Lake Edward is the smallest of the African Great Lakes located in the Albertine Rift on the border between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda with its northern shore a few kilometers south of the equator. It’s being fed by River Nyamugasani, River Ishasha, River Rutshuru, River Ntungwe and River Rwindi. On the northeast it is connected to the smaller Lake George. The two lakes have a combined surface area of 970 square miles (2,500 square km). From Lake George, which receives the Ruwenzori River, water flows through the 20-mile- (32-kilometre-) long Kazinga Channel to Lake Edward, also fed by the Rutshuru River (crossing a wide plain in the south). Lake Edward empties northward through the Semliki River to Lake Albert.
Lake Edward lies completely within the Virunga National Park in Congo and Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda and does not have extensive human habitation on its shores except at Ishango in the north. About two -thirds of its waters are in the Democratic Republic of Congo and one third in Uganda. The main Congolese settlement in the south is Vitshumbi while the Ugandan settlements are Mweya and Katwe in the northeast near the crater lake. The nearest cities to the Lake are Kasese in Uganda and Butembo in the Democratic Republic of Congo which are respectively about 50 kilometers and 150 kilometers by road.
The Lake was visited by Henry Murton Stanley in 1888, and was named by him in honour of Albert Edward the prince of wales, the son of the British monarch by then. The Lake was later named Lake Idi Amin Dada after the Ugandan director Idi Amin in 1973. After his overthrow in 1979, the Lake recovered its former name.
This Lake is a home to many species of fish including populations of Bagrus docmak and over 50 species of Haplochromis. The area is also a home to many perennial and migratory bird species. Fishing is an important activity among local residents. The Fauna staying on the banks of the Lake including chimpanzees, elephants, crocodiles and lions all being protected by the Virunga National Park and the Queen Elizabeth National Park.