Ngorongoro Crater was the last National Park on our list, but not the last highlight. Not at all! We went back to Arusha to spend one night there and then headed down towards the coast. On the way we cruised alongside the southern slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro and we were lucky enough to see his snow-covered head one more time. The southern side of the peak is steeper and has more snow on it but it is a much rarer sight due to dense clouds over the rain forest. You can rest assured that we thoroughly enjoyed the view!
We spent the night in the Usambara Mountains, an off-the-beaten-track region in north-eastern Tanzania. The lodge there sits high atop a cliff, a thousand meters above the valley. Needless to say that the views are amazing and the road there is amazing, too. Or crazy, or horrible, depending on your perspective.
On the last day we returned to Kenya and ended the tour in Diani Beach in a beautiful resort with sandy white beach and lots of swaying palm trees. The rest day here today is well deserved and celebrated with a Tusker or two. Cheers!
Kilimanjaro is a sight to behold, especially if you see the elusive southern side.
Lots of shots were shot...
... and everybody had their picture taken.
Ali celebrates the occasion with a bowl of steaming hot sheep's intestines. Yummy...
The beautiful road to Lushoto, formerly known as Bad Wilhelmstal, German-East Africa. (following photos by Anne)
Great to ride some curves again!
The dirt track to the Irente Cliff
Whereever we show up the kids are cheering and jumping with joy.
A ride among banana-, mango- and papaya trees
After arriving on top we were rewarded...
... with spectacular vistas...
... and ice-cold Kili beer!
Werner definitely needed one!
And Carolyn as well.
Good job, boys!!!
And to round it all off we had a short but stunning sunset.
This is Jordan, the Chameleon.
And Felix, the proud owner.
In Africa you have to be prepared for a basic lunch sometimes. This restaurant in Tanga served fish with rice and beans...
... which tasted very good, actually! Don't you think, Ian?
Sheila just couldn't get enough of the crispy fish tails...
Thomas had Ugali instead of rice. It's something like polenta mixed with concrete, completely tasteless but filling. And cheap, this meal was less than 3 Dollars!
Crossing the border back into Kenya took less than two hours, a new record. The group waited patiently.
Ladies and Gentlemen, we made it. Welcome to Diani Beach. Two weeks of adventure are coming to an end.
Anne is visibly exhausted, but happy. Thanks for the nice photos, Anne!
- THE END -
Past Lake Naivasha and the Giraffe breeding centre outside of Nairobi we went to visit our next national park: Amboseli, land of the Elephants. We spent two nights in a wonderful lodge, right in the middle of the swamp that is fed by melting water from Kilimanjaro. We could also see the majestic mountain, early in the morning and late in the afternoon.
Then we crossend the border to Tanzania and headed to Ngorongoro Crater, a true highlight of the tour. Getting there was not easy though, we had to fight hard to make it through a sandy diversion around some road works. But we made it, and were rewarded with spectacular scenery and numerous animal sightings. Here are some impressions, take your time...
Lake Naivasha Sopa Lodge
wildlife is plentyful in the park of the lodge
Anne, posing with Eddie.
Sheila, preparing for the kiss...
a rare sight: a giraffe from above
Game drive by bike. Elephants look much bigger if you're not in a car...
the bumpy road to Amboseli
Ian and Anne, having fun...
Jörg and Petra, taking a break. Unfortunately you cannot see how rough the washboard is.
Proof: Jörg was here!
A very rare sight: rainbow over Amboseli
A panorama of Mount Kilimanjaro at dawn. Magic!!!
Werner and the nail that pierced his tire.
Sheila, Anne, Ian and Linda, waiting patiently for the border officials to stamp, staple, restamp and restaple our papers. It only took two hours, so we were lucky.
A man and his drink.
Impressions of the road works site that we had to ride through (photos by Petra):
Upon arrival in Ngorongoro we covered our bikes to protect them from the monkeys.
Ngorongoro Crater, the world's largest unflooded caldera.
Carolyn and her friends. Modern Maasai have a great sense of style...
Traditional Maasai women
Sheila inside one of the Maasai huts
Some of the animals we saw during our game drive in the crater (photos by Sheila):
The three guides, doing their best to protect Carolyn from all the wild animals...
This is Werner and his birthday cake. He turned 60. Happy Bithday, Werner!!!
Departure from Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge. It is not always hot and dry in Africa...
The Maasai Mara, one of Africa's best and most famous game reserves, is a Garden Eden of grass and flowers. This year at least, because the dry season is not as dry as it should be. Plenty of rain made the road to the park almost impassable, but the muddy river that crossed it was an open intivation to Ian and Jörg. "Let's have some fun" they said - and rode right through. Watch the videos here:
Here is what happened the last two days:
A Kodak moment not far from Molo, Kenya. Not many tourists find their way here. They don't know what they're missing!
A local rider admires the big BMW.
Ian from England, wading through the sea of tea. It'll be 5 o'clock soon, Ian!
From bikes to boats: the group on Lake Victoria, looking for the hippos.
Beautiful sunset from the terrace of our lodge at the shore of Lake Victoria.
Anne and Ian, about to tackle the flooded Mara road.
Jörg arrives safely on the other side. Good job, guys!
And the Tusker Award goes to: Ian and Jörg!
The Heart of Africa called once again and a small group of riders and passengers from England, Germany and the US followed the call to explore Kenya and Tanzania on motorcycles. Brand new BMW 1200s and 700s, we have to add, which is like a miracle here in Kenya, where a 250 is already considered a big bike.
On Sunday we headed north from Nairobi, towards Mount Kenya, and today we crossed the Equator three times, descended down into the Rift Valley and rode to Lake Nakuru, where we spend the night in our first National Park. Here we went for a game drive and were able to check the first to animal species off our Big-5 bucket list: buffaloes and rhinos. It was a spectacular experience.
Delivery from South Africa: a trailer full of brand new bikes!
Jörg celebrates the occasion with a fresh, cold Tusker!
Petra and Jörg and their beautiful blue GS. Can't wait to get going, right?
Tour guide Thomas is especially happy to see the brand new bikes.
Chania Falls are part of the garden of the Blue Post Hotel, the site of our first coffee break.
Papayas and Bananas, super-fresh from the fields and for sale on the side of the road.
Ian and Anne from England have no trouble to get used to riding on the wrong side of the road...
Ian, Anne and Werner in the little museum that is dedicated to Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of the Boyscout movement.
The one picture everybody has to have: rider, bike, equator-sign. Check!
Science made visible: the Coriolis-Show gives everybody something to think about.
The official grup picture. The sign is actually 30 metres north of the Equator, but does it matter? No, it doesn't.
This beautiful panorama of the African Rift Valley unfolds from Subiuka Lookout, 2500 metres above sea level. Magic!
Werner, Anne and Ian, enjoying the view. In the back: Ali, our accomodation- and game drive manager.
Flooded trees at Lake Nakuru. Plenty of rain made the lake almost overflow.
And here are some pics from our afternoon game drive.