The Wild West

Africa » Tanzania » West » Kigoma
November 30th 2007
Published: January 23rd 2008
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The road was long and beautiful. It winded over gently undulating semi-savannah, across the Fipa-plateau, past small friendly villages and through deep and damp forest. Wouldn’t it have been for a twist of fate we would never have discovered that exceptional stretch of bad gravel and instead we would have been chugging up Lake Tanganyika on the legendary steamer MV Liemba. The steamboat had bee... Read Full Entry

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Popcorn vendorPopcorn vendor
Popcorn vendor

Commersial GraffitiCommersial Graffiti
Commersial Graffiti

A throw-up for a Washing-powder company done on a mudhouse in Ujiji. Makes me wanna by some cans and go down to the harbour of Kigoma and tag the MV Liemba. I would probably get should, would I 've been caught.
A night outA night out
A night out

Joining the Sumbawanga nightshift.
In the captains cabinIn the captains cabin
In the captains cabin

We might have missed the famous ferry, but travelling with Mr Ali in his truck many times felt like being aboard a boat. Especially after all the heavy downfall, when the road at times looked like a long river.
The face of deathThe face of death
The face of death

Tanzanians are among the worlds worst drivers. They just honk the horn once and then drive, not caring the least if they would hit a pedestrian or cyclist in their way. In Tanzania might is right, and it's up to you to survive the rough traffic. Do as the locals do, throwing themselves vigorously to the sides as soon as they hear the aggressive honkings behind them. Here Aili's meeting the typical public transport of Tanzania, an overloaded truck.
A trucking' good timeA trucking' good time
A trucking' good time

Just before arriving at Sumbawanga coming from the south.
What a predicamentWhat a predicament
What a predicament

We want the right to stare as closely and as much as we want on the strange Muzungus, but we don't want the Muzungu to stare back at us through his camera. Hmm, tricky... The best way to get integrity in Tanzania is to pull out the camera and pretend to snap, then quickly all spectators disappear.
A plate of proteinA plate of protein
A plate of protein

Causing a moral issue in a small village. Do vegetarians eat insects? At least Aili tried the wasps that was locally known as "Manona" and supposed to be eaten alive. She said they tasted like eating vegetable fat, with a bit of a crunch. In Kigoma they were also sold, but then fried.
Leaving for BurundiLeaving for Burundi
Leaving for Burundi

Just before another torrential downpour soaked us in the mountainous area northeast of Kigoma.

The more the merrierThe more the merrier
The more the merrier

Cramped public transport.
Friendly farmersFriendly farmers
Friendly farmers

In the small village of Mao, little has changed during the last 100 years.
Through the forestThrough the forest
Through the forest

Aili struggling up a hill somewhere north of Mpanda. Along the road we saw waterfalls and warthogs. Cycling here was divine, until the rain started.
The usual crowdThe usual crowd
The usual crowd

judging Aili closely as she's doing something with her bike. Those Muzungus are so strange! At the weekly market at Laela.
Masaai shoesMasaai shoes
Masaai shoes

African Ingenuity. Shoes made out of old car-tires. Talkabout long-lasting flip-flops. We got ourselves a pair each, that will probably outlast us.
The hat-smashing procedure of those daysThe hat-smashing procedure of those days
The hat-smashing procedure of those days

The Stanley-Livingstone museum in Ujiji is a joke, with these papier-mache statues of Stanley smashing his hat in Dr Livingstoes face being the highlight. That and the caretaker's unmatched voice. It was hard not to burst out in loud laughter when he pronounced: Westii-miniii-striii Abbiiiiii!!! Any one that goes will understand what I mean.
Good mood food.Good mood food.
Good mood food.

Stuffing our faces at a local eatery in Sumbawanga.
Fellow cyclistFellow cyclist
Fellow cyclist

Through the greenery, the road gently curved. Somewhere north of Mpanda.
The trainstation in KigomaThe trainstation in Kigoma
The trainstation in Kigoma

The town of Kigoma is the largest town in Western Tanzania and a hub for all the UNHCR's trying to take care of all the refugees from Burundi and DRC. Around Kigoma several thousands of refugees live in camps. Now the UNHCR is trying to repatriate them in their home countries, since the economical burden is getting to heavy for Tanzania.

23rd January 2008

dream your world awake
jambo world explorers! Habari? Nzuri sana. wow... you kids are moving around the continent with a quickness. are you still riding your bikes? you should definetely stop by arusha if you get the chance, i know a really amazing family that would love to meet some good people. my friends name is Ray Mlingi, and his mother owns a hostel outside of arusha overlooking this little valley and water fall...really nice place. his phone number is 0717229790, not sure of the country code so you'll have to check that out, but they are really good people. his mothers name is joice. if you run into any trouble give them a call they will help you out. let them know chris malandrini from betty levitovs africa semester got you in touch with them and they will sort you out. joice cooks for the prime minister sometimes, so they have some good connections! I hope your travels are going amazing. know that my love is with you always. give aili a hug for me! currently i'm playing keyboard in this band "somasphere" in LIncoln. it's going really well. we have a battle of the bands this week for a spot to play at a summer music festival that usually has about 10,000-20,000 people over one weekend! so that's exciting. and my birthday is on friday, 25 of jan, going to see some music and get funky! tanzania is a beautiful place, check out Ngoro Ngoro crater, it's like a hidden paradise. spread the love you share for each other with all the people you meet and your path will grow brighter! love and light chris
25th January 2008

This is so whacky guys. Im loving your trips!
27th January 2008

So glad you are well and doing fine
Aili and Bobbie I just got back to Australia and back to my computer. I liked Tanzania too. Glad you are well and good luck love Kevin xxx
28th January 2008

far out dude.
30th January 2008

Hi le-flow! You are both inspirational with your long journey throughout Africa. I look forward to reading about your new adventures every time. Thank you for opening our eyes to another world of ideas.
19th November 2008

I can't believe you're still travelling
Hey Bobby, It's been a long time since we first met. Was it 2000? Man, time flies. I can't believe you're still on the road. Or more specifically, back on the road. I'm envy your journeys, but I'm happy that you are enjoying your road. Sorry for not commenting for so long, but my address has changed from hotmail to gmail. Anyway, may your road be filled with adventures and the ability to survive them intact.
8th July 2009

more photos
please if have more pictures of sumbawanga send to me special town centre like market and other streets. I was raised there and left sumbawanga since 1984 long time back. my plan to go this year, i'm sure no one will know me that why iam hesitate, any way thank you in advance. iam in Oman now. have a nice day
21st December 2009

Glorious travel
Good to have such observation of Mwl Nyerere's score on uniting Tanzanian through a common language, not so many Tanzanian can speak of that! I was born in the Southern Highlands, Iringa in particular; my wife comes from the shores of Lake Nyasa (Ndonga) but we work and live in Kigoma as if we belonged to the Manyema or Waha tribes. You can not distinguish people as you would in our neighbour's countries.
2nd January 2011
The trainstation in Kigoma

Even Tanzanians miss Tanzania
I wish I was able to have the adventure you had. I am stuck to the cities and the main roads.....
22nd July 2011

Great blog! :)
11th October 2011
The trainstation in Kigoma

Am currently living in kigoma in one of the fuckin interrior part of tanzania,its only accesible by wateraways and aircraft only...i have got digital camera so i got a lot of photos here talkin about...............,if you would like dem photos as a photoblogger hook me up..and i wil drop them like their hot to ya...get in touch via ma email for more info abt me.peace

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