Lake Shore

Trip Start Apr 24, 2012
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Tanzania  , Rukwa Region,
Friday, September 14, 2012

Tanzania…..on the way to Lake Shore

Leaving Zambia with a bit of sadness and not knowing what to expect from Tanzania. As in the case with Zambia, we have had mixed reports on what to expect.  Crossing the border was easy. So far the roads in Tanzania are considerably better than the last round of roads in Zambia.  There is a big difference in the building style in Tanzania.  The cozy rustic huts of Zambia has made way for rectangular brick structures without much heart.  The villages seem less friendly and all the signs are in Swahili. 

The country side is beautiful and a lot higher with hills all around.  The road to Sumbawanga is under construction.  We are impressed at the constant hip of activity and machinery in operation. Good to see the progress.

We stopped in Sumbawanga to draw Tanzanian Tshlling. T10 000 equals R52.00. The area around Sumbawanga looks a lot like the Harrismith area. It made us feel strangely at home. With that done we make our way to Lake Shore. En route we encountered around 50 Iveco Army trucks on the road.  All driving like hell!! The drivers use dust masks as the amount of dust they create is unbelievable.  They seem to own the road.  Later we learned from Chris that they use the army to move the surplus grain for the government.  

The last stretch of road, even though it is a pass, is a pleasure to drive. It is a protected area so the forest is tall and very few people to be seen. We arrived at Lake Shore around 8h30 pm Tanzanian time, 7h30 SA time.  We set up camp under huge mango trees.  Lake Shore, much like Isanga, is a lovely beautiful spot.  One can hardly believe that it is a lake and not the sea.  The water of Lake Tanganyika is Crystal clear.

This time the camp site is set to the back of the resort.  All facilities at our disposal though. One of which is the greatest ablutions.  Chris did not skimp when he built these for the camp site.  It was amazing to have a private toilet and shower to use not to mention the fact that it is beautiful. Chris and Louise, South Africans, built the lodge on the adjacent island and loved it so much that they decided to build and run their own.  They have been here for a number of years.

On the first day Christ organized a fresh fish from his friend Masai for us.  Masai, a true Masai from Arusha, he is a tailor. Chris uses him to do all the upholstery, boat seat covers and staff uniforms. He is very capable with the Singer, a foot operated machine, at his disposal.

We joined the rest of the campers for a sun set cruise around the island. Two couples from the Netherlands and Ian and Kiara from Cape Town.  This gave us a good idea of the size of the islands and its population. We saw a couple of hippo at the river mouth.

The next morning we took a walk to see where Masai had his "workshop" and to a nearby Monastery or Mission built in 1880-1885.  It is very interesting to see what building style they used and to keep in mind that every bit of it is hand made.  I just loved all the detail.  We were lucky enough to find a beautiful barn owl inside the mission.  If this building was in Namibia or any other country, one would have to pay a fee to see it.  The mission falls just outside of Lake Shore's grounds but is a wonderful extra attraction for the Lodge.

Lake Shore also offers scuba diving,  snorkeling and  kayaking. According to the Netherlanders their restaurant also makes great food.  We did not eat there.

We managed to buy another four fresh fish (with and English name as Masai called it) for the fridge, did laundry and filled our water tanks before setting off to our next destination, Katavi National Park further north.

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