Lake Tanganyika is one of seven African Great Lakes. This enormous body of water is shared by four countries; Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zambia and Burundi. Covering an area of 32,900 km2 (12,703 sq mi) Tanganyika is the longest freshwater lake in the world. Estimated to hold 18,900 km3 (4,534.3 mi3) of water, it is also the world’s second largest freshwater lake (by volume).
Lake Tanganyika is often described as a ‘landlocked sea’ such is its immense size. It has a shoreline of 1,828 km (1,135.9 mi) and is surrounded by exceptional natural beauty on all sides. The lake is a lifeline for the one million people living on its shores as it provides a huge amount of much-needed food.
This prehistoric lake is home to over 350 species of exotic fish – many of which are unique to Tanganyika. The large amount of endemic species is the result of millions of years of evolution, making Lake Tanganyika deeply interesting to researchers and biologists. The Lake Tanganyika Biodiversity Project was established by such individuals to protect and maintain the lake’s remarkable marine life. . Look out for the Giant Nile Perch and the (completely harmless) Tanganyika Jellyfish, measuring only 2 cm (0.78 in) in diameter, this nearly translucent orb may be difficult to spot.
While off the beaten track and one of Tanganyika’s less visited attractions, the lake is a very popular snorkelling and diving spot. Crystal clear water and excellent visibility offers fantastic sightings of the colourful fish that live here. With a rich variety of habitats, snorkelers and divers are likely to see many different species on their trip.