Those who say lightning never strikes twice need to check out Lake Maracaibo, in the village of Congo in Venezuela. According to the New York Times, NASA has declared it the lightning capital of the world.
This village by the Catatumbo River experiences lightning displays an average of 297 days a year as reported by Aserne. The area features a lightning tourist camp that caters to storm chasers. According to Manuel Gonzalez from Catatumbo Camp, tourists can sit back in the camp and drink a cold beer while watching the storms roll in. He also explains that the lightning storms are relatively safe for residents, who are protected while indoors by wooden floors, but that the electrical charges are dangerous for fishermen who are sometimes fatally struck on the lake. Between one and three people are struck every year in the area.
In receiving top honors, Lake Maracaibo unseated the Congo Basin in Africa as the world lightning capital. A wealth of weather data collected from a satellite has allowed precise analysis of lightning trends and led to NASA making the change in billing. The topography of the Venezuela village plays a major role in the weather; the Andes Mountains form a horseshoe basin full of cool air around the south of Lake Maracaibo while the Caribbean on the north provides warm breezes that meet with the mountain wind for optimal lightning conditions.