Gieta to Mwanza (126km with 1367m of ascent)

Tour d'Afrique 

Day 57 - Mar 10 - Stage 40 (Tanzania)

Friday: After a very muddy ending to yesterday's ride and Judith using her initiative to book us in and our subsequent move to a nearby Hotel, we woke up relatively early in our cosy hotel room.

A group of us were picked up at the Hotel by one of the School Teachers. He needed to do two trips to get us & all of our bags back to the Muddy Camp for breakfast. 
Some of the other  riders, who were at a more up-market Hotel (especially those who had been ill) slept late and decided to take a taxi to Mwanza, rather than cycling there.

Breakfast at Muddy Camp
Sunrise over the Boys School before the day's ride
Unfortunately a very repetitive sight in Africa.
Young children looking after baby siblings
Judith was still recovering from her upset stomach, so under Doctor's orders, she rode in the Party Bus to Mwanza.

I started with Liz, but then rode away from her as she was determined to keep at a steady pace which was just a little slow for me (I should have remembered the story about the rabbit and the tortoise!).  I got to lunch at the 70km mark, and was not feeling well (nauseous) so decided to take the lunch truck. Liz soldiered on and rode with Dr Helen the Sweep rider all the way to Mwanza 

Before we reached Mwanza, we arrived at the southern shore of Lake Victoria, then took a 30 minute ferry ride across the Lake to negate an extremely long ride around the edge of the Lake through Kampala.

We arrived at a very picturesque Camp (Tunza Resort Limited) with a white sandy beach on the edge of the Lake. Here we washed the mud off our bikes in the Lake, before having a few slow beers on the patio before Rider Briefing and Supper. Chef Errol excelled himself and produced ice cream for dessert!

Early to bed accompanied by the sound of the  gentle crashing of waves on the "beach'". It was one of the best camping spots we have had, and a big pity that we didn't have a rest day at Mwanza.

Mike T

Rock formations along the road to Mwanza

View of the shore from the Ferry on Lake Victoria

A passing Ferry on Lake Victoria

Ferry docking on the Mwanza side of the Lake

Liz and Doctor Helen leaving the Ferry

Arriving at Tunza Resort in Mwanza
Welcome to Mwanza

Judith did a good job putting up the tent next to the beach

Warning notice for the Guests

Riders enjoying some rest and recuperation at the Bar

"Two Bottle Peter" enjoying his first Savanna's ever!

Judith washing her bike in Lake Victoria

Both Marie & Bike as clean as could be

Riders enjoying some quality time on the beach
Sunset over Lake Victoria

Kapenta fishing boats (the lights) on Lake Victoria in the moonlight
Tomorrow's Ride on the Briefing Board - Mwanza to Speke Bay

Biharamulo Deaf School to Geita - 140 km (Day 56 - Stage 39)

Thursday, 9 March: We didn't have a good nights sleep. During the night a violent strain of bacterial gastro-enteritis had broken out among the riders. 

It was as if we were in the Lion Enclosure at the Johannesburg Zoo, there was roaring (vomiting) all around different parts of the Camp, the whole night long!

In the morning eleven of the riders would not be able to cycle, and would need to climb into the Main Truck, initially named the "Party Bus". But later in the day, it would be aptly changed to "The Vomit Comet"

Unfortunately Judith who wanted to ride, having been off due to her bout of dehydration, had developed diarrhea during the night, and was then instructed by Dr. Helen to climb on to The Vomit Comet with the others.

The day's ride was relatively tough, with a large portion cycled on dirt, due to a major road construction project which was in progress. I rode with Liz for most of the day, and we managed a relatively steady pace throughout the ride.

There was one major incident on the dirt section, when Bridgette was involved in a head on collision with a Boda Boda (motorbike) ! Fortunately, she did not suffer any major injury's but her bicycle was a complete right off  (buckled front wheel and bent frame) :/

Lunch was at the 72 km mark and true to form, it offered great spectator value.

Cattle in Tanzania_TDA blog
Cattle road-block giving us some horns!

Cycling in Tanzania_TDA Blog(2)
On the road again, with Major road construction is in progress en route to Geita

We arrived in Geita, which is a big gold mining town, only to find that it had rained there while we were out on the road cycling. The consequence of which, meant our designated camp site at the Boys School was one large muddy quagmire.

However, between Murray & Judith, they used their initiative and had organised rooms at a nearby Hotel, and were awaiting my arrival.  After the Briefing Session, one of the Teachers at the School dropped me off at the Hotel, to join up with Judith and the others.

