Nick, Eve, Rachel & Andy at base of Kilimanjaro

Tuesday 3rd June

Kericho, Kenya – Kijereshi Camp, Tanzania

We continued through the numerous tea plantations as we made our way towards the Tanzanian border which was a painless experience (and we avoided paying the $40 Kenyan road tax). The roads once we entered Tanzania were in great condition and amazingly empty as we passed only a handful of vehicles.

As we stopped for lunch at the side of the road, we were joined by a bunch of local kids on their way to choir practice. Despite our best efforts and bribery with pineapple chunks, they wouldn’t sing but instead let Andy use their bike and gave him a lesson on African agriculture from their school text books.

Needing some diesel and Tanzanian shillings before entering the National Park, we stopped at a bank in Bunda. Unable to change dollars and with no ATM, the manager called the local money changer, Roger, who came and met us on the road. After heavy negotiations on his rate (which was still pretty poor) he invited us into his motel for a drink where we got the cash and an offer to stay – which we declined.

Full of diesel and shillings, we found Kijereshi Tented Camp 18 km from the road on the Northern edge of the Serengeti National Park. This Indian run place was empty due to the low season so we were invited to camp anywhere and use the bathroom in one of the luxury tents. We kindly accepted this invitation and made ourselves at home on the barbeque area in front of the hotel where Rachel added her rosemary influence into our roast chicken dinner. This was enjoyed with a spectacular sunset over the plains in front of us.

11,600 miles

Off to work
School uniforms
Sunset dinner over Serengeti
More rosemary please

Wednesday 4th June

Serengeti National Park

As part of the negotiations on our arrival, they included breakfast with our camping fee. Expecting only a cup of tea and fruit, we were delighted when they set up a whole dining experience on the front of the hotel at 7am with two waitresses dishing up a whole cooked breakfast and enough pancakes to feed all the wildebeest in the park. Not bad for $15 each.

We eventually paid our entry fees at the park entrance just 5 minutes along the road once the woman behind the desk found the relevant guy who had the relevant key for the relevant drawer with the relevant book to register. Lighter in dollars, we once again used our rooftop viewing facility and headed along the empty tracks of the Serengeti viewing numerous wildebeest as well as giraffe, zebra and antelope. As we began to see more safari tours, we followed one which abruptly stopped. It took Nick a couple of minutes before he realised there was a huge lion in the tree only a few metres in front of us.

After taking this in from the safety of the vehicle, we went round the corner to a river viewing point where there was a load of hippos bathing. Having got the best of the days viewing, and getting pissed off with the swarms of tetsi flies (African version of the horse fly) that were biting us, we visited the visitor information centre at Seronera. Hoping for some clues on where the animals could be seen, the staff were of little use so we entertained ourselves with an informative nature trail around the centre which was also populated with rock hyraxes (similar to guinea pigs).

We checked out a couple of the nearby campsites and chose the quieter Dik Dik camp where we enjoyed another spectacular sunset over the Serengeti. The peace was spoilt with a local official who informed us that we would need to be out of the park by 8am the next morning to avoid paying the extortionate fees for another 24 hours. We resigned ourselves to an early night.

11,713 miles

Eve & Nick up on the roof
Lion spotting
Rachel by tree lion
More beasts
Eve & Rachel
Another spectacular sunset
Giraffes at dusk
Giraffes at dusk

Thursday 5th June

Serengeti – Ngorongoro Crater

Our 6am start quickly paid off as we drove south and came across a hyena at a watering hole alongside some hippos. This was further outshone when Andy spotted a pride of lions only metres from the side of the road. It is worth noting that Andy has wasted years of life in the world of food retail as his true career resides as a park ranger as he keenly donned the hat, khaki shorts and binoculars every morning and relished spotting the wildlife unfolding before him.

Delighted at seeing the lions, we left the Serengeti and straight into the Ngorongoro Conservation area which further lightened our dollar reserves. We drove up the steep climb to the edge of the crater with a brief stop at a local Masai village where we were shepherded through the tourist trap. To show the locals how to wear a tartan properly, Andy donned his kilt and kitted himself out with various Masai weapons and tat. This was a useful diversion for the rest of us who could check out the local school where the kids were reciting the alphabet in unison – which we suspect was purely for the benefit of us and that very little learning was going on.

