Modern-day Ujiji on L.Tanganyika

Above: “Dr Livingstone, L presume?” The epic soundbite delivered by Henry Morten Stanley (l) to Dr David Livingstone(r) on 10 November 1871
Copyright Rupi Mangat

Along the East African coast of Tanzania - the sturdy palm oil tree – an important economic oil plant Copyright Rupi Mangat.
Along the East African coast of Tanzania – the sturdy palm oil tree – an important economic oil plant Copyright Rupi Mangat.

We’re driving through a narrow cobbled street, ten kilometers south of Kigoma to reach the historic village of Ujiji a few meters from the shores of Lake Tanganyike. The road is lined with simple single-storeyed houses fitted with tin roofs – like the old Arab-Swahili settlements along the East African coast and sturdy palm oil trees – an important economic tree.

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Tabora

Above:The century-old Orion Tabora Hotel  Copyright Rupi Mangat

The half-way town from Arusha to Kigoma

Published Nation media Saturday magazine 4 November 2017

Road map of Tanzania - trace our journey from Nairobi via Arusha to Tabora and then L.Tanganyika
Road map of Tanzania – trace our journey from Nairobi via Arusha to Tabora and then L.Tanganyika

650 kilometers west of Arusha, we’re in Tabora

It has long intrigued me. David Livingstone and Henry Morton Stanley, the hard-wired calculating American (but British-born) journalist spent five months in 1872 at Kazeh near Tabora after the epic meeting in Ujiji on the shores of Lake Tanganyika – with Stanley’s famous quote ‘Dr Livingstone, l presume’.

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Brackenhurst Botanic Garden

Above: Brackenhurst Conference Centre and Botanic Gardens in Tigoni, 25-km northwest of Nairobi Copyright Rupi Mangat

Published: Saturday magazine, Nation media 28 October 2017

Lilac burst of an Acanth (400 species in Kenya). This is a South African Hypoestes, Copyright Rupi Mangat
Lilac burst of an Acanth (400 species in Kenya). This is a South African Hypoestes, Copyright Rupi Mangat

It’s popping with colour under the canvas of a gorgeous blue sky. Orange aloes in bloom attract an array of colourful sunbirds – Variable, Tacazze, Golden-winged and more. An African goshawk vanishes into the canopy of a tree and many more keep the birders glued skyward.

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Shela’s Splendour

Published Saturday magazine Nation newspaper 21 October 2017

Above: Sand dunes of Shela looking across at Manda Island – Copyright Rupi Mangat

1960s picture of Shela with the 1829 Friday mosque so prominent - featured on the booklet on Shela ‘Quest for the Past’ an historical guide to Lamu archipelago by Chrysee MacCasler Perry Martin and Esmond Bradley Martin published in 1969.
1960s picture of Shela with the 1829 Friday mosque so prominent – featured on the booklet on Shela ‘Quest for the Past’ an historical guide to Lamu archipelago by Chrysee MacCasler Perry Martin and Esmond Bradley Martin published in 1969.
The 1829 Friday mosque in Shela today - notice the electricity power lines above that are nowhere in the 1960s picture. Copyright Rupi Mangat
The 1829 Friday mosque in Shela today – notice the electricity power lines above that are nowhere in the 1960s picture. Copyright Rupi Mangat

Shela was Lamu’s (town) poorer cousin. Set on the same island of Lamu, l’m reading an interesting account of Shela in ‘Quest for the Past’ an historical guide to Lamu archipelago by Chrysee MacCasler Perry Martin and Esmond Bradley Martin published in 1969. The sultan of Pate sacked Kitau on Manda island in mid-14th century and the people fled to Lamu town as refugees. 200 years later, they asked the Sheikh of Lamu if they could build their own town. He agreed but on condition that no stone building was to be built in Shela.

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Tarangire National Park

Part 2 of 2

By the river’s edge

Watch the drama

Published 14 October 2017 Saturday magazine Nation newspaper

Above: Tarangire – land of the giants – centuries-old baobab tree and elephant
Copyright Rupi

It’s stark dry – August at the height of the dry season. Tall and golden, the sun-bleached grass shimmers under the blazing sun interspersed with stoic baobabs and towering termite mounds.  We drive across the dry riverbed and into Tarangire National Park from the adjoining Randilen Wildlife Management Area and watch a family of banded mongoose playing around a termite mound.

Banded mongoose dig a grub-fest by Silale Swamp Copyright Rupi Mangat
Banded mongoose dig a grub-fest at Silale Swamp Copyright Rupi Mangat

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