200-square-kilometer area lying inside Ugandan territory. Lake Victoria drains through the Victoria Nile, the shallow Lake Kyoga, the spectacular Murchison (Kabalega) Falls and into Lake Albert, having collected inflow from rivers draining much of central Uganda.
The land west of Lake Victoria is traversed by valleys that were once rivers carrying the waters of Lake Victoria into the Congo River system.
The Katonga River flows slowly eastward from a Katonga Wildlife Refuge into Lake Victoria. From the western side of the Katonga watershed water flows southwest into Lake George. This sometimes leads to the assumption that the Katonga River flows from Lake Victoria (elevation 1,133 meters) westward to Lake George (elevation 914 meters). Lake George and Lake Edward are connected by the Kizinga Channel.
The Semliki River, DRC/Uganda drains Lake Edward and flows into the southern end of Lake Albert.
From Lake Albert, the Nile is known as the Albert Nile as it travels roughly 200 kilometers to the Sudan border, gathering water from the West Nile region via the Zoka River and others.
Other major rivers include the Achwa River which gathers water from in the northeastvia several rivers and jouns the Nile in Sudan
Southern Uganda lies at an altitude of 1,134 meters above sea level. The plateau that stretches northward from Lake Victoria declines gradually to an altitude of 914 meters on the Sudan border. The gradually sloping terrain is interrupted by a shallow basin dipping toward the center of the country and small areas of tropical forest, which mark the western border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Both eastern and western borders are marked by mountains. The Ruwenzori Mountains (often called the Mountains of the Moon) form about eighty kilometers of the border between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The highest peaks of Mount Stanley, in the Ruwenzoris, are snowcapped . Foremost among these are Margherita (5,113 meters) and Alexandra (5,094 meters). Farther south, the northernmost of the Virunga (Mufumbiro) Volcanoes/Mountains reach 4,132 meters on Mount Mahavura; 3,648 meters on Mount Mgahinga; and 3,477 meters on Mount Sabinio, which marks the border with Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Source: Wikimedia Commons
In eastern Uganda, the border with Kenya is also marked by volcanic hills. Dominating these, roughly 120 kilometers north of the equator, is Mount Elgon, which rises from the 1,200-meter plains to reach a height of 4,324 meters. Mount Elgon is the cone of an extinct volcano, with ridges radiating thirty kilometers from its crater. Rich soil from its slopes is eroded into the plains below. North of Mount Elgon are Kadam (also known as Debasien or Tabasiat) Peak, which reaches a height of 3,054 meters, and Mount Moroto, at 3,085 meters. In the far northeast, Mount Zulia, Mount Morungole, and the Labwor and Dodoth Hills reach heights in excess of 2,000 meters. The lower Imatong Mountains and Mount Langia, at 3,029 meters, mark the border with Sudan.
- Rwenzori Mountains includes Rwenzori Mountains National Park and the following peaks:
- Mount Baker (4,843 m)
- Mount Emin (4,798 m)
- Mount Gessi (4,715 m)
- Mount Luigi di Savoia (4,627 m)
- Mount Stanley (5,109 m)
- Mount Speke (4,890 m)
- In the northeast, near the border with Kenya lie a chain of volcanoes, that include Kidepo Valley National Park and Mount Elgon National Park. Among the peaks are:
- Mount Elgon
- Mount Kadam
- Mount Moroto
- Mount Morungole
- Mount Napak
- Mount Zulia
- Virunga (Mufumbiro) Volcanoes/Mountains - lie along the western border of Uganda (with Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo) as part of the Albertine Rift. The range includes Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and the following peaks:
- Mount Gahinga
- Mount Muhabura
- Mount Sabyinyo
Other Geographic Features
- Labwor Hiil and Dodoth Hills
- Murchison (Kabalega) Falls