As we reached the rim of the crater, the view across the 20km wide plain below was spectacular. We quickly descended and the first wildlife we came across was a pair of cheetahs crossing in front of us. The abundant wildlife continued as we circled through the crater with elephants, rhino, buffalo and a lake which was a sea of pink flamingos. Understandably, lunch and toilet breaks were a swift and slightly nervous affair.

We left the crater delighted that we had seen the ‘big 5’ of elephant, lion, wildebeest, rhino & cheetah – we later discovered that we actually hadn’t as it is the leopard, not cheetah, that makes up the fifth member. We set up camp at the Simba A campsite on the edge of the crater along with numerous trucks and travellers doing a similar trail. With the temperature dropping, we got another early night in order to catch the spectacular sunrise and leave within our 24 hour paid period.

11,851 miles

Algae pond
Sunrise balloon
Morning scene
Masai warriors learning from Andy
Masai school kids
Crater rim
'Don't feed the animals!
Crater view

Friday 6th June

Ngorongoro Crater – Arusha

After a windy night, we arose to a shroud of mist that had enveloped the crater. With no views, we set off down the access road where numerous lorries, packed with supplies for the luxurious crater lodges, were slipping on the mud. We made the park gates by the deadline and headed onto Karatu for breakfast at Bytes Internet Café. This being Africa, the place was only just open, had no lighting, didn’t serve coffee and had no internet. They did serve up bacon and eggs though (toast wasn’t an option as it would be at least two hours for them to bake the bread).

We drove for a couple of hours to Lake Manyara National Park for our last dose of safari with the girls. With low expectations, this proved to be a great park despite its small area. Within minutes of entering, we were right next to a herd of elephants, hippo were playing in a nearby mud pit and giraffe were gracefully wandering over the roads. We decided we should crack open the beers for lunch at a picnic site overlooking the lake where Rachel was converted to the delights of tuna mayo chapatti wraps.

After a less successful afternoon, we left the park and continued to Arusha airport in the vain hope of finding Eve’s bag waiting. As expected, there was no sign of it, but a helpful man informed us that it was in Nairobi and our best bet was to arrange to pick it up in Kilimanjaro International Airport along the road as that would reduce the amount of links it would have to undergo. Hope was not yet lost.

We arrived at Masai Camp in Arusha to have a dinner in the restaurant with numerous other travellers from the trucks parked up. After some pool, we were ready for bed after the long safari days. Sleep proved tricky though with the bar thumping out tunes to the party crowd until 2am. Travelling with a partner is definitely a different experience for two loons who would have normally been dancing naked on the pool table at this point (as historically noted by Andy who had been there 4 years previously).

12,023 miles

Elephant encounter
Hippo pool

Saturday 7th June

Arusha – Moshi

We had heard of a patisserie in town and so made tracks there in the morning for breakfast. We were not let down and settled there for an hour or so, grazing from the shelves that would put Gregg’s to shame. Once again, we ignored the traffic warden as we left our parking space and headed south out of Arusha towards Mount Kilimanjaro. Stopping by the airport, we were stunned to find Eve’s bag waiting for us with helpful staff apologising. Eve was also a happy bunny.

We arrived in Moshi at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro and checked into the pleasant Kindoroko Hotel in the centre of town. After trying glean some information from the local coffee shop about some walking routes, we drove to the base of ‘Kili’ and the gates of the national park. Avoiding the entry fees, we parked up outside the gate and joined a local guy who took us for a great two hour walk through the local plantations at the base of the mountain including waterfalls and caves. As the cloud cleared from the summit, we caught a great view of the snowy cap of Kili at 5896 metres. Both of us were suddenly caught with the desire to get to the summit as it didn’t feel right just looking at it. This would have to wait though as we had an itinerary and budget to stick to.

Glad to have stretched our legs and lungs at long last, we had a beer back on the rooftop terrace of the hotel watching the sunset over the mountain followed by dinner and a much appreciated bed.

12,126 miles

Kili summit

Sunday 8th June

Moshi – Peponi Campsite (near Pangani)

Having missed a meagre breakfast at the hotel, Nick and Eve headed out to a local café (guided by a kid who was also keen for a chapatti) to stock up for the journey. We then started a long drive south to Dar es Salaam which we were going to break up at Peponi Campsite on the coast.

