Singida (Tanzania)

Although Singida is just a stonethrow from the main Tanzanian tourist destination – Arusha (most of the safaris depart from it), the travelers rarely come here, although it can also boast of a couple of attractions.

To reach Singida, one needs to take a bus from Arusha, Dodoma , or Mwanza. We reached it from Katesh by shared taxi . It took a while for the car to get full. On the way, we picked up an elderly drunk Masai, who sat to the trunk of the car and was trying to seduce a young girl who was also sitting there. Nobody in the car minded it. This was only the beginning of our adventure: when we reached Singida, and tried to withdraw some money, the bank machine did not give our card back. It happened on Saturday, the bank was closed, and the security guard said we could get the card back on Monday only. We were not going to stay till Monday, and after a couple of circles around the bank, we saw a man working at his computer inside. Despite the objections of the guard, we knocked at the window. The bank employee opened it, and it took a while to persuade him to return a card: he insisted they would send the card by post to Estonia and argued that we had broken the bank machine. Finally, he agreed to return the card. We were extremely happy, withdrew money in another bank, settled in the Lutheran center, and went out to eat chips with mishkaki (fried meat on skewers) in the street café (chips – 1500, mishkaki – 300 shillings per skewer).
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Singida does not have many attractions, but the first is available already on the entrance to the city:
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But the main places to visit are 2 lakes, 5 kilometers from the city center each, very easy to walk to. We chose to hike to Singida lake. While we were walking, the sky was getting darker and darker, and as soon as we reached the lake, very heavy rain started. We managed to make only a couple of bad pictures, and learned that flamingoes – the main interest at the lake – are there at any weather.
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To see them better, we had to return the next morning. Here we realized that the lake is a great place for all those who like bird watching.
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At the same time, the lake pictures severe Tanzanian ecological reality, hard to see in the national parks which are carefully groomed for the tourists. All the rubbish is visible here.
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Apart from flamingoes, there are many marabous. These are the garbage creatures, similar to our rats and seagulls. They eat small animals, carrion, and, of course, trash.
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The birds’ feet – we are not sure marabous’ or flamingoes’:
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Unlike the national parks, the background landscