20 January 2015

Christmas road-trip: A boat ride on Lake Victoria and fun at Dunga Beach

Hannah and I spent three and a half days at Kisumu, much of which was on or around Lake Victoria. I was happy to see there was much less Water Hyacinth on the lake than previous times I was there. It had become quite a nuisance for many years, blocking fishing and commuting boats.

Lake Victoria is the largest tropical lake in the world. Measured by surface area, it's the second largest body of fresh water, second only to Lake Superior in the United States. Beside Kenya (at only 6%), its shoreline is also shared by Uganda (45%) and Tanzania (49%). It's one of the sources of the River Nile.

The photo above and the following five are from a very enjoyable two-hour boat ride we started at sunrise.

Early in the morning, the lake was as smooth as glass.                                                                                                         Overnight fishermen are resting in their boat until Dunga Beach opens for business at 9am.

We saw many small boats with fishermen.

Pied Kingfishers are known for hovering over lakes before diving for fish.

Hammerkops build huge nests up to four feet wide and with up to 10,000 sticks.

African Fish Eagle - Females can weigh up to 8 pounds, males 5.5 pounds.

After our boat ride, we spent several hours at Dunga Beach.

The overnight fishermen come in at 9am with their catch of Omena and Tilapia. Ready to greet them is a throng of female fishmongers, ready to bargain hard to fill their plastic basins full of fish. Once they've made their purchase, they disperse to various neighborhoods or fish markets to sell them - thus earning their daily bread. It was quite a fascinating scene to watch! Later in the afternoon, the day fishermen come in with their catch of Nile Perch and a different group of women come to buy from them.

One of the many fishmongers

As the fishermen approach the shore, they drop their sails and row the last bit.

Yellow-Billed Storks can reach over 40 inches in height.

We had lunch at one of the restaurants at Dunga Beach. This is the comical remains of Hannah's Nile Perch.

All photos were taken by my friend, Hannah

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