Kabaka’s lake is situated in Ndeeba in between Nabunya road and Ring Road. It is a few kilometers away from Kampala capital city approximately 5 kilometers. The lake was constructed in 1880 under the orders of Kabaka Mwanga II who wanted it to act as an “escape corridor” during the British armed conflicts. The kabaka’s lake is the largest man-made lake in Uganda and it is Africa’s excavated lake. The lake was constructed under the cooperation of over 52 clans of Buganda who jointly agreed to construct the Kabaka’s Lake during the Ssekabaka Mwanga’s regime between the 1885 and 1888 and this was a sign of respecting the king’s orders.
Kabaka Mwanga II not only wanted the lake to act as an escape but he had other interests for this lake such as; he wanted the lake to act as a channel connecting to lake victoria where he can travel on boat to access lake victoria so that he can enjoy fishing and swimming, Mwanga II also wanted an easy access to his other built palace in Mulungu hill which is close to lake victoria in Munyonyi built by his father Mutesa before his death
Kabaka Mwanga II was known for his pride, aggressiveness, notorious and a Ruthless holocaust during his reign, despite the Kabaka’s aggressiveness and ambitious plans towards the Kabaka’s lake, the construction of the lake was abruptly interrupted and stopped before it was connected to Munyonyo, the failure to complete the lake was due to the religious wars that arose in Buganda kingdom.
The legendary story behind the construction of the Kabaka’s lake is extremely interesting. At the beginning of the construction, the parish chiefs plus the prince and princess had refused to take part in the digging of the lake so they were reported the Kabaka, something which annoyed Kabaka Mwanga II who decided to take up the tusk by himself and joined other people who had obeyed to dig. By doing this the parish chiefs, princess and princes got ashamed and they as well joined in the digging along with the kabaka.
Apparently, the kabaka’s lake covers an area of about two square kilometers and approximately 200 feet in depth. It is among the top attraction places to visit on your Kampala city tour and it is a significant conservation site to the kingdom of Buganda. It is one of the birders paradises with numerous bird species such as the little egrets. The kabaka’s lake has got intriguing picture views which backed by awesome surrounding environment. A visit to the kabaka’s lake will offer you a chance to explore Kabaka’s palace which is just adjacent to the lake. You will an see people who occasionally cross the lake on traditional dugout canoes.
In the annual Buganda tourism Expo which takes place around August, the king of Buganda takes courtesy with his subjects to be of the officiate watersports on the lake. The Kabaka is accompanied by his soldiers known as Abambnowa dressed smartly in their traditional attires well-armed with shields and the spears together with the ministers as well as dignitaries and a security convey.
The kabaka’s Lake has no inlet river tributaries which supplies water to this lake; it is instead supplied by underground springs.There are two islands on the lake; one in the middle, with Buganda’s Coat of Arms where Ssekabaka Mwanga II sat while watching boat races, swimming competitions and birding. The second island, found in its left wing, is a birders paradise with water plants which attract over 70 species, the dominant one being white egrets and pied eye kingfishers.