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The geography of the East and Central African waters is characterized by grave lakes. They are very long, deep and narrow. All of the larger East African lakes are located in the East African Rift Valley, the two strands of the East African Rift Valley enclose Lake Victoria. The western arm is characterized by a series of deep, large lakes. In the eastern arm there are rather smaller, shallower lakes. The so-called African Great Lakes are located in this region and are listed alphabetically below. Strict definitions only include Lake Victoria, Lake Albert and Lake Eduard, as they flow into the White Nile.

Albertsee (of 5,347 km²)
The Albertsee lies on the border with Central Africa. Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo share the water.

Eduardsee (2,325 km²)
The Eduardsee is also called Rutanzigesee. Most of it is in the Central African Democratic Republic of the Congo and a smaller part in East African Uganda.

Kiwu Lake (2650 km²)
The Kiwu Lake or Kivu Lake is drained into Lake Tanganyika via the Rusizi. borders the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the east and Rwanda in the west.

Lake Malawi (29,600 km²)
It is the ninth largest lake in the world, and the Lake Malawi National Park is a UNESCO natural heritage site. Lake Malawi marks the border between Tanzania, Mozambique and Malawi.

Lake Tanganyika (32,893 km²)
It is considered the largest lake in Central Africa, making it the sixth largest lake in the world. It has the largest volume of fresh water in Africa, only Lake Baikal has more fresh water worldwide. In addition to the states of Zambia, Tanzania and Burundi, the Central African Democratic Republic of the Congo also borders Lake Tanganyika.

Lake Victoria (68,800 km²)
Lake Victoria is the third largest lake in the world after the Caspian and Upper Seas. This makes it the largest lake in Africa. Its natural size was increased with the construction of the Owen Falls Dam in 1954. Lake Victoria borders Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya on the East African plateau.

Lake Turkana (6405km²) is the largest lake in the eastern arm of the East African Rift. It is the largest inland body of water in Kenya. Many of the shallow lakes in the eastern arm are salt lakes. Other lakes in the East African Rift are: Lake Magada, Lake Manyara, Lake Balangida, Lake Nakuru, Lake Bogaria, Lake Baringo, Lake Naivasha, Lake Elmenteita and Lake Natron

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