Crater lakes are formed as a result of volcanic activity 8000 years ago. A volcanic crater lake is a lake in a crater that was formed during a volcanic eruption. Uganda has so many volcanic mountains which results into eruption. Unlike other volcanoes that create cones at the top of the mountain. These explosion craters give out lava with ash and rocks spreading them far across the surrounding areas thus leaving a large basin.
Over time, these basins are covered with water crating the crater lakes as we know them now. Crater lakes provide scenic views and lush green surrounding. These crater lakes are mostly found in western Uganda. Crater lakes visits are possible and great spots for photography.
Below are some of the crater lakes:
Lake Katwe lies at the highest point of Queen Elizabeth National Park of the Mweya Penisula. It is the main Crater Lake and the number one distributor of salt in Uganda. It is 3,265 feet deepth and does not habituate any water animals because it’s salty. Animals like elephants, buffalos, flamingos are seen around the baboon cliff. On your way to Queen Elizabeth National Park, you can make a stopover at Lake Katwe. Enjoy u a panoramic view of the rift valley, the Rwenzori Mountains, Lake George and Lake Edward as well as the Kazinga channel. Katwe explosion craters will elevate your hiking experience. Top of the world visit will lead you to more crater lakes through the villages and tea plantations. You won’t miss Lake Kitagata which is fed by salty water from a salty hot spring and the clear view of the Kyemango crater.
These Craters are among the few extinct volcanic features. Their volcanic gases cover about 10 kilometers beneath. The Lakes feature a sulphuric smell and are characterized by green toxic water. This means that you shouldn’t try jumping into any Crater Lake’s water prior finding out if it safer for one to swim in it.
The famous ‘Top of the world’ crater trail is a 3-hour guided walk through the entire crater area. There is a lot more to see and learn on this trail from your assigned guide. The area has many crater lakes. The lakes include Lake Nkuruba, Lake Lyantonde, lake Nyabikere, Lake Nyinambuga, and Lake Kifuruka among others. This is indeed a piece of paradise that most people have not experienced. You will be amused by the great view of the Rwenzori Mountains, Kibale rain forest and the tea plantations.
These are located on the Western side of Queen Elizabeth National Park. Also known as the Kichwamba crater fields by the locals located in Kichwamba escarpment. These are located south of Lake George and they have got both saline and freshwater crater lakes. Bunyaruguru has over 20 craters found in the Kichwamba escarpment of the western rift valley. So many crater lakes in Bunyaruguru are filled with vegetation. Lake Nkugute is filled with water and it’s well viewed along Kasese Mbarara high way. While at Lake Nkugute will see the Forest of Queen Elizabeth National Park. Lake Nkugute is located in the newly created Rubirizi District in Bunyaruguru County. It is said to have mysteriously taken up the shape of Africa.
The name Nkugute was derived from a Runyaruguru word that means ‘swallow’, from the myths and ancient stories that have been told in the surrounding areas for years. It is believed that the lake claims lives of a boy and girl each year. Thus the ‘swallow’ reference. There was no actual proof to confirm this local myth.
As a result of volcanic activity Nkugute Crater Lake was formed in the Bunyaruguru Volcanic field which is also evidenced by the Kitagata hot spring in Sheema distinct.
Other crater lakes in Bunyaruguru include;the twin lakes of Kyema and Kamweru, Mirambi and Katinda, Nyungu and Rwizongo, lake Nkuruba, Lake Mafuro, Kamweru and Kyema as well as Lake Kamunzuku.
In Uganda, there are more than 50 crater lakes. Although some might be saline with a strong smell, there is a good number with freshwater and beautiful scenery. A visit to any of the craters can be included as part of your wildlife safari to Queen Elizabeth or Kibale National Parks. Taking the half-day to visit the craters is totally worth your time and effort.