Taveta, Kenya – Land Rover leaf springs broken

Taveta – a good place to stay and get things done

As we were not equipped for bush camping, we moved to the near Lake Jipe camp. The camp was nice, no other guests, we got a banda for toilet and shower, the lady brought water everyday for our shower, because their well had dried out. We had no electricity, but I wanted to check our mails. So I started to repair our generator, which did not work properly. We had bought this Chinese product in Botswana, it was a 800 Watt generator, we paid about 50 US$ for it. It basically worked, but did not run smooth. I fiddled around with the carburetor and somehow got it to work again. Now we had electricity again. The spot was idyllic, you could see Kilimanjaro in the far distance.

Taveta Birdlife
Taveta Birdlife

In the morning I had to go to Taveta again, to check if it worked with the leaf springs, did some shopping and on my way back the motorcycle had twice a flat tire which had to be repaired on the spot. But even in the remotest parts of Africa, there is a place where they can repair tires. Most of the time under a huge tree in the shade there is a guy who has the tools for it. So we stopped, pushed the motorcycle to the next repair and after an hour we could go again. Amazing with how little tools and material they can repair tires. The second time the same procedure, so it was already very late when I arrived at the campsite again. Alexandra did some cooking and we enjoyed the evening alone.

With the generator we could work again, Gladis brought every morning water for us, which she had to take from the lake, which was about 2 kilometers away from the lodge. These African women are so strong, unbelievable how they manage to carry these heavy water buckets on their head in the heat for such long distances. She brought Chapati as well for our breakfast. We enjoyed our stay here, the landscape was very dry with the occasional acacia tree and the elephants were passing by occassionally.

I tried to phone Uncar almost all day, because of the leafs, but only in the afternoon I could contact him, he would come in the late afternoon. I was thinking to fix it. But when he arrived he only took measure (all the 20 km to take measure), I could have told him at the phone. But things here in Africa work different, so he took the measure and I realized that he had not been in Moshi to get the springs. I got angry with him, but he was just smiling, they have a very different attitude and he felt that I liked him, so my being angry was not really an insult for him. The generator burned not only my power unit for the computer but also the charger for the cellphone. We have to get a new one.

Eventually around noon Uncar appeared. He repaired the broken main leaf, but inspite of taking measure the other leafs did not fit, they were too long. As of course he had no tools, he could not shorten them. So we decided to move to Taveta, at least we could drive because he could fit the main leaf and took a room in a guest house called Green Park Hotel. 800 KsH (12US$) for a room was ok, it was clean with fan, mosquito net and private shower and toilet. We had dinner at the guest house, some chicken with chips, quite ok, 400 Ksh.

In the morning we moved to the workshop. They cut the leafs to the proper length and repaired the mounting of our exhaust, but the end pot needed some attention, which we postponed to the next day. In the afternoon we visited the large market of Taveta. Bought some vegetables and food for Tara, we enjoyed the restaurant of our guest house in the evening.

Road to Taveta
Road to Taveta

As the conditions for working here was quite good we decided to stay. The internet was rather fast, electricity available and anyway we had to work a little bit to fill our wallet. Later we visited the market again, had some breakfast there and got wonderful chilled passionfruit juice.

We walked to the 5 km distant border to check if we could extend our Visa at the border. The officer was very helpful and told us, that we only could extend in Mombasa or Nairobi. We had planned to stay in Kenya for another three month, but as it was far to Nairobi and Mombasa as well, we decided to leave Kenya on 1st of February to Tanzania, anyway there will soon be election in Kenya, and probably it is better to leave the country during that time. So we walked back, had dinner in the restaurant and enjoyed a chilled beer.

29.01.2013 to 30.01.2013
The receptionist told us that a guest had complained about our dog, Africans are not used to dogs, but we told her that we anyway would leave on 1st of November, which was ok for her.

Visit also our site Overland travel