Kigoma on Lake Tanganyika
Kigoma is the kind of place I think that it would be nice to live in for a couple of years. It’s small, safe, but still has everything you need. There is a small expat community, but more in the humanitarian sector than anything else, so most locals have good respect for the Mzungus/white people living there and don’t just think of them as people who have come to exploit business opportunities like you would find in bigger cities.
Kigoma is also a historical city. The suburb of Ujiji has one of Africa’s oldest (yet least impressive) markets and is also the place where Stanley found Dr.Livingston under a mango tree in October 1871, two years after receiving the assignment from his editor in New York to find him. This is also where Stanley’s famous quote “Dr.Livingston. I presume” comes from.
Kigoma has also proven to me that you don’t need to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars on safari tours in order to see the wildlife in Tanzania. When we went to Jakobsens, a Norwegian run beach guesthouse on Lake Tanganyika there were wild impalas and zebras on the way. When driving just a few kilometers out of town towards Uvinza we also saw hippos, baboons and chimpanzees, and the excitement of seeing them in the wild was much bigger than when spotting animals on the many safari trips I have done before.
Kigoma is also well connected, being on the border between Burundi, Tanzania and Congo and the next few days I will ride the Tanzanian Central Railway all the way from here to the Tanzanian coast.