An Expedition to recreate the journey of the Mimi and Toutou

August 2014 is the centenary of the start of World War I. Many commemorations will held in various parts of the world, including among the grave sites and battlefields of Africa.

The Centenary of World War One

This year, in combination with African Byways I will be organising, and guiding, a recreation of the journey of the Mimi and Toutou, provisionally set for 2012.

We will be attempting over the next three years to spearhead the cataloguing and restoration of as many of the key battlefields and graves sites that pertain the Great War in East and South West Africa as possible.

I am also attempting to assemble a database of interested persons and societies to contribute information and historical accounts to upgrade the general information available on the subject, and to bring the various aspects of the East and South West Africa Campaigns into wider appreciation.

Mimi & Toutou Expedition

This was one of the most unique and unusual aspects of the East Africa Campaign of WWI. Below is a brief(ish) look at the Naval Africa Expedition and the characters involved:

The expedition is planned to follow as much as possible in the wake of the Mimi and Toutou. The most challenging phase of the journey will begin in Lubumbashi, known then as Elizabethsville, and will trace the overland, river and lake journey of the two intrepid gunships that tipped the balance of power on Lake Tanganyika in favour of the Allies.

Highlights opf the journey will be an overland trek from Lubumbashi to the headwaters of the Congo River, known as the Lualaba River. From there we will travel downriver along one of the most fascinating navigable waterways in Africa, visiting en-route the Kundelungu Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo as well as some of the richest wetland regions of Africa. Once on the lake we will follow the journey of the two British launches down lake to Kasanga (Bismarkburg) to conclude the journey…

Leading the expedition will be Paul Naish of African Byways, a heritage guide of many years experience, and an expert on African battlefields. I will be assisting Paul and documenting the trip for a book to be published in time for the centenary of the Naval Africa Expedition in the spring of 2015.

The Expedition is mooted for early 2012, but Paul and I are planning an exploratory reconnaissance in September 2011, and for this we will be looking for funding and for participants with a taste of the interesting and unique in African travel.

Helping to promote the trip, and to promote the general development of Heritage Travel in East Africa will be Immersion Journeys, a specialist boutique African travel outfitter based in New York.

Watch this space for more information and details about this unique and exciting travel opportunity…

Peter Baxter and Paul Naish will also be developing East and Southern African Heritage itineraries including historic slave routes, Zanzibar island, the Journeys of David Livingstone and the Travels of Frederick Courtney Selous


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