These lovely lakes are bigger than some countries

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Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


Straddling the Alberta-Saskatchewan border in Canada, Athabasca is 3,064 square miles (7,936sq km) in surface area, almost as big as Cyprus, and has been home to First Nations peoples for over 2,000 years. Cree, Beaver and Chipewyan populations have called this lakeshore home, and in the 18th century the fur trade used the area as an important meeting point. It’s still a central point for various commercial enterprises today, as well as a popular tourist destination.




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On the southern shore of this vast lake lies Athabasca Sand Dunes Provincial Park, a remote and beautiful area only accessible by float plane where you can wild camp on the undulating sand. To the west is Fort Chipewyan, a pleasant little waterside town which acts as the gateway to UNESCO-listed Wood Buffalo National Park, the biggest in Canada. Here you can hike on endless tracks, see wolves, bison and black bears, and meet the last surviving whooping cranes in the world.




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The biggest lake in Central America and twice the size of Cape Verde, Lake Nicaragua is 3,149 square miles (8,157sq km) of fresh water. It’s thought it was once part of an ocean bay, but formed an inland lake when a volcanic eruption changed the surrounding landscape. It’s now unique as the only freshwater lake where you can find oceanic wildlife such as sharks and swordfish. There are more than 400 islands, some of which are inhabited and offer exciting places to stay.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


On the Peruvian side of the lake are the Uros islands, unique floating platforms built out of reeds where people live in small thatch dwellings. There are also the islands of Amantani and Taquile which are possible to visit. The Bolivian side is just as exciting with the thrilling town of Copacabana, which has a spectacular cathedral and is a major pilgrimage site for Catholics.




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This vast lake in the European side of Russia is 3,753 square miles (9,720sq km) in size (larger than the island of Cyprus) and has well over 1,500 islands on its surface. Its cold waters are packed with fish like perch, pike, bream and salmon, and thanks to its connection to the White Sea via the Baltic Canal, it’s an important trade route between Russia and Germany, Finland, Sweden and Denmark.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


On land, you’d be hard pressed to find evidence of Lake Vostok because this sub-glacial lake sits almost 2.5 miles (4km) below the surface of the Antarctic continent. All the way down there it spans 4,800 square miles (12,500sq km) – bigger than nations like The Gambia, Jamaica and Qatar – and is 2,625-feet (800m) deep. From the air, a large smooth patch of ice and snow is visible, indicating the presence of a large body of water beneath the ice.




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Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


Around 25 miles (40km) from St Petersburg lies the impressive Lake Ladoga, which spans 6,700 square miles (17,600sq km); it could fit the country of Cyprus inside it twice. There are over 600 islands on its surface, some covered with ancient pine forests, while its northern shores are craggy with stunning fjord-like inlets. The lake was an essential supplies and escape route for Russians in St Petersburg (then Leningrad) during the German occupation in the Second World War.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


Another lake in danger of shrinking is the crescent-shaped Lake Balkhash, which can reach up to 7,300 square miles (19,000sq km) in surface area. However, drought and population growth in cities along its source rivers is slowly affecting the lake’s capacity. In the years between 1972 and 2001, the lake lost around 60 square miles (150sq km) of its surface in the western part. It is, though, still larger than nations such as Lebanon, Eswatini and Fiji.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


Sitting on the US-Canadian border, just south of Lake Ontario, Erie is a vast body of water around the same size as Djibouti in East Africa. It’s 9,910 square miles (25,666sq km) in total and stretches 241 miles (388km) from east to west. There’s a handful of small islands in the western half of the lake, some of which have hotels, campgrounds and even airports on them. Middle Island is the southernmost point in Canada and can be reached by boat.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


It’s the wildlife on the shores and within the waters of Lake Malawi that make it the most enthralling tourist destination. Head to UNESCO-listed Lake Malawi National Park at its southern end and you can strike out onto the water in a traditional dhow boat, kayak or canoe with a snorkel to see colorful cichlid fish. Hornbills, kestrels, eagles and nightjars fill the skies and if you’re lucky, you might spot hippos and Nile crocodiles in the water.




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Over 300 miles (483km) north of Great Slave Lake, Great Bear Lake is an anvil-shaped body of water in the Northwest Territories of Canada. It’s the fourth-largest lake in North America at 12,096 square miles (31,328sq km) – bigger then Belgium – and has a number of uninhabited islands near its coastline. Great Bear Lake is famed among anglers for its population of enormous trout. In 1991 a 72-pound (32kg) fish was caught and in 2009 a local fisherman brought in an 84-pounder (38kg).




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


Lake Huron might not be the largest or deepest of the Great Lakes, but it has the longest coastline of them all with 3,827 miles (6,158km) of shore along its edges and islands. The lake’s surface area measures 23,000 square miles (60,000sq km) and it has over 30,000 islands across its waters. There are around three million people living on the shores of Lake Huron, from cities like Sarnia in Canada to Bay City in the USA, and it’s bigger than the entire of Costa Rica.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


Rather astonishingly, this lake is larger than the entire island of Sri Lanka, measuring 26,828 square miles (69,484sq km). It’s no wonder, then, that it straddles the border of three East African nations – Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania – and that it’s home to almost 3,000 islands. The capital of Uganda sits on the shores of Lake Victoria, as well as the Kenyan port city of Kisumu.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


51/51 SLIDES



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