Lake Tanganyika is the second-biggest freshwater lake in the world (in volume). It is also the second deepest in the world.
The lake extends for 676 km and averages 50 km in width. It has 1,828 km of shoreline, an average depth of 570 metres, and a maximum depth of 1,470 metres.
The lake shelters at least 250 species of fish of the cichlid family and 75 species of non-cichlid fish. Almost all of the lake cichlids are endemic, thus the lake is very important for its biodiversity. Among the non-cichlid fish, 59% of them are endemic.
By comparison, Lake Superior in Canada has only 80 species of fish. Lake Malawi has about 1,000 species of cichlid fish, and it is the 9th biggest freshwater lake in the world.
Near the village of Kipili, there is an old Benedictine Mission. It dates from the 1880s. In addition to the church, there are several structures around the area.
Unfortunately, the whole site has been abandoned several decades ago and only some ruins are left standing. The church is still remarkable, but it may crumble in the coming years.
Western Tanzania has been a big surprise for me. I was not expecting to see such vast territories covered in forests. People probably live in the forest since I was hearing cows' mooing far away in the forest.
On more than a hundred kilometres, the road was sneaking through the forest. I am still wondering if the 70 kilometres between the road and Lake Tanganyika are entirely covered in forest.
Kigoma is the regional capital of the area. It is a lively town with very welcoming people. In fact, it is the town where Tanzanians are the nicest. Kigoma is relatively seldom visited by tourists.
The best place to sleep is the Jakobsen Beach. The campsite is located just a few metres from the beach and is very quiet and relaxing. For three days, I had the campsite and the beach for myself.
It is also a very nice spot for snorkelling with the cichlid fishes. It feels like swimming in a house aquarium. Indeed, the cichlid fishes are very colourful and they are often sold in pet shops in the Western countries.