July - August 2017
A 22-day adventure by LouisaJames
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  • 22days
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  • 2.4kmiles
  • 1.1kmiles
  • Day 1

    German Fort - Bihiramuld

    July 13, 2017 in Kenya ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

    We had an unnecessarily long boarder crossing, lasting three hours, just because of the round about way they wanted us to get our visa's. At least we can say we had an unusual picnic lunch, as we prepared and ate it in the boarder car park! Once across the boarder, the changes in landscape, road conditions and houses were immediate. This country feels more like what we were expecting of Africa - flat savannah, dry and dusty. We didn't travel far, but took a long time, 200m of tarmac punctuated with pot holes followed by 200m of sand. Children stood by the edge of the road putting rocks into holes for you in the hope of being paid (to be taken out later for the next passing truck). We spent the night camping inside an old run down German fort from WW1, with a tasty meal of fajitas cooked by James's cook group (chapatti's for the wraps, cooked freshly by the group).Read more

  • Day 2

    Mwanza - Tunza Beach Resort

    July 14, 2017 in Kenya ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

    Up at 5.30am, tents packed and away by 6am for a couple of hours of proper overland travel (in the dark) on a narrow, bumpy and sandy 'road'. Even with the sides down, the inside of the truck at the back looked like a beach. Saw a beautiful sunrise before stopping at the roadside to buy breakfast (donut type bread rolls and chapatti's). Once we reached decent roads we helped pass the time with some games of cards or listening to music. At times we go up onto the 'beach' to look out of the front. With three passengers left we have a little more space too. We took a ferry across the lake to a peninsula. An early start meant we got to our beachside camp on Lake Victoria early enough for a swim and some sundowners before enjoying a meal out at the camp restaurant, a night off for everyone.Read more

  • Day 3


    July 15, 2017 in Kenya ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

    While driving today we saw more interesting countryside, passing the edge of the Serengeti, giving us a taste of what is to come when we return to Tanzania. The country is teeming with huge cranes that scavenge in towns, dwarfing children and small people. We bought omelette cooked with chips in it at a local 'cafe', a traditional Tanzanian dish. Had to barter hard in the market to get the ingredients for veg/meat spag bol at more local prices that Lou's cook group cooked. We had a great pub quiz composed and led by Chris, a fellow traveler.Read more

  • Day 9

    Snake Park

    July 21, 2017 in Tanzania ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    We crossed the border again, back into Tanzania yesterday, spending the day travelling towards the Serengeti and passed some giraffes by the roadside. We spent the night at Snake Park, where they have a huge collection of snakes found around this area of Africa. Our guide was very knowledgeable which we found really interesting. They also have a clinic, treating over 1000 people a month, free of charge. It's the only clinic in the area that treats snake bites. They also treat other injuries including burns. In the afternoon we left the truck and went in 4x4 jeeps to a camp on the edge of the Serengeti area.Read more

  • Day 10

    Ngorongoro Crater

    July 22, 2017 in Tanzania ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    Another very early morning to get into the Crater just as the sun rose. It is an amazing place where the wildlife is contained within the 19km wide perfect crater wall, one of the largest unbroken ones in the world that is not a lake. We can see why it is a Unesco World Heritage site. The walls are between 400m to 610m tall and provide an incredible setting for lions, elephants, buffaloes, ostriches, buffaloes, zebra, reedbucks, hippos, black rhino and flamingos! We spent about 6 hours seeing all of these and were treated at the end by another lion kill. This time only two females worked together to catch a warthog and while they were devouring it two packs of hyenas were vying for the leftovers. While this was happening a brave little jackel kept sneaking in for some scraps. We then had another very bumpy fast drive for about another three hours to get into the Serengeti National Park. On the way a lorry passing slowly knocked the top of our landcruiser damaging it all the way along the side at the top. We weren't in the park long when we were really pleased to see a leopard resting on the top of a rock, then an unsuccessful chase by a pride of 20 lions to try and kill a buffalo. Our camp that night was in the heart of the park, no electric fences to keep the animals out. We had a giraffe pass through the camp and could hear animal calls in the night!Read more

  • Day 11

    Serengeti National Park

    July 23, 2017 in Tanzania ⋅ ☀️ 27 °C

    We spent the morning driving around and found the same pride from the previous evening and spent along time following them as they walked along the river bed. Thankfully they didn't try to get the baby elephant that we saw at sunrise. Later we saw another huge pride with some playful young ones. Our time in the park was over all too quickly but we have seen alot of wildlife up close. It took about six hours to get back to our truck, thankfully we were passing through some Masai villages and beautiful landscape on the way. Back at snake park they had fed the snakes there once a week live meal. It was quite weird seeing large chickens crowing while sat next to a big snake. We were rooting fir the little white mice who survived the night!Read more

