Day 12 – Mbeya to Iringa

302 km, 4852 km from Cape Town


Tanzania is a most beautiful country and quite different to Zambia both geographically and socia-economically. The people who seem incredibly numerous are more confident and more mobile – there is a retro looking chromed-up Chinese motor cycle, which are used as taxis and number in the tens of thousands and they are ridden flat out with solo riders, with pillion (usually three up), with cargo – any cargo – fuel in plastic bottles, wood, charcoal, live chickens…
There are also lots of brightly painted buses and plenty of bicycles. So the people are on the move – from town to town, from village to village, they are on the road and as there appears to be no rail transport here or Zambia – everything is transported by truck – so the road north and south is clogged with buses, trucks, tractors, cars and motor cycles, all over-taking each other, between the villages where the speed limit is inderterminate but strictly enforced within the villages
The southern road has not been upgraded and it is hilly here and the tarmac on the up-slope in the southerly direction has got deep depressions caused by years of heavily laden trucks hauling to Zambia – so deep that there is middle-mannetjie of tar and two like-height ridges on either side of the depressions.
The northerly direction lane is fine because the trucks return empty and lighter.
These ridges made for some scary moments in passing slower traffic down a hill because you can suddenly find yourself with a mound, wet in the rain, and endless, that it is difficuilt to cross over and back the left lane. Oncoming traffic here does just that, it comes on regardless!
So we cruised, with rain showers, north through many, many villages to our popular lodgings on a working farm and met up with some friendlytourists from a tour group who had come up from SA through Malawi.
– Tango

Donkeys, Maasai herders with cattle and goats were prevalent today’s ride. Tanzania appears more populated compared to Zambia. Vervet monkeys were seen in the rain soaked lush bush. More African dogs on the roads. Tanzania appears blessed with bird life. Hornbills, hoopoe, bulbuls, lilac breasted roller, raptors and egrets were spotted. At our bush camp, bird life was excellent. Malachite sunbirds hummed along the paths after nectar from the native flowers. Shrikes, weavers and barbets were everywhere. The bush varies widely from sub-tropical jungle to sandy scrub and baobab. The locals have an interesting way of pegging most baobab trees with wooden pegs, ladder wise, to harvest the cream of tartar pods. We stopped to test out the pegs and it is possible to climb a baobab with them if one is brave enough to hang on.
– Sierra

Tanzanian forests

Tanzanian forests