Things to do on Lake Mweru

L
ocated on the border of Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lake Mweru is a freshwater lake on the longest arm of Africa’s second-longest river. It is 110 kilometres in length and lies slightly off the beaten track. Although the area is somewhat remote, it is definitely worth a visit. It is said to be a microcosm of what tropical Africa would be like, if left alone. Water temperatures range from 21° C to 29° C making it pleasant all year round. Tourist facilities in the area are somewhat limited but the region is rapidly developing.

This lake is not geared for tourism, but offers a wonderful window into village life in Zambia. The lake is so huge, its almost like an ocean and there are several small towns along it’s “coast”, which is shared with DR Congo.  Many smaller fishing villages are also dotted around the lakeshore and fisherman can be seen casting nets for the tasty bream and tilapia/ Catfish, tigerfish and elephant fish are also caught here. Unfortunately the lake is being overfished from the DR Congo side and size and numbers are declining.

If you are passing this way, it’s worth taking a stroll along the shoreline and watching the daily activity of villages that use this beautiful body of water as an integral part of their lives.

You could ask one of the local fishermen to take you on to the lake for a fishing excursion or simply to view the villages from lake or enjoy being on this vast  expanse of fresh water.

Here are some suggestions of what to do during your visit to Lake Mweru:

Activities

Islands two islands on the lake; Kilwa and Isokwe offer a ferry ride to explore their shores.

Cultural – there is a dynamic population around Lake Mweru with a rich cultural heritage. A visit to one of the local villages will be a worthwhile trip.

National Parks – close to Lake Mweru is Mweru Wantipa National Park and Lusenga Plain National Park. Both are fantastic options to explore when in the area and despite the diminished animal numbers due to poaching, there is still an abundance of wildlife.

Fishing – the lake is known for its great fishing and many locals derive their income this way.  Many fishing villages can be found along the Lake’s shorelines. The Luapula and the Kalungwishi Rivers feed into it, creating the abundance of fish.

Boating excursion – a few hours out on the Lake is a great experience and allows you to observe how vast this Lake really is.

While the Lake is not yet known as a top spot to visit in Zambia, there is plenty of potential for it to grow. The attraction of the area is its natural beauty and remoteness as well as a window into the authentic village life of rural Zambians.