world map


Where an elephant made Otto rock

date of entry 06/01/1989
mileage 9,636

capital Dodoma

area 945.087 km²

population 41.048.532

GDP 16.184 M. US-Dollar

official language Swahili/English

Gunther Holtorf describes the journey through Kenya and Tanzania as "years of wandering and learning". Ill-equipped, he got stuck in the mud with Otto in a remote region at the start of the rainy season. Help came only at the last minute. Not a nice experience, but invaluable practical knowledge for the rest of the tour – until an elephant rubbed its back against Otto.
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  • Otto travelling by ship (under the tarpaulin). In the foreground is the Citroën 2CV belonging to two British globetrotters.
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  • The two Brits with their animal mascot. After a few beers, they had bet that they could drive to the Cape in a Citroën 2CV.
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  • Men in small boats approaching the transport ship.
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  • They hand over goods that are to be transported further by the large vessel.
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  • Evening in a fishing village.
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  • Cannons at an old fortress. Until 1961 the country was under British rule. Dodoma is the capital, but Dar es Salaam, the country’s largest city, is the seat of government.
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  • Villagers crushing grain.
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  • Otto in reverse gear pulling a lorry out of a river. The bridge would not have taken the lorry.
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  • Tanzania is a country of lions. The animals appeared friendly or just uninterested.
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  • While taking pictures, Gunther Holtorf kept his distance from the animals nonetheless. During his evening shower an elephant cow with calf approached the car. Holtorf jumped inside the vehicle still covered in soap. The baby elephant rubbed its back against Otto. "It felt like an earthquake to us," says Gunther.
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  • Zebras in the wild at Mikumi National Park
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  • A bird building its nest
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  • These monkeys were cute. They even let us feed them bananas...
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  • ...although they did get rather too close for comfort.
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  • Road and river merge into one.
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  • "Will we make it over these tree trunks?" - some mudholes were covered roughly with logs of wood.
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  • Through the mud with gusto: Otto made it through this mudhole.
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  • There was no way forward on this waterlogged track.
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  • Thanks to a carjack and outside help Otto was freed again. After that the Holtorfs turned back: the rainy season had started, making the roads impassable for months.
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  • Sunset over the Indian Ocean
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  • Video: Tanzania – years of wandering and learning

Otto was here before ...


date of entry 25 January 1989
mileage 12,371