Uganda’s climate is greatly influenced and determined by its altitude, water bodies and forest cover. Lake Victoria shared by Uganda Kenya and Tanzania, registers as the largest lake in Africa and second- largest freshwater body in the world. Lake Albert ,Edward and George lie on or the close to the Congolese border, the ill-defined marshy lake Kyoga lies in the center of Uganda. On the shore lake Victoria at Jinja registers Owen Falls today submerged by the Owen falls dam regarded as the official source of the nile,the longest river in the world. The Nile river flows through Lakes Kyoga and albert. Because almost 25% of the country is occupied by water, most of Uganda is well watered a country hence fertile with the exception of the semi-arid/desert in Karamoja located in the extreme north east but a few climatic changes occur in some of her regions due to either global warming or man’s activity in such regions.
The country has a significant number of natural forests such as the famous Mabira located in Mukonon district, Budongo forest in Masindi district, Maramagambo in Busheny district, Mpanga in mpigi district, Bwindi forest Kanungu district, Kibale forest in Fortpotal district etc. These greatly determine Uganda’s equatorial climate but tempered by her high altitude. The daily maximum tempreture in most parts of Uganda ranges between 20degrees C and 27 degrees C and the minimum is 12degrees C and 18degrees C. Uganda’s highest temperatures occur on the plains of east of lake Albert, while the lowest have been received on the glacial peaks of mount Rwenzori. With exception of the north where some areas receive as low as 100mm as annual rainfall, most parts of Uganda receive between 1000mm to 2000mm as their annual rainfall. Rainfall patterns regionally widely defer but the L. Victoria and western regions can receive rain fall any time of the year. Uganda’s usual wet season is from mid- Sept to November well as march to may.
Uganda being a well watered Nation, has about 44,000 square kilometers or about 1/5 of her total area covered by water and green swampland. Four of East Africa’s Great Lakes namely L. Victoria, L. Albert, L.Edward together with L. Kyoga lie inside Uganda or on its borders.The southeastern corner of Uganda is dominated by L. Victoria, with almost 1/2 of its 10,200 square kilometer area owned by Ugandan . This is the world`s second largest inland freshwater body or lake after Lake Superior, and it is source to the upper waters of the Nile River, referred to as the Victoria Nile.
Diverting from L.Victoria at Owen Falls, the Victoria Nile descends moving northwest. It widens to form L. Kyoga, as it receives R. Kafu from the west before flowing north into Lake Albert. As it leaves L.Albert,the nile known as Albert nile as it passes to the Sudan boarder for about 200km. In western and southern Uganda, geological activities over several centuries have shifted drainage patterns. Traversed by the once rivers that carried the waters of Lake Victoria into the Congo River system is the land in the west of Lake Victoria. Flowing westward from Lake Victoria to Lake George is Katonga River. L. George and L. Edward are connected by the Kizinga Channel.
Flowing into Lake Edward from the north is R.Semliki,draining parts of Zaire to form a part of the Uganda-Zaire border line.
Lake Kyoga and the surrounding basin dominate central Uganda. Extensions of Lake Kyoga include Lake Kwania, Lake Bugondo, and Lake Opeta. These “finger lakes” are surrounded by swampland during rainy seasons. All lakes in the Lake Kyoga Basin are shallow, usually reaching a depth of only eight or nine meters, and Lake Opeta forms a separate lake during dry seasons. Along the border with Zaire, Lake Albert, Lake Edward, and Lake George occupy troughs in the western Rift Valley.
Beautiful waterfalls occur at Murchison or Kabalega Falls when the Nile waters pass through a narrow opening barely seven meters wideon the Victoria Nile, east of Lake Albert. The Zoka River is one of the tributaries the Albert Nile, that drains the northwestern corner of Uganda as to offer. Other major rivers in this region include the R.Aswa called the Aswa in Sudan, R.Pager in the north and River Dopet-Okothh in the northeast plus R.Mpologoma that powers from the southeast into Lake Kyoga.