Blogs from Kigoma, West, Tanzania, Africa


Africa » Tanzania » West » Kigoma September 9th 2018

If a place is only accessible by boat and the people at the town of the port are staring, you know you've managed to get away from most other tourists, which is awesome, but who will my hubby moan about in his blogs? We are at the edge of Lake Tanganyika, in the Gombe Nature Park in East Tanzania and we practically have the place to ourselves, except for a few staff and many potentially thieving baboons. It took some getting to and we started at 4.30am, in Dar Es Salaam. My first thought of the day was no one can helped but be wowed by an all-in-one shower and squat loo, how eco is that?!! AND not only does the loo act as the drain for shower water, you can also take a dump whilst ... read more
Dr Livingstone Glyn presumes
fishing boat on lake Tanganyika
recreating Livingstone moment

Africa » Tanzania » West » Kigoma July 21st 2012

Yes, I'm definitely off the beaten track. Most visitors to Tanzania concentrate on the northern circuit of game parks, Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar. Not that there aren't game parks here on the west of Tanzania by Lake Tanganyika - there's Gombe NP and Mahale Mountains NP both known for their chimps, and Katavi NP, the 3rd largest NP in Tanzania. But since I'm not planning on visiting any national parks around here ... I'm just travelling down to Zambia to meet up with my family ... I haven't met any other travellers ... there's been the occasional safari 4x4 ... but very few in number. I expected to meet some hardy souls in Ujiji or Kigoma ... but, I was the only Muzungu. There would likely have been some travellers on the MV Liemba travelling down to ... read more
Bus stop

Africa » Tanzania » West » Kigoma July 20th 2012

Ujiji has a nice ring to it. I wanted to come here for the same reason I visited Wawa, Ontario and Kalamazoo, Michigan. I liked the name. Well, unlike those two places Ujiji has some interesting history ... ok, it's not "history" yet ... "current affairs" then. This guy named Livingstone had been poking around Southern and Eastern Africa in the mid 1800's. He'd gone on 3 missions ... the 1st one to Southern Africa to convert the inhabitants to his form of monotheism ... the 2nd one up the Zambezi and been shown the "the Smoke that Thunders" by a local chief. Well, this guy Livingstone just renamed it right then and there - after his Queen in a far-away land. Personally, I think "Smoke that Thunders" is a far better name than "Victoria Falls". ... read more
Monument where they met with grafted mango tree nearby
Exhibit at sorry museum
The sorry museum

Africa » Tanzania » West » Kigoma July 19th 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 ... read more
Flags at border post
Share taxi to cross the border

Africa » Tanzania » West » Kigoma June 13th 2012

Bujumbura and Kigoma, Tanzania are only 170km apart and I naively hoped that this would be a straightforward and relatively short trip. I got to the bus station in Bujumbura early enough, only to find that the only bus going direct to Kigoma had gone at 6.30 a.m. I had to get a taxi to Kinido district and find a minibus going to Mabanda, near the border and hope to connect to Kigoma there. This minibus took about an hour to fill up, but I got quite lucky with a seat in the front. This minibus was well and truly packed like a tin of sardines by the time we got going. The drive was painfully slow as we stopped every half kilometre, or so it seemed, to let people in and out. However, it was ... read more
Lake Taganyika

Africa » Tanzania » West » Kigoma April 10th 2012

The departure After leaving Dar es Salam and getting on the bus towards Mangula A (and yes there is both an B and C villages in close proximity) with the Sister and Soudi a.k.a. Shadow we soon realised that this would be the last time we meet in a couple of months. This because of my previously rather ambitious plans of crossing back through Kenya and accompany the Sister from Dar es Salam to her flight home from Johannesburg in the beginning of May. However realising this was not possible we had to make our quick farewells when the bus stopped to let them off. So from now on I’m alone, kind of scary and a little sad but at the same time exiting. The Sister and Soudi dropped an hour before reaching Morogoro and I ... read more
Time for a swim
Sonje view point
Bridge over the river ?

Africa » Tanzania » West » Kigoma December 2nd 2011

Western Tanzania is a very vast unpopulated place and getting anywhere is in terms of days. It is really of the beaten track and it is easy to see why, transport here is scarce and the sights are a long way apart. It is a place to go if you have time to spare and can be stuck for a few days in one town or along the road if it rains. The main reason for us heading here was to visit Lake Tanganyika which is the longest and second deepest lake in the world but we did not realize that arriving there would be such a challenge. Leaving Rwanda you can soon see the differences in the efficiently of the transport. No busses or dalla dalls’s (minibuses which is the common local transportation) scheduled in ... read more
The lonnng train
Train view

Africa » Tanzania » West » Kigoma May 18th 2011

Just as Africa was getting predictable. Just as Africa was become easy. Just as Africa was getting, dare I say it, dull. I found myself in Western Tanzania, and everything seemed to change. Rwanda was tarmaced, efficient, and regulated. Cafe's with air-con and leather seats charged European prices for cups of coffee, while the clientele read the latest daily. Journeys, though beautiful, passed without incident, and towns visited almost passed without interest. It was nice for a few days, but that's not really why I came to Africa. Burundi was better, more manic, more frantic, somehow more 'alive', but still somewhat predictable. And then I found myself in Western Tanzania and it all seemed to change. Western Tanzania, an endless land, where train journeys last for 24 hours, and boat trips even longer. Where six hour ... read more

Africa » Tanzania » West » Kigoma May 11th 2011

I first met Hideki Ota, the Japanese man from the title, on the bus from Bujumbura to Kigoma - Burundi to Tanzania - a few days ago. After brief introductions, and explaining that he was travelling around the world for two years, he remained fairly quite, chipping in with conversations here and there, but just as happy to sit and let us talk the night away. That all changed last night, when he exploded out his shell, and spent the majority of a very interesting evening talking. It turns out, that he’s not just travelling around the world, content to avoid work for a few months like the rest of us, but at has three personal projects on the go as well. The first is to encourage Japanese professionals to follow suit, and to start working ... read more

Africa » Tanzania » West » Kigoma September 8th 2010

Mpulungu is a single road town but this time a surfaced road which leads to the harbour at one end. We are the only mzungu's (white people) in town so stand out. We find a 'hotel' near the harbour which has cottages in the grounds. They are basic but the same price as a dorm bed in Lusaka so quite reasonable. There is no running water so the bucket system is in use for the shower and toilet, but there is a large fan and mosquito net, and surprisingly a TV. This has a satellite connection but is run from the main house so we can only watch whichever channel they decide to watch, and that often cuts out. We visit the harbour to inquire about the MV Liemba Ferry which runs on Fridays but they ... read more
Local kids

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