Lake Tanganyika & Mugara Hot Spring
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999 Days Around Africa: The Road Chose Me
I wind down out of the mountains into the town of Nyanza Lac, in the very South Western corner of the country. I have been close to the mighty Lake Tanganyika on a few occasions now, and I’m stoked to find a hotel right down on the lakeshore where I can soak in the stunning afternoon and sunset. I have obviously dropped a lot of elevation, and the heat and humidity have watched up a huge notch.
I have also arrived in the season of “small rain”, which means it downpours for a hour or two every couple of days. In the afternoons huge thunderstorms have been building on the horizon, and here on the shores of Lake Tanganyika the skies absolutely let loose for hour after hour. With all the French, rawness and rain, I feel exactly as if I have driven back into West Africa.
In the morning I move North along the lake shore before climbing back into the mountains to find the Hot Springs of Mugara. These are right near a town, and so they are a commercial enterprise and developed. For a very modest entry fee I’m granted access to what turns out to be a very large tiled pool where hot water is streaming in. The workers have just finished cleaning the pool, so the water level is very low.
There is also a much smaller hot pool and also a refreshing cold pool which I use repeatedly. The water pouring into the big pool is very hot, and I can’t quite stand under it – though a few locals do.
The photos make the pool look dirty – when in fact it is not. The water is a little brown, and it has stained the tiles which is why the photos don’t look great. The water has no smell, and is fantastic for soaking when it has cooled a little. All the locals are extremely friendly and happy to chat – I think they’re shocked I have found my own way here without a guide.
I soak well past midday before setting out to drive North along the lakes hore into the capital city.