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Major Lakes & Rivers
Three of the great lakes of Africa lie on the borders of Tanzania and partially within it. Lake Tanganyika is located on the western border, Lake Victoria in the northwest, and Lake Malawi in the southwest.
Lakes Malawi and Tanganyika lie in the Great Rift Valley, a tremendous geological fault system extending from Middle East to Mozambique.
Boatman by Lake Tanganyika
A 130-kilometre (80-mile) swath of southwestern Burundi borders the tip of long, narrow Lake Tanganyika. Fish from the lake provide an important food source for many people in this crowded developing country. Burundi's capital city of Bujumbura, situated at the north end of this enormous lake, serves as a shipping port.
Afloat on Lake Victoria
Huge Lake Victoria borders western Kenya and is the inland sea shared by Uganda and Tanzania. Victoria is the world’s second largest freshwater lake, after Lake Superior in North America.
The lake is an important source of food, primarily Nile perch, for people living on its banks. The immense lake basin feeds the Nile and is in turn fed by hundreds of rivers and streams and by runoff from the Virunga Mountains.
Fourteen rivers pour into Lake Malawi near the Great Rift Valley, but only the Shire River, a tributary of the Zambezi, empties it.
Approximately 200 species of fish have been documented as living in the lake, and most of them are endemic.
At the lake’s southern end are commercial fisheries. Lake Malawi's elongated shape makes the lake accessible to many Africans.