It was expected to be a short drive. Departure was therefore planned for 9.00 AM. I still had to rush. The room had aircon so I fell in a much deeper sleep. The road over the high plain (1100 m) was mostly smooth. Some sections were under repair but it was not much. We did have, here and there, a bit of a pothole tango to avoid the holes. The plain looks very fertile. Everywhere you see that rice is being planted in wet fields. Some are being ploughed for maize plantation. There are also many Sekumu tribesmen herding their cows along the highway.
21 km before Mwanza we turned off the main road towards Kisessa. The town has a Sukumu museum. There is no signpost but eventually I found it on the GPS. However it pointed us off road over very rough sand/mud roads in-between the houses up the hill. In the end the road was too narrow for the 4×4 and we turned around. Making a bit of a detour the system finally pointed us up a more direct sand road and we reached the Museum. Every day they have 1 or 2 visitors so we had the place to ourselves. A guide showed us to the 5 exhibitions they had set up in various houses on the site. They are all related to the Sukuma tradition. One house has large King drums with which the king gave notice of important events, such as the cutting of his hair, which meant the planting season could start. Others has the paraphernalia used to make iron, or used by the traditional medicine man. The main event of the museum is the yearly dance competition between the various local dance groups. This is held in June so we were a bit too early.
Mwanze is just 17 km down the road towards Victoria lake. Around the lake, but also on the road from Sinyanga, large granite boulders stick out of the landscape. Some of them are well known for their balancing act like the Bismarck rock in Mwanza. I spent some times walking along the lake shore.
We arrived at the lakefront at 16:00. From then on we spent 2 hrs trying to find a suitable and payable lodge. In hindsight I should have accepted the first one for $43 which was right on the lake shore. However the owner was Chinese and he did not look very friendly, so we drove from one place to another. We even had a motorcycle guiding us along the many sand roads full of holes to find a decent place. At the last point, a lodge very similar to yesterday, asked $60 for a night. The caretaker was very friendly but he was not allowed to lower the price from his boss. Moreover it even increased because I was a foreign tourist. I turned it down and we drove all the way back into town. The one I am in now is in the middle of the town. It comes out of Lonely Planet and costs only $9 and you notice it. It is my driver Erik’s birthday. We are hitting the town now for diner and beers.