16 June 2024
Day 159 December 2019 in Tanzania ⋅ ☁️ 21 °C

Arrived this afternoon at Lake Victoria in Tanzania for an overnight camp at a resort. We’re off tomorrow at 9am so don’t get as much time as I would like; but that’s overlanding. I pitched my tent and had a pot of coffee. I was feeling a bit ropey all day, headache, feverish and light-headed with a tad of anxiety and irritation. Here we go, I thought to myself, the dreaded African lurgy strikes.

As soon as I had the first cup of seriously strong coffee, the symptoms vanished. I wasn’t ill, after all. There was just too much blood in my caffeine stream. I was suffering from coffee detox. Figures, I only had a thimbleful of coffee early this morning and nothing since. Whew.

When my tent was pitched, I sat by the beach on a chair and just watched the waves and clouds, listened to the sound of the water breaking on the shore and felt thoughts and stress drain from my mind. I felt very still. This is a very beautiful place.

Volleyball on the beach while I sit on a chair in the shade. (Please click on image to enlarge gallery)

The young ‘uns were playing volleyball but I didn’t really watch them much. The sound of their healthy youthful exhubrrence complemented the sounds of nature I was listening to.

I remember when I was young, I would see old men staring out to sea or over a harbour or at a river and wondering what they were seeing . I thought they were a bit deranged and felt a sort of horrified pity for them because they weren’t doing anything, just looking. I wonder what the young ‘uns see when they see me. And then I stop thinking about that. To do or to be!

On the beach by Lake Victoria (Click on an image to enlarge gallery)

Now I’m that old man who stares out over the sea. I know now what those old men saw when they stared the same stare such a long time ago. And the lord of death moves ever closer, over the clear horizon. Relentlessly.

The craic was good in Cricklewood. And in Mwanza too. (Click on an image to enlarge gallery)

When the sun set we went to the bar/restaurant area and had a beautiful meal while a live band played Africa popular music as well as some western hits I recognised but couldn’t name. A very enjoyable evening.

I’m now lying in my tent about to turn in and sleep the sleep of the just. I’m listening to the waves crash onto to shore just a few meters away lulling me asleep while Morpheus welcomes me into his arms.

More scenes from Lake Victoria (Click on an image to enlarge gallery)

Some factoids about Lake Victoria:

The lake was renamed Lake Victoria after Queen Victoria by the explorer John Hanning Speke, in his reports—the first Briton to document it. (It has since been recognized that the native guides used the name Lake Nyanza to describe it to him.)

Speke accomplished this in 1858, while on an expedition with Richard Francis Burton to locate the source of the Nile River. This expedition was financially sponsored by the Royal Geographic Society.

With a surface area of approximately 59,947 square kilometres (23,146 sq mi), Lake Victoria is Africa’s largest lake by area, the world’s largest tropical lake, and the world’s second largest fresh water lake by surface area after Lake Superior in North America. 

In terms of volume, Lake Victoria is the world’s ninth largest continental lake, containing about 2,424 cubic kilometres (1.965×109 acre⋅ft) of water.

Lake Victoria occupies a shallow depression in Africa. The lake has a maximum depth of between 80 and 84 metres (262 and 276 ft) and an average depth of 40 metres (130 ft). Its catchment area covers 169,858 square kilometres (65,583 sq mi). 

The lake has a shoreline of 7,142 kilometres (4,438 mi) when digitized at the 1:25,000 level, with islands constituting 3.7 percent of this length. 

The lake’s area is divided among three countries: Kenya (6 percent or 4,100 square kilometres or 1,600 square miles), Uganda (45 percent or 31,000 square kilometres or 12,000 square miles), and Tanzania (49 percent or 33,700 square kilometres or 13,000 square miles).

So, now you know.

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