We arrived there late in the afternoon and were greeted by the ex-British military owner who showed us around the ablutions block and pool by the beach. It was a fantastic place which had been recommended by numerous overlanders heading north and we were next to a couple of white Land Rovers which made us feel at home. After setting up camp under the palm trees on the beach, we enjoyed a delicious seafood dinner.

12,375 miles

Monday 9th June

Peponi Campsite – Sunrise Beach Resort, Dar es Salaam

We had a relaxed start before another six hour drive to Dar es Salaam which was only broken by a brief stop for chips at the side of the road where the girls found a friendly police station to use their facilities. Hitting rush hour (as we have a habit of doing in large cities), we crawled into Dar and caught the Kigamboni ferry south across the river.

Nine kilometres down the road and we arrived at Sunrise Beach Resort which was to be the home for the Land Rover for the next week as we hit Zanzibar. The helpful owner ordered a taxi for the next morning and we enjoyed one of the best curries of the trip on the beach.

12,630 miles

Rooftent view at Peponi


Tuesday 10th June

Dar es Salaam – Zanzibar

Our taxi arrived at 0530 in the morning in order that we could catch the 0700 fast ferry to Zanzibar. Wearily, we arrived at the ferry terminal where the local touts were doing their best to send us in the wrong direction. In return they received the full wrath of two tired Scotsmen and they quickly retreated.

Arriving two hours later in Zanzibar, Andy & Nick said their farewells and separation anxiety kicked in as they parted ways for the next couple of days. Nick and Eve grabbed a shuttle bus to Matemwe Beach Village on the eastern coast of the island and Andy and Rachel hired a wee jeep to get them to the Shooting Star Lodge.  The early start was rewarded with a full afternoon of lazing by the beach and making full use of the hotels amazing facilities.

Wednesday 11th June


Nick & Eve went scuba diving off the nearby Mnemba Island with One Ocean Diving based at their hotel. With strong winds, the rough seas caused a fair amount of sea sickness which even affected the doctor. The diving was great though with plenty of coral, barracuda, moray eels, turtles and numerous other tropical fish replicating a dentist waiting room. They returned to the hotel to find that their room had been upgraded to an amazing suite which was a full bungalow complete with mezzanine, lounge and toilet perched on a throne. Nick feared the bar had been raised a bit too high for any future holidays.

Andy boosted his moral by continually beating Rachel on his newly acquired chess board while lazing by the pool.

Thursday 12th June


It was Nick’s turn to do nothing today as Andy headed out snorkelling on an equally rough sea. One American on board the boat walked up to the divemaster and asked if there was any particular area where he should be sick. The hasty answer was ‘Anywhere over the edge!’.

At some unknown point, the staff at Nick’s hotel had got the wrong end of some stick and so Nick and Eve enjoyed a romantic candlelit dinner in an exclusive beach hut. This was topped off when the staff came along the beach clapping and singing some local tune with a cake covered in icing which read ‘Happy Anniversary Eve & Nick’. They would have raised an objection, but the staff looked so happy for them and  it was chocolate cake!

Zanzibar Dhow
Matemwe Pool
Upgraded suite for the anniversary
Dar es Salaam ferry

Stonetown food market

Stonetown doorway
Mnemba Island

Friday 13th June


Leaving their luxurious beach retreats, the two couples headed back to Stone Town – the ‘capital’ of Zanzibar – where Andy continued his purchasing of local products in the numerous alleyways that make up the town. Nick, as always, kept his wallet firmly in his pocket.

Zanzibar was suffering from a complete lack of power that had been affecting it for over a month now. Apparently the sub station in Dar es Salaam had blown up during maintenance and also fried the cable under the sea. Therefore, the only buzz that the town had that evening were the hundreds of generators being used by the hotels and restaurants that could get their hands on one.

Saturay 14th June

Zanzibar – Dar es Salaam

The ferry crossing back to Dar es Salaam was rough and the staff of the fast catamaran were dishing out numerous sick bags as it pounded through the waves. Happy to be back on land, we reunited with the Land Rover back at Sunrise to chill on the beach before our last evening with the ladies.


