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Aug 07 2013

Into Tanzania

It amazes me frequently how crossing an imaginary line in the sand – commonly called a border – really can demarcate such a change.  Tanzania, even in this south western corner, starts hinting at the grasslands, plains and wildlife that are depicted in numerous documentaries of the region.  We also noticed Jacaranda trees in full bloom!  I love the purple flowers, which reminds me of Pretoria in particular.  The people are also noticeably more friendly than in Zambia.  Enthusiastic waves are accompanied by wide grins of pearly whites!  Few hands out asking for money or “sweeties”.

It was already lunch time when we finished border processes, and we also encountered a time change we hadn’t anticipated – clocks forwards an hour.  Our original plan had been to head straight to Sumbawanga, the first major town on the main road north.  However, we had been told about a lodge on the lakeshore at Kasanga.  We had nothing marked on our maps, but were feeling adventurous, so we adjusted our course for a night at the lake.

The roads on this less touristy, western side of Tanzania are almost solely gravel, in varying degrees of repair.  At this stage in the dry season, they are OK to drive, but I am sure that even a few months earlier and with a little extra moisture, they would be more challenging.  The Chinese, however, are laying tar at a very rapid rate.  We had large stretches where we were travelling alongside wide road constructions, and by next year, this region will be much smoother to travel.

On our way to Kasanga, we passed a LandCruiser packed with 6 Germans and a driver!  We stopped for a chat, and they helpfully told us there was indeed camping in Kasanga, at Liembe Beach Lodge. They also told us that it was possible to visit Kalambo Falls on the border with Zambia – an attraction we hadn’t managed to visit from the Zambian side.  We headed off just ahead of them (they were finishing securing a dropped spare wheel to the roof) in the direction of the falls.

We stopped in the last village about 1 km before the falls.  Here we needed to make a contribution to the community – receipted – in order to reach the falls.  We were instantly surrounded by almost all the village children!  Beady eyes peering in the windows.

The falls were impressive.  The river is narrow as it approaches the falls, and locals were almost crossing backards and forwards, although under the guise of bathing in the river.

It was getting late and we were tired from a long day on the road and a border crossing.  We headed to the lodge and campsite.  As we headed down the last hill towards the lake, we watched the sun set – it was a gorgeous end to the day.

2 comments

  1. Margie Blake

    Stunning photographs – the top one looks like a watercolour….

    1. African GirlChild

      Glad you are enjoying the photos as well as the writing :D xx

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