That evening we had some drinks with the Headmaster and the Teacher from the School;  thanking them for transporting us and all our gear to the Hotel.

Hoping the Vomit Comet passengers feel better tomorrow.


Mike T

Local Cycle Shop in one of the Towns

These local Tanzanian's insisted on having their photos with me 

Loading the bikes of those riders who couldn't cycle due to illness on the Main Truck

Local Transport Riders carrying bags of charcoal 

Morning Coke Stop

Sweep Rider Brad using his initiative to catch up with us back markers

Liz demonstrating the correct way for a rider to fall

Local cattle enjoying a roadside graze

The Lunch Truck always offers great spectator value

Liz enjoying another coke stop moment

Briefing Board - Geita to Mwanza

Camp was at Waja Boys Secondary School

Rather Impressive statue at our Hotel in Geita


Day 55 - Stage 38 - Nyakasanza to Biharamulo (School to School - 112 km)

Tuesday 7 March: After a very tough day, it's sometimes better to take one step back, and regroup, than to try and prove you are totally in control. 

Judith was not feeling well this morning, so she decided not to ride and to spend the day on the "Party Bus" (The Main Truck). A very wise decision indeed, which was later endorsed by Dr. Helen.

We left the Rural School and we soon started on the hills.... The road conditions were not ideal, as  there were many sections where the tar road was badly potholed. At one of the sections I hit some potholes at quite a high speed, and was surprised I didn't come crashing down. It was more a case of very good luck than my cycling skills!

I rode with Liz & Murray  up to the Lunch Truck, it looked like we were going to get some major rain, so Murray climbed on to the truck. Liz continued and I decided to ride with her. The second half went much better than first, and we reached the Camp at the Deaf School in Biharamulo relatively early.

Judith had organized the tent by the time I got in, so a group of us walked into Town for a few beers at a local bar-come-restaurant. 

We were back in Camp for Riders Briefing, had supper, and then we turned in for an early night in Tanzania.

Mike T

One of today's Coke Stops

Jaw Crushers being used to make rock aggregate for construction of tar roads

Roadside bottle display. We never did find out what it signified...

Briefing Board for tomorrow's ride into Geita


Day 54 - Stage 37 - Kayonza to Nyakasanza (106 km)

Our last glorious Rwandan sunrise

Monday, 6 March:  We were greeted to a magnificent sunrise, our last in Rwanda, today we would cross over from Rwanda into Tanzania, our sixth country of entry.

Left Camp as early as possible, rode 69km to the Lunch Truck for our last lunch in Rwanda, and we provided much spectator - value as per usual.

Arrived at the Border after 89km, and the immigration process was absolutely painless! The Rwandan & Tanzanian Passport Control Offices were virtualy next to each other in the same building, we were stamped out and in within a few minutes.

Changed money from Rwanda Francs to Tanzanian Shillings, and cycled away from the Border Post (back riding on the left hand side of the road). At the first opportunity, bought two Tanzanian sim data cards for our two cell phones.

After the Border Post we had a vicious climb out from the Valley floor into the surrounding hills. This was then followed by the "Mother of all hills" on tour, it ate me up then spat me out. 

We struggled up the hill and eventually into Camp, which was situated at a local School.

Judith took a lot of strain on the final hill climb, since the temperature was over 40 degrees and with all the climbing she experienced some major dehydration. 

At an impromptu Awards Ceremony at the Riders Briefing, Liz handed over her Yellow Jersey Award to me, for being the "Most Helpful Rider" on tour (with the yellow jersey to be awarded at the end of the stage)

After supper I walked off to the nearest Beer Shop and bought a couple of beers. Judith had a very early night, don't think she will cycle tomorrow.

Mike T

Today's ride from Rwanda into Tanzania

Local Rwandan cyclist

Andje overjoyed at the thought of crossing into Tanzania

Typical Rwandan rice paddies en route to the Rwanda/Tanzanian Border

Today's last Coke Stop in Rwanda

Lunch Truck approximately 20 km from the Border supplying immense spectator value

Typical Rwandan subsistence farming

Judith being chased up the hill by her new fan club

Buying cell phone data in Tanzania just after the Border Post

View from Tanzania of the River dividing Rwanda and Tanzania,
wherein many bodies were dumped during the Genocide

Judith and I cycling along in the Rwandan Countryside 

Taking a rest from the Mother of a Hill which ate me up and spat me out again!