Kabaka’s Lake | Man Made Lake in Uganda

Ever had about the no nonsense king Of Buganda-Kabaka Mwanga11?! Though he is more popular for the negative attributes and instant ruthless decisions as a king, there are some of the few positive attributes Kabaka Mwanga 11 did that are not posted anywhere. We chose to explore the man-made lake named “Kabaka’s Lake.” You can decide to add it on your Kampala city tour and boom the whole experience of this jewel of Buganda kingdom by exploring with Jewel Safaris experienced and knowledgeable guides.

Kabaka's Lake

Kabaka’s Lake

To many, at the mention of Kabaka Mwanga 11, the first thing that comes into their minds is that “he was one notorious and ruthless holocaust who initiated the occurrence and death of faith-determined Uganda martyrs who refused to denounce their religious faith. However, he is also remembered for some of the good things and among his good side is the Kabaka Lake which is one of the positive living legacy of the late King Mwanga 11 of Buganda.

The Kabaka’s Lake

This magnificent jewel of Buganda kingdom is located few kilometres away from the city centre in Rubaga/Mengo, adjacent to one of the seven major hills of Kampala. A serene water body dotted with numerous attractions like: birds species like the little egrets. Historically, the Kabaka’ lake is probably one of the few Africa’s longest-surviving man-made lakes.

The Kabaka’s lake has magnificent views enhanced with the frequently blowing fresh air surrounding it before settling later on the green island in the middle and the outstanding Kabaka’s palace nearby. Occasional crossing of people in dugout canoes is also evident on the lake.

Kabaka's man-made lake

Kabaka’s man-made lake

Nowadays on a yearly basis in August, the Buganda tourism expo is organized to showcase the rich tourism potential of Buganda kingdom. The King-Kabaka Ronald Mwenda Mutebi 11 graces the occasion and water sports are always arranged to excite the revellers on this lake.

The Kabaka’s lake was made under the decree of Kabaka Mwanga who ordered for the digging of this Lake for a number of aims and among them was: It would give an escape route in case of any conflicts/ wars. It was dug connecting to the great Lake Victoria. Kabaka Mwanga had two palaces; one in Munyonyo which was built by his father Muteesa and the current one in Lubiri Mengo. On top of completing his escape route, he also wanted an easier means of transport to connect to both palaces and digging a water channel seemed to avail the means of transport. Furthermore, Kabaka Mwanga also loved fishing and swimming thus longed to creating his own fishing and swimming site thus digging the apparently called Kabaka’s lake.

The digging of the Kabaka’s lake commenced in 1885 by the King’s pages but was however interrupted by the religious wars and was never completed. The lake was dug all the way from Lubiri to Najjanankumbi and to other areas. The digging of this lake was supervised by the chiefs who reported directly to the king. The exercise of digging involved all the clans in Buganda kingdom.

Surprisingly, the Kabaka also got involved in the digging of the lake, reason being he was not very pleased with the speed at which the work was going thus took to the task himself and got himself dirty. Out of shame, the chiefs and royalty had to join him as there was no alternative for them apart from digging along with him.

At the time when the project came to a halt, molds of soil were carried away because most of the soil had been cleared from the lake. Today if you visited some of these areas like Ndeeba, you would notice some of the heaps.

Important points to note is that the lake has no river tributaries supplying water to it since 1885 but remains in full supply of water all year round regardless of the weather. The water level is constant.   The lake is supplied by underground springs.

Today, plans are underway to renovate the lake and improve it for tourism. Future plan also includes construction of a 5-star hotel. Check it out on your next trip to Uganda. You can contact Jewel Safaris and we add it to your Kampala city tour itinerary.

Welcome to the Pearl of Africa with Jewel Safaris.

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