Day 24 – Mbeya to Dar Es Salaam

Throughout the night the train chugs on. I sleep when we’re moving but wake when we stop. We stop at least three times overnight. Whenever we start there is always a jolt as the carriages bump one another. Soon though the sound of the tracks lull me back to sleep. I wake just after sunrise we’re stopped and it seems like we’ve been stopped for a while. After another motionless half hour I get up- it seems like we’re in the middle of nowhere, though in fact we are at a small station in the mountains – Uchindile Station. I get out and wander up the tracks past numerous passengers. Apparently the engine has finally ‘given up the ghost’ and a replacement is been sent from Mlimba.            I take a wander up the hill into the village, the mist/smoke is rising and it is peaceful here. I return to the train to discover that next to our compartment is a shower. It’s cold, little more than a pipe but it is refreshing. I take advantage and feel clean for the first time in three days. It’s 9am before we start again. Our midday arrival in Dar looks extremely unlikely. Our train snakes through the mountains over bridges, across fertile valleys and more earthwormlike burrowing through tunnels all the way to Mlimba. The air is heavy with the scent of sage alongside the tracks.                           In Mlimba the train stops and waits more repairs. We eventually move on. Our eta is now estimated at 10pm which will be a challenge for organising our next accommodation. The afternoon grows hot as we descend to the lowlands – after Mlimba the train puts on some speed and stops less often. Near dusl we reach the outskirts of Selous National Park but sadly we see no game from the train.                Night falls our third on the train now over 52 hours since we set off from Kapiri Mposhi and well behind schedule. We stop again for an inexplicable time in the middle of nowhere. Does it really take this long to disembark or board the train? We are descended upon from out of the gloom as on most stops by many salesewomen crying “nyanya”, “soda”,”maji” “chakula”,”ndizi”, (tomatoes, soda, water, food, bananas). It’s pitch black they have probably been waiting all day (at least 10 hours). This is probably a major trading opportunity (four times per week). As midnight approached we are still traveling! Finally at 12:30am we arrive and are told we have to get off the train. There is no customer service with this company we have wasted hours at stations on route and arrived over 12 hours late. We are told we can sleep in the station! Much as I have enjoyed the scenery I cannot say that the Tazara  experience has been a highlight of our journey. We find a taxi and head off to find accommodation – it is gone 1am. Modes of Transport

  • Train
  • Taxi
  • Car Ferry


  • 584


  • Camping


  • Dar Es Salaam (Kipepeo Beach)


  • $9.50 per person per night

5 Comments Add yours

  1. janemlong23 says:

    M’thinks there is a book waiting to be written by you , I almost feel I have been on the train with you. That would mean two sons as authors , your brothers iBook comes on line today.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wendy says:

    Nevertheless, I’ve enjoyed reading it … an adventure but one hard to take after several days of buses. The scenery is great and the aroma of sage sounds wonderful … a little relief from the frequent less savoury smells! How do I send this link to my Dad. He’d enjoy the photos of your journey. Perhaps I can cut and paste the http into an email for him?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tanzalongs says:

      If you visit the actual blog page or copy the link in the Facebook post into an email it will work 🙂


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