Blog Archives

Top Gear Africa Special

top gear logoThe disappointment of discovering this year’s Top Gear Special was not on when we were actually in the UK and could watch it was replaced with joy when I found out the 3 intrepid explorers would pass within miles of our home in Mwanza.

I wanted to give my view on the Top Gear special, based on some personal experiences. It was great to be able to relate to so much of the scenery and roads and a real chance to show off (and remind me of) the beauty of the region. However, there were quite a few things that puzzled me.

Firstly, I do wonder why in the opening scene there were no big crowds gathering round this unusual car with a white guy and a camera crew – were people seriously warned not to come near, or paid something to stay away….? I guess maybe if it was some sleepy little village it would be possible. Their cars were quite fun however, and I certainly know the feeling of going over monster speedbumps and can just imagine their low profile cars scraping over all of them!

Secondly, when the team crossed into Tanzania from Rwanda, there is actually a paved road all the way to the Serengeti (a 1 day drive) –  did they take a wrong turn to end up having to cross the river on a make-shift raft? I guess it wouldn’t make very exciting viewing driving along a nice paved road when you can make a raft! My bus certainly didn’t go that way! I can definitely believe that someone on a boat would have gone and grabbed the armchair however – no-one would let something of that quality go to waste here – (n.b. those prints are all the fashion and you can easily pick one of those up by the side of the road in most places.

Thirdly, what ferry did they take? A 16 hour ferry ride from somewhere on the West side of lake Victoria to somewhere near the Serengeti. The only ferry I know of is the Bukoba ferry we took which doesn’t look like the one in the programme and is a passenger ferry. So am scratching my brain on this one – and can’t seem to get a good view of the name of the boat they are on…Maybe the Orion II, one of the Kamanga ferry fleet on a cargo journey going to somewhere like Ukerewe Island? There are pictures below of them both – what do you think?

Ferry from Show - similar?

Ferry from Show – similar?

MV Orion from Kamanga Ferry web

MV Orion from Kamanga Ferry web

Brings me nicely on to my disappointment that if they did do the above journey they missed out Mwanza. It would be the biggest place since Kampala and thought they might have stopped in to get their creature comforts. But again, guess staying in a nice hotel in a nice lakeside city with not much traffic isn’t quite the mantra they were following, but maybe it does show that they do these things properly and don’t stay in nice hotels…..

Fourthly, I was left wondering how they managed to drive in the Serengeti at night? As far as I was aware it is against park regulations to drive at night in Serengeti National Park. Maybe they got some special dispensation to do that – as well as drive off the designated tracks – BBC must have some good influence.

Anyway, thought it was a good special, part 1 much better than part 2, karibu tena Tanzania Top gear. Any other observations people had then feel free to comment below!

Advertisements