Lake Tanganyika is a large lake in East Africa located on the
border between Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo,
Burundi and Zambia.
Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo share almost equally the 80% of the territoriality of the waters.
It is from the name of this lake that the name of Tanzania originates.
Its enormous size makes it one of the most extensive lakes in the
world and is the second largest African lake after Lake Victoria and the absolute
deepest in the entire continent.
It is located inside one of the large pits of the Rift Valley, whose mountain walls give shape to the boundaries.
It extends for 673 km with an average width of 50 km, covering an area of 32.900 km² and an average depth of 570 meters, with peaks of 1,470 meters.
The lake has two main tributaries: the Rusizi river, which enters
from the north from Lake Kivu, and the Malagarasi river, which is
the second largest river in Tanzania, and enters Lake Tanganyika
from the east.
The main emissary is the Lukuga river which in turn enters the Congo river.
The enormous depth and the tropical position of the lake prevent from the renewal of water, causing a lack of oxygen in water of the deepest part of the lake.
The lake was first discovered by Europeans in 1858 thanks to explorers Richard Burton and John Speke, who discovered it during an expedition to find the source of the Nile.
The lake is the home for 450 species of fish.
The greater part of the lake fishes live offshore and most of the species present are characteristics of the place and are not found in other places.
This high rate of characteristic species is also found in invertebrates living in the lake waters, especially molluscs, crabs and leeches.
Fish fauna in Lake Tanganyika is a primary source of livelihood for local populations.
At present there are about 45,000 people involved in the fishing industry, who operate from about 800 different sites.