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Discovered For Who?

The water body’s name was dependent on what side of its shores you stood before it became Lake Victoria.

On its eastern shores, it was Nam Lolwe. The Luo called it “the endless lake”, for if you cast your eyes as far you could, there was never an end in sight. The lake was a place of great significance for the Luo communities that lived around it. Its fresh water enabled them to cast their nets out to fish.

In 1958, the search for the source of the River Nile resulted in an expedition led by the British Explorer John Speke. He became the “first” European to set his eyes on this majestic waterbody, so he named it Victoria after the reigning British Monarch.

Despite the change in name, Nam Lolwe is still a source of pride for the communities that dwell on its islands and along its shores. With a surface area of approximately 69,484 Km², it is Africa’s largest lake, the world’s largest tropical lake and the world’s second largest freshwater lake.

There’s much more to say about Nam Lolwe, the facts, myths and folklore.




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