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Lake Tanganyika

Lake Tanganyika

The first Europeans to encounter Lake Tanganyika were the British explorers Richard Francis Burton and John Hanning Speke, in 1887. Beginning on the eastern coast, they crossed Tanzania in search of the source of the Nile, finally coming upon the shores of this seemingly endless and bottomless body of water after months of great deprivation.

Though this was not the mythic headwater of the great Nile (it is actually Lake Victoria, to the north), the sheer size of this lake, the world's longest at 446 miles. (714km), made it a geographical bonanza in itself.

At the northern end of Tanganyika is Gombe Stream National Park, where Jane Goodall conducted her celebrated studies of Chimpanzee. Mahale Mountains National Park borders Lake Tanganyika and is home to possibly the last remaining wild chimpanzees in Africa. The  terrain is mostly rugged and hilly dominated by the Mahale Mountains. The park can only be reached by boat, it is a totally road free area.

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Walking safaris, tracking the chimpanzees, and taking time to observe their daily routine be it all grooming, squabbling, foraging or feeding, are an aweinspiring treat. Here you can go hiking the forest paths or scrambling up the mountainside looking for butterflies, birds, and hidden mammals. Splash in the mountain’s icy cold pools and waterfalls, paddle a kayak into the lake to watch the sunrise. Laze on the beach or take a rod and go fishing. A wonderful destination for a different type of safari experience.

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