Quiet road to the border, crossing was very easy and then we were in Tanzania. Immediately different to Malawi – very good road to Mbeya about 100k over the border through what is known as the southern highlands, similar to those in malawi but much lusher, soils clearly much better with bananas, and veg growing everywhere. Tea estates in many areas which we had not seen before although they do occur in Malawi. Quite a climb from border of about 2300m ( 8000ft) landy struggling a bit with dodgy clutch and signs of overheating. This caused paranoia give 5 head gaskets already shot so far. We were pleased to find what looks like a good landy garage so the beast is being given a proper clutch, welding back anti roll bars, and sorting various other problems accumulated in malawi – the Nyika roads take their toll!!
As we write we are staying in a basic hotel in Mbeya town centre. Although 3rd biggest town its very quiet. Like many African towns it has spread a lot so centre is vitally silent at night. Still quite high 1500m the climate is pleasant
I had my hair cut in a local barbers which I think caused some puzzlement – but we got there in the end – even Emma has not said too much so can’t be bad.
Catching up on admin, buying phone cards etc. then we are heading west – plan is to do a loop through Mikumi NP then Selous NP ( biggest in Africa, its twice the size of Kruger so a virtual country in European terms) both wild with limited roads but hopefully plenty of beasts – cant wait. Then we will loop back west go through Ruaha NP and associated reserves ( again huge) and onto Katavi NP which is seldom visited by tourists as its to far from the usual tourist circuits. Its reckoned to be best kept secret in Africa in terms of animals – and its a reasonable price. Other here are not cheap!!
From there we want to go up Lake Tanginika to Mahale Forest NP (see chimps etc.) then loop back east to the Serengeti/Ngorongoro parks system. After that we are undecided but will probably go through Rwanda & Burundi and into Uganda.
Not sure what to expect in the way of communications,being pretty remote in places, so if you don’t hear from us assume no news is good news!!