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Bukoba An Undiscovered Jewel on Lake Victoria

Bukoba and the surrounding region is undoubtedly one of the loveliest parts of Tanzania boasting staggering beauty, the friendliest of inhabitants and a fascinating cultural history. Bukoba is located in the remote west of Tanzania ? in the very heart of Africa ? and on the western shore of the massive Lake Victoria; its vast waters and miles of white sand shores are awe-inspiring. It has a number of islands, each with its own beauty and enchantment.

Lake Victoria is shared by Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda; named after Queen Victoria it is the world's largest tropical lake and the second largest freshwater lake. The lake covers a total of 69,000 square kilometers, and is the same size as Ireland. Despite the huge size Lake Victoria is not that deep only 100 meters at its deepest - unlike its close neighbor Lake Tanganyika which is one of the deepest lakes in the world. The lake is part of the Rift Valley a 3,500- mile system of deep cracks in the earth's crust running from Turkey to Mozambique.Tanzania is known for the huge migrations and prolific lion populations across the endless plains of the Serengeti, however, its most diverse and endangered ecosystems are to be found under water. One way to preserve the lake for future generations is to promote responsible tourism to the area ? then the local population and the politicians have a good reason to look after the lake.

Unfortunately the lake is riddled with bilharzias in some areas, so the swimming is only recommended far from any reeds. Avoid walking barefoot through the grass along its shores, as this is where the nasty parasite lurks.Tanzania has many unusual National Parks and Bukoba and Lake Victoria is no exception; Rubondo Island and a wildlife sanctuary based on Saa Nane Island [Eight O'clock Island] is a fascinating and very special National Park.

The best way to get to this island is by charter plane and is a thirty minute flight from Mwanza. This island is a real paradise with the African adventure starting as the light aircraft lands on the grass airstrip, sometimes animals will have to be cleared off the runway. The island is striking in its greenness and the whistles of the African Grey parrot echoing in the forest, truly you have landed in an African paradise.

Visitors to this island have the freedom to explore the forest and lake shores by foot or boat allowing each person to create his or her own magic of Rubondo and to leave with a uniquely personal experience of the island.Dotted along the shores of Lake Victoria are many fishing villages. Most of the fishermen are local and apply traditional methods to their trade. The most famous villages near Bukoba Town are Igabiro fishing village and Musila Island.Only five kilometers from the centre of Bukoba town is a project named Lavibogam. It is well known nationally for its skilled herbalists and traditional medicine.

The Region has large variety of plants used for the healing of humans, livestock and treating crops. The famous Muarobaini Tree is claimed to cure over forty diseases. When visiting the area this project is well worth a visit.

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See the Tanzania information page at http://www.tanzania-info.co.uk or for more specialized safari information see http://www.

betheladventure.co.uk use responsible tourism to change lives.

By: Ian Williamson



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