Come as a guest, leave as a friend

After some good times in Katavi, we are heading back to Lake Tanganyika. We had heard of a lovely lodge on the shores of lake, where it seemed like being on the beach. 

The road back to the lake was filled with rain. It actually rained the entire way to the lodge, and just before reaching the lodge, our ABS sign went on. We slowly continued and reached the lodge safely. Since the rain was still coming down, we decided not to camp, but to pick a banda. The next day, we would decide whether to camp again. 

Long story short (we know, nothing like us), we stayed here for six days. We could have moved into our tent any day, but we just enjoyed the banda, the food and the place a lot. The first days it was quite rainy and grey. It is amazing how even a place as beautiful as the Lakeshore Lodge could feel a bit sad when it is raining all day, but as soon as the sun came out, we could see how much of a paradise this place is. 

We knew the lodge was quite a bit above our budget, but we just decided to enjoy our time here. We had just spent Christmas on the road, so we decided to treat ourselves to a wonderful time and a new family for a few days. The owners of the lodge, Chris and Louise, live up to their motto: Come as a guest, leave as a friend. 

We had not had a place like this before, where not only the staff, but also the guests came to feel like friends. We came to know all of them and had lovely conversations with most of them. It is funny how it can feel like many people are overlanding, doing the same as we do. Most of them even more adventurous and for a much longer time. We had already met a few people that were on the road through Africa for more than a year and even a couple that has been traveling for over 4 years! We sometimes feel like newbies on the road here, despite our 2 months of traveling. However, we realize that it is still a bit special what we do, when we phone home (to the Netherlands) and friends and family ask us about our adventures. 

At the lodge, there were several tables, and there was always a larger table set. This is where Chris and Louise join their guests, if they wanted. This table grew bigger and bigger, until suddenly we were also invited. It actually felt like a big family table and we enjoyed our time at the family table. The time we did not spend eating, we would be swimming, exercising in the African gym(Emma), having a massage and editing photos of our travels. We also took a nice snorkeling trip to see the cyclids.

As we had crossed the 5.000 km on our trip, it was also time to do some service. Together with the lodge's mechanic, Jeroen was able to check some of the filters and replace those that needed replacing. We felt like we were in paradise and for the first time since we started this trip, we actually were able to sit down and do (almost) nothing. It was really relaxing.

When New Year's Eve came around, we spent time with this new family on a lovely sunset cruise, having a South African Braai on the beach and finishing the night with a nice afterparty in the restaurant. This was really the downtime we wanted and we longed for. With new energy we were fully charged for our next adventure, to leave the Lakeshore Lodge as friends and to head to Zambia, our next country!

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