Ferry on Lake Tanganyika
The MV Liemba is a passenger cargo ferry that runs along the eastern shore of Lake Tanganyika. Originally built in 1913 in Germany it was one of three boats used by the Germans to control the lake in the early part of the first World War. It was sunk by its captain in1916 off the mouth of the Malagarasi river, when the Germans retreated from Kigoma.
In 1924 the ship was salvaged by a British Royal Navy salvage team and recommissioned in 1927 as the Liemba. The ship was the inspiration for the German gunboat Luisa in the 'African Queen' by C.S. Forester's 1935.
The vessel now operates between the ports of Bujumbura in Burundi, Kigoma in Tanzania and Mpulungu in Zambia with a rather 'flexible' schedule and many stops enroute, usually departing Kigoma on a Wednesday. First, second and third class options are all available. To travel on the MV Liemba will give a wonderful glimpse of local life on the lake, but can not be pre-booked in advance and should not be built into a tight itinerary due to its eratic schedule.