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    • Day 36–37

      Lake Tanganyika

      December 11, 2023 in Tanzania ⋅ ☁️ 26 °C

      Lake Tanganyika, approx. 670 km long and 50 km wide. After lake Baikal, the world’s second deepest lake with its depth of 1470 m reaching 688 m below mean sea level (cryptodepression). Many rivers flow in, just one river flows out, as a side arm of Congo river. Below the first few hundred metres, the water isn’t affected to any exchange with the upper layers which means that it basically does not contain any oxygen and is considered to be fossil water from ancient times, reaching back 10.000+ years. Fascinating, isn’t it? Where you swim, you bath in lukewarm, crystal-clear drinking water. Many of those desirable and colourful aquarium fishes you know from your local pet shop are being taken from here or Lake Nyasa and exported to our countries of wealth. Illegally! Because they are difficult to be bred in captivity. During transport, the majority of them die (> 70 %? I have to re-consolidate my source of wisdom later). Think about that the next time you fill up your glittering aquarium ☹!

      I camp at an overpriced lodge which lost its beach campsite due to the increased water level which I already observed in many of the other rift valley lakes in Kenya and Uganda in 2021. Here, the water rose around 3 metres. The Tanzanian owner lost a lot of his infrastructure. Wherever I am, the local people say that it correlates with the increase of precipitation during the last years, but, oh boy, don’t even try to neglect geophysics just because it appears to be sluggish! Take a look at the key facts: Water rising began in 2020, throughout nearly all rift valley lakes in Eastern Africa uniformly at the same time, along a stretch of thousands of kilometres, across climatically different areas, it happened quickly, within just a few months and since then the high levels are persistent. What do you say now? A "local rain phenomenon"? No way that rainfall alone is the reason behind all that. We probably experience tectonic ramblings with complex side effects, of which one might induce changes of groundwater level to the extent we are observing now. Conti-fuckin’-nental drift, brother! Digest that. At least, that’s my highly professional assumption. While writing these lines, I drifted away from Congo by 0.007 mm already (officially!). So damn exciting 😃!

      The positive aspect about sunken anthropogenic infrastructure is that when you go snorkelling, you find many of those famous fishies just in front of the lodge 🐟. Why? Because they love to hide between the stones, bricks and squiggly concrete features now being under water. Further out, where sandy ground takes over, you ain’t gonna find no damn fancy fishies any more. I have witnessed them not being there 🤓!
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