Lake Victoria (Nam Lolwe in Luo; Nalubaale in Luganda; Nyanza in Kinyarwanda and some Bantu languages) is one of the African Great Lakes. The lake was named after Queen Victoria by the explorer John Hanning Speke, the first Briton to document it. Speke accomplished this in 1858, while on an expedition with Richard Francis Burton to locate the source of the Nile River.
With a surface area of 68,800 km2 (26,600 sq mi), Lake Victoria is Africa’s largest lake by area and the largest tropical lake in the world. Lake Victoria is the world’s second largest fresh water lake by surface area, after Lake Superior in North America. In terms of volume, Lake Victoria is the world’s ninth largest continental lake, containing about 2,750 cubic kilometres (2.23×109 acre·ft) of water.
Lake Victoria receives its water primarily from direct rainfall and thousands of small streams. The Kagera River is the largest stream flowing into this lake, with its mouth on the lake’s western shore. Lake Victoria is drained solely by the Nile River near Jinja, Uganda, on the lake’s northern shore.
The Lake occupies a shallow depression in Africa and has a maximum depth of 84 m (276 ft) and an average depth of 40 m (130 ft). Its catchment area covers 184,000 km2 (71,000 sq mi). The lake has a shoreline of 4,828 km (3,000 mi), with islands constituting 3.7 percent of this length, and is divided among three countries: Kenya (6 percent or 4,100 km2 or 1,600 sq mi),Uganda (45 percent or 31,000 km2 or 12,000 sq mi), and Tanzania (49 percent or 33,700 km2 or 13,000 sq mi).