MV Liemba – a True African Experience


Liemba Africa

A trip on the MV Liemba boat is a true African experience. The boat operates between the ports of Bujumbura in Burundi and Kigoma in Tanzania.  Lake Tanganyika is the second largest freshwater lake in the world and lies in four countries, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi, Zambia and Tanzania.

The water from the lake runs into the Congo River and then into the Atlantic Ocean. There are no roads to some of the villages located on the shores of the lake, and it can only be reached by boat via the lake. The MV Liemba is the life blood to these villages, bringing food and supplies to the isolated regions of Africa. The boat operates between the ports of Bujumbura in Burundi and Kigoma in Tanzania.

The departure from Kigoma in Tanzania is a colorful event. As soon as the boat arrives in the port, chaos erupts. Goats, mattresses, pineapples, chickens, crates and hundreds of bags are casually piled on board. Men carry bicycles and bales of jerseys down the plank, while hawkers sell sweets, caps and sunglasses.

The journey on the lake is the destination. With no cell phone and Internet connection, you will be forced to relax. The breeze on the boat is tropical and cool, and the wine is chilled. Beautiful African songs are sung by the Swahili people.

In the early hours of the morning, the boat stops at Lagosa, the nearest town to Mahale Mountains National Park. Mahale is the most amazing place with a large population of wild chimpanzees. The next stop is Ikolo, close to the Katavi National Park. The park is home to buffalo herds, hundreds of hippo and crocodile. The scenery is constantly beautiful and after seventeen stops, the Liemba reaches Bujumbura in Burundi.

Enjoy a journey on the MV Liemba for a true African experience. The Liemba has been travelling across the world’s longest lake for almost a hundred years and is one of the most overlooked treasures.


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