Palaeoclimatic estimates of mean annual temperature and rainfall in the southern Tanganyika basin between 25,000 and 9000 yr B.P. have been established from two pollen sequences based on the best-analogue method. The results give evidence of a mean temperature decrease of about 4.2°C during the last glaciation, a value consistent with that previously obtained in the catchment area on the Burundi Highlands. This cooling was synchronous with a decrease of mean annual precipitation of about 180 mm/yr. Postglacial climatic conditions were established by 12,700 yr B.P., with warming and wetness continuing to increase from this date onward. These new palaeoclimatic data will be useful for hydrological reconstructions of Lake Tanganyika, particularly during the last glacial age for which the magnitude of water-level fall has been a controversial issue; our rainfall estimates are more consistent with low values (-250 to -300 m fall) than with high ones (-600 m) previously proposed.