Tanganyika Slave Route Cycling

Slave Trade Trails

Until, not even 150 years ago, millions of Africans had to bear a cruel fate. They were captured by slave hunters, chained together and forced to walk sometimes hundred of kilometers to be sold; for example, to planters who used them as cheap labour in their fields. Central and East Africa was one of the main areas where the slave hunters and traders, most of them Arabs made their shade deals. They caught their victims e.g. in some areas which is today parts of Democratic Republic of Congo and in the Western and Central parts of what is today Tanzania. The Slaves were brought to the coast and from there to the spice island of Zanzibar and many were sold further to the Arab countries, Persia, India, Mauritania and Reunion. Officially, the slave trade was forbidden in 1873 under British pressure, but it went on secretly for several years. One of the routes that were used by the traders’ caravan started in Ujiji at the shore of Lake Tanganyika. It went over 1200 kilometers and ended in Bagamoyo just opposite of Zanzibar on main land Tanzania. Many experts view this as the main route of mainly three that were documented for East Africa. By now the list includes the Ujiji-Bagamoyo route as a whole. The idea is not only to protect the still visible reminders of the dark past, like Arab Forts and other historic buildings or parts of the route that are existing, but also to intensify the research around the topic, to document the memories about the era and to preserve the culture and the traditions of the communities living along the route. In this regard, there are possibilities of Trans-national Nomination with neighbouring countries like Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Kenya and Mozambique. This possibility will be investigated during the nomination process. Six centres have been identified along the central slave route to include Bagamoyo, Mamboya, Mpwapwa, Kilimatinde, Kwihara and Ujiji. Bagamoyo, due to its location along the Indian Ocean and being a major harbor and town along the coast of Tanzania, played a key role in the East Africa Slave trade; Bagamoyo is a “place of memory” for human suffering and humiliation caused by Slavery and the Slave trade and the imposition of European colonialism. The population of Bagamoyo groups is the result of the interaction and fusion of different ethnic groups from the interaction and fusion of different ethnic groups from the hinterland and immediate coastal built especially the Wazaramo, Wadoe, Wakwere and Wazigua and the interiors especially Wanyamwezi and Wamanyema.
Bagamoyo serves as the final stop on the route which starts from Ujiji. From Bagamoyo, slaves were shipped to Zanzibar where the slave market used to be important slave trade evidence include slave and slave descendants, buildings such as Caravan Serai, Von Wissman block, Old market, Customs house and the Old fort. Also the freedom village at the R.C. Mission premises and the RC Museum that has enough documentation Mamboya Located in Morogoro Region; Kilosa District is a very old settlement.

Historical landmarks include mango stretch plantations, slave and slave traders descendents, graveyard for the Wanyamwezi, remains of Anglican Church and an area where the house belonging to one slave trade was built. Cards, coins and domestic utensils are available as well. Mpwapwa Located in Mpwapwa District, Dodoma Region in central Tanzania Important landmarks include part of the path at Vinga’we Village still visible and in use. Others include the Anglican Church built at a place where the first church was as evidence of missionaries who fought against slave trade. Descendants of slaves and slave traders are also part of the present community. Kilimatinde Located in Manyoni District, Singida Region. Kilimatinde is another important place on the route where caravan rested at a well.

The village with Arabic house, market and late the seat for the German administrative is an important place for information along the route. There existing small Arabic houses thatare abandoned. Kazeh (Tabora) Kazeh was established by traders involved in the East Africa slave and Ivory trade on the area given to the traders chief Fundikara of Unyanayembe in 1852.it rapidly development into a key market centre located as it was at an interaction between the trading routes to the coast and those further inland to the Congo and north to what is today Burundi. By 1871, it was estimated to have a population for 5000, by the 1890s the population had grown to about 20,000. The only building of significance that has survived is the Kwihara Livingstone Tembe. The Tembe was built by a wealthy Arab Slave trader in 1857, who then gave it to Dr. Livingstone. The building contribution continued throughout the colonial period, and was pronounced a historical monument one hundred years later, in 1957 when major repairs were done on it. Other evidence is a mosque and residence near the Tembe, a well, mango trees, and coconut and date tree plantations. Ujiji was the last major trading center of the central of Caravan Trade Route located on the shores of Lake Tanganyika. It was a trading centre for slave and ivory coming from different parts of Lake Tanganyika, including Eastern region of Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Burundi. By 1876, Stanley estimated that Ujiji had a population of 3,000 It is located within Kigoma Township, 5 km west of Kigoma Railway station. Important landmarks are a site of a former port (no longer existing), coconuts and Mango Tree Avenue, Usagara grounds where slaves used to be held and auctioned and a site where the house of the former slave trade by the name of Tippu Tip used. A path running between Ujiji seminary and Kaluta Primary school through Kagera village to Luiche and beyond is clearly seen and improved by big historic mango trees on both sides.


Sample Itinerary

The trip is scheduled to have approximately 20 days of cycling, with additional days allotted at the beginning for arrivals, briefings, and a few additional rest days along the route. The schedule can be adjusted along the way, based on riding times. Most days are scheduled to have 60-80 km of riding, but in the event of slower cycling speeds, we can shorten some of the longer riding days, and spread the additional kilometers into the rest days.

Day 1
Airport Pick Ups from Dar and transfer to Livingston Hotel in
Day 2 Bike Fitting, Briefing and Welcome Dinner
Day 3 Bagamoya Walking Tour
Day 4 Bagamoyo to Msata 63 km 10-288
Day 5 Msata to Ngerengere 65 km 288-365-189
Day 6 Ngerengere to Mogorgoro City 50 km 189-630-550
Day 7 Rest Day/ Explore the city
Day 8 Mogorogoro to Kimamba 75 km 550-440
Day 9 Kimamba to Kidete 65 km 440-665
Day 10 Kidete to Mpwapwa 45 km 665-1101
Day 11 Mpwapwa to Kikimbo 70 km 1101-811-1103
Day 12 Kikimbo to Dodoma 80 km 1103-1337-1100
Day 13 Rest Day/ Explore the city
Day 14 Dodoma to Bahi 66 km 1100-841
Day 15 Bahi to Manyoni 69 km 841-1283
Day 16 Manyoni to Kitaraka 70 km 1283-1320
Day 17 Kitaraka to Malongwe 100 km 1320-1180
Day 18 Malongwe to Kigwa 75 km 1180-1315
Day 19 Kigwa to Useko 65 km 1315-1166
Day 20 Rest Day/ Explore the city
Day 21 Useko to Kaliua 82 km 1166-1078
Day 22 Kaliua to Usenge 76 km 1078-1123-1065
Day 23 Usenge to Malagarasi 68 km 1065-1127-1060
Day 24 Malagarasi to Lugufu 85 km 1060-1163-1108
Day 25 Uvinza to Ujiji/ Kigoma 79 km 1108-794
Day 26 Fishing in Ujiji
Day 27 Walking tour of Ujiji and Kigoma
Day 28 Transfer from Kigoma to Dar es Salaam