After Zanzibar the camp had been invaded by a firm having a team building day (we think!) so we moved down the road to the allegedly nicer silver sands (well they were silver but the showers were horrible cold again ? and I got "bitten to death" by the mozzies. We left very early after a sleepless night to head out of town. Overall Dar was not very nice!
Change of plan ? now from here we were supposed to be heading up to the northern parks Serengeti and the Ngorongoro crater before heading into Kenya and the Masai Mara but ? we can't afford it basically. It appears it cost $200 a day for the car plus $50 each for us just to get into the crater ? then there is food camping and fuel on top, the Serengeti has very similar costs and we wont even talk about the Mara costs! So either we blow the budget completely and go or we turn now. The debate was that if we went we wouldn't be able to do anything extra other than eat and camp and drive for the rest of the journey as we would have filled up the credit card and used the entire contingency fund just in one park! Which is no fun! So I put my sensible head on (al ah wurzel gummige) and we decided to stick to the budget ?and headed back down towards Zambia.
Not sure if I have mentioned already but there are more police road blocks in Tanzania than in any other country, every 20km or so there is a police man stopping the trucks and buses, most of the time we are waved through. We were stopped a couple of times today though not really sure what they are checking, they ask where we are from and where we are heading to, one very friendly policeman just wanted to introduce himself "James" shake our hands and let us know we could find him at Iringa police station!
We stopped at Makumi again (we were going to drive round to the Selous game reserve but were told of another huge price hike of about 10x the gate cost overnight!) It seems in Tanzania all they care about is the tourist spending dollars, doesn't matter that the up keep of the roads and camps are awful and the staff are all grumpy, just as long as they make money and especially for the self drives The car costs more than the driver!!! This time we stayed at the northern camp for an extra £20 we got full board and a tent with a view. The staff here were lovely, an ex-pat New Zealand lady ran the camp and we were walked back to our tent by a Masai warrior!!! As Bad Harry the one tusked old elephant usually patrolled the hill at night and he wasn't very nice if you bumped into him in the dark apparently! We saw plenty on the game drives, elephant, hippo, gazelle, zebra, bush buck and giraffe although only managed to hear the lions roar, everyone else in the camp had spotted them but we were unlucky this time! We met some nice people from Scotland and their friends who are staying in Dar round the camp fire (as you do). The bloke from Dar was especially lovely as we had been discussing the few problems we had had getting money (there are very few ATM's and even less that take anything other than visa) and our brief millionaire experience as well as the extortionate costs of the game reserves. We were just explaining the only bank to accept switch was the Standard bank but couldn't draw out much at each go so you had to put your card in twice each and he suddenly produced his card (he worked for them - very high up too!) and said we could name drop if we had any further problem and he would sort things out!!!) Lucky or what!