Tanzania Travel Stories

Musoma Tanzania

Musoma Tanzania
I stopped in Musoma, Tanzania on Lake Victoria for one night and stayed in the Prince Jona Modern Lodge paying 10,000 Shillings, about 8 US dollars.

MwaJuma a girl working in the Hotel taught me 10 words of Swahili, the people of Tanzania seldom speak English. If I was to spend extensive time in the country I would need to learn the Swahili language.

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Musoma, Tanzania
East Africa
Thursday, June 2, 2009
Where Andy Slept in Musoma, Tanzania
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Musoma is the nicest city I have encountered on Lake Victoria, small enough to be manageable, with sailboats and small nice hotels, friendly people who do not speak English.

Kisumu, Kenya was clean, but boring and not friendly, possibly a dangerous city, I was enclosed in bars the whole time.

Jinja, Uganda was a zero any way I look at it, although the one of the spots that claims the start of the Nile, I guess Burundi also has a claim to fame.

Kampala, Uganda I would not wish on anyone.

Mwanza, Tanzania could be ok if you found the right Hotel, it is a never ending long city of traffic along that runs along the water.



This was my route to get from Kahama, Tanzania to Musoma, Tanzania, the whole trip was good, and the big buses of Tanzania make life easy. Bunda is a nice city, small enough to be managed and a way to enter the Serengeti if you want to spend 200 dollars per day. East Africa is a bend over and pay place to visit if you want to go on any type of tour, however very cheap in comparison to West Africa if you just want to tour around and look at people.



A sailboat on the banks of Lake Victoria, just a short walk to the water to see from my Hotel. I would have stayed a few days in this place if I was not in need of any type of English conversation. Very few people speak English in Tanzania and it can be lonely, while to cross over into Kenya and the number of people is 10 times more.

Kenya is a slum compared to Tanzania, however a slum with people that speak English. The Hotels all through Tanzania had screens on the windows, there was even a screen door on the main entrance to the Prince Jona Modern Lodge in Musoma a small no place to visit on the planet city., this was a first in East Africa, while in Kenya there are seldom screens.

Musoma Tanzania


Tanzania Human Interest Stories

Tanzania Human Interest Stories
I met a girl by the name of Anna yesterday and her sister who’s name I cannot remember. I meet many people every day of my life; I try not to write about them, they are my friends and enemies.

I have five major social paths here in Kahama, Tanzania as I walk from the Marine Hotel to somewhere different.

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Kahama, Tanzania
East Africa
Tuesday, June 2, 2009

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Tanzania girl in the city of Kabanga who worked in the bar behind the Garden Hotel her name is Rejemma, she works with Levita.

SOCIAL PATHS IN KAHAMA, TANZANIA
1. One leading to my restaurant, Anna is on this path and a well worn path.

2. One leads down the hill into the neighborhood towards the Hilton Hotel where Veronica works as a cook. (Not the big Hilton, a similar name.)

3. One leads behind the Marine Hotel and up the hill, past the pharmacy lady, and the two girls who put braids in their hair, also where I can buy bread.

4. One leads up the hill and forks to the left, crosses through the bus area and is a business wall, this is an aggressive area where many boys and men holler are me and make mocking remarks.

5. One goes straight up the hill that passes my restaurant, and I can stop at the fruit market, buy a banana, there is an old man who sits on the corner next to the gate, I say hello to him. There is a friend of mine in the electrical shop who sold me a piece of copper wire, I stop and shake his hand, and allow him to call me Andrew.



This is Filio; he worked at the small vendor stand in the city Kabanga where I purchased Water. We had a discussion about the two new Islamic Mosques in the center of village for missionary reasons.

Meeting Anna yesterday in Kahama woke me up from a stagnated view; she has an intense way of talking that made me think. She is studying to be a school teacher north of here in the city of Musoma. I met here because I walked past her at least 15 times on the path leading toward other paths. I wave hello to people as I pass them, and she did one of them pull down with her hand, and wave me over gestures.

All conversations deal with where am I from, I say the USA, do I speak Swahili, do I want to learn Swahili, where is my wife, “fine” etc. Then if there English is good, we can branch of into other topics. Anna is adamant that she is going to teach me Swahili, she knows I am not interested, however she is persisting.

