Lake Mugesera

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Lake Mugesera
Coordinates2°06′29″S 30°18′54″E / 2.108°S 30.315°E / -2.108; 30.315Coordinates: 2°06′29″S 30°18′54″E / 2.108°S 30.315°E / -2.108; 30.315
Primary inflowsNyabarongo River
Basin countriesRwanda
Surface area4,000 hectares (9,900 acres)
Surface elevation1,300 metres (4,300 ft)

Lake Mugesera is a lake in the Eastern Province, Rwanda.

The lake is in the Central Plateau, southeast of Kigali.[1] The lake is part of a complex of lakes and wetlands in a flat valley running in a SSE direction, 35 kilometres (22 mi) wide. The Nyawarungu River meanders southward through the valley, flooding it to create a zone of permanent swamps and lakes. Lake Mugesera lies on the east bank of the river, and is the largest lake in the complex.[2]

Although close to the equator, the climate is comparatively temperate due to the elevation. The rainy seasons are from March to May and again from September to December.[1] The lake is fed by a number of rivers and minor streams originating on ridges to the north, east and south, which deliver most water during the rainy seasons.[3] The water is generally around 25 °C (77 °F).[3] Fish are abundant, and there are many species of waterbirds. Other animals include water turtles, crocodiles, monitors, snakes and otters.[4]

In the 15th century the region around the lake was settled by the Hondogo lineage of Tutsi people, pastoralists who had formed an independent state.[5] The Tutsi migrated to the Virunga region of Rwanda during the 15th and 16th centuries, settling between Lake Mugesera and Lake Muhazi. They gradually acquired power in most of the region of modern Rwanda, while intermarrying with the Hutu and becoming culturally assimilated by them.[6]




  • Adekunle, Julius (2007). Culture and Customs of Rwanda. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 5. ISBN 978-0-313-33177-0. Retrieved 2013-03-25.
  • Hughes, Ralph H.; Hughes, Jane S.; Bernacsek, G. M. (1992). Iucn Directory of African Wetlands. IUCN. p. 205. ISBN 978-2-88032-949-5. Retrieved 2013-03-25.
  • Niane, Djibril Tamsir (1984). Vol. IV: Africa from the Twelfth to the Sixteenth Century. UNESCO. p. 518. ISBN 978-92-3-101710-0. Retrieved 2013-03-25.
  • Streissguth, Tom (2008). Rwanda in Pictures. Twenty-First Century Books. ISBN 978-0-8225-8570-1. Retrieved 2013-03-25.