Africa Trip June 2015- 7 Countries, 3 Months, 18 800km – Tanzania Lake Tanganyika 32

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  1. #1
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    Cape Town
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    Default Africa Trip June 2015- 7 Countries, 3 Months, 18 800km – Tanzania Lake Tanganyika 32

    Africa Trip June 2015- 7 Countries, 3 Months, 18 800km – Tanzania Lake Tanganyika 22 – 29 June 2015

    Clearing the border at Mbala/Isopa earlier than expected we decided to push on directly to Lake Shore Lodge at Kapili. Little did we know but the roads changed from under construction to beautiful tar to potholed mania. After a 12 hour drive we arrived in the dark to a pleasant welcome by Chris & Louise and set up in campsite 1 under a huge mango tree. Campsite 4 is also amazing. With no energy left we cooked up some noodles and crashed into bed.

    We awoke to a beautiful view of the lodge and the lake and spent a relaxing day on the beach. A fresh fish dinner by candle light on the beach with Chris & Louise was very special. Hired a kayak the next day and explored the area with a sunset walk up to one of the oldest churches in Tanzania, this beautiful ruin stands on the hill looking down on Lake Shore Lodge. It was built by the White Father’s and Congolese slaves between 1890 and 1895 and is well worth a visit.

    Sad to leave but knowing the state of the roads we headed off to Katavi Plains Park camping at Riverside - nice spot but poor facilities. A must along the road is the local “chipsy mayai” a slap chip omelette which we bought fresh from locals – look for glass cabinet at street stalls. The road was good but no animals. Stan & Anne ( spent some days camping in the reserve and thoroughly enjoyed it. Onwards to Kigoma on a poor durt road. Note: just past Uvinza take a left onto the new tar road direct to Kigoma – T4A takes you a long way round on bad roads. Arriving at Jakobsen Beach camp we found a number of fellow travellers all with tales to tell and some vehicle problems. Benni and his group, Stan & Anne, Eric, Alan & Denise (africathroughoureyes )and others made up our party for the boat trip to Gombe Stream Park to see the Chimpanzees that Jane Goodall worked with. At $250 for the fast boat (2 ½ hrs to get there, 3 ½ back) we were all very happy to share the cost. At $100 park fee plus $20 per guide this had better be good and we were not disappointed. Trackers had found Chimps and within 15 mins. of leaving the main entrance we met up with Gremlin, her 6 year old and 2 month baby. They climbed around us and brushed past us a few times. Some of us then followed her up a “steep” (crawling) section and spent a good Ύ hour watching her and the kids – very special. At this time of the year we were told there is only a 45% probability of seeing the chimps.

    It was great to meet up and spend evenings around the braai with other travellers and especially Elsie who loved to cook for all of us – apple crumble, bread, rolls all cooked on the fire. What a pleasure. 2 Young Danish guys arrived in camp having lived on the bare minimum for some time so were taken under Elsie’s wing and fattened up.

    Next day we went into Kigoma, passed Benni stopped by the police as his car was making a noise, and visited the Livingston memorial. Bit of a rip off but part of history and can now say we stood on the spot where Livingston and Stanley met “Dr Livingston I presume”. Stocked up on supplies and money realising that it was each for his own, no queues just push and shove.

    Back at camp noticed a new looking greasy rubber section lying in the camp so as Benni was working on the cars assumed it was theirs. No, after checking found it was us, a bolt on the link assembly had sheared and damaged the rubber boot on the drive shaft. PANIC but luckily Benni was there and boer maak a plan. He showed me how to replace the link arm and to use a black plastic bag with cable ties wrapped around the damaged boot as a temporary repair. Next morning, with the help of “Captain” (+255 757 023 969 – good person to organise things in Kigoma,) who was the boat skipper, taxi driver, I bought a pirate part in town and we fixed the problem.

    Leaving midday from Kigoma meant our trip to Kigali, Rwanda was going to be a long one. The road from Kigoma to Kibondo to Nyakanazi was hell. The worst road we have ever been on, 420 kms took 9 hours. Not only is the road a mass of potholes, people on bicycles (no brakes), but beware the Busses. We quickly learnt in Tanzania that if you see a bus coming towards you or behind you just turn left and drive off the road – they are maniacs. Tar road to Rusumu is badly potholed.

    Reaching the Rusumu border at about 8pm we were surprised to find it open – T4A info incorrect – so quickly cleared through (Visa $30 pp RWF 15 000 for vehicle) and headed into the dark to Kigali.

    Previous reports
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    Last edited by jhcolclough; 2015/09/10 at 05:32 PM.

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  3. #2
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    Great stuff - thanks for posting!

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