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Mimi and Toutou’s Big Adventure: The Bizarre Battle of Lake Tanganyika

Mimi and Toutou’s Big Adventure: The Bizarre Battle of Lake Tanganyika

Author(s): Giles Foden

Location(s): Tanzania

Genre(s): Fiction

Era(s): First World War

When the First World War breaks out, the British navy is committed to engaging the enemy wherever there is water to float a ship—even if the body of water in question is a remote African lake and the enemy an intimidating fleet of German steamers. The leader of this improbable mission is Geoffrey Spicer-Simson whose navy career thus far had been distinguished by two sinkings. His seemingly impossible charge: to trek overland through the African bush hauling Mimi and Toutou—two forty-foot mahogany gunboats–with a band of cantankerous, insubordinate Scotsmen, Irishmen and Englishmen to defeat the Germans on Lake Tanganyika. With its powerfully evoked landscape, cast of hilariously colorful characters and remarkable story of hubris, ingenuity and perseverance, this incredibly bizarre story–inspiration for the classic film The African Queen–is history at its most entertaining and absorbing.

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Enter the 2021TripFiction 'Sense of Place' Creative Writing Competition!

A story in which the location plays as important a role as the rest of your words.

2,500 word maximum, 750 word minimum

Judges include Victoria Hislop and Rosanna Ley

First Prize of £1,000 / US$1,350

Prizes total £1,750 / US$2,362 

Winning entry published on TripFiction site and publicised on Social Media

Entries close 6th November 2021