Page 3 of New Travel Blog Posts

Africa » Tanzania » West » Sumbawanga July 23rd 2012

I had a tough time this morning finding a bus from Sambuwenga to Kasesha. I guess that's because most people go down to Mbeya and cross to Zambia from there. I was considering doing that, but ... I really wanted to try and see Kalambo falls tomorrow, and the best chance of doing that is from Mbala in Zambia, which is not that far from this border post. I was told by numerous people that there are a couple of buses to Kasesha, but they leave at noon or 14:00 and not from the main bus stand. I checked out all the booking offices in the main bus station and outside ... I went as far as a 4 street radius from the bus station to try my luck, to no avail. It was now about ... read more
Guest house at border showing cooking hut
Inside Guest House at border

Africa » Tanzania » West » Sumbawanga July 22nd 2012

Since the bus to Sumbawanga left at noon, I had time to walk around the Sunday market at Mpanda. Dr. G.T. and his new friend I.. joined me in the walkabout. The bus trip to Sumbawanga was shorter than advertised, in that it was only 5 1/2 hours, not the 6 I'd been told. No breakdowns, no ticket mix ups. No armed guards needed. No mechanic needed on the bus. And the ride was actually comfortable. I had leg room to spare. Dr. G.T. talked to a little boy who was standing up in the bus next to him, and soon the boy was sleeping on Dr. G.T.'s lap. I'm still not sure who the boy's mother or father was, but it's nice that everyone is quite willing to take care of other people's children. The ... read more
Sunday Market
Sunday Market
Sunday Market

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 » Burundi » West » Bujumbura July 18th 2012

I must admit, I came with a bit of fear. It seems safe, but there's peacekeepers everywhere ... well, international troops for several contingents in the hotel lobby for sure. The drive in was on a surprisingly good road ... I was expecting big parts to be gravel and other parts to be pot holed ... but, though it was mountainous and thus windy and narrow, the road surface itself was decent. Tomorrow I head south to the Tanzanian border near Kigoma ... close to Ujiji, where some self-promoting journalist met up with a missionary who was trying to stop the slave trade ... Supposedly that first meeting was actually close to Buj, about 5km south of where I'm now. I was planning to going to that spot, but the taxi driver had other ideas. Needless ... read more
Road side stalls
Border crossing
Bus after border crossing

Africa » Rwanda » Ville de Kigali » Kigali July 17th 2012

The first association most "westerners" make upon hearing the word "Rwanda" is the 1994 genocide, and the collective guilt of the whole world for not stopping it. Many nations sent troops to evacuate their own citizens. These troop numbers would have been sufficient to stop the slaughter - had they been given that mandate. Or, if the UN higher ups had not stopped the UN Peace Keeping commander on the ground, who having learnt about a large weapons cache intended for use in the upcoming planned massacre, requested authorization for him to go and confiscate those weapons... or if the Belgium government had refused to be pawns in the game when they pulled their paratroopers out of the UN forces after 10 of them were killed at the start of the slaughter ... or ... the ... read more
Genocide Memorial Display
The Hotel Rwanda
Street Banner

Africa » Rwanda » Ville de Kigali » Kigali July 16th 2012

I'd reserved a seat on the VIP bus from Kampala to Kigali, which was to take between 8 or 9 hours with a slow border crossing. Good thing I'd checked an updatded guide book and confirmed at the bus station. The Kigali bound buses did not leave at 01:00 in the morning as my guide book said, but at a more reasonable 09:00. A German researching the kenyarwanda language I was talking to at the Backpackers' Hostel in Kamapala told me that most people need a visa for Rwanda, and that I could apply for it online. I showed him my guide book that said a select few nationals, including Canadians, did not need visas. But, if visas were required, they were issued at the border for US$60. He said he'd travelled with someone who'd been ... read more

Africa » Uganda » Northern Region » Murchison Falls NP July 15th 2012

2012 July 15 We started with breakfast at 7:00 immediately followed by a nature walk where we had a chance to see habituated chimps at the Budongo nature park. We walked for an hour and startled a group of black colobus monkeys in the tree tops, who took off flying up in the canopy. But, no chimps. We only had the nature walk option, as the official "chimp walk" is reserved for a maximum of 24 people per day, and our group could not be fitted in ... well ... we knew that when we left on safari ... but we were still hoping we might get lucky ... I guess the chimp walk will have to be another time. The walk lasted about 2 hours, where our guide identified several bird calls ... not being ... read more
Black Colobus Flying on Canopy Cover
Street Scene

Africa » Uganda » Northern Region » Murchison Falls NP July 14th 2012

Started the day early at 6:45 with breakfast followed by a long game drive through Murchison Falls NP where we got to see lots of animals and birds. No matter how many safaris I've been on, it's still quite wanderous to see all these various animals in the wild. We saw giraffe, water buck, Uganda's national symbols Ugandan Kob and crested cranes, along with elephants, buffalo, harte beest, baboons, vervet monkeys, hippos, wart hogs, and many many more including numerous birds, such as beeeaters, red bishops, and Abyssinian crested horn bills. After lunch, we took a launch to the Murchison Falls on the Victoria Nile. The boat trip was about 3 hours long, and we got to see Nile crocs, more hippos and many birds including African Fish Eagles. When the boat got to the falls, ... read more
Nile Croc Therma Regulating
Murchison Falls seen from Nile Launch
Murchison Falls as seen on Hike up the side

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