Kilimanjaro to Lusaka

Just to highlight another type of journey… With the group, from Lusaka to Kilimanjaro, we took 15 days. With Max and Shadrick, the return journey to Lusaka took 4 days…

As you remember Maxwell (Max) Masempela and Shadrick Luyanga.where providing support to the team all the way to Moshi (base-camp for Kilimanjaro’s hike). Once the group was safely there, preparing for their next adventure, they were heading back home to Lusaka. I also had to go back to South Africa for a flight home. And time was not a luxury anymore… Max and Shadrick waited for me until the Zambian border as the routes in Tanzania are not that great and we had to speed things up.

The drive for me was very hard. Not that it was not for Max and Shadrick, but they are more familiar with those routes (at least that’s my excuse for complaining…).

Leaving Moshi (Kilimanjaro) at 5am with Claire, we had a short stop on the side of the road to make coffee once out of town (yep, can’t really use my stove in town…). We are on way to Dar es Salaam. While Dar is the old capital of Tanzania (contrary to popular belief that it is still the capital), it remains a central hub, maybe the most active town of Tanzania. Definitively, the busiest town I have been to in Southern/Eastern Africa! This is mainly because of the port activities, providing great economical trade, a major route into the rest of Africa from Asia. Dar is also the gateway port to the famous island of Zanzibar.
Claire was going to Zanzibar, and while I had to get going, I thought I would check out ferries timetable and cost to maybe drive her there (and have a glance at the island…). We reached Dar at 5pm, after a nice 12h drive, only to get stuck in traffic.
Dar is just insane… 5h to drive 10km… I did not even made it to the port. While Shadrick took Claire to a hotel for the night with one of the numerous picky picky (motorcycle), I managed to met with Max and then we started heading out of town.

Needless to say that I was completely done, 17h behind the steering wheel, even if in European standards my mileage was small (just under 600 km…), it is a different story here. So had a short rest and we hit the road again. Only that I really couldn’t anymore go for long. So Shadrick drove Maya while I slept in my bed at the back… Wow… Pretty cool actually… Could not hear a thing and could not feel motion… Slept like a log!

Now… Because you always need more excitement, Maya decided that this was it… Could not drive anymore… I had to shift to DiffLock (Differential Lock) so that I could stop in a safe place… My drive shaft and main hub, rear right, were done… Thankfully, Max and Shadrick were there, and I had the tools and an old main hub that was in better condition. So we changed it there and then, as the closest place to get a spare was Lusaka anyway. So, had to get there!

Late at night, we stopped on a bus stop, just on the side of the road, and set off very early, at the crack of dawn, to reach the border as early as possible as you never know how long it will take.

Once in Zambia, Max and Shadrick could leave me at my speed and carry on at theirs. They have been so brilliant in keeping up with my snail driving, making sure that I stayed safe on Tanzanian roads (broken… narrow… full of trucks…), that I could see enough at night…
And so after another very long day, I finally reached a wilderness camp at night for a good night sleep…

Funny to think that those distances are an easy drive in Europe, even if not restful. This is only 2000 km, but takes the best of you. Long drives, little sleep… I really try not to do often, but the support of being two vehicles and 3 people makes it doable in case of needs.

Unfortunately, I have no photos on that trip as I delayed downloading them and the camera was stolen a few days later in another country… But that’s another story…


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