We had finally left Zambia and entered Tanzania on a small and uncomplicated border post north of Mbala. Our first destination was Lake Tanganyika again, this time the Lake Shore Lodge in Kipili. It was a long day. After getting through the border we stopped at Sumbawanga to buy a Sim card at the Vodacom shop and do some shopping before we continued. When a heavy downpour hit us and it got late, we decided to stop on the way and continued the next day.
The road to Kipili was a good gravel road, where little buses were going up and down. The rain was nearly not visible the next day and we had no problem to reach Kipili and the Lake Shore Lodge. When we arrived, the sun was shining and we were welcomed by Thomas, one of the owners, we had already met in Zambia.
Next to the lodge, one of the oldest churches of Tanzania stands on a hill above the lake. It was abandoned in the 1940s and since then slowly deteriorates.
For those who are interested in the history:
The church belonged to a monastery run by the White Fathers Missionaries from France. 1894 the first fathers started to build a dwelling for them, another one for the sisters and a beautiful church on a hill above the lake. Already in 1898 they reported that 15-20 boats from the islands came every Sunday to attend service. We didn’t find out why they left this place in the 1940s, but since then, it falls apart. Since the roof had collapsed, it goes fast, as they hadn’t had cement but used material from termite mounds instead. It isn’t water resistant and every rain season takes its toll. Soon there will not be much left. At the lodge they have pictures, where all the columns inside were still standing, now they are all gone. Such a pity!
This Unimog belongs to Chris, and soon will get a thorough revision by a friend of us, who is keen about getting his hands onto this “young lady”, as he called it. The world is so small and things tend to work themselves out if you just believe they will.
The rainy season had truly started as you can see and we enjoyed it a lot at the lake shore. Spending our days with yoga, swimming, snorkelling, working and all the lovely people we met there.
Together with Kerstin from airtango-tz.com we went on a snorkelling trip to the islands, where we could watch a vast number of cichlids (dt.: Buntbarsch) around the rocks underwater.
If you want to get this view of the islands at Lake Tanganyika, you will have that opportunity with airtango-tz.com – a waterplane which is now moored at the lodge.
From the lodge, the sunset is a spectacle every evening, even with the rain clouds moving around. The dinner at the restaurant was not only delicious but together with the nice people we met there it was a special pleasure.
When we left after a couple of days, it felt like leaving good friends and we will make sure to come here again. Next, we will take a free tour through a Tanzanian NP – an opportunity we couldn’t let pass – more on the next post!