Located within the Southwestern side of Uganda is the Katonga River, one of Uganda’s must-visit Rivers while on a safari. This River’s channel is continuous between Lake George and Lake Victoria implying that it once drained from Lake Victoria to Lake George along its whole length.
Katonga River is known to have initially flown westwards to Lake George before the uplifting on the western part of Uganda changed its direction. This regional uplifting made the popular Katonga River bounce because it could not flow over the raised Albertine Rift Valley hence making it flow eastwards hence taking advantage of the marshlands that were formed to the southwest side of Lake Wamala as its new watershed and then gathering more water from a number of tributaries that pour their waters into it prior to flowing to emptying itself into the large Lake Victoria which can also be visited while on safaris in Uganda.
The Katonga watershed and the surrounding wetlands are found at approximately 0°13’N 30°39’E close to the Katonga Wildlife Reserve and a distance of over 120 kilometers from Lake Victoria. Interestingly, the water levels always rise in the marshlands watersheds in the rainy season and sometimes push some waters to flow to the west sides from the watershed before feeding into Lake George.
Nonetheless, the majority of the water still drains the eastern side of Lake Victoria. Interestingly, the nearby Katonga Wildlife Reserve is one of the most fascinating Wildlife habitats in Uganda with numerous animals where over 40 species of mammals are found as well as over 150 species of birds native to the wetland habitats. Notable mammal species in the wildlife Reserves include Otters, Antelopes such as waterbucks, Sitatungas, bushbucks, Reedbucks, primates such as black and white Colobus monkeys, and Vervet monkeys, larger mammals such as the elephants in addition to warthogs among others.
Surprisingly, the mouth of the Katonga River enters into Lake Victoria found nearby Lukaya in Kalungu district at geographical coordinates of 0°07.3’S 31°54.8’E while its western shores empty into Lake George near Mpanga in Kamwenge district at coordinates of 0°02.6’N 30°17.4’E. This River drains through a number of districts that include Ibanda, Sembabule, Mpigi, Bukomansimbi, Kalungu, Gomba, Mubende, Kiruhura, Mityana and Butambala along its main course.
This magnificent River is known to measure up to 220 kilometers and is popular for the phenomenal beauty that surrounds it like Yoweri Museveni’s guerilla War hence making it worth exploring while on an Uganda safari.
The vegetation around River Katonga is characterized by the main savannah dotted with acacia shrubs and woodlands. The largest part of Katonga Reserve is made up of either seasonal or permanent wetlands. Nonetheless, there are also pockets of Riverine and luxuriant Tropical rainforest.
In conclusion, Uganda is endowed with numerous Rivers with one of them being River Katonga. This magnificent River flows through the popular Katonga Wildlife Reserve, the home to over 40 species of mammals as well as more than 150 species of birds worth exploring while on Uganda Safaris.