I finally asked her,
“Come to my Hotel and we can sit drink a soda and you can teach me a few words.”

My Hotel has a nice shaded area, many tables in front, and during the day would generally be a great place to study a language, at night horrible. I am a dreadfully slow student of languages, I must write down every word and pound them into my brain by rote memory, and I am not a natural.

She answered,
“I cannot come to your Hotel.”
“Why I asked.”
Her and her sister started searching for words in English and mumbling, the he fat sister with two children says.
“People will think Anna want money for me and she is working,”
She is trying to find a word, I finally piped up,
“Prostitute.”

“Yes, people will think I am a prostitute”

This is not the correct word; girls who ask for money here are not prostitutes, even though they are prostitutes.

My instincts have been telling me for five countries that nice girls were not allowed to talk to me; any conversation with a nice girl ends abruptly. I decided to push some more with Anna, and started asking her how she was going to teach me Swahili when she is not allowed to talk with me? She started to see the futility of the idea, and how I was correct. Anna is 24 years old, dangerously mentally strong, however realizes she is fully under the thumb of local social controls. She starts to realize there is no path to us being friends, the best we can do is if I stop by for no longer than 5-10 minutes and talk one time per day as I walk my social paths.

This is what the paths are for, they are ways for me to develop friends in small villages, I must go down the same ones and kind of force accidental conversations to occur, this is a necessity, I need friendship, it is an emotional need, not a want.

By the way, the girl Rajeema above offered to be my friend for the whole night for 80,000 Tanzania Shillings. I think the real price is 30,000 Shilling, I am not sure. She is not a prostitute; however she is talking about sex.

There is a small boy of 4-5 with green teeth, an odd shaped head, and who speaks small English near my restaurant area. He comes along every day and holds my hand, says something like “give me money.” He does not want money, it is just the custom of small children, he has been taught to behave this way with white people.

Maybe I should write more human interest stories, 80 percent would be explaining how people in round about ways ask me for money, the other 20 percent would be talking about nice people for your entertainment. Anyway I do it; I could increase my hate mail without a problem and make enemies out of good people like Anna.

Tanzania Human Interest Stories


My Kahama Tanzania Friends

My Kahama Tanzania Friends
I talk with everyone, I am not respective of money, social class, gender, color, status, job, tribe or age, I truly do not care. I am even a nice enough friend to tell my friends they have a pimple on their face. I sat down while my friends at this street side restaurant as they peeled potatoes for chips, I eat all my meals at this location.

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Kahama, Tanzania
East Africa
Monday, June 1, 2009

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This is a beautiful girl; there is something special about her eyes.



This is my cook, his name is Bussy or something close to that, he cooks me four eggs for 1000 shillings, about 75 cents US.



The girl with the standing with the scarf on her head is called MamaSuzy or something like that; the names are local and difficult for me to understand. These people do not speak English, we communicate well, just not in a normal spoken way. She makes great Madazis, however much different than in Kenya and the flavor of the dough is better, I keep winking at her.



This is Bussy cooking me four eggs, this is my restaurant, and this is my life today in Kahama, Tanzania.



My plate of eggs, the normal meal here is something called MyEye, they take the potato chips and put in with the eggs and serve it.



Here they are peeling potatoes, this is early morning, MamaSuzy was cooking me four Mandazis and the rest were peeling potatoes for later in the day. I am feeling sad today, I am planning to leave Kahama, I know if I stayed around longer these people would become better friends. I do not know why I am leaving, I suppose I should stay another day… hmm, I think I will.

I have been to many countries, I think the count is 85 now, I am good at living with people, I do not always like them, they do not always like me but we accept each other, this is what love is about. I know some of you think I am harsh and insensitive; however I have come to Africa five times. I like the place, and I keep returning because I accept the place.

I have tried to convince many people to come travel in Africa, their answer is no, this speaks volumes to me. Many people become angry when I explain Africa, however I keep hoping they will open their eyes and see how they refuse to treat African as an equals. They continually expect Africa to be less, I expect Africa to be Africa, and they can be what they want to be. I expect all my friends to bath and be polite, because they are my friends, and I am their friend, this is what friendship is about, we want something from each other and we have expectations.