Sunday 15th June

Dar es Salaam

Loading up the Land Rover with the girls bags at 5am was an emotional experience if not purely for the ungodly hour. We got to the airport in plenty of time though and said our farewells through gritted manly teeth before heading to the Holiday Inn in town to indulge in a huge buffet breakfast, which included camembert and bacon croissants – the stuff of dreams in Ethiopia. We also utilised their wi-fi connection for e-mails and web updates before heading out to the supermarkets to restock our mouldy fridge which we had forgotten to empty before switching it off en route to Zanzibar.

With admin complete, we headed back to Sunrise for a beer and found some staff who were keen to clean the vehicle and our clothes for a minimal expense, so we happily obliged. The beach was mobbed with day trippers from Dar who were killing various tunes on the karaoke machine in the bar.

The lack of female companionship was evident, especially when Andy only just managed to restrain himself when he saw some flesh sharing the roof tent, suddenly remembering he was sharing the tent again with Nick!!  Phew…..

Monday 16th June

Dar es Salaam

We used the day to utilise the surroundings and do nothing other than plan the next few days, write diaries and sift photos. We were joined in the site by another British overlander couple Kate & Nigel (www.dieselanddust.co.uk) with their two children who had taken much the same route as us and it was good to share stories. It also threw open the option of travelling down through Mozambique which we slept on…

Tuesday 17th June

Dar es Salaam

Having slept on the idea, we decided to go for Mozambique and so headed back into town to get our visas sorted. The express service was happily on offer upon delivery of two cold beers to the guy behind the desk. Rather than waiting in the embassy, we headed back to the Holiday Inn along the road to update the website and grab some lunch.

With another stamp successfully in our passport, we stocked up on supplies in the Shoprite supermarket and headed back to Sunrise for a final night.

Wednesday 18th June

Dar es Salaam – Kilwa Seaview Resort

Finally back on the road after almost 10 days, we headed south for a dull drive to Kilwa still on the coast. As we arrived at the campsite, the girl at reception seemed to take a shine to Andy whom she was convinced was Ross from the TV series ‘Friends’. We obviously didn’t try to convince her otherwise and encouraged her by telling her that she couldn’t mention it to anyone as he needed to keep a low profile. Why she thought a rich American actor would be sleeping in a roof tent in an ant ridden campsite, we are not sure.

After getting a couple of sheet sleeping bags made up by a guy in the street with a sewing machine, we headed back to the camping for a great three course dinner of local fish before some more chess.

12,891 miles

Thursday 19th June

Kilwa  - Ruvula Sea Safari

We quickly left the ants which were flourishing - despite Andy’s attempts at burning them with flaming 100% DEET – and checked out the town. We decided against a trip over the water to some ruins and got back on the road again. After briefly stopping at a sandy bay to check out the kite surfing conditions, Nick reversed back onto the track and managed to crunch into a rock that was ‘hiding’ from the rear view mirror. He encountered that terrible sinking feeling as he realised that this was going to be expensive, which was made worse with Andy’s shaking head!

With our newly curvy bodywork, we continued down the road only narrowly missing a girl who decided to run out in front of us. This gave us a good excuse to use the horn with an increased frequency! After a quick detour into Mtwara, we drove out to a peninsula with a national park on it. After paying the $10 fee we arrived at a stunning beachside campsite which was deserted and set up camp for the night.

13,140 miles

Nick assessing his handiwork


Friday 20th June

Ruvula Sea Safari

We received a text message from the captain of the border ferry saying that there was a small problem with the ferry and it wouldn’t be running until Saturday, which gave us another day to chill. The morning started with a BMF session down the beach before Andy spent the rest of the day tinkering with the back door resulting in a fully accessorized door panel with cutlery, axes and toilet paper. We then took on the Crofton family at football and touch rugby on the beach which involved blood, sweat and tears (especially when Nick accidentally kicked the football in the face of one of the kids).

During the games, there was a commotion from the camp office with some terrible wailing from a woman. It tragically emerged the next day that one of children of the owners had just died after spending time in a hospital with bad burn wounds. The campsite was very quiet as we had a very subdued dinner of freshly caught fish with the Crofton’s.

Local fisherman
Mizungu fishermen
Safari crew


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