Spreadsheets are bad, very very bad.

20120608-121518.jpg

So it’s the four month anniversary of our African adventure! 8th February to 8th June… We are still in blimmin’ Tanzania! We’re not sure quite where we went wrong but we thought we would be at least in Botswana or even Namibia today.

We had a really special treat on Zanzibar, staying at the gorgeous little Matemwe Lodge… Our own bungalow by the ocean with a gorgeous bathroom that I didn’t have to share with unknown numbers of fellow campers. Beautiful food, fabulous staff, excellent cocktails and wine list. Couldn’t find a thing to complain about… Unless you include the part where I was forced to leave (supporting a large pout)!

We are still in Dar Es Salaam, waiting for the FedEx agents to release our much needed shocks.

Interpretation of commonly used phrase “This Is Africa”: took two days for the shocks to be ordered, packed, collected and flown to Tanazania from small-town-England… Waiting time is currently at five days to get them from the local airport here in Dar Es Salaam. This Is Africa.

Mikadi Beach Camp has a great spot and a great bar but there is only so long you can live with a tent full of sand and cold salt water showers that at the moment only get water when the tide isn’t too far out. This Is Africa.

Just to add insult to injury, we foolishly whiled away our spare time compiling a spreadsheet of expenses “to date”. I won’t elaborate.

I best go as we are now off to the supermarket to purchase their entire stock of instant noodles. Bon Appetit to us for next two months ๐Ÿ˜‰

Take care,
Jo and Rich
X

So the beer worked wonders…

20120527-225038.jpg

KiwisInAfrica vs Kilimanjaro
Result 2 : nil/0/nada

WE WENT ALL THE WAY TO THE TOP!

Kilimanjaro is now another feather in our African cap. After some rushed research we chose the 6 day Rongai route as the best option for us. An excellent choice made by Richard as we fumbled our way to the sign congratulating us on reaching Uhuru Peak (the highest point of Africa) at 5.40am on May 24th… Of all the 5 different routes on Kilimanjaro, we were the very first punters to get to the summit that day!

Generally speaking, you start climbing from Kibo Base Camp (4,700 metres) at approximately 11pm and attempt to reach Uhuru Peak (5,895 metres) sometime after 6am… so 7 hours is roughly the average minimum time for ascent on our route but bizarrely the two most unfit people on the mountain made it in 6 hours 40 mins. Whoop!

Maybe the guide was telling some little white lies? Hmm. Tips are important after all.

Here are a few iPhone pics to capture the key moments… Please note that at nearly 20,000ft of altitude you aren’t really in your right mind then add the fact that temperatures at the top are typically between -18 and -26 degrees for that time of day so we look like marshmallows in 6 layers of clothing!!

I never thought it possible, so I want to say: much love to my Richard for pushing me forward every day when I started to panic! AND for putting up with my moaning when I stumbled back down to the exit gate with a busted knee. AND for still dishing out the cuddles after 6 days without showers or clean clothes. Climbing mountains really isn’t my thing but it’s done and I am immensely proud of us! X

Jo and Rich
Mountaineers

20120527-224510.jpg

We started at the registration office. There were numerous boards warning punters about the risks and dangers of climbing Kili. It turns out that Kili has quite a high failure rate. This is mainly due to unprepared tourists turning up and thinking they can make it. Ummm, doesn’t sound like us at all.

20120527-224534.jpg

This is Deo, our guide for the 6 day climb. It’s not just a good photo, he’s really that cool.

20120527-224555.jpg

This is the camp for the first night. The summit looks very, very far away!

20120527-224643.jpg

By the second camp we were above the clouds. Small aircraft were buzzing around below us.

20120527-224810.jpg

Day 4. We start the ascent later that night. But Kibo base camp is still miles away! Tough day ahead.

20120527-224829.jpg

Jo chilling out at Uhuru peak

20120527-224907.jpg

Sunrise… Yeah!

20120527-224858.jpg

Glaciers.

20120527-224930.jpg
Couldn’t quite make it through the finish gate.

Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater, we love it!

Serengeti National Park

What an incredible 3 days we have just had! Entering the Serengeti from the west after our stay in Mwanza and exiting at the south east end of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area towards Arusha.

We saw everything in those three days (including baby versions)… Lions, Leopards, Elephants, Hyenas, Rhinos, pink Flamingos etc etc the list goes on!

We camped in both parks and had visitors in the form of Bulls, Jackals and Hyenas during the night. Scary.

We even winched out two experienced game drivers when their Toyota Land Cruisers got stuck in the Serengeti mud. We then proceeded to drive straight through that very mud without even a flinch from our trusty Disco. So much for bringing the wrong car to Africa! Pah!

The truck is now enjoying some TLC with a thorough jet-wash, tarmac roads, and then a nice break in Moshi while we make an attempt at Kilimanjaro. Who’s dumb idea was that?!

Serengeti Slideshow

Ngorongoro Slideshow

Friends in Mwanza

Stopping briefly in Mwanza on Lake Victoria for diesel and some hi-vis jackets has turned into three days of eating, drinking and celebrating birthdays! Everyone in this town is amazing, we have been fed, watered and even given a bed to sleep in as well as being invited to two birthday BBQ’s where we were surrounded by the most interesting people you could find!

We can’t get over how everyone here just has their arms open to visitors and ex-pats alike, we have been immensely lucky.

Thank you to Karima, Daniel, Manish and all your friends for being incredible!

Our tent is now properly attached to the roof rack thanks to the gents at Mwanza Engineering Works who helped us no end, if you ever need overlanding assistance in Tanzania then make this your first stop… They are skilled and hard working and offered all sorts of advice to solve our dilemma.

The pic is one of Africa’s stunning sunsets at Tunza beach… Pity I only had the iPhone to capture it.

Oh and Happy Mothers Day to all the lovely ladies xx

20120513-120807.jpg