Robert Munro
/ Rob Munro


Burundi in July 2006.

We'd been enquiring about the security situation in Burundi for a couple of weeks and after the Burundian embassy staff in Rwanda laughed when we asked if it was still dangerous we decided it would be ok to pass through. It turned out that Burundi was one of the safest and friendliest places we\ve been, but just to be safe we took a taxi for the first section to the capital Bujumbura - this is us behind a UN convoy and the central market.

South along Lake Tanganyika we had the flattest and fastest day so far. An old Cypriot expat running a cafe said we weren't the first people to cycle through as he'd met a German cyclist - he paused and thought for a little while and said "about 30 years ago".

Enjoying a drink at one of the few places we found selling water

A forest reserve - after so long in the mountains it was nice change of environment to see some tropical palms.

The lake was really like an ocean - it's the world's longest and second deepest lake, but fairly thin in places - we could often see the mountains of the Congo on the other side. At Nyanza Lac they don't get many tourists - the district's councillor, Martin, showed us around in the evening. He was a cool guy - here he and Peter are reenacting the image on a monument to Burton and Speke.

From Nyanza Lac we could see our destination in Tanzania, Kigoma, just 30kms or so along the lake. Unfortunately, the border along the lake was closed, so instead of an easy couple of hours it took us two days of tough riding over 100kms in a long loop up a mountain range and along sandy trails. There were 20kms of no-man's land traversing a ridgeline between the Burundian and Tanzanian immigration posts - there was a car now and then but mostly just the occasional person walking or pushing a bike. It was a desolate but beautiful spot.

From Burundi we headed into Western Tanzania.