Lake Albert is located in the center of the continent, on the border between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire). Lake Albert is the northernmost of the chain of lakes in the Great Rift Valley; it is about 160 km (100 mi) long and 30 km (19 mi) wide, with a maximum depth of 51 m (168 ft), and a surface elevation of 619 m (2,030 ft) above sea level.
Lake Albert is part of the complicated system of the upper Nile. Its main sources are the Victoria Nile, ultimately coming from Lake Victoria to the southeast, and the Semliki River, which issues from Lake Edward to the southwest. The water of the Victoria Nile is much less saline than that of Lake Albert. Its outlet, at the northernmost tip of the lake, is the Albert Nile (which becomes known as the Mountain Nile when it enters Sudan).
At the southern end of the lake, where the Semliki comes in, there are swamps. Farther south loom the mighty Ruwenzori Range, while a range of hills called the Blue Mountains tower over the northwestern shore. The few settlements along the shore include Butiaba and Pakwach.
In 1864, the explorer Samuel Baker discovered the lake; he named it after the recently deceased Prince Albert, consort of Queen Victoria. Congolese president Mobutu Sese Seko temporarily named the lake after himself.
Heritage Oil and Tullow oil have announced major oil finds in the Lake Albert basin, with estimates that the multi-billion barrel field will prove to be the largest onshore field found in sub-saharan Africa for over twenty years.
- Energy in Uganda