The Lake host Countries and cities

KENYA: The Lake is situated in Kisumu, a port city in western Kenya, with a population of about 1,300,000. It is the third largest city in Kenya, the principal city of western Kenya, the capital of Nyanza Province and formerly the headquarters of Kisumu District, now Kisumu County under the new dispensation. In 1901 Kisumu became the administration centre of the area with the completion of the railway line from Mombasa. For decades the town was the hub of transport activity between the coast and Uganda and Western Tanganyika, but the splintering of the East African Community in 1977 cost it much of its business. The town seems to have been slumbering ever since.

Kisumu literally means a place of barter trade “sumo”. The city has “Friendship” status with Cheltenham, UK and “Sister City” status with Roanoke, Virginia and Boulder, Colorado, USA. The port was founded in 1901 as the main inland terminal of the Uganda Railway and named Port Florence (old name of Kisumu) At one time in the Sixties the Asian population was higher than the local people. Although trade stagnated in the 1980s and 1990s, it is again growing around oil exports and private businesses.

There have also been significant developments in Kisumu such as the Kisumu Museum now well known throughout the world for its fine collections on native Luo culture and the local wildlife. On the outskirts of the town attractions range from Hippo Point, at Dunga, just south west of Kisumu, known for its hippopotami and occasional crocodile and not forgetting the loveliest sunset on the lake, to Jamhuri Gardens with lovely grounds for strolling and studying indigenous plants and flowers. Others include; Kakamega forest, The Kit Mikayi stones, Obama village, Controversial Migingo and other small Islands and Jaramogi Mausoleum.

 

UGANDA: Entebbe is a city in Uganda. Entebbe is 38km south of Kampala. Located on the shores of Lake Victoria it is home to the international airport of Uganda. Entebbe is a quiet town inhabited by a mix of cultures. The city was, at one time, the seat of government for the Protectorate of Uganda, prior to Independence in 1962. Entebbe is the location of Entebbe International Airport, Uganda’s largest commercial and military airport, best known for the dramatic rescue of 100 hostages kidnapped by terrorists of the PFLP and Revolutionary Cells (RZ) organizations.

Entebbe”, in the local Luganda language, means a “seat”, and was probably named that because it was the place where a Baganda chief sat to adjudicate legal cases. It first became a British colonial administrative and commercial centre in 1893 when Sir Gerald Portal, a colonial Commissioner, used it as a base. Port Bell went on to become Kampala’s harbour. Although no ships dock there now, there is still a jetty, which was used by Lake Victoria ferries. It was also from this airport that Queen Elizabeth II departed Africa to return to England in 1952 when learning of her father’s death and that she had become Queen.

 

TANZANIA: Mwanza town is the capital of Mwanza region and one of the busiest commercial centres in Tanzania. Mwanza is located on the southern shore of the magnificent Lake Victoria, which covers an area of 68,000 km making it the largest lake in Africa. The town looks out onto the lake which includes dramatic views of the Bismark Rocks, (a massive outcrop of granite rocks pictured below). The location helps to give Mwanza its very unique atmosphere. Mwanza is an important crossroad of the region. It is serviced by a railhead, the first port on Lake Victoria, (ferries to Bukoba, Musoma, Kisumu, Kenya, and Port Bell, Uganda) and an international airport (connecting to Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro, Nairobi, Entebbe, Kigali, and Bujumbura. It is the second biggest and fastest growing town in

Tanzania. Its growth can be attributed to three main sectors, which are mining, tourism and fishing. The mining industry has taken of recently in Tanzania due to various liberalisation in the law in the mining sector. The growth of tourism has come from the vast beauty of its surrounding area and its proximity to the various National Parks, both in Tanzania and other surrounding countries. And thirdly the fishing industry in Mwanza has for some time been one of Tanzanias leading export earners.

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