Change of plans

Change of plans

At the border crossing with Rwanda, the official from the immigration office told me that I had to apply for a visa in advance. This was impossible for me. 50 kilometers away was a border crossing with Tanzania. So my decision was made quickly. If Rwanda does not want me, I'm going to Tanzania!

At the border in Murongo everything went pretty straightforward this time. However, the entry into this huge country was not very rosy. The road is not paved for more than 100 kilometers to the village of Omurushaka. Cyclists are not taken into consideration here at all. When the vehicles race past you at full speed, you get literally dusted. When it comes to road construction, the Tanzanians are even worse, like their colleagues in Uganda. From the lowest point in the landscape it just goes straight up to the highest and Tanzania is not a flat land!

In addition, another factor was added, which should accompany me through the whole country. In the dry season, almost the entire landscape is lit. On the first night, no bush fire burned 400 meters away from me. Suddenly, I heard a crackle that came closer and closer. Luckily it was not a fire, just a herd of cattle. The Watussirinder are quite impressive because of their huge horns.

These cattle were and are partly the means of payment, their value increases with the size of the horns. The large horns serve the cattle both for defense and for cooling by means of the air-filled, honeycomb-shaped interior. Watussirins are traditionally not slaughtered, they are mainly milked and left to the vein. The blood is then drunk mixed with milk.

From then on, I always made sure when choosing my campsites that there was not a fire burning nearby. Somehow you just do not sleep so quietly when it burns around you all the time. I heard several reasons for the stupid slash-and-burn. For me as a forest warden, however, such an approach is simply not acceptable.

On the whole track, the kids were always running after me when they saw me and kept shouting "Muzungu, Muzungu!". In the meantime, I just can not hear this screaming anymore. Probably in my life I have never been so happy to finally see a paved road again. Dusty (my bike) and I were totally dusted from top to bottom. In addition, I could change money at the border crossing and in any village there was a cash machine. People did not want to accept my Ugandan cash. Fortunately, I had filled up enough of my water supply before the border.

According to my map, there should be a ferry across Lake Victoria to Mwanza in Bukoba. That's why I headed in that direction. About 20km before the finish the tire of my rear wheel exploded. In the Great Rift Valley in Kenya, I had touched the side wall. Fortunately, I still had a spare tire in my luggage. The people here disappointed me a little. Nobody came to my aid or asked if everything was alright. Indifferent drove and ran past me.

The next low blow followed in Bukoba. At the port I was told that the ferry has not left for 4 months. So I had to throw my travel plans upside down again. At Kiroyeratours, a small travel company, I was able to store my bike and luggage. Since I wanted to enter Zambia via Lake Tanganyika, I had to apply for a visa first. The only message is in Dar es Salam. So over 800km away from here. I also really wanted to visit some friends in Mwanza.

The bus took over 20 hours to Dar es Salam. The bus drivers are probably the biggest felons in this country. Without regard they race through the area and do not even brake in front of the bumps. My back had total loss when we finally arrived in Dar es Salaam.

After 3 days I finally got my visa for Zambia at the embassy. Unfortunately, a strong diarrhea including fever caught me, so I was out of action for a whole week. In Mwanza I met Annatina and her family. They have been living here for almost 6 years and work for Interteam We had not seen each other for almost 10 years. For almost a week I was allowed to live with them, look at different projects and even eat a fondue. Many many thanks!

Since it is difficult to find good food for the road, I had to buy my food in Dar es Salam. With heavily loaded bag I made my way back to Bukoba by bus. Fortunately, my bike and luggage were still intact.

This unplanned stopover had taken 3 weeks. So I was pretty happy to be back in the saddle and tackle the next stage. Bus driving in Tanzania is definitely not recommended.