Read a guidebook on Africa, truly sad, the whole book is about finding Animals to look at and ignores the people of Africa like they should be ignored, like we should never take a close look.

Are you coming to Africa? Or maybe the thought has never cross you mind, this is the arrogance of man at work, passing judgments from afar, however steadfastly refusing to come visit, yet somehow saying they understand and know, this is not love, this is enforcement of an illusion.

I will stay another day, I keep thinking of MamaSuzy and her Mandazis, she always smiles. I would go to Europe if they would smile more, we are truly misguided in our beliefs, intolerant of the truth.

My Kahama Tanzania Friends


Ridge Running in East Africa

Ridge Running in East Africa
I entered Ethiopia, went to Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and into Tanzania, I will now go towards Nairobi, Kenya to fly out.

I have been ridge running on mountains the whole trip; I have worn a light jacket the majority of nights. I only needed a fan two times; most problems with mosquitoes can be solved by shutting the windows.

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Kahama, Tanzania
East Africa
Sunday, May 31, 2009

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I have always been between 1250 and 2200 meters above sea level on this trip.

This was not what I was anticipating; I only brought with me one pair of long pants, and had to purchase another pair here. Traveling at this altitude is one of the most pleasant experiences on the planet in many ways, and also one of the worst. I am able to sleep easily without a fan, the days are great, never too hot, only one large problem.

The smell, it is horrible.

It would be best to drive your own car and avoid the constantly stink of people in public transportation. 95 percent of tourist and travelers visit East Africa drive cars or on tours and avoid this problem, I am part of the 5 percent who got to smell the place.

Ridge Running in East Africa


Bus Kabanga to Kahama Tanzania

Bus Kabanga to Kahama Tanzania
I paid for a bus to Lusahunga and ended up in Kahama, Tanzania. The bus left at 6:00 am and arrived in Kahama at 11:30, the normal African bus, holds about 50 people, however they loaded it up with 75.

I am guessing, I did not count, there was people standing for hours, I was very glad I was one of the first to enter the bus, a person always needs to take care and not pay for a ticket until you see a seat.

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Kahama, Tanzania
East Africa
Friday, May 29, 2009

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The bus did not stop at Lusahunga, and I kept asking if we was in Lusahunga, they wanted me to get out about 30 kilometers after Lusahunga and I told them they was crazy. I ended up going all the way to Kahama, again they wanted me to pay and I again told them they were crazy. If I would have got out of the bus, it would have taken hours to return, and to where, a dust spot intersection. Tanzania so far is an ugly country, not the best of East Africa.

What they also did not tell me, the bus to Mwanza also goes to Kahama, anyway you do it, a person goes to Kahama.

10,000 Tanzania Shillings or about 7.50 Dollars, truly a horrible trip through scrub tree and grass Africa.



I am never sure if this an Islamic guy or just a guy that likes this type of hat, he was collecting money.



There was a refugee camp just after we left Banaka at the Tanzania-Rwanda border, I have no idea why there are refugees, seems like a welfare camp to me. The UNHCR United Nations High Commission for Refugees will define someone a refugee for 50 years and pay them to remain that way.



Adobe hut in Tanzania, it is hard to say which country is poorer Tanzania or Burundi. The people of Tanzania appear to be crap farmers, while the Burundi people were good at it. I would say the better place to live is Burundi so far. Tanzania seems to be a large vacant lot with rolling hills with very little to admire.

Bus Kabanga to Kahama Tanzania


Crazy Trip to Burundi and Tanzania

Crazy Trip to Burundi and Tanzania
What a day, I took a tour of many types of Africa transportation, my body is beat up, I need to rest here in Kabanga, Tanzania for a day or two and allow my body to heal.
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Kabanga, Tanzania
East Africa
Friday, May 29, 2009

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This is a map of my journey, it was hectic to say the least, it is hard to explain how difficult it can be to travel 100 miles.

I woke up early in Burundi, flagged down a motorcycle taxi and try to get a ride to the vans that go to Burundi. The driver was insisting that I take his motorcycle, he said 5000 Francs, which is about 10 dollars and I thought to myself, this is the free money in my pocket, the extra I do not need to exchange. I also wanted to see the countryside, a motorcycle seemed good. It was a cold trip, although the scenery was beautiful, Rwanda is truly a beautiful country.

