Cycling The Globe

A Cycle Touring Expedition Around The World

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Day 2008, Karonga – Tukuyu: Into Tanzania!

Posted by Thomas Andersen Posted on May - 01 - 2016

Distance: 81.4 km
Ride time: 5:56:32
Average: 13.7 km/h
Max speed: 47.9 km/h
Total: 48459 km

I could have stayed much longer in Malawi but decided it was time to move on towards country number 45 by bike; Tanzania!

On the way to the border I met Fabian from Switzerland – as well on his bike and on the way through Africa. Fabian told that the rainy season is still very much in progress in Tanzania, and that he had to take a bus through a particular rough part of the country that he described as “mud madness”. I got the exact same message yesterday when I had met two British cyclists coming the same way. As I got my stamps and crossed the border I wondered if I would do any better on those infamous Tanzanian dirt roads…

The dirt road wouldn’t start right away. Instead my first day of cycling in Tanzania was characterized by a lot of climbing. In the beginning it was tough work in the midday heat, but at least there were some great views to enjoy.

Later in the day, as I passed 1000 m of altitude and kept climbing, the temperature came down, and I started to see tea and banana plantations on the green hill sides. Great cycling indeed!

As soon as I crossed the border I noticed a big difference compared my earlier African countries; almost no one spoke English! English is indeed an official language in Tanzania, and I imagine the situation is different in the big cities, but out here in this remote corner of the country Swahili rules! It is a very long time since I had language challenges; I was doing OK with my Spanish in South America, and before that I was in Australia and New Zealand… Now I will need to learn a few new phrases!

When you are climbing in can be tricky to time it with reaching a village for the night because you move so slow. I was happy to learn that there was indeed a guest house in the village I was cycling into as the sun was setting. With hand signs I understood that the price was 8000 shilling – a very fair 3.50$. Tanzania seems to be a very cheap country – just like Malawi.

I’m looking forward to learn more about this fascinating place tomorrow!

Categories: Malawi, Tanzania
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2 Responses so far.

  1. It seems you’re having much more luck, with border crossings, on the new route you’ve chosen. 🙂

    Btw, you haven’t added in your daily GPS logs over the last few posts. Out of battery charge?

  2. Yes Stephen… this route is has been smooth sailing when it comes to visas – as long as you pay at the border 🙂 Right now I’m trying to get a visa for Ehtiopia which is a bit more complicated. Oh, I think Strava had some problems on their website yesterday, but now I managed to add the missing GPS tracks!