After the peace and quiet of recent days the night is noisy. A local party blares out music through the night in typically Tanzanian style. As we toss and turn In our separate dorms we both mull things over. Some questions. Why a night crossing? What about the boat? Who is the captain?
We meet with Adelini early in the morning and ask these questions. We are assured the night crossing is calmer than the day, so that the trip will be more straight forward. Our contact agrees to take us to the boat and meet the captain.
We see the boat but it seems low in the water and too full of cargo – this seems an unlikely choice and we are warned against it. Alongside is a boat with more promise, this boat can take us either late afternoon or early tomorrow morning. The reason is that there are no immigration offers in town, all are in Songea and return this afternoon. No one leaves Tanzania until they return.
We get out our remaining M-pesa and after a soda with Adelini return to the guest house to pack – still not sure when we are leaving Mbamba Bay.
At 1pm Adelini arrives and says the boat is leaving this afternoon – we hurry lunch and then make our way to the boat. We need to visit the immigration office – perhaps the smallest one I’ve been to. He is not there so Adelini goes to look for him whilst we wait lying in hammocks.
The immigration official arrives and we are stamped out of the country.
We go and sit at the lakesides, our boat captain is nowhere to be found. We wait and wait and wait and wait. Our contact Adelini has gone off to find the captain, an hour passes and no return.
When he returns, bad news!
The sea is too rough, the boat will not be going until it calms tonight. We will not be leaving until at least 9pm. A six hour crossing will get us in at 3-4 am. This is going to be a long night.
We buy a room in a local guesthouse for 15000 TzS and wait it out. It’s somewhere to store our belongings and while away the hours.
I go to the beach one more time to see the sunset. They are amazing here – the sun sets behind the Malawian mountains. These are hidden by heat haze all day, only to be revealed by the setting sun. The sky turns all shades of orange and red over the next few minutes.
I return to the BN Guesthouse, the departure as been delayed and will not now be until 3am. We sleep in shifts (we have booked one room only).
Mode of Transport
- Guest House – BN Guesthouse
- 15000 TzS per room per night
- Mbamba Bay