LAKE JIPE

Lake Jipe is an inter-territorial lake straddling the borders of Tanzania and Kenya. On the Tanzanian side, it is situated within Mwanga District, in Kilimanjaro Region while on the Kenyan side, it is located south of the village of Nghonji.

The lake is fed mainly by the Lumi River, which descends from Mount Kilimanjaro, as well as streams from the North Pare Mountains, being on the leeward side. The lake’s outlet forms the Ruvu River.

Kenya’s unfenced Tsavo West National Park protects part of the lake’s northern shore, while on the Tanzania side Mkomazi Game Reserve is nearby.

The lake is known for its endemic fish, as well as water birds, mammals, wetland plants and lake-edge swamps, which can extend 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) from Jipe’s shore.

The probability of long-time isolation from other wetlands is suggested by a fish endemic to the lake, the Jipe tilapia. Jipe’s waters are teeming with big fish, principally siluroids and cyprinoids. Jipe forms a biodiversity rich ecosystem also known for the water birds that frequent its reedy shores; these include storks, egrets, pelicans, spur-winged plovers, ducks, and Egyptian geese. Lesser jacana and the purple gallinule are common on the lake despite being rare in other parts of Africa and Madagascar squacco heron, black heron, African darter and African skimmers are often seen. The vicinity of the lake is frequented by herds of game. Hippopotami and crocodiles are plentiful.

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