Lake Tanganyika: Paradise for a weekend

Good Afternoon folks! I’ve been writing about my trip to Lake Tanganyika, focusing on the transport, and sharing a few photos along the way (higher quality copies can be found on my Instagram account). I’ve been sharing photo’s taken with my phone, and unfortunately the sizing and image quality isn’t quite compatible with my blog. I apologize for that, I don’t really have the resources on the ground here to fix it. So I’m afraid it will have to wait.

In the mean time, lets continue on. I’ve shared about the journey, from Mansa to Kasama, and from Kasama to the lake itself. Now it’s time to settle in and share about the lake itself. I’ll give you a teaser photo to give you some context as I write up an introductory description:

Mpulungu Bay on Lake Tanganyika from Waterfront Bar and Grill:
Mpulungu Bay on Lake Tanganyika

We had arrived late the day before, walked down the broken rock and sand waterfront road, seeping water flowing through breaks in the road making their way down into the lake itself. We’d dropped about a kilometer from the lodge, because the vehicle we’d used wasn’t able to pass the road (it had high centered). As we walked along the rows of fisheries and fish processing plants, we passed into open waterfront. stick and sheet metal structures clustered in on top of each other making up a local market. We continued on, hopping from outcrop of rock to sandy isthmus as we progressed down the road. Looking to our left we couldn’t help talking breaks along our trip to drink in the beauty and grandeur of Lake Tanganyika. We made good time, passed between a few larger residential properties and found the entry way to our lodge. We stayed at Nkupi lodge where the proprietor has a good relationship with Peace Corps volunteers and offers us a significant price break. We settled, dropped our bags and headed straight down for the waterfront – we needed to be on the water.

The photo that I shared earlier is from the water front, it’s captures a beautiful moment in a place where every breath brings more awe and wonder. We sat scintillated, taking in the lake and weather patterns as nature treated us to one of the most beautiful show’s I’ve witnessed – a lightening and thunder storm over the lake during sunset.

Lake Tanganyika is the second largest and second deepest lake in the world. It comes in second to Lake Baikal in Siberia. It takes first place in terms of length, being the worlds longest freshwater lake, sharing its shores with four countries: Tanzania, DRC, Burundi, and Zambia. Sitting at its southern end, we stared out at an endless horizon of water. Mpulunugu is well positioned, and acts as the ferry stop heading north – the DRC and Tanzania are both visible from the bay. The people there are a different tribal group, Mambwe. The majority of Northern Province and Luapula province are Bemba, but up on the northern area the Mambwe’s have settled in.

The clouds rolling in behind the nearest island as the sun begins to set:
Cloud Rolling in during sunset

We picked up a Tanzanian beer, sat on the breakwater wall, and enjoyed the show. Decompressing, and basking in the relaxing knowledge that we’d arrived. We met some of the other Volunteers that had made their way up to the lake as well, talked shop, made new friends with some of the locals, and settled in. The next day would be a fantastic day of swimming, dancing, and meditating on the lake. I’ll talk about that in my next post.



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