The Katonga River is located in the southwestern part of Uganda. Its channel is continuous between Lake Victoria and Lake George, reflecting that it once drained away from Lake Victoria into Lake George along its entire length. Regional uplifting events between the two lakes associated with the western limb (Albertine Rift) of the geologically active East African Rift system, has caused the swampy region to the southwest of Lake Wamala to become the new watershed for the Katonga River, which now principally flows east into Lake Victoria, augmented by several tributaries along its course. This watershed is located approximately 0°13'N 30°39'E near the Katonga Wildlife Reserve, and at a distance of more than 120km from Lake Victoria. During wet seasons, raised water levels in the vicinity of its swampy watershed will occasionally force some water to flow west from this point into the western section of the Katonga River which feeds Lake George, but the bulk of the flow still continues eastwards into Lake Victoria. West of its watershed, the Katonga River is also fed by several tributaries along its course to Lake George. 
The wildlife reserve measures approximately 211 square kilometres (81 sq mi) and is located along the banks of the river, approximately 200 kilometres (120 mi), by road, west of Kampala, Uganda's capital city.
The reserve is a recent addition to Uganda's list of protected wildlife areas. It protects a network of forest-fringed wetlands along the Katonga River. It best explored by foot and by canoe. It is home to over forty (40) species of mammals and over one hundred and fifty (150) species of birds; many of them specific to wetland habitats.
Commonly sighted in the wetland reserve are elephant, waterbuck, reedbuck, colobus monkeys and river otters. Also found in this habitat is the shy Sitatunga, a semi-aquatic antelope with webbed hooves. Viewing this game from a canoe,whilst they come to the water's edge to drink is a thrilling and memorable experience.
^Hughes, Hughes & Bernacsek; Bernacsek, G. M.; Hughes, J. S.; Hughes, R. H. (1992). "2.10 Uganda". A Directory of African Wetlands. IUCN/UNEP(WCMC). p. 265. ISBN2-88032-949-3. Retrieved 26 February 2014.