Located on Tanzania’s western edge, Lake Tanganyika is the world’s longest and second-deepest lake. At somewhere near 9 to 12 million years, is one of the oldest lakes on Earth and is outstanding for its extraordinary North-South extension (670 Km) and depth (1,470 m). Its waters lap the shores of four countries, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia and Tanzania. Lake Tanganyika has the best beaches on the East African coast – perfectly clear, dazzling blue waters and pristine white beaches. The Lake is home an exceptional variety of fish, nearly 300 species of fish of which an incredible 98% are unique to the lake. Most notable are the colourful cichlids.
The surrounding areas are mostly mountainous, especially on the Western coast. Steep sidewalls of the Great Rift Valley reaching 2,000 m in relative height form the shoreline. Also, bordering the lake is Mahale Mountains National Park, a sanctuary to some of the last remaining, wild chimpanzees. Another major attraction in the region is the Gombe Stream National Park also famous for its chimpanzees, baboons and birds. Well developed regular ship lines connect Kigoma (Tanzania), Kalemie (Zaire) and other coastal towns as essential part of the inland traffic system of East Africa.