20th of February, the official start date of the expedition trip. We started to move west out of Dar Es-Salaam. Soon we would drive up in the mountains, away from the larger roads. After about one day of driving we arrived at a national park called Mikumi National Park which we entered. Saw the first animals of this trip which was nice. No lions but we saw elephants, giraffes, buffalos and many gazelles. We stoped in the village of Mikumi for the night and a spent the evening at a resturant and some bars there.
We countined along the road and eventually we found a stone age site which turned out to be a quite large piece of land that had been severely eroded by weather and wind. It was a cool experience walking around in the area though.
On our journey through the southern Tanzania we would come upon some various towns, Iringa is one of them. We went out for a dinner and some nice time and found a very simple resturant but the food they served was world class. We also had to eat with our hands but that kind of adds to the experience. Further on we would arrive in Mbeya where we wanted to party one night. The locals tried to take us to a place with disco lights but we wanted something more local.
We found the kind of place we were looking for and had a blast at that place. One of us almost got married off. What a night, what a night! Our last stop in Tanzania was in a small town called Tukuyu where we spent the night in a hotel because it was raining so much.
Continuing towards the border to Malawi we found a crater lake on the GPS and thought we should check it out so we headed into the jungle. After some hour or so of driving in the jungle we came to a stop where we left the cars and started hiking on a trail.
It was a slippery path between large ferns and tall trees. Somewhere along the path we saw a gigantic spider web which even made me feel a bit unconfortable for a moment. We pressed on further into the jungle over slippery rocks and under huge dead branches. I think we walked for a couple of hours but no sign of the crater lake. Even though walking upon a ridge we couldn’t see the lake so we decided it was time to make a descision of some sort.
Getting lost in the jungle after dark is not a good thing to do so we started to back track and eventually we would end up in the clearing where we left the cars. Getting into the cars and having dry clothes on again we started to drive back to the main road that we had left many hours earlier. Proved to be easier said than done but we made it.
We searched for a good place to make camp for the night just a couple of miles from the border to Malawi.
Also, the gallery is updated with pictures from Tanzania!
First time I ever heard of Zanzibar was on a TV-show when I was a kid. It sounded exotic then, it still sounds exotic. On the 20th of February was the official starting date for the trip with 4x4expedition.se. Some of us who were going to go with them decided we wanted a warm up. For me who should be away for almost 4 months, what’s another week in the long run? So, me and two of fellow passengers on the trip rented a house on Zanzibar.
Getting there is easy, surviving the heat shock is worse. Flying from a -19ºC Sweden and landing in a +30ºC hot Dar Es-Salaam (Tanzania) is a shock, but it’s a nice shock at least. Getting to the jetty and take the ferry to Zanzibar proved to be a bit of a challenge, finding a cab in the middle of the night was not that easy. And when we got to the jetty the ticket offices hadn’t opened yet so we had to wait for a while. Bought our ferry tickets and found out that we had overpaid since all tickets are the same. Bummer!
The ferry ride took about 3 hours but it was pretty nice sitting there in the early morning sun. When we got of the ferry in Stone Town we had to fill in some forms and then we proceeded to the tourist information to find out where our hotel where. We took a short ride in a taxi (500 meters) and checked in at the hotel. Changed some clothes and rested for an hour or so and then we proceeded to explore Stone Town for a while. Saw a monument over the slave trade that took place some hundred years ago for example.
We also found some nice restaurants, tried the local food which have made Zanzibar famous. Zanzibar is also called the spicy island because of the rich flavors or the food. I don’t know about that really, I wasn’t that impressed but maybe I tried the wrong stuff. The next day we rented a car and went south on the island. Most people who go to Zanzibar probably go to the northern parts where all the large hotels/resorts are located but we went south to a village called Jambiani and to Villa Biba (the house we had rented).
I’m not going write so much about that since it’s was mostly relaxing stuff. But some things you can do around Jambiani is going on diving/snorkeling tours, if you take an hours drive south from Jambiani to Kizimkazi you can swim with dolphins.
One day we took the car to explore Zanzibar a bit and we had gotten directions from some people we met while being on the diving tour to a place called “The Rock Restaurant“. It turned out to be a restaurant situated on a huge rock on the beach. When it was tide you could walk out to the restaurant on dry land but when it was flood you would have to wade to it. Really nice food, good service and decent prices. Having that in mind, Zanzibar is probably the most expensive place in Tanzania in general. I guess some of the lodges around the great national parks in northern Tanzania can be quite pricey as well.
On the 18th of February we headed back to Stone Town, dropped of the car and took the ferry back to Dar Es-Salaam. We choose to stay one night in Dar Es-Salaam to get the “feel” of this African metropolis. Loud, dusty, milling, chaotic, African. The next day we took a taxi to the camping where we would meet up with Ronnie & Lena from 4x4expedition.se and the other participants.
Gallery updated with pictures from Zanzibar!
In the winter of 2012 I went on a expedition trip through 10 African countries during 4 months. I left Sweden on the 12th of February and arrived back home again on the 16th of June. I went with a company called 4x4expedition.se whose concept is going by car by a loosly planned route where the participants can make decisions on where to go and how long to stay. The cars are equiped with tents on the roof so that we can camp, there’s also small gas stoves and other equipment needed for camping. So the concept is also not so much hotels and resturants (which makes traveling pretty cheap since we buy most food from local stores/markets).
The trip was divided into 3 legs.
The first leg started 20th of February in Dar Es-Salaam, Tanzania and went through Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and ended in Cape Town, South Africa on the 14th of April.
The second leg started in Cape Town on the 20th of April and went through South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Mozambique and ended in Harare, Zimbabwe on the 19th of May.
The third leg started on the 20th of May and went from Harare to Victoria Falls and then to Botswana through the Kalahari back to South Africa and ended on the 10th of June in Cape Town.
I stayed a couple of extra days in Cape Town before flying home. Also, the dates mentioned here might differ a bit, I don’t remember entierly but they should be somewhat accurate. I should have done this when I got home 5 months ago, not now. Oh well. Enjoy anyway!
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