January 18, 2006

We had planned to take the train from Dar Es Salaam to Ujiji (really all the way to Kigoma, but it is just a few miles from Ujiji). Ujiji was the town where Stanely uttered the immortal words, “Dr. Livingstone, I presume.” Kigoma is on the border of lake Tanganika and from there we had planned to take the ferry down to Zambia.

Livingstone wandered all the way from one coast of Africa to the other and then for years more to get to Ujiji. Stanely spent vast sums of money and caught an almost equally vast array of diseases in his year long trip to Ujiji to find Livingstone. Soyan I were unwilling to wait two weeks to take the train.

After our trip to the Zambian embassy this morning to apply for our visas, we headed to the train station only to find that all the seats for the two weeks of trains to Kigoma are full. We spoke to the main ticket window, the first class ticket window, the assistant station manager and the station manager, but there was nothing to be done. We did put our names on a waitlist with the station manager, but the assistant station manger had already told us that nobody cancels.

After much research, we decided to scrap our trip to Kigoma and head straight for Zambia on a different train which we could get tickets for. The only problem is that we had to book the whole compartment (4 seats) to avoid splitting up in a men’s car and a woman’s car.

If there is another couple heading from Dar to Zambia on Friday the 20th please contact me and we’ll sell you tickets at a discount if you don’t snore.

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