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October 13, 2003

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Ujiji rolls off the tongue. It sounds like an African dish but it's a village with a famous history. For many years Ujiji served as one of Africa's oldest markets along an important caravan route linking the interior with the Indian Ocean. Swahili traders bought slaves and left architectural touches on the buildings. Burton and Speke stopped here and became the first Europeans to see Lake Tanganyikain 1858.
In Ujiji, 1871, Stanley met Livingstone with the phrase, "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?"
The meeting of the two explorers happened at a mango tree. To preserve the tree, people poured a concrete walkway over the roots and killed it. A typical story of African conservation.
From Stanley and Livingstone's meeting point, we descend to the beach of Lake Tanganyika with some friendly Dutch tourists, Yob, Branka, Vera, and Monique. We swim in the waters until we see a snake, then we retire underneath a thatched canopy. We can't believe we have a beach to ourselves. Besides monkeys and the snake, no one else is around to bother us.