Entries from 'Tanzania'

Tanzania

 

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// Nikon D7200 | -4,91037 : 29,59877 | alt. 771m

Since Tanzania (and east Africa in general) is promoting internal business for tourism, going to any park with my foreign car, as a foreigner, will cost me a few hundreds dollars, this is why we won’t spend much time in those countries, everything is simply way too expensive (from 150usd to 600usd per day for any park).
I hate to say this, but I’m already late on my schedule (based on seasons) and money already went down fairly fast….

Instead, we were curious to see the west part with Rwanda and Uganda, driving along lake Tanganyika, with a couple of very nice places to stay on the way, Lakeshore lodge and Jacobsen beach.
Driving there is part of the adventure, on very bad roads full of massive potholes, mud road and slow lorries. At last, those 2 places offered the relaxing moments we were looking for. And looking at lake Tanganyika, with Congo on the other side with his high plateau and massive thunderstorms building up is a delight 🙂
This is also where we can use internet from time to time to monitor our application for Rwandan visa, it takes a few days to process, giving enough time to enjoy the lake.

Storms are still building up, and will hit Tanzania and the rest of east Africa pretty soon, maybe in a week, that’s where we will experience the most challenging part of driving in Africa : mud, pools of it. The dirt roads are wide, but the camber is so pronounced you can only drive on the central part, or the vehicle will slip to the ditch. That makes overtaking or simply passing cars a real problem :p

On one of this very bad road, a hitchhiker jumped on the road, desperate to take a ride. He needs to go to the next city Kigoma, but driving on these roads is exhausting and I’m not sure I will manage to reach this place. At least I can get him closer.
Well those roads are so bad, my exhaust line snapped in 2 😀
And here the magic of Africa, my new teammate jumped outside and went behind the bush to find people (because your never alone in Africa !) He came back 5min later with a piece of wire to hold the exhaust line in place.
“Well that my friend, is your ticket to the city !”
It took all my energy but I dropped him in Kigoma.

Further inspection showed 2 of my steel belts holding my auxiliary fuel tank snapped. Eiji’s car is also losing his rear bumper with both spare wheels….. Just 1000kms in Tanzania, and it’s already time to find a place to repair our vehicles ! Luckily, Kigoma has a shipyard, which is always a good spot to find skillful people and somewhere to weld our problems. I cannot forget that welder, crawling under van, using pink Mickey sunglasses as welding glasses…..
Since Malawi, we didn’t find a single supermarket, and someone from Jacobsen beach staff came with me to find the local market. First time buying meat in the street, you know, the one hanging on a hook in front of the shop, covered with flies…. yeah, that one. That kind of meat, so tough, you have to cook the shit out of it for 4hrs in a stew to eat it.
On the way back to the beach, my guide didn’t put his seat belt, and obviously, we got stopped by the police… and by a girl…… so you know you’re in trouble, you cannot just talk your way out.

This time again, I tried everything but she won’t let us go. And like in Zambia, I had to pay a bribe to stay on the road. I was going to tip my guide, but that fine was already too much, sorry buddy.
Jacobsen beach was indeed full of surprises, with Zebras coming in, and naughty monkeys trying to steal whatever they could from our vehicles !

After 2 weeks only in Tanzania, we made it to the border, a bit too late to cross. Not many places to stay there so we set up camp at the gas station, and the manager came quickly for a chat. He offered us to stay for free at the station (which includes shower and toilet !). That would have a nice stay, if it wasn’t the classic spot for trucks crossing the border, playing loud music, and running their heavy diesel engines for hours next to us….. not the relaxing night we were looking for before a border crossing :p

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Mbeya

  // Nikon D7200 | -8,8852 : 33,31994 | alt. 1380m Back again on this terrible dirt road below Mushroom farm, but this time way slower, the noise from the front axle is painful to hear, and I’m just afraid of losing my front wheel…. Back on the highway, we made a stop at…

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