Lake Tanganyika

This beautiful lake is one of the more famous features of Tanzania’s landscape, but lives up to its name with gorgeous water views and lush greenery.

Lake Tanganyika is an impressive feat of creation, holding many records around the world.

It is the seventh biggest lake in the world, with an area of 34,000 square kilometers. The lake is 650 km long and about 60 km wide at its widest point. Its depth goes to an impressive 1,470 meters, which ranks it as the second deepest lake in the world.

This amazing lake belongs to the African Great Rift Lakes, and it’s one of the oldest-known. Its ancient origins and long isolation are thought to be the reason for the development of a number of indigenous and unique fish species, including the brilliantly colored cichlid fishes. It is thought that there are more than 350 species of fish within and new species are being discovered all the time.

What You’ll See

The lake is mostly surrounded by mountains, leaving the coastal areas undeveloped and natural.

The surrounding areas of the Lake are mostly mountainous, leaving much of the coastal areas un-developed and natural, with the exception of the East coast, which has experienced a lot of development over the years.

On the Western coast, the steep walls of the Great Rift Valley reach 2,000 meters tall from the shore.

The sole river, the Lukuga, originates in the center of the Western coast, and continues on to flow Westward to join the Congo River, which eventually drains out into the Atlantic Ocean.

In the surrounding area the economy is mostly dependent on fishing, agriculture and livestock. The mining of tin, copper, and coal are also supporting industries in the area.

The lake supports a busy transportation hub, with regular shipping between Kigoma (in Tanzania), Kalemie (in Congo), as well as other coastal towns that border the lake.

Other destinations in the area surrounding Lake Tanganyika include Gombe and Mahale, famous for the rainforests that are home to chimpanzees, baboons, and reptiles.

Source: Tanzania Tourist Board

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