Livingstone–Stanley Monument (Mugere, Burundi)

Stanley-Livingstone Monument
Photo by Dave Proffer

The Livingstone-Stanley Monument in Mugere, Burundi is the most famous site where virtually nothing happened.

Dr. David Livingstone the physician and missionary, met Henry Morton Stanley the journalist and explorer but it wasn’t by chance, and it wasn’t here. It is likely however that they did spend some time in 1871 in Burundi near this site so… it was marked both correctly and incorrectly with a monument. Twelve kilometers south of Bujumbura, the former capital of Burundi, the Livingstone–Stanley Monument at Mugere is often touted as the historic meeting place of the two but it actually marks one location they happen to have visited and spent a few days while briefly traveling together. With the exception of a monument literally built to honor a time two guys were at the same place (which is kind of not interesting), the view is a beautiful excursion from the city and the surrounding countryside is a virtual oasis.

Many Burundians falsely claim this location is the famed spot of the first meeting of Livingstone and Stanley where Stanley famously said “Dr Livingstone, I presume?”. It is well documented, by Stanley, in his book “How I Found Livingstone” to have taken place on 10 November 1871 in Ujiji, Tanzania.

Since the monument is outside and in the open for all to see, it is likewise open 24 hours a day. It recommended however to visit during daylight hours and put aside at least three hours for the trip though.

Livingstone–Stanley Monument Facts

  • The stone monument is located 10km (6miles) south of Bujumbura.
  • That meeting however did not take place here but rather at Ujiji in Tanzania.
  • Livingstone and Stanley visited and spent two nights (25–27 November) near the site of the monument.
  • Livingstone and Stanley described their visit to Mugere as being one of the most hospitable they enjoyed.
  • The date 25 November 1871 is scratched on the rock.
  • A number of websites incorrectly claim this to be the site of the famous meeting.