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Uganda’s lake Wamala offers fresh air and a great city escapade

October 16, 2019

By Jean-Pierre Afadhali

A visit  to  Uganda’s fresh water lake Wamala situated in  Mityana district, Central  Uganda  makes the visitor forget urban life hustles  to  breathe  fresh air, with views  to  surrounding hilly environment and several islands.

We have recently visited  the lake from Mityana town (about 60 km from Kampala city).The trip took us approximately 50 minutes by car. We reached the lake using the tarmac road from Kampala, and another earthen off the main road. 

The views from Katoko village, one of lake’s shores where people go to relax is breathtaking. We visited the lake in evening, enjoyed the sunset views and occasionally spotted fishermen in boats.

The vegetation surrounding Lake Wamala is dominated by papyrus, and water-based vegetation. There are also trees such as palms and others that I saw for the first time.

For those who would like to take local drinks, there are pubs with nice bungalows to relax and have conversation. People who know the area very well say the venue is mainly for cultural events, parties, picnics on various shores.

However, swimming is not advisable according to a signpost on the lake that reads it is at own risk.

The lake with the surface area of 250 square kilometers has been affected by climate change in last decades. It is reported that 60 percent of the water has dried.

 Wamala Lake has important traditional and cultural value in Buganda, Central Uganda and gets its name from the last King of Bachwezi tribe.

Off the main tarmac road from Mityana town, the other road to the lake is not good but practical. Visitors should use 4 wheel drives or other cars that are used in hilly terrain. It is better to use private cars; hotels can also facilitate visitors to go to the lake.

Some people who know the lake very well said that it hosts hippopotamus and crocodiles in some areas.

Fishing at the Lake

According to, an online social encyclopedia, during the 1960s and the early 1970s, Lake Wamala shared by three districts was an important source of both fresh and smoked fish sold locally and in the big towns in Central Uganda. Due to mismanagement and uncontrolled, unregulated commercial fishing on the lake, the fish were depleted in the mid-1970s.

Climate change has also worsened the lake conditions, to the detriment of the local fishermen and their families.

Visitors will enjoy fresh airs, views to the surrounding green hilly landscape. Lake Wamala offers basically nature tourism.

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