Sunday, 22 May 2011

Day 45 and More Pictures

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Day 45 More Pictures

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Day 45 Pictures

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Day 45 – 20.5.2011 Full Moon on the Kitulo National Park

Day 45 – 20.5.2011  Full Moon over the Kitulo National Park

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We have coffee at 5:30 and at 6:30 we start to Matamba, here is the provisional headquarter of the National Park Kitulo. The landscape was far more boring, but this is changing from minute to minute. The Kitulo is a park for quiet enjoyment.

The scenery is fantastic, a spectacular view alternates with the prospect of a waterfall, then again, there are fields that we see most up to 2200 meters. At the highest point of the park, we are almost at 3,000 m, but first we need visit the headquarter.

The last visitors were here several weeks ago. They offer us a guide for $ 10, but we want to get out on the other side of the park. So we must say thanks, but we don't take one, the young man is disappointed, I can understand that.

We pay our Obulus of U.S. $ 80 and continue our journey. An hour later we reach the park itself is particularly impressive, the prospects are on the way up.
Above you will feel like in the Alps. Unfortunately, we lack the orchids for which the park is world famous, we are a month too late. Two orchids we find throughout the day. Half way between the park entrance and the Forest Numbi we stop for breakfast, all around us is only landscape, nobody and nothing is visible. A few birds, many flowers and width, width, width.

We continue to the Numbi Forest, walk for a while but that's really tough in that height.
This landscape has to be seen, it can hardly be described. Ok, one or another animal, like a Mountain Zebra, or Roan Antelope, as in the Nyika Plateau in Malwai be nice, but the park is still young.

When we come to the southern park boundary, we are still well above 2000 meters, we actually see people who create new fields up here.
Without machines, only with picks and axes, what a drag. We see some bags of potatoes on the road. These farmers live in makeshift huts made of sticks and plastic sheeting.  But the people are friendly and wave.

Then we start the descent. The appearance of the landscape changes abruptly. At the high southern slopes of an almost rain forest-like microclimate is formed. The trees are covered with moss, everything is green, but only up to the edge. The villages very reminiscent of the Zomba Plateau in Malawi. Everything is foggy and gloomy, yet many, especially children, barefoot on the road, it has 18 °.

A little later we have a serious problem, the automatic transmission is on strike, we can only drive in the 2nd
or 3 gear. Fortunately, it's almost all downhill. It is Friday afternoon. What a sh….. With 30 and warning lights we creep over the hills. In our minds we are already on the way on the 800 kilometers to Lilongwe, where it has the next Mitsubishi workshop.

We manage to reach Utengule Hotel at Mbalizi, near Mbeya, the Lodge is located in a coffee plantation on the slopes of Mount Mbeya, fortunately not very high.

Once again we are very lucky, we are sent to a workshop in the next village, it is 3 o'clock, we don't have lots of hope. We pitch fast our tent when we go on, the whole thing is over, everything works fine again. But that is also Africa, in the workshop welcomes us the perfectly trained Supervisor Christopher, who exposes the old, used transmission oil as the culprit. Together with the height, the stress caused by the slow driving in the park the oil has lost his viscosity. After the gearbox cooled down, the whole thing worked again.

We have changed the automatic transmission oil, followed by a fast (in the truest sense of the word) test drive, a 5 o'clock, we have paid the equivalent of  R 600 and are on the way back to the hotel. We can hardly believe our luck that we found this workshop here in the last corner of Tanzania in the vicinity of some 1,000 kilometers, which specializes in several 4x4 vehicles. And they work on international standards. Even if we had needed a new transmission , they would also know, what to do.
Thank God. The Serengeti is waiting for us.

Km 186, 8 h, 25 °, Sunny
29 000 TSH at the ** Utengule Hotel Mbalizi

$ 80 park fees (20, 20 and 40 for the car) in Kitulo National Park

Tags: Malawi, Kitulo National Park, Matamba, Mbeya, Numbi Forest, Utengule Hotel, Lilongwe, Mitsubishi

Day 44 – 19.05.2011 Riverside Campsite near Kitulo

Day 44 – 19.05.2011  At the nameless campsite near  Kitulo National Park

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Phew, that was cold, it had only 14 ° last night, well, it is also quite high here. 1760 meters high is Kisolanza and on the plateau it is quite windy. Despite fleece pullover I have frozen. But the hot shower is good, its already fired at 6 o'clock.

Actually we had ordered fresh rolls for 8 o'clock fresh from the Chef of Kisolanza, but one is under stress (with than us are 4 guests there) and could not, unfortunately, bake 10 rolls more. Well then not, than we drive earlier.

Halfway to the Kitulo National Park in the village Makambako we find a good bakery, where we buy bread for two days and set us a little later on the roadside at our breakfast. At half past 2 we are already on the nameless Camp Site (T4A writes Riverside camp site near Kitulo), about an hour before the Kitulo National Park. In a meadow, a resourceful mind has invested in the future of the very young national park. Near a river they built a toilet and a shower, both are clean, but the shower water is icy cold. The lawn is mowed and there is some shade under trees.

A young man "lookes after" us, i.e. while we hold a nap down at the river, he does the same in his hut. When he goes in the evening, he asks for some juice and about his chances of getting work in South Africa. A juice he can get, yes, but with work in South Africa, it looks rather bad, but because they have just aggravated the immigration requirements.

After half an hour another young man is coming, he is probably the night watch, man, and I had been looking forward to a lonely night in the mountains. Everywhere in Tanzania as a tourist you have always the problem with the night watchman. Whether or not Maasai, mostly you feel observed and often will be interrupted several times in the night, be it through gossip, cough, ask if everything was okay ... ..

The people are very creative, and finally the guest is supposed to know that he is safely.
Maasai often do this job in full gear. So even with a spear. But here we are undisturbed, we are discreetly left alone and cook us a piece of meat on the warming fire. At 9 we lie in bed, it's just too cold.

Km 202, 4 hrs, 24 °
10 000 TSH on the Riverside Camp Site near Kitulo National Park

Tags: Kitulo, Kisolanza, South Africa, Maasai, Kitulo National Park

Link zum Deutschen Afrikareisebericht

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Day 43 – 18.5.2011 Kisolanza

Day 43 – 18.5.2011 Kisolanza Old Farmhouse                                        
                                                                                                                 Next day

Of course, we did not get up early, that was clear. After a last chat with Rita we take off at 9 o'clock at the Baobab Valley Camp. The mountains near Iringa cost time, we have 8 trucks in front of us. The goal Kitulo National Park would be too far and so we stop in Kisolanza Old Farm House. This place we know already from the 2009. Fortunately, the weather behind the mountains of Iringa is better. After all, we are over 1700 meters high.

At 2, we have set up our tent and there is plenty of time for internet and laundry, the usual stuff. In the early evening we finally bake an apple pie and for dinner, there is a vegetable stew with fresh vegetables from the street, the first time we have found again our beloved Garden Eggs, a vegetable that looks like eggs and tastes fantastic.

A huge Baboon Spider (?) scares us a little, it is amazing how such an animal can emerge from nowhere. 7-8 cm, it may have had at least.

KM 183, 4 hrs, 23 °, cool
15000 TSH at the campsite from the ** Old Farm House Kisolanza