Edit Blog Post
Published: July 20th 2012
How do you fit 18 people into a 14 passenger van? ... simple solution ... just make the seats narrower ... that way the van can announce proudly that it is for 18 people and not just the standard 14 people.
I thought I'd be travelling in a bus for the majority of the trip to Kigoma in Tanzania. Turns out the van was the best part of the trip. The road south of Bujumbura was paved but pot holed. The road north of Buj is in much better condition. The good news is the pot holes work as natural speed bumps.
I was sitting next to a Burundian who works for UNHCR. He's very energetic and ambitious. I think he'll do very well in life, considering how hard he's been working so far, and how focussed he is on reaching his goals.
The Burundian border post is 20 km north of the actual border point, at a town called Makamba. The road was paved upto the border post, and from that point onwards it was not. Had to switch to a share taxi that managed to fit 8 people for the last 20km to the Tanzanian border
post. Yes, 4 in the back, and 4 in the front. One passenger was actually sitting in the drivers seat, while the dirver was kind of half hanging out the window. Cozy? Yes. And look at the bright side ... no need for seat belts. We were wedged in so tight, that we'd stay in place during any mishap.
The visa into Tanzania was not an issue, because I happened to have US$ bills dated 2006 or later. I had a $10 bill from 2001, and they turned that down. So please note ... when travelling in East Africa, carry US currency that is 2006 or later.
On the topic of visas ... I just reread the section on entering Zambia, and found out they don't issue visas to people who arrive by train or boat from Tanzania. I need to have a visa issued by a Zambian consulate. I'd been planning on taking the MV Liemba, an old German war ship, from Kigoma to Zambia. That plan's out. So, now it's buses down the length of Lake Tanganyika to Zambia. To the best of my knowledge, the Zambian authorities do issue visas at land border crossings. This
was all my fault. I'd researched this before, and hadn't made note of it. I could have easily got a Zambian visa in Doha.
And after clearing Tanzanian immigration, took another share taxi to Kigoma. The Tanzanians drive on the left. In Burundi it's on the right. No signs to warn people of that. The Tanzanian roads were paved all the way from the border, and in very good condition.
Anyway. Left Bujumbura at 07:00 and arrived in Kigoma around 15:35 local time. So bottom line is this. Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda all share the same time zone and drive on the left. Rwanda and Burundi are one hour west, and drive on the right.
Tot: 0.357s; Tpl: 0.015s; cc: 12; qc: 32; dbt: 0.013s; 1; m:saturn w:www (126.96.36.199); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.3mb