TRANSPORT

Walked from the Rwanda border to the Burundi border across a river.
20 Dollars for 3 day visa at the border.
Collective Acura station wagon taxi for 2000 Burundi money to Kayanza.
Kayanza to Ngozi in a 14 passenger van carrying 20 for 1000 Burundi Francs
Ngozi to Muyinga in a collective taxi for 3000 Francs
Muyinga to Kobero, pronounced Kobelo in a private taxi for 10,000.

There is three kilometers between the Burundi side and the Tanzania border; I had to pay 2000 Tanzania Shillings to get to the immigration of Tanzania. I then paid 1000 Shillings for a two Boda Boda bikes to take me and my luggage to a hotel in Kabanga.

What a day, I am in great pain, my sciatic nerve problems and all my muscles are screaming. In Muyinga, Burundi I walked about two kilometers with my 70 kilos of bags looking for acceptable Hotels, however failed to find any fun place for one night.

So far Tanzania is a two thumbs up country, the people are friendly and life is good, although Burundi people were friendly and truly a good country.

While doing this whole trip, the people of Burundi never once tried to cheat me, while in the country of Uganda is was constant, and the country of Rwanda was neutral, sometimes yes and sometime no.

Burundi is the poorest country, while Rwanda is the richest country I have encountered here in East Africa. The roads in Burundi are very good for a poor country. Kenya has had the worst roads so far in East Africa, truly a mess, while Rwanda has the best.

Crazy Trip to Burundi and Tanzania


2009 May 28 Enter Tanzania Leave Burundi

2009 May 28 Enter Tanzania Leave Burundi
I left Burundi at the city of Kobero and entered into Kabanga, Tanzania on May 28, 2009. The 90 day visa cost 50 US dollars for a US citizen; I got it on arrival with no problem at the border.

I was going to stay in a Hotel in Kobero, Burundi; I even paid 8 dollars for the room, however the place was a nothing, nice room, no electric, no water, and no people. It was 1:00 pm, I decided to just cross the border into Tanzania and see if there were nice people, and I needed some smiling faces, not the border mentality.



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Kabanga, Tanzania
East Africa
Friday, May 29, 2009

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Tanzania is a huge country; however I will be scooting alongside Lake Victoria, and heading towards Kenya, as of today I plan on taking a flight from Nairobi, Kenya to Bangkok, Thailand as this is my cheapest exit strategy. I could move on down to South Africa, however that would take a month or two. I plan on flying back to Nairobi, travel through Tanzania in the future and making an exit from South Africa; this would be a good strategy.

This trip I entered Ethiopia, went to Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and into Tanzania making a nice circle.

2009 May 28 Enter Tanzania Leave Burundi


2009 May 28 Enter Burundi Leave Rwanda

2009 May 28 Enter Burundi Leave Rwanda
I entered the country of Burundi on May 28, 2009 in the morning; it cost 20 dollars for a 3 day visa. This Visa was a mistake on my part; I somehow assumed I would get at least a 15-30 day visa. This made entering the country for the most part a waste of time; therefore I just took off directly for the Tanzania border. I planned to sleep in Muyinga, Burundi for one or two nights; however the hotels were too far on the outskirts of towns to be enjoyable. I like them in the center close to the markets; I do not enjoy what feels like a motel on the edge of cities where I need a car. There was one called the Safari Lodge that was ok, but for some reason was completely full. Both hotels cost less than 10 dollars per night and the city was friendly.



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Kabanga, Tanzania
East Africa
Friday, May 29, 2009

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In many ways this Visa problem was good, I truly am glad to have missed spending too much time in Burundi. This is my type of country, the people were friendly, the country has spirit, there was a lot going on and people seemed more alive and less aloof as the people of Uganda or Rwanda. I will have no problem returning to this country. The more days I spend in a country, the more difficult it is to get up the energy to return, I tend to say to myself I already know or understand the country. I do not understand Burundi and it is a very beautiful and mountainous country, it is like the Guatemala of East Africa. This is the first place that truly has felt closer to tribal in East Africa. There was a stretch in Kenya from the Ethiopia border to Isiolo that was tribal, however also desert, not the best way to enjoy life living in a desert.

2009 May 28 Enter Burundi Leave Rwanda