Distance: 216km (Cumulative: 18 981km)
Moving time: 4:15
Average speed: 51km/h
Road surface: 45% Tar, 65% Gravel
We wanted to get an early start, but even without having breakfast we only left at 10:00.
The road through Katavi is probably the worst section of the whole western route with some corrugations and bigger holes and bumps as well as soft sand ‘holes’. The speed limit is also 50km/h, but one would easily have been able to do 60 – 80 on some sections of the road (which you shouldn’t do as there is game in the park plus we saw a bus almost running over a big antelope).
Big parts of Katavi were burned, but it looked more serious than just a controlled burning of the grass as a lot of trees were completely charred.
At Kizi, about 126km from Sumbawanga, the road turned into a tar road, but 12km later at Paranawe (a ‘town’ not even indicated on Google Maps) the road splits with the tar road going to Namanyere (this tar road is also not on Google Maps or T4A) and the T9 towards Sumbawanga being gravel again. We took the tar road to Namanyere which automatically turns towards Sumbawanga again, bypassing the Namanyere. We drove on this road when we went to Lakeshore Lodge more than 3 months ago, but then it was still very much under construction. On the route below one can see this straight piece of road that goes passed Namanyere. It is unclear why this piece was tarred instead of the T9 piece that goes from Chala to Paranawa, they might still tar that section as well or the T9 will be diverted to go past Namanyere instead. We still drove for some parts next to a stretch of road that looked like it was tarred today and in this week, so in another week or two people would probably drive on that tarred section as well. The last 55km of road to Sumbawanga is all tar as well. We were stopped by police twice on the last stretch of road, but both times they just checked for drivers licence and asked where we are going.
We arrived in Sumbawanga by 14:00 and went to the Simeki store where we shopped last time as well. The store felt even smaller this time and we only bought Nutella, Omo, Pringles and Mayonnaise (not a nice kind). We also had to walk up and down the street a few times to wait for the shop owner to return.
From there we wanted to go back to the New Holland Hotel where we stayed last time, but the road was under construction so we had to take a long detour.
We got a big double room again for 45 000 TZS with a proper hot shower and breakfast.
We just put our bags in the room and then went down to the restaurant where we ordered Chicken Masala. We just shared one plate of food which is more than enough for us and it only cost 8000 TZS.
It felt good sleeping in a proper bed again. So good that we decided to stay another day.
For breakfast there was delicious pancakes, which was even better after Hugo went to the vehicle to fetch the pot of Nutella. After breakfast Hugo went back to bed until almost 12:00, while Caro tried to do UNISA assignments. For the rest of the day we basically just worked.
For lunch we ate the last of our salami from Rwanda and for dinner we had Chinese fried rice in the restaurant.