Lake Albert – also Albert Nyanza and formerly Lake Mobutu Sese Seko is Africa's seventh largest lake.
Lake Albert is located in the centre of the continent, on the border between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Lake Albert is the northernmost of the chain of lakes in The Great Rift Valley; it is about 160 km long and 30 km wide, with a maximum depth of 51 m and a surface elevation of 619 m above sea level.
Lake Albert is a typical Rift Valley lake lying at an altitude of 615 m between two parallel escarpments (Congo and Uganda).The main inflow is at the south end via the Semliki River which comes from Lake Edward through the western edge of the great Ituri rain forest in Congo, augmented by streams from the northern slopes of the Rwenzoris. On its course through the forest are several kilometers of rapids which are an effective barrier to faunal interchange between the two lakes. Most of the lateral inflows into the lake from the escarpments are seasonal and contribute very little, since their catchments are small.
Owing to an accident of geological history, the overflow from Lakes Victoria and Kyoga, known as the Victoria Nile, made its way via a previous river valley to a low point along the Rift wall to plunge over the Murchison Falls and to reach Lake Albert at its very northernmost end almost directly into the outflowing Albert Nile.
The Victoria Nile thus to maintain the level but has no other influence on the water of the lake except at its northern end though its rate of flow is considerably greater than that of the Semliki.
In 1864, the explorer Samuel Baker became the first European to discover the lake; he named it after the recently deceased Prince Albert, (26 August 1819 – 14 December 1861) who was the husband and consort of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.