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13th February, 1858 the British opened Lake Tanganyika

Lake TanganyikaOn the 13th of February, 1858 explorer John Speke and Richard Burton found huge Lake Tanganyika, which can be seen on a map of Central Africa.

Pioneers pursued a very different purpose - to find the sources of the Nile. But they were lucky enough to make another remarkable discovery - to find one of the deepest in the world (after Lake Baikal) freshwater. The depth of the lake is 1436m, length - 660km, maximum width - 72 km.

The British hang on by the skin of teeth when reaching Tanganyika: they suffered from malaria and unknown eye disease. When first saw the lake, Richard Burton was full of admiration. He took him for the source of the Nile. If you look at a map of Africa, you will notice that the Nile flows out of Lake Victoria, the size of which is twice as much as Tanganyika. This lake Speke discovered during his second expedition in 1861.

This Day in History 13-02-2013