Tanganyika (the meeting place of waters), a lake in central Africa, discovered by Burton and Speke on Feb. 13, 1858. It occupies a long depression in a region of considerable elevation, S. of the Victoria and Albert lakes and N. W. of Lake Nyassa. It is included between lat. 3° and 9° S., and Ion. 29° and 32° 30' E., and extends about 400 m. in a N. W. and S. E. direction, its width varying from 10 to 60 m. Its height above the level of the sea, according to the latest observations (made by Lieut. L. V. Cameron, R. N., 1874), is 2,711-2 ft. The water is deep and pure, though peculiar in taste. The northern portion of the lake, which was thoroughly explored by Livingstone, lies between the 29th and 30th meridians, and narrows as it trends northward, being largely hemmed in by mountains on or near the coast. Nearest the W. shore, just S. of the 4th parallel, is the large island of Mozi-ma, 40 m. long. At its N. extremity the lake receives the waters of the Rusizi. S. of lat. 6° the lake is wholly E. of the 30th meridian. The E. coast is hilly. The wide bay which forms the S. extremity of Tanganyika is the Lake Liemba of Livingstone. Between lat. 6° and 7° the W. coast rises into mountains 2,500 ft. high, wooded to their summits.
On both sides innumerable small streams and many considerable rivers flow into the lake. The river Lukuga, discovered by Lieut. Cameron on the W. coast in May, 1874, which is 300 to 500 yards wide and from three to live fathoms deep, leaves the lake, near lat. 6°, with a current of 1.2 knot an hour. This explorer traced the river four or five miles, until his boats were stopped by the density of the aquatic vegetation. - The hydrographic relations of Lake Tanganyika have been the subject of much controversy. As to its asserted connection with the Nile system, see Nile. According to native information, the Lukuga flows into Livingstone's Lualaba, but Capt. Burton regards this outlet as really such only in the season of floods, when it acts as a surplus drain, becoming in turn a tributary to the lake in the dry season; a view which is evidently founded on Livingstone's observation that from February to November the surface water of the lake, as seen at Ujiji, moves northward at the rate of about a mile an hour, while during the remainder of the year there is a similar gentle movement in the opposite direction. - The shores of the lake are rich in beautiful scenery, and in many portions are thickly inhabited.
The principal place upon it is the town of Ujiji, on the E. coast.