Lake Tanganyika is the world’s longest (660km), second-deepest (more than 1436m) and second-largest (by volume) freshwater lake. At somewhere between nine and 13 million years old, it’s also one of the oldest. Thanks to its age and ecological isolation it’s home to an exceptional number of endemic fish, including 98% of the 250-plus species of cichlids. Cichlids are popular aquarium fish due to their bright colours, and they make Tanganyika an outstanding snorkelling and diving destination. Tanganyika is bilharzia free.
Kigoma is the only proper town on the Tanzanian shore, though small, rarely visited settlements line the shore. They offer a fascinating look at local life, while the rolling countryside around the villages is beautiful and ideal for day treks. Besides the services of the MV Liemba, lake taxis travel the shoreline at least every two or three days. Getting around can be difficult, and sometimes expensive, but with perseverance you can, eventually, get to all lakeside towns and villages overland by a mix of some of the world's most overcrowded buses or by a variety of boats.