  • Day 13

    Kilimanjaro National Park

    July 25, 2017 in Tanzania ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

    Free day in the Kilimanjaro National Park, approximately 15km from Mount Kilimanjaro. Walked to Kilaysia waterfalls located at the bottom of a steep jungle covered ravine with three of our truckmates. Quick swim as it was freezing cold.
    Managed a quick glimpse of Kilimanjaro as the cloud covered it except for 20 minutes.
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  • Day 15

    Truck Life

    July 27, 2017 in Tanzania ⋅ 🌬 28 °C

    Our truck is 21 years old, has six wheels and weighs about 9.5 tonnes. It's called Chui, meaning Leopard in Swaheli, as it is our drivers favourite animal. Our driver, Often, is fantastic and is from Nairobi. He has been doing this job for over 20 years, is very passionate and thorough with everything and keeps the truck immaculate and in good working order. It's not uncommon for him to do a full days driving then get under the truck to change something. We have an Australian guide, called Vicky, who is about the same age as us. She is really good at her job and is a good laugh too.
    The day starts with the cook group, who had cooked dinner the previous night, preparing breakfast 30 minutes before it is served , usually toast and porridge or eggs. Meanwhile everyone else is packing up their tent and belongings usually in the dark so we can get away early straight after breakfast. Often people pass the time on the truck looking out, listening to music, reading, sleeping or playing cards, using the big eskies as a table. Not always easy when the beach and sides are open. Roadside lunch stops are quick, with everyone helping the cook team to prepare it, either bean salad, pasta salad, salad sandwiches or cous cous. Some days we just pick up our own food from roadside cafes and stalls, like samosas. On the way to camp the new cook group will be given their budget and have to shop at either a market, roadside or supermarket and buy fresh ingredients for dinner, breakfast and lunch. Evening meals usually take up to 2 hours to prepare as alot of chopping is required. Meals are cooked on the three coal burners and require some careful management as hot water is also needed for washing up as well as cooking the meat, veg and carb dishes. Others put up tents, handwash clothes, sit around and chat, play cards or go to the camp bar. Most campsites are at a campground that is fenced in, has showers that are often heated by wood fires, or cold showers, toilets and a bar.
    Most people travelling are British, although we have some Australian, American, a Maltesse, Danish and an Ecuadorian with generally around 23 people. There are various places that people can join and leave.
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  • Day 17

    Zanzibar Island

    July 29, 2017 in Tanzania ⋅ ☀️ 27 °C

    Yesterday we took a two hour ferry across to the spice island, known as Zanzibar. The capital, also Zanzibar, is home to the old trading port area of Stone Town where spices and slaves were traded. Originally part of the Silk Road trading route and later the spice trade. The main exports from the island are spices and sugar.
    We drove up to the north of the island to Nungwi, which is a modernish beachfront 'resort'. Several hotels and bars line the white sand beach and is relaxed and fairly low key - certainly not a party resort.
    After an afternoon on the beach and the obligatory sundowner, we had an excursion the day after to Prison Island and snorkelling. Just off the coast of Zanzibar town, the small island was originally built to house prisoners in 1894. Due to an outbreak of disease, it became a quarantine island instead. Now home to hundreds of giant tortoises bought over from the seychelles some are over 190 years old, love cabbage leaves and a tickle behind their ears!
    Snorkelled just off the island where the reef drops away to deep turquoise ocean. Saw some beautiful angel fish before a fantastic fruit and samosa lunch aboard the boat. Finished the day with a meal overlooking the sea with 6 of the guys from the truck, plenty of laughter and a couple of small drinks.....
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  • Day 18

    Stone Town, Zanzibar Island

    July 30, 2017 in Tanzania ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

    We left the group on the beach early for an extra day in the capital city. After an eventful taxi journey (which included a Police stop, confiscated insurance & a court appearance for our driver and the start of a scam - which was nipped in the bud straight away) we arrived in Stone Town. Originally a trading port for slaves and spices, it is a large area of tiny lanes and streets of houses, mosques and local meat, fish and spice markets. With no street names, it is a maze and is best approached with a sense of exploration and no real destination in mind. Most of it is a lot less touristy than many cities and time can be spent just watching the world go by with nobody bothering you. We bought some beautiful fresh warm bread rolls (3 pence each) and sat on someone's doorstep to take in everyday life. Later we found an old coffee shop which now serves amazing cake and coffee with a fantastic view from the roof garden.
    Fun fact: Freddie Mercury was born in Zanzibar.
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