Traveling Hello from Mwanza Tuesday 28 August 2007
Alright I found a better internet cafe, let me recount the last few days. On Friday evening we wanted to check out the well reputed Bujumbura nightlife and ended up playing pool in an almost empty night club, kind of hilarious :) Saturday we attempted the difficult journey to Kigoma in Tanzania. On a traveling forum someone had reported recently that he had done it in 16 hours with 9 modes of transport, but our hotel in Buj provided us with a much better way. In the morning we took a minibus to the town Mabanda in southern Burundi, where we had our passports stamped for exiting Burundi. Then we had to make a long taxi ride through a kind of mountainous wasteland to arrive at the border with Tanzania. Crossing was no problem but on the other side the only minibus driver tried to extort an insane amount of money from us to take us to Kigoma. As usual hanging around with a seemingly indifferent attitude brought down the price a lot and we drove to Kigoma for some 20 euro.

In Kigoma we were supposed to take a train to Dodoma and from there continue to Arusha but it turned out to be impossible to get tickets for any of the next trains. We seemed to be stuck there so we started trying to arrange a flight to Arusha but it would have still cost us a few days and be very expensive. After half a day of walking aroung agencies we decided to change our plan and head to Mwanza by lake Victoria and try to do the safari from there. We spent the rest of the day on the beach behind our hotel and swimming in lake Tanganyika some more. There were internet places in Kigoma but they were never opened so we couldn't get online btw.

So yesterday we woke up at 4am to be at the bus at 5am. It left at 6am and was supposed to arrive at 6pm but we arrived in Mwanza at 11pm after 17h, of which half spent driving over gruesome dirt roads that would have torn most vehicles apart. The bus was so packed full of people that the guy collecting the payments had to crowdsurf to the back (where we sat). It was not fun.

In Mwanza we could immediately arrange another bus to Arusha and decided to do that, so we got a hotel at midnight, went to bed at 1am and woke up at 5am again to get on the bus at 6am. After an hour on the bus we realised it was not going to take the short (15 hours) but expensive route through the Serengeti as we had been told, but the huge loop around the Serengeti over dirt roads that would take 48 hours (!). We got off the bus at the next stop, asked for our backpacks and took a minibus back to Mwanza.

Our moods were very depressed at that moment, having slept 4 hours two nights in a row and spent all the other time on busses, but after a few hours we had managed to arrange a safari from Mwanza together with an Italian couple. We leave tomorrow morning and end the safari in Arusha (on the other side of the Serengeti) on Friday evening, so the safari itself is at once a transport to our next destination, very efficient. So at the moment we're in high spirits again, and it looks like the rest of this journey will go very smoothly. We'll just have to forget about the whole part between Bujumbura and Mwanza.

Godsmurf Fri 31 Aug 2007 @ 16:30
I don't think we did. We saw hyenas, lions, jackals and a cheetah though, good enough? Oh and I have some nice bird pics!

Fia Wed 29 Aug 2007 @ 01:42
Oooh! I hope you get to see the extremely rare African wild dogs! One of my favourite animals! :-))


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