The border crossing was a breeze except for the constant hounding of insurance salesman. I didn’t purchase any here as I believe it to be a scam. Here’s hoping it is. Even the Kenyan customs officials were in on it. They don’t want to break the law in their own country but they have no problem telling you that you need insurance in Tanzania and pointing out a guy that will help you obtain it once you are across the border. I suspect they receive a commission.
From here the road took me to Arusha near the foot of Kilimanjaro. The mountain is some site for sure; the peak is covered in snow. It takes 8 days to walk up but you won’t catch me doing it, I’ll wait for the road or cable car to be built. I spent a night in Arusha and organised a safari to the Serengeti national park and Ngorongoro crater. Motorbikes aren’t allowed in the park as they offer no protection from the vicious wildlife that inhabit the parks so I had to go in a 4×4 with another 5 people. I left the bike and my gear at the L’Oasis lodge before departing early the next morning.
The Serengeti is an amazing place and well worth the ridiculous money charged. On the way in we spotted a pride of lions stalking hundreds of buffalo. Unfortunately for us and the lions the buffalo wised up and charged the lions before they could strike. The lions casually strolled off and hid behind our land cruiser no more than 3 meters away. The presence of people in 4×4’s doesn’t bother them at all. In fact they have learned that the trucks provide excellent stalking opportunities and they will walk along side out of sight as the trucks move along, then they will pounce on the unsuspecting prey.
Soon enough the weather closed in and we had to make our way to camp for the night. The rain was so heavy my tent leaked and I spent the night lying in a pool of cold water. After biscuits for breakfast we departed again to explore more of the park. Within minutes we spotted a Leopard, elephants and countless other things. An hour later we came across another pride of lions that had just made a kill. They were feasting on a buffalo as we arrived. We were able to get within 10 meters of the blood covered beasts, there were seven in total, and the male was already asleep after gorging himself. He gets to feed first and will go straight for the intestines and the softer parts.
From here we went to the Ngorongoro crater and camped in an amazing campsite on the craters edge. There were about fifty people camping here besides us. While having dinner an elephant wandered into the camp and disrupted things. About 3:30 am I was awakened by someone shouting “get back, get back”. I opened my tent and stuck my head out to have a look. A woman was on her way to use the shit hole (I literally mean Shit Hole) and there was a guy inside shouting at her to get back. I couldn’t really see what was going on because it was dark but apparently there was a male and female lion right outside the toilets about 20 meters from my tent and the woman was walking right towards them in the dark. The guy was shouting over the top of the toilet door. Soon some Masai guys appeared and frightened the beasts off. The whole camp was in commotion after this so there was little to no sleep had on night two as well.
The next morning we descended into the creator for a tour around. Here I spotted a rare cat that our guide hadn’t seen in three years. We also spotted more prides of lions, hippos and Rhino’s. By the time we were on our way out we didn’t even bother slowing down to see anything else we had seen so much. The trip itself was marred by car trouble (we had 4 punctures) and sleepless nights but it was defiantly worth it.
After the Safari it was back to Arusha for a night before heading 450km to a place called Pangani on the coast of Tanzania to have a day on the beach. I spent 2 nights here relaxing at the Paponi lodge. It was 60 km down a dirt track but I decided to take a shortcut and ended up riding through people’s yards through tiny villages. Everyone was friendly and wanted to point me in the right direction to keep me from destroying their crops so all was well.
From the beach I rode 700 km towards the Zambian border through some of the best twisty roads I’ve ridden, best in Africa by far. The road would have made my all-time top ten only for the suicidal animals and the constant murder attempts on my life from oncoming busses and trucks. I spent the night camping at an old farm house which was a fantastic place to stay. The next ride took me 600 km through some national park and across the border into Zambia.
It takes too long to upload photos, so here’s a small selection.
Great description as usual Kev take care !!
Sounds like it’s not a patch on Fota, boy….