rukwa lake tanzania africa

Rukwa Lake

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Lake Rukwa is a lake in the Rukwa valley located in the southwestern part of Tanzania.
The lake is alkaline and is ideally located halfway between Lake Tanganyika and Lake Niassa, along the African "Rift Valley" and probably in underground contact with these two lakes.
The lake is located at 800 m height, a part of the lake is located within the area of the Uwanda wildlife reserve.

Currently the lake is about 170 km long for 40 km of average width, with a surface of 5.760 km².

The lake has undergone great variations in size over the years, following the variation in the volume of water entering the basin.
In recent times it has sometimes appeared divided into two basins, separated more or less in the middle of the lake.
In fact, during the periods of decreasing of the water levels, a stretch of sand emerges, more or less extended, which cuts diagonally across the lake in correspondence with the peninsula of the Uwanda wildlife reserve in the north of Ivuna.

The northern part of the lake, scarcely inhabited, is located in the eco-region of the miombo, with a large presence of the tsetse fly which explains the low propensity to create villages in this area.
On the other hand, the great presence of Brachystegia, the predominant miombo species, has a great nectar-making potential that allows the development of traditional beekeeping.
Moreover, along the coast of the lake, the populations mainly cultivate tobacco, to sell and export it, and corn for direct consumption.

Around the lake, three protected areas have been identified: Uwanda, which occupies most of the southern coast and the terminal part of the south-east basin; at the opposite corner rises Rukwa and, immediately afterwards, there is Lukwati along the northern coast.

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