Start Point: Oscar’s Place, Migori, Kenya
End Point: Rocky Bay Resort, Busisi, Tanzania
KMs travelled today: 333
Total KMs: 680
While yesterday’s drive from Nairobi was mostly familiar, today’s journey over the border started to take us all into uncharted territory.
Repacking this morning was another game of Tetris, but we’re getting slightly better at it. We still ended up with 2 smaller bags and the toilet seat on the roof, but definitely a vast improvement.
First stop was the Isebania Border, covered with signs saying it’s a super-efficient ‘One Stop Border Post’, but it’s still actually 2 posts in different locations, both of which have officers seemingly intent on drawing out the process. Luckily we have a customs clearance ‘Carnet du Passage’ so we were out in just over an hour and a half.
From the border, the road south converges slowly with Victoria’s lakeshore but we started through boulder-covered rolling hills, dotted with productive-looking subsistence farms – postcard rural Africa. Slowly we dropped lower and met the plains of the Serengeti National Park, with the main road we were driving acting as the far edge of the Serengeti’s ‘Western Corridor’. It was here we had our roadside lunch, under the shade of a small acacia before hopping back in the car for our speedy safari… we did see some buffalo and gazelles as we whizzed past. It was still early in the day, otherwise, we may have been tempted to stop at the Fuku Fuku Campsite… sadly, I didn’t get a chance to photograph the sign.
The road towards Mwanza hugs the lake as it goes south and finally starts to turn west. Village and village went by… which in Tanzania means 50kmh zones and speed bumps on an otherwise largely empty and very good road. But the scenery was amazing – farmland, sandy beaches with livestock milling around on them, thousands of schoolchildren in Tanzanian flag jerseys and, in one place, 1,000s of black kites circling over a series of rocky outcroppings.
Several hours and one brief journey down the wrong road later, we arrived at Kikongo for our ferry across the Mwanza Gulf. We joined a madding throng waiting to go west for the weekend and by all accounts were lucky to get onto the first ferry that arrived after only a 20-minute wait. There is a new bridge under construction… an impressive Chinese-funded effort in the same style as the raised railway across Nairobi National Park.
We’ve ended our day at the Rocky Bay Resort, a South African-owned and-run stop on the lakeshore. As I write this we’re trying out their self-proclaimed famous cocktails (I opted for a Kilimanjaro beer) as we watch the sunset colours reflecting off the lake. Our final task – to leave our mark on the bar wall. Cheers to another day!