Africa trips

South Africa to Tanzania Trip report - Aug 2008 - Andre Erasmus

Overlanding Trips

The last 100 or so kms in Zambia to the Tunduma border post went by as we realised the poverty of the people living right next to the road. They chop down blocks of trees, stack and burn it into charcoal. We found a few unhappy souls at the border as they were not allowed to take charcoal out of Zambia. Some villages have stalls where they all sell the same produce, such as tomatoes or potatoes.

After crossing the border it becomes clear that Tanzania is much more affluent than Zambia. The villages were brick buildings with corrugated iron roofs and not the mud and sticks affairs we've become used to.

Our diesel tanks were running low as we crossed Zambia without buying any of their expensive R18/l diesel (which was in short supply anyway). We relied on 6 jerry cans, the 70 liter in the Lr tank and the 80l in the main tank to carry us through to Mbeya.

At Mbeya we camped at Karibuni Church Centre which we reached early the afternoon. Karibu is Kiswahili for welcome, karibuni is welcome to this place. They have showers with cold water only and ablutions without the porcelein bits. Just a concrete floor sloped towards a hole. Man you need strong legs for these and a good aim. We ended up washing ourselves in the tent with a bowl of water that we heated on the gasstove. Only the next day did we have enough energy to try the 'refreshing' cold showers.

We saw a Landcruiser bakkie at the church with a goat riding on top of the canopy. At first we thought it was tied there (we saw plenty of those during the trip) but this goat was just along for the ride and wasn't tied to anything.

Toyota Hilux

Overloading vehicles in Africa

We found an Engen garage in Mbeya that had a VISA sign, but they wouldn't take cards. The sign was for the brand new Stanbic ATM, so we drew 200 000 shillings on a Visa card. For a brief moment we were rich! And then we couldn't even fill Ramkat's tanks with it and had to go and draw another 200 000 shillings.

The road to Iringa wasn't too bad and we were used to the gazzilion roadblocks where friendly policemen asked all sorts of questions to practise their english. Just past Iringa we passed a LandRover with a new sticker on it for 'Crocodile camp'. We promptly got ourselves invited to be the first guests at this soon to be opened campsite.

The campsite on the banks of the river had huge hotwater showers, a lekker bushpub, a few chalets and Jennifer the owner even prepared supper for us with local dishes cooked green bananas and rice boiled in coconut milk. Delicious! We left the next day with a promise to be back.

Mikumi game reserve was a surprise with plenty game. We even got to see our first sitatunga. North of DarEsSalaam the climate got more tropical and we saw plenty coconut and banana trees. In a small village we were caught speeding and no amount of pleading got us out of trouble.

Then we arrived at paradise. Literally. Peponi Beach campsite was the best campsite of our trip. The sea is probably around 35 degrees c. At low tide it pulls back close to a kilometer. Magnificent!! They have a curio shop, a great pub & restaurant and showers with hot water (in the evenings). By now it was so hot in daytime that we didn't mind cold showers.

Engen fuel

Mikumi game reserve

Mikumi game reserve

Peponi Beach campsite

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Report by Andre Erasmus