Introduction to Lake Albert
Situated on the border between Uganda and the Congo, Lake Albert is the northernmost lake in the Great Rift Valley.
The primary rivers flowing into the lake are the Semliki River from Lake Edward, and the Victoria Nile from Lake Victoria through Lake Kyoga.
The spectacular Congolese mountains in the east, the Rwenzori Mountains in the south, and the striking rocky escarpment in the west form part of the dramatically beautiful landscape that surrounds Lake Albert. Lake Albert is a worthwhile stop on your travels further south to Kibale Forest and Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Lake Albert has a serene natural beauty and a tranquil atmosphere, and is a great spot to unwind after a few day's exploring the Murchison Falls National Park.
Things to do
Lake Albert is home to a host of wonderful wildlife, including hippos, crocodiles, buffalo, waterbuck, oribi, duiker, warthog, leopard, black-and-white colobus monkeys, and the olive baboon.
The area is a birdwatcher's haven, with an unofficial count of up to 460 species of bird.
Many of the animals at Lake Albert live in the Kabwoya Wildlife Reserve. A section of the lake sits within the reserve.
Wildlife can be observed up-close by exploring the reserve by foot, quad bike, and mountain bike.
The Semliki Wildlife Reserve, on the southern tip of Lake Albert, also has some brilliant opportunities for viewing wildlife including elephants, chimpanzees and the incredibly rare and endangered shoebill stork.
An early morning or evening boat cruise across Lake Albert is a truly memorable experience.
Surrounded by the majestic Blue mountains and Rwenzori mountains, the sun reflects perfectly off the mirror-like waters of Lake Albert, creating a beautiful scene.
If you are lucky, you will also get the chance to see the charming and extremely rare shoebill stork, which hides between the papyrus and weeds on the marshy shorelines.
The Mabamba Swamp is home to the famous shoebill stalk.
The area surrounding Lake Albert, including the Kabwoya Game Reserve is fantastic for cycling and up-close wildlife viewing.
There are several trails and terrains with various levels of difficulty to choose from.
You can borrow bikes from the lodge you're staying at, or you can bring your own, either way, cycling is one of the best ways to explore Lake Albert.
In 2012, the Uganda Wildlife Authority opened mountain biking trails at Mount Elgon.
Kabwoya is one of the few wildlife reserves where quad biking is possible.
Quad biking excursions allow visitors to explore remote areas that are inaccessible by safari vehicles due to loose soil.
Quad biking is a great way to enjoy breathtaking scenery, wildlife, and the abundant birdlife from otherwise inaccessible regions of Uganda.
Quad biking allows you to go to remote places not accessible by vehicle.
Guided Nature Walks
Guided nature walks are great for bird and wildlife lovers, as the shorelines of Lake Albert and the Albertine escarpment are a fantastic habitat for birds and primates.
The best time to go on a nature walk is in the early morning and evenings when it is not too hot outside.
Good walking shoes, long trousers and plenty of water are a must. Trails can be chosen to suit your fitness level and often are between one and three hours long.
Murchison Falls Chimpanzee Trekking
Catch your own dinner with a fishing safari on Lake Albert.
There are several species of catfish in the lake, but the real prize is the Nile Perch, the largest fish predator in the lake.
Fishing takes place in designated areas of the lake, and fishing permits will need to be obtained in advance from the Uganda Wildlife Authority.
Many fishing communities surround Lake Albert, and at night the fishermen light up the lake to attract fish, a truly mesmerizing sight.
Fishermen light up Lake Albert at night, a truly mesmerising sight.
Places to Stay
Lake Albert Safari Lodge
Perched 70m above Lake Albert on a cliff in the Kabwoya Game Reserve, Lake Albert Safari Lodge has panoramic views of Lake Albert which you can enjoy over breakfast or in the lodge's pool.
Accommodation is in 12 thatched-roof cottages with private bathrooms. The cottages have been designed with nature in mind. The rooms and lounge areas are comfortable, and the lodge is a great place to relax.
Meals are served in a cosy dining room overlooking the pool or in the bush for a true safari experience.
There are several activities to choose from at Lake Albert, including mountain and quad biking, game drives, fossil hunting, and nature walks.
Situated on top of the Albertine Rift escarpment, breathtaking views of Lake Albert and the Blue Mountains are guaranteed at Kikono Lodge.
Spacious cottages, with extra-large windows and private wooden verandas give you unobstructed views of Lake Albert directly from your room.
The main restaurant stretches over three different levels, where you can relax on comfortable sofas and enjoy delicious meals.
The bar area is directly adjacent to the swimming pool, so you can sip on your tipple of choice while observing the goings-on in the water.
Beautiful views are guaranteed at Kikono Lodge.
Semliki Safari Lodge
Take a step back in time and stay at the Semliki Safari Lodge. Golden-hued safari tents and vintage safari decor are reminiscent of a former era of exploration.
With only 8 tents, Semliki provides an intimate and private experience for guests. Hardwood floors, double beds, en-suite bathrooms with hot showers and flushing toilets, private verandas and protective thatched roofs, provide guests with the utmost comfort and luxury.
The main lodge area is filled with chunky dining tables, deep-seated armchairs and a warm fire, perfect for getting cosy and swapping stories at the end of the day.
Semliki Safari Lodge operates one of the best boat safaris on Lake Albert.
They are also a great base for chimpanzee trekking in the Semliki Wildlife Reserve.
Vintage golden-hued tents makes you feel like you stepped back in time.
How to get to Lake Albert
Kampala to Lake Albert is a 260 km drive, taking approximately 4 hours. If you are on your way to or from Murchison Falls National Park, the detour down the western escarpment via Lake Albert is worth it for the breathtaking scenery.
We recommend stopping off at the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary en route, the only place where you can see rhinos in Uganda.
Our Most Popular Uganda Trips
The tours below showcase just some of what is possible. Use these itineraries as starting points, or to draw inspiration. Then get in touch, and let our expert team help craft the perfect itinerary for you.
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