Return to Tanzania

We flew back to Tanzania on 31st December, spending New Years Eve huddled around cans of Heinekan in Abu Dhabi Airport. There wasn’t much evidence of the festive spirit, aside from a grotesque life size animatronics Santa which pelvic thrusted its way into the new annum much to the delight of a number of small childred who demanded to be photographed beside him.

Getting into Dar at a civilised 9am on New Years Day, we immediately boarded a flight to Mtwara, way in the south, near the Mozambiquan border. Oops, we had forgotten to get Mozambiquan Visas in Dar, so that was out of the option. Travelling a short way to Mikindani we hoped to get in some diving in the Mnazi Bay-Ruvuma Estuary Marine Park, but some disagreement between hotel owners had put the only dive operator in the area temporarily out of business. Very disappointing, especially after explaing the bad news to us the guy regaled us with tales of swimming with giant Whale Sharks and the amazingly biodiverse coral reefs. If only we could come back in a couple of months…

So, unable to head south to Pemba, Mozambiques diving Mecca, and seriously doubting our ability to survive the heat and humidty much longer, we opted for a lunge across southern Tanzania across Lake Nyassa into Malawi, where we might be able to dive with the many cichlids and hopefully not catching Bilharzia while at it.

Our mad dash across the cool and rainy Makonde Plateau avoided mishap thanks to a lift with some secret policemen, who deftly skidded their Land Cruiser around the alternative transport options which had become bogged down in the riverine road bed. In record time we found ourselves in Mbinga, where a TechnoServe office kindly gave us a lift to Mbamba bay where we found… no boat! We took our shistosomiasis risk, and swam around after some tropical fish for a couple of hours, then headed back to Mbinga, Songea and now we are in Dar, about to fly across to Zanzibar where, fingers crossed, our diving fantasies will be fulfilled.

Plan after that is to hot-tail it up to Moshi then Arusha, and fly back to the UK on 28th January.

Can’t believe it has almost been a year…

Sorry no pics for a while – we have them, but no way of getting them down to the size for this web page. Later…

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