The Great Lakes of Africa help to sustain the economies of several East African nations. Changes in the condition of these lakes is of great concern. The objective of this research was to examine long-term variations of precipitation in the Great Lakes region. Rainfall over the catchment was assessed for Lakes Albert, Edward, Kivu, Malawi, Tanganyika, Turkana, and Victoria, using gauge data. In most cases over 100 years of record are available. Assessments were also made for the region as a whole. TRMM satellite estimates of precipitation were also used to examine the years since 1998. Recent variations of the lakes, as estimated via altimetry, are also shown and compared with precipitation. Overall the precipitation climate of the region has been fairly stable, but some change of seasonality is evident. For example, in much of the region October-to-December rainfall increased while March-to-May rainfall decreased. In recent decades there has been some decline in the rains over Lakes Albert, Turkana, and Victoria but some increase in rainfall over the remaining lakes. Notably, most of the lakes appear to enhance rainfall over the lake itself. This effect has long been known for Lake Victoria, but evidence suggests this is the case for several other lakes as well. A full understanding of the future of the lakes region requires better knowledge.