Malawi

So here we are….back in Malawi.  En route between Iringa and Mbeya, the Hilux’s odometer turned over to 300000km!!! We had a small celebration with green tea and jam tarts in front of the truck, telling each other and the Hilux how a fantastic vehicle this is!!                                                                                                                                     

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                                                                                                                                            IMG_1902                                                                                                                                             The border crossing was quick and easy on both sides. We camped at the Taj Motel Campsite where the ants moved in with us for the night! By now we are so used to Nairobi time that we naturally wakes at 4:00 in the morning and by six we hit the road. We camped at Hakuna Matata at Chilumba at the foot of Livingstonia for 2 nights. The owner is a South African guy by the name of Willie Louw. We could have a hot shower and there are actually mirrors in the ablution!!! We thoroughly enjoyed walking on the beach, looking at the sunrise and we finally found the Southern Cross again! We could make a real wood fire, braai steak, make roosterkoek and RELAX! We updated the blog in the Coffee Shop in Mzuzu and moved on to Makuzi Beach where we stayed on our way up north. Again it was like a homecoming with Richard welcoming us. It turned out that it was a  long weekend so we were part of a whole Afrikaans speaking colony of Lilongwe citizens and again a lot of local Dutch people.   We stayed at Makuzi for 3 nights working our way down south slowly but surely. We have after all a wedding in Pretoria in  December and wants to be there well in advance.

At this stage the plan is to go from Malawi to South Luangwa, Zambia and from there to Lake Kariba driving to South Africa and Pretoria through Zimbabwe. We are still enjoying the lake of stars though and the decision of which route we are taking home will be finalised at a later stage.  

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Taj Motel where we and the ants stayed for 1500MK

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Camping on sand again at Hakuna Matata

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Taxis waiting for customers

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Africa style bridgeSurprised smile

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Washing our camping equipment after 3 months of rain and desert storms!

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Lovely Makuzi beach

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Relaxing after a hard day’s workWinking smile

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Sunrise over Makuzi Beach

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Camping at Emmanuels

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Camping under our favourite Mango tree at Fat Monkeys

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Beautiful Chembe Village

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Jambo Tanzania

We left Kigali at 6 in the morning on the 1st of October. We were chasing the sun so decided to drive as far and as quick south as possible. Our goal was The Old Farmhouse 50kl outside Iringa towards Mbeya. We again had an easy border crossing between Rwanda and Tanzania. We were heading to Kahama where we wanted to overnight. When arriving at Kahama we stopped in front of the Kahama Motel and guess what happened……? The heavens opened and the rain came down in torrents. Within seconds, NOT MINUTES, the street were flooded. The downpour became less after 20 minutes (we were sitting in the truck)  We  jumped out in front of the Motels porch getting soaked to the skin in 5 seconds!! There we stood looking at the truck, not able to get to our things. After half an hour of torrential rain it suddenly stopped and we could get our bags out of the truck. We ordered chicken and chips from the restaurant. The chicken were one of those that were built for speed……. ! Arno enjoyed the chips though.The manager insisted that the price of the room includes breakfast although we told him we want to get away very early the next morning, but he insisted we wait for breakfast at 7. At seven the next morning we were ready to go and I asked a young man hanging around where we can get our breakfast. He took us to 2 chairs and a small table outside and told us to sit down. He brought a tray with 2 cups, a tin of coffee and a bowl of sugar. He then brought us each ONE minuscule samoosa….and that was breakfastI don't know smile. I must admit, it was a delicious samoosa. We thought it was hilarious. It was a long drive to Dodoma but because it is a newly tarred road, easy driving for the truck and driver. We stayed at the Ulanga Lodge opposite Toyota in Dodoma. We took our chairs, sat next to our truck and I cooked for us. It was our first dry evening in we can’t remember how long. We left Dodoma at daybreak the next morning with the wonderful memory of how nice it was to stay at The Old Farmhouse on the farm. when driving north. Dry, sunny, bushveld, typical Tanzania bush, francolin calling, birdcalls early in the morning, southern hemisphere stars like the southern cross……We could’nt wait to arrive there. After drawing money and downloading emails in Iringa we arrived at our campsite. It was as good as remembered except that it was heavily overcast and COLD!  Well, it seems that summer has not yet fully arrived here. Nights are cold, mornings are very cold till the sun burnt away the clouds when it is very nice. We bought fresh veggies here, stocked up with fantastic T-bones, chops and in general have a wonderful stay here.  We bumped into Rui and Jean that contacted us via the blog shortly after we started our trip. They wanted to get some info from us because they planned a similar route. It was real fun meeting up with them. We also met Richard and Sophie Morgan who is heading north and camped in Malawi with our friends Chris and Julie, Bonita and her husband with the Cruiser named Hotel California who we met at Lake Victoria, who is heading to Malawi. This means that there was a huge exchange of info from north to south and from east to west! Rui and Jean just said goodbye, heading towards Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar, Richard and Sophie said goodbye an hour ago heading towards Bagamoyo and Panganie and we are getting ready to braaiOpen-mouthed smile Later on we will fill up our water tank with fresh borehole water, start packing away most of our things and get ready to have an early start tomorrow trying to cross the Tanzania/ Malawi border fro the second time.

Rwanda

We had an easy border crossing between Uganda and Rwanda. We drove the short distance from the border to Kigali.The city is spanning several ridges and valleys with flowering trees, winding boulevards and bustling streets. There are huge expensive houses build on the ridges overlooking the city and hillsides. As everyone knows the terrible history of Rwanda’s occasional and systematic genocide with the most terrible one in 1994, we decided to go immediately to the Genocide Museum. It was to soften the experience, a sobering and sad experience to see and read and hear on audio video the testaments of those that survived the slaughter and see the bones of those that did not!The whole slaughter took place over 100 days of madness. Dead and decaying bodies littered the streets of Kigali. Dogs were shot en masse because they had developed a taste for human flesh. it is above one’s comprehension how one human can do this to another. An estimated 800 000 Rwandans were killed mostly by the Interahamwe militias, gangs of youths armed with machetes, guns and other weapons supplied by officials.The radio kept updates of where and when a person were fleeing and the Hutu militants would chase to kill. One girl that lost her whole family told how they were chased and how they died and said at the end of the commentary that it was the government that killed them. This is very true….the government were the instigators. We were very upset after leaving the museum where there is a mass grave for 200 000 of the slaughtered people. We did not feel very comfortable in Rwanda. We looked at the people, seeing lots of men and woman between 35 and 50 and could not help wondering how many of them helped to kill people 19 years ago. We camped at One Love Campsite and left Rwanda the next morning for Tanzania.

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Kigali is a modern city

 

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Mass grave for 200 000 people

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UN Refugee Shelters near the Rwanda border

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Maribu’s

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Huge tea plantations

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Ethiopia? No…!!

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Camping at One Love, Kigali. 10USD per person

Uganda–The Pearl of Africa

Going through the border between Kenya and Uganda was quick and easy although we had a nasty surprise…..the visa for Uganda cost $50 per person. We stayed at Adrift, Jinja where they allowed us to pitch our tent under one of the kitchen canopy’s because of the possibility of rain. Adrift is better equipped for rooftop tent camping because the kitchen area for the campers and overland trucks are on the top terrace but the area where we were supposed to pitch our tent is on the lower terrace…..so we asked if we can rather pitch our tent on the upper terrace and under roof. It is beautiful there and we appreciated the fact that we were again camping next to the Nile…this time the White Nile. We saw at Bahir Dar, Ethiopia where the Blue Nile flows out of Laka Tana, we followed the Blue Nile for thousands of kilometers, saw the confluence of the Blue and White Nile in Khartoum, Sudan and now we were camping where the White Nile starts it 6000km journey!! It was also Arno”s birthday on the 24th and we wanted to have a nice braai to celebrate the day. My birthday was in Malawi and since then we were wondering where his birthday will be. Luckily the day was very nice but that afternoon the rain came down again!! We were eventually forced by the torrential afternoon rains to move on. It was a good idea to camp under cover but even that could not keep us dry and clean. Everything was red with mud!! Rain comes quickly and comes down like a waterfall. Uganda’s yearly rainfall is between 1.5 and 2.5 METERS.  We wanted to stay longer but it was just to muddy. Jinja is also a favourite place for adrenalin junkies because the white water rafting starts from there as well as bungee jump. Suddenly we were surrounded again by Overland Trucks. We moved on to Kampala. We camped at Zoo Camp in Entebbe next to Lake Victoria. Very basic camp but with clean facilities. We saw the most magnificent birds, listened to fish eagles, heard our neighbours roar and laught (lions and hyenas) and thought it was real fun to camp in a zoo! Again we had torrential rain and had to hide in the tent while rivers of water were running past. Whatever were not yet red with clinging mud, were then red and muddy!! We had biltong and beer for supperSmile Impossible to cook under those circumstances. Yes, one can buy biltong (and beer) all over Africa if you really want! We bought biltong at Shoprite in Kampala for R200 kg.

We decided to drive straight to Lake Bunyonyi after trying to camp at Mbarara at the Lake View Regency Hotel and Camping which T4A navigated us to. It is a real smart 5* Lodge but the camping is actually an open space without any facilities, no electricity, no nothing for $50Surprised smile We camped at Lake Bunyonyi Overland Resort. This is a very special destination and a must for anyone en route to Bwindi National Park. It is situated high on a hill near Kabale overlooking the lake and has the most fantastic facilities, including clean ablutions, hot water (if the electricity is up and running) and free wi-fi. We camped on grass next to the lake but were flooded when the normal late afternoon downpour like a cloudburst started! The Overlanders with their truck that used the banda as a hide, went to Rwanda the one morning and we asked permission to pitch our tent on the deck and under roof because we wanted to go to Bwindi early the next morning and would REALLY prefer to pack away dry equipment. When moving the tent from the grass to the banda, we washed (tried to) all the accumulated thick red mud of the underside of the tent before taking it to the banda. Arno also dumped the red muddy shade nets in the lake turning the lake to red but we had green shades again! It started raining (pouring) again while we were sitting high and dry on our cosy veranda, clean and dry. It was then that we decided it was time to turn the Hilux’s nose south to get away from torrential rain. Early the next morning we were of to Kigali in Rwanda. We will most definitely come back to Uganda for a longer period when it is dry season to do what we intended to do here! It is a fantastic country with very friendly and helpful people. It is also a beautiful country. Very much a destiny with beautiful scenery. Looks similar to the Ethiopian highlands with green terraces of farmed land as far as one can see. Uganda is more western than what we thought and it is sad that the country is mostly known by us as the country of Idi Amin.

We have now crossed the Equator 4 times at three different places and countries!

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Sunrise over Lake Victoria

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Our camp

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How must I clean and order this mess againSurprised smile

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We baked rusks again

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Kisumu Beach Resort staying at 1000KSH per night (R120 per night)

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Beautiful sausage trees

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The lonely and only Hilux!

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In the tropics!

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Driving across the White Nile

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Camping in a kitchen at Adrift ,Jinja for R120 per night

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The White Nile flowing out of Lake Victoria on it’s long journey

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Our neighbour giving her child a scolding

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The birthday boyBirthday cake

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Strange and wonderful birds at Entebbe

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Not so strange and following and waking us all over Africa!

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Camping in a Zoo at Entebbe Zoo Entrance Camp 15USD per person

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Butcher in Kampala. They look the same all over AfricaIMG_1515

Between North and South

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Lake Benyonyi Overland Resort R140 per night

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Uganda’s Highlands looks similar to Ethiopia’s. Farming on terraces.

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Doing washingSmile

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Washing the muddy shadesI don't know smile

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Moved to the upper town from (wet and muddy) down town

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