Introduction

Tiny Ujiji, one of Africa’s oldest market villages, earned its place in travel lore as the spot where explorer-journalist Henry Morton Stanley uttered his famously casual ‘Dr Livingstone, I presume?’. Regardless of whether these were the actual words or not, the two certainly did meet in this small village, ending Stanley's search.

As a terminus of the old caravan route to the coast, Ujiji grew prosperous on the back of the slave and ivory trade and during Livingstone’s time it was the main settlement in the region, a status it lost after the train station was built at Kigoma. Burton and Speke also stopped here in 1858 before setting out to explore Lake Tanganyika. Despite its distinguished past, little remains today of Ujiji’s former significance except that some buildings away from the main road show Swahili traits.