THE Bismarck rock is a precariously balanced rock that is located in Lake Victoria and the city of Mwanza. It is also a point where a statue of the late German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck was said to be erected, thus taking his name.
The statue was later on pulled down into the water nearby, when the British took over from the Germans after world war one - but the name stuck.
Since then, the rock has become a famous icon of the city, featuring in many photos for both locals and tourists.
The Bismarck rock sits above water and on a set of larger rocks in a collective formation that rises more than 10 metres above the lake’s surface.
The surrounding areas are also quite attractive, with a few restaurants nearby, a well maintained small public park with green lawn and a ferry harbour to the other side of Mwanza gulf.
Like most of the rocks in the area, whole set of rocks are made from granite that formed in the earth’s crust millions of years ago and later on pushed to the surface by tectonic forces and folding of the crust.
At this time, the rocks were just blocks with sharp edges covered with loose earth and visible from the outside as a hill.
Continued weathering removed the loose material around it, exposing the blocks to the elements, with chemical weathering giving them their final rounded shape.
The whole process took millions of years to complete. The rock is a famous spot for photos, but there are many things to do afterwards, including roaming the nearby park and streets or having a meal at nearby restaurants.
It is not far from the shore but the area’s waters are known to hold a few crocodiles, so swimming the waters around it is out of the question (at your own risk).
The park nearby can also be used as a picnic spot.