When Lennart’s parents flew back to the Netherlands we enjoyed ourselves at the luxurious Malakai Hotel in Mwanza. A long-needed car wash was the next thing on our to-do list (the car had become so orange that we couldn’t even read our own logo anymore) and do some grocery shopping at a mall. This huge mall (5 floors!) however was completely empty except for three or four shops. In one of these remaining shops we were lucky enough to stock up on our supplies. After about four weeks of staying in, sometimes luxury, hotels and lodges it was time to camp again! This time at a grassy area at the Mwanza Yacht Club. Proper campings are scarce in Tanzania.
Sleeping in an old German fort
After a relaxed night, on a thick mattress, in our tent we drove towards Biharamulo. On the utmost top of the hill there was an old German fort which was kind of transformed into a guesthouse and camping. This sure sounds prettier than it was. We could park our car between two walls, the mice poo was quickly removed out of the toilet and the showers were cold. Nevertheless it was a good place to stay and we were accompanied by Davy, the owner’s son who only spoke Swahili. He found our laptop to be super interesting and when he saw a photo of us he just said ‘Mzungu!’ (which means ‘white person’) and started to laugh super loud.
Rwanda, what a difference
The next morning we took our ‘goodbye photo’ of the country since we were about to pass the border with Rwanda later that day. The border post was so organized that we had to double-check we were still in Africa. It turned out to be a ‘warm-up’ for the rest of the country. Such a clean country, no litter along the road, relatively proper houses! Our first campsite was the Urugo Women’s Opportunity Centre. To get there we didn’t just have to climb and descent a lot of mountains and make more turns than we did so far in six months. The ‘land of a thousand hills’ is also a country where they drive on the right side of the road! We had to get used to this, especially since our steering wheel is also on the ‘wrong’ side.
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Urugo Women’s Opportunity Centre
The campsite is part of a larger initiative where they do all kinds of things to empower women. The horrible genocide in 1994 in Rwanda left many widows in the country. At Urugo they organize workshops, have a restaurant, a coffee shop and a guesthouse and they make their own yogurt which they sell. We spend three lovely nights there overlooking the impressive valley. It wasn’t just relaxing since we had to wash our clothes for two days in a row to get everything clean again ;-)!