Travel Blog

Tanzania    19.November  -   09.Dezember 2017


from  km  19`436   to  km  19`914           total 478 km     and 600 km with the ferry MV Liemba


After we passed the custom of Tanzania, we cycled on the main road Kongo - Kigali - Dar-Es-Salam southwards. It was not the best road but the countless "potholes" caused the trucks to drive slowly, and this fact was making cycling more enjoyable. I rode through the foothills of the hilly Rwanda but with more downhill than ascents.

Until Nyakanazi the road was tarred as it was the main road connecting Rwanda with Dar-Es-Salam. After the turnoff to Kigoma, there was only a very bad dirt road which also was under construction and sometimes had much worse diversions. Only a few kilometers ahead of Kigoma I could enjoy a tarred road  again. Since it often rained during this time, the road was softened or at times smooth as on ice.

Despite the arduous progress with the bicycle, it provided beautiful insights into the daily life and work of the local people - be it on the way to the fields, when carrying water or drying their fine, colored cloths on the fences.

The red laterite is so sticky that Dimitris white hair was dyed quite lasting.

For long stretches I drove through woods and wetlands where the termite mounds look like giant mushrooms.

As the border with Burundi, a country that is constantly on the brink of civil war, is only a few kilometers away, here are some camps for refugees. From these scoreboards you get an impression of how many countries and NGO`s are involved in the emergency aid here.

After more than 300 km I finally reached the Lake Tanganyika. A beautiful blue lake with clear water. This lake is the largest freshwater aquarium in the world with more than 240 different species of fish, almost all endemic.

Now I was in Kigoma a small port town from where I wanted to go by boat to Zambia. I was told that old MV Liemba would always sale on Wednesday. However, this turned out to be wrong, as she sales only every 2nd Wednesday - if at all. But I was lucky because the boat will go next week. Now I got the opportunity to do some sightseeing of Kigoma and vicinity. This formerly German city at the western end of the railway line from Dar-Es-Salam to lake 

Tanganyika. The lake and its fishermen, the old railway station and the old port with the neighboring port for the local shipping traffic were interesting photo objects.

The station where the MS Goetzen arrived, packed in 5000 wooden boxes.

Now the boat is called MS Liemba and is located here in the port of Kigoma.

In addition, there is a port for local goods and passenger transport and also a landing place for the small fishing boats

The said Wednesday came and full of anticipation, I checked in on the Liemba early in the morning. According to «timetable» departure time was eleven a.m.. But we are in Africa and here one, two or more hours late are normal. At five p.m. there were some rumors that we probably will not sale today. A little later, the captain came and explain to us that the truck with  the fuel got stuck and the Liemba and could probably only be tanked in the morning. Due to the fact, that the port is military terrain we had leave the boat and move back to a hotel. The fact here in Africa is, that the fuel can only be ordered when the tickets are sold on Monday. The truck then has one and a half to two days to Kigoma and in the rainy season it can just happen that he has a little bit longer. But this brings no one out of the peace and only the Europeans who have a timetable in mind are a bit nervous and worried. On Thursday, shortly after noon, the Liemba ran out - not in time but at least she went.

One last look back to Kigoma and the old ship "stomped" towards Zambia.

The following morning. The last drop of diesel went into the tank of the Liemba and there are still people loading goods. Where should all these loaded goods go? There were also more than 500 passenger. It was a huge mess on board. Who will monitors the whole thing? The boat stops at seventeen places but there are only three proper harbors. How to solve those problems in African show us the next pictures.

Along the varied coast we reached on the third day Kasanga, the last town before the border with Zambia. The landmark of Kasanga are the remains of the old castle from Bismarckburg, a former district town of Deutsch Ostafrika

Shortly thereafter was the border with Zambia and the adventure Tanzania together with the old lady Liemba came to an end.