Lake Tele – Epena, Republic of the Congo - Atlas Obscura

Lake Tele

Epena, Republic of the Congo

This picturesque round lake is said to be home to the legendary Mokèlé-mbèmbé. 


Located amidst one of the least explored areas in the world, Lake Tele is rumored to be home to the Mokèlé-mbèmbé, a Brontosaurus-like creature that is the Congo’s answer to the Loch Ness Monster.

Due to the dense tropical swampland surrounding the lake, the area is extremely hard to survey. Dangerous animals/insects and impassible terrain are just some of the obstacles explorers of the area face. However, there is rumored to be a secretive beast lurking in the dense swamp. For hundreds of years, reports of a mysterious cryptid resembling a long-necked dinosaur have trickled out of the area, being briefly spotted by explorers or described by the native pygmies, and it is widely believed to live in Lake Tele. 

Of course, there has been no verifiable evidence of the beast, but the reports are so widespread and exist over such a long period of time that the creature has grabbed the imagination of cryptozoologists across the globe. They believe that Mokèlé-mbèmbé is a prehistoric survivor of some sort, who hides in Lake Tele and the unnavigable swamps surrounding it. There is even tell of some local pygmies who once killed and ate a Mokèlé-mbèmbé.   

While it’s unlikely that the Mokèlé-mbèmbé exists in the stagnant, landlocked waters of Lake Tele, it has  certainly made its home in the minds of believers everywhere.

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