We leave Kenya and traverse Tanzania

It's been a while since I last checked in, but the days have been long, with no access to Wi-Fi, and my eSIM only covers WhatsApp. We've almost reached the border with Malawi by now, which means we've left Kenya behind and crossed through Tanzania in the past few days.

Here's a brief summary of the past few days:

Stage 28: Nairobi to Masai Bush Camp, 140 km, 1040 hm

Leaving Nairobi on bikes wasn't easy; there was heavy traffic and crowds everywhere. After 60 km, it finally quieted down. We cycled through beautiful scenery with small villages, warmly greeted by locals along the roadside. We spent the night at a bush camp.

Unfortunately, there were a lot of thorns on the ground, and during the night, some air mattresses lost air!

Stage 29: Masai Bush Camp to Kili Bush Camp, 116 km, 797 hm

Overnight, it rained quite heavily, making packing up a bit of a challenge. However, we were rewarded with a stunning view of Mount Kilimanjaro. Then we had a very beautiful tour, almost circumnavigating Kilimanjaro.

The weather was fantastic, and all day we had an excellent view of the mountain. Unfortunately, I seem to have an issue with my rear wheel; I'm losing air (my tires are tubeless), and it's unclear where or why...???

Stage 30: Kili Bush Camp to Simba Lodge, 104 km, 1884 hm

Today, we leave Kenya and cross the border into Tanzania. Border crossings with around 60 people from all over the world are always time-consuming; the process of getting stamped out of Kenya is relatively quick, but getting stamped into Tanzania takes quite a while.

Furthermore, today we have a relatively long ascent and 40 km of dirt road ahead of us, so it's going to be a long day. The children in the border area aren't very friendly; some even throw stones at us, but the poverty in these border areas is indeed extreme. We're staying at the Simba Lodge, a farm with a huge camping area and a view of Mount Meru.

Stage 31: Simba Lodge to Arusha, 106 km, 983 hm

Some days, everything seems to go wrong. The navigation device isn't working, I keep losing air from my rear wheel, and my gears aren't shifting properly...

Despite everything, the route is very beautiful, with parts being dirt roads and others tarmac. Upon arrival, I first attend to my bike; it seems I have a leaky valve. Hopefully, this is truly the solution to the problem. Afterward, we organize a safari for the next 3 days!

4th to 6th of March

From March 4th to 6th, we're exploring the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater. It's fantastic to observe so many animals in their natural habitat. We see lions, elephants, giraffes, wildebeests, hyenas, zebras, and many other species.

The first night, we spend in a camp in the Serengeti, and the second night, we stay in a camp on the edge of the Ngorongoro Crater. It's a beautiful experience!!!

Stage 32: Arusha to Babati, 167 km, 1141 hm

We leave Arusha at 7 a.m., and there's a lot of traffic and chaos. As usual, it gets much better outside the city. Unfortunately, my rear wheel is still causing trouble. After about 50 km, I notice a huge bulge on the tire. Luckily, I come across our lunch truck just in time. Grant, one of my fellow riders, lends me his spare tire, and after a few minutes, I can actually continue.

Since the route today is very long, I'm incredibly relieved to have a functioning rear tire. In the evening, we celebrate Elisabeth's birthday with ice cream from the desert, a true delicacy in Tanzania!

Stage 33: Babati to Singida, 167 km, 2020 hm

Today is another long day, but the scenery is beautiful. We're traversing the plains of Tanzania, and once again, there are many children along the roadside. They're delighted to see us once more!

Stage 34: Singida to Doroto Soccer Field (Bush Camp), 135 km, 625 hm

The route today was exceptionally beautiful: 90 km of tarmac and 40 km of dirt road. We'll have to get used to the dirt roads because that's what the next few days will be like. The nice thing about these roads is the minimal traffic!

Today, I'm feeling very fit, and I arrive relatively early at our bush camp. This camp is actually set up on a soccer field, so we're surrounded by children who find it fascinating that so many Muzungos (white people) are camping on the field.

Stage 35: Doroto Soccer Field to Itumba Village (Bush Camp), 114 km, 789 hm

We're cycling on the Mbeya Road, perhaps the longest road in Tanzania, heading straight towards Malawi. In the coming days, we won't see any more paved roads; we'll be traveling on dirt roads through small villages and very beautiful landscapes. Unfortunately, we run out of water in the evening, and one of our trucks has to go fetch more water, which isn't easy in this area.

Stage 36: Itumba Village to Biti Manyango School (Bush Camp), 128 km, 878 hm

Once again, we continue on dirt roads. Some parts of the roads are manageable, but mostly it's quite challenging, and we don't make very fast progress. Along the way, we're delighted whenever we find a Coca-Cola that's slightly colder than the warm water we're carrying with us.

Today, one of our trucks got a flat tire. The roads are even more challenging for cars to navigate than they are for bicycles.

Stage 37: Biti Manyango School to Mankongolosi School (Bush Camp), 123 km, 1079 hm

The last day on dirt roads was quite challenging, especially the first part with many potholes, rocks, and sand. The latter part went more smoothly, and at the end of the tour, we immediately found a car wash in Mankongolosi. Our bikes looked terrible after these days, and the guys were happy to wash a few bikes instead of cars. They even sprayed our legs down!

Shortly after I set up my tent, a huge storm hit. The sky opened up, and torrents of rain poured down. Unfortunately, some tents didn't withstand it, but luckily, mine was okay!

Stage 38: Mankongolosi School to Mbeya, 105 km, 2136 hm

The last day before the rest day. We're all pretty tired; seven days of cycling on dirt roads and bush camping haven't been easy.

Today, we have some elevation to conquer, but I'm taking the day easy. The scenery is gorgeous, and the descent towards Mbeya is beautiful.

Tomorrow, we will cross the border into Malawi. I'm excited!

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