Livingstone-Stanley Monument, Burundi

Livingstone-Stanley Monument, Burundi

The Livingstone-Stanley Monument at Mugere in Burundi is 12 km south of the capital Bujumbura, overlooking Lake Tanganyika, and marks a location where explorer and missionary Dr David Livingstone and journalist and explorer Henry Morton Stanley visited and spent two nights on 25-27 November 1871. In French it is referred to as "La Pierre de Livingstone et Stanley". Some Burundians claim the location is where the famous first meeting of Livingstone and Stanley took place, at which the latter uttered the famous words "Dr Livingstone, I presume?".

However that meeting actually took place in Ujiji in Tanzania on 10 November 1871 as clearly detailed in Stanley's book, "How I Found Livingstone". [ Henry M. Stanley: "How I Found Livingstone"] on Project Gutenberg website accessed 13 April 2007.] David Livingstone's journal also confirms Ujiji as the location, with an entry the day before the meeting reading "At dawn, off and go to Ujiji", a town he knew well. Livingstone then details meetings with several Arab residents of Ujiji including one who was supposed to be keeping his goods from his previous visit, before recording Stanley's arrival. [David Livingstone & Horace Waller (Ed): The Last Journals of David Livingstone in Central Africa from 1865 to his Death. Two Volumes. John Murray, London, 1874. [Note that after several years out of contact with Europeans, Livingstone was out on the European calendar by 18 days because of the many days passed delerious with fever, and his servants did not keep a calendar. Until corrected by Stanley he thought the date of the meeting was 24 October.] ]

From their writings, the visit to Mugere appears to be the one on 25-27 November which Livingstone and Stanley described as being one of the most hospitable they enjoyed. The date 25 November 1871 can be seen scratched on the rock. They had rested in Ujiji for six days, and then set off by canoe up the north-east shore of the lake to explore rivers which might flow out of the Lake Tanganyika. At the Mugere River they found the village of Chief Mukamba who welcomed them and gave them a hut in which to rest. They stayed two nights, and Stanley records that Livingstone's servant Susi got very drunk on the Chief's hospitality. As the first Europeans to visit the area, their arrival was memorable, and it must be at some time later the event became confused in some people's minds as the first meeting between Livingstone and Stanley. A number of websites make this wrong claim.

ee also

* David Livingstone
* Livingstone Memorial


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