Tanzania - Arusha to Dar es Salaam

November 7, 2011 - Kilwa Masoko, Tanzania


From Kudu camp we went to Arusha, a bustling town with a clock tower that marks the half way point between Cape Town and Cairo. Here we re-foamed our mattresses, attended to a few car things, had our gas bottles re-filled but sadly missed the biltong shop! Never mind, we have been told Dar es Salaam will supply us with excellent SA standard boerie and biltong at “The Butcher Shop”..... we even have the GPS co-ordinates! Do you have any idea how useful that is since finding your way around African towns is usually very trying!

We exited the Masai camp in Arusha before the regular weekend disco that was said to rage on till 5.00am and settled in for what we thought would be a peaceful time at Lake Chala. On the second night 50 Indians pitched tent next to us. Apart from numerous gags still required for peaceful sleeping George did a good job of ending the vibes when he pulled the plug! Heading on for Segera next we passed occasional signs warning of the danger of high winds but the only high winds we felt were those of crazy big buses overtaking us...sometimes with a very big fright! Tanzania - the land of crazy crazy bus drivers. Some buses have on the back ‘In God We Trust’ and for sure anyone who sets foot in one of them must! The road between Segera and Dar Es Salaam had a few trucks turned over since the drop off on the sides road was bad, the choice was probably head on or ditch....or maybe they were just crazy distracted truck drivers too!

Along the road from Lake Chala Steve got pulled over, the radar said 61kms in a 50km zone. “There was one like you who just went through.....he was going only moderate speed”....that was us who probably were doing a good 60+ too! “Ok” Steve said, “but I need a receipt”....suddenly the fine was radically reduced from 30 000 Tanzanian shillings to 10 000 for no receipt, beer money we guessed!  A bit further on it was our turn...... or so I thought. “Slow down.....SLOW DOWN” I screeched, the cop was in the middle of the road but his arm was so camouflaged it was almost impossible to see that he had his hand raised. Expecting the worst we put on our best friendly faces greeting him pleasantly. “What is this?” he said incredulously pointing at the caravan. “It is a house on wheels where we sleep” George said in simple African sounding English whilst making a sleeping gestures. “Ah....that is what I need” he said enthusiastically “I want to buy one.....how much?” he insisted. George pulled out his calculator did a few sums and announced that it would be 4 000 000 Tsh. With that the cop literally fell backwards a few steps across the road laughing loudly, so we all laughed and he waved us on.

Segera was not really a camp just a stopover. Soon another SA couple pulled in and we ended up having a good social braai with a further half SA couple who joined the party. It was a team affair, one had the braai, others the wood, others the axe and everyone did their bit. We discovered that Iain and Kate Buchanan used to go to our church and we had many common connections! The other couple had had their car shipped from the UK and it had arrived in Dar cleaned out (the contents had been stolen) so their trip began with a bang!

Driving into Dar George braced himself saying “I hate it already” but it was nowhere near as chaotic as Kampala or Mombasa! I fed him Lays Chutney chips to de-stress! There were a few hectic intersections and sights, three thugs tried to rob a petrol tanker whilst it was on the move, we hooted madly pointing back as we drove past. The driver got out and ran down the road after them wielding a big pole! The owner of Kipepeo camp said that petrol theft was common practice, sometimes petrol was emptied into plastic bags even with cops in sight! We took the back roads avoiding the ferry to Kipepeo beach camp and set up in paradise.

Our first day involved an exhausting trip into Dar to get the Mozambiquan visas sorted out. After a taxi, ferry then endless walking in circles we found the embassy. We enquired at the ferries first to see if we could travel on a certified copy of our passports to Zanzibar since we did not want to waste days waiting for it to come back from the Mozambiquan embassy. We were told yes but when we arrived in Zanzibar they wanted us to pay a further US100 for another Tanzanian visa. The officer hinted for a bribe but fed up we decided to give it a miss altogether and got the ferry back with half the fee. Instead we passed a pleasant few days at Kipepeo camp right on the beach, I enjoyed long swims though the stinging invisible organisms were an unpleasant surprise.

We did one big shop before moving on, enduring Dar once more.... taxi, ferry, driving through non functional traffic lights in a land where stop street rules do not work either; that of course makes traversing African cities even more trying! I saw the biggest bicycle load yet, a man with foam mattresses rolled and piled so high he was as big as the front of a large bus! Lastly, ahh...The Butcher Shop was not all it was cut out to be but at least we have delicious boerewors.



Lake Chala - on the Tanzania-Kenya border
View of Kili from Lake Chala
View of Kili from Lake Chala (2)
Taking a break out of the way of crazy buses


November 7, 2011
Hey there,
Forgive my silence,trust that you both are well. Your adventures will make for an interesting book read.Thanks again for sharing. Always in my thoughts and prayers.
May God continue to guide you, bless you and keep you safe as your journey continues.
Lotsa Love
November 7, 2011
Love the beach pics. Looks so peaceful, clean and beautiful. Glad that you had a good rest there inbetween your manic shopping trips. Was trying to find a pic of the large bicyle load. Did you take one? Travel safely
November 7, 2011
Sorry Ellie could not get to my camera in time, really wanted that pic!
November 8, 2011
I love the pics. The Jacaranda tree and the braai -- back in Pretoria? Wonderfull experience. Take care and travel safely.
Marie Grant:
November 9, 2011
The journal is so interesting and educational. So happy to hear you guys are enjoying yourselves and looking good too! You are missed at CGC! xx
November 10, 2011
Hi George and Alice,

Wow what exciting times that you are experiencing. As everyone else says, your journals mske for good reading.
I have been living rather quietly and have nothing much to report in my life. Still slogging away at work which seems to have become scarce again Everyone in small group are fine

Enjoy, stay save and GOD bless.
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