April 05, 2000 GMT
Kenya to Uganda to Kenya to Tanzania

Leaving Nairobi after a week of R&R we headed to Thompson Falls north of Nakuru. The sole campers at this retreat in the mountains we enjoyed camping on grass and the sight of English style buildings in a well maintained garden. The Ugandan border crossing was uneventful with our visas being purchased on the spot for US$30.00 each. The Carnet allowed the bike in for no cost and procedures were completed in under an hour.

Proceeding to Kampala saw a very potholed road road but the scenery more than compensated with the vegetation becoming lush green against a very red soil. Drivers in buses and matatu's were active and not to be messed with as they swerved violently from one side of the road to the other to avoid the potholes. Red Chilli campground was a pleasure with green grass and our hosts supplying good food and cold beer. Our next port of call was Lake Bunyonyi near Kabale in the Sth West. A campground straight from paradise...Magnificent!!!! Enroute to Fort Portal we tackled a dirt track through farming country.

Stopping for lunch at Ishaka we enjoyed stewed goat and plantain bananas. mmmmm..different. Fort Portal, we restocked (food) and headed for a campground on a crater lake about 20 kms out of town. Unfortunately it was closed so we camped next door at another which was twice the price. Pleasant but nothing on Bunyonyi. Heading back to Kampala we tackled another dirt track. We were a little sceptical as the storms sighted the previous two nights could have turned the road into a red mudhole. No such luck and the hardest part to negotiate was the soft soil from the roadworks.

The Matatu's along this track had much delight in passing us with little more than a few inches between the bike and their vehicle. At the Bujugali Falls near Jinja (Source of the Nile) we camped on the edge of the river/falls. Beautiful. Excitement for the stay included a snake beating a hasty retreat from the pursuing Nationals hid under our tent. Extracating it was promptly killed with the claim it was a Black Mamba. Closer inspection revealed it was only a harmless grass/tree snake.

Next it was the white water rafters turn with a kayak paddler wedging his vessel in the falls and taking around two hours to pull it free. An eventfull couple of days. Our border crossing back to Kenya was not as smooth as our entry into Uganda with the Ugandan officials demanding a 10,000 shillings (US$7.00) road tax which should have been paid on entry but we were never asked to pay.

Approximately 50kms from Kisumu a noise from the rear suspension revealed a leaking Koni Shock with a broken mount on the swing arm. The rough roads of the last few months had taken their toll and with 180,000kms on the Koni it was way over due for a rebuild. At Kisumu we found a great campground on Lake Victoria (Kisumu Beach Resort) The facilities were excellent and our host introduced us to a mechanic (and motorcyclist) who repaired our broken shocky mount.

Our first encounter with a Hippo was here. It is very different trying to sleep with a hippo munching near your tent. Next stop was Lake Naivasha. Fishermans Camp was great. Camping under the golden trunks of these huge Acacia Trees with monkeys swinging around and the likelyhood of more hippos to be seen. Life's tough some days. We visited Elsamere the home of the late Joy Adamson of 'Born Free' fame. Funny .. the people running the place were Aussies from Everton Park Brisbane the suburb beside ours. A small world.

Met a fellow camper from Kenya who shared his breakfast with us before we headed back to Nairobi. The people are very friendly and helpful here. Nairobi again saw us back in Uphill Campground with a few familiar faces still there. Tanguy a Belgium DR600 rider was back after breaking his front forks on the Isiolo Marsabit road. We contacted our friends in England to see if any parts were available for him so hopefully he will be back on the road soon. (Tanguy, Pauli advises that Sudan/Ethiopia border is closed.Djibouti may be your next option. Keep in touch.)

The Bike Doctor Rick.. repaired the ailing Koni and all is well with the Beemer again. Departed Nairobi 2/4/00 and headed south to Moshi in Tanzania. The Border crossing was a simple affair with our visas costing US$20.00 each. The bike was free with the Carnet taking care of the legalities. We were not fortunate enough to see the great Killimanjaro as most of the mountain was enclosed in a blanket of cloud, both morning and afternoon. Moshi to Dar saw us run out of fuel for the first time on our journey (3years) Their was plenty of fuel in Moshi but We still had over 200kms worth in the tank and numerous fuel stops enroute.

Unfortunately all of the garages had run out of fuel and were waiting on tankers. We missed the next real fuel source by 3kms. A local tractor driver came to our rescue and we resumed our journey to Dar.

Presently we are camped on an island linked by ferry to the mainland. Very nice but very hot and humid. Tomorrow we are heading to Zanzibar for a couple of days to sample the seafood. Then it is Sth-Sth West to Lake Malawi. See you on our next update.. Regards Carol & Ken.

Posted by Carol Duval at April 05, 2000 01:09 AM GMT
 


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