Aug 08 2013

Away from the shore … Sumbawanga here we come

Oh boy did we sleep well!

Our camping spot was right on the edge of the lake, right beside the lake shore path the locals use to walk in to the small port town of Kasanga.  Occasionally during the night we heard the quiet flip-flop sounds of people along the path, but were undisturbed.  At some point during the night, the gentle lap-lap of the small waves on the shore disappeared, and we woke to a very still lake.

We returned to the main road the same way we came.  We appreciated the scenery with new eyes – clearly we were tired the day before!  We passed through sections of grasslands and hills – ever so pretty.

This road is also due to be upgraded and the presence of the Chinese is everywhere.  The road is being funded by Americans who are keen to ensure a tarred road from the port in Kasanga to Sumbawanga and ultimately link up to existing tar to Dar es Salaam.  Travel certainly will be easier in the coming years!

After 4 hours of bumping along the dirt roads, we reached the tiny town of Sumbawanga.  It is one of the main regional towns, offering a wide range of services.  Unfortunately for us, it was a public holiday – one of the most popular – and so many places were closed.  We particularly needed to sort out a SIM card and mobile internet, but we were defeated.  We managed, however, to withdraw money, and filled fuel before reaching our accommodation for the night at the Moravian Church Conference Centre.

It is a popular stop for travellers, and while it offers little in the way of charm, it is clean, functional, and has a restaurant downstairs.  As we have discovered already, you need to keep asking and confirming to ensure you get what you want at a price you are happy with.  We were offered a double room with en suite bathroom, but ended up with a twin room and shared bathroom (we were the only people on the floor!) for half the price!

We realised how tired we were – this was our 8th day of travel in a row without a rest day: last rest day we had was at South Luangwa park in Zambia!  That afternoon, we enjoyed the luxury of having a real bed and read and snoozed until dinner time.  Quick dinner – burger and chips!! – and an early night as the following day we were off to see Chris and Louise at Lake Shore Lodge at Kipili on the lake …

… and a long desired rest day!


  1. Vic

    What is in it for the Chinese? And the Americans?

    1. African GirlChild

      Vic – a really long story, actually. For the Americans it involves minerals … the Chinese are just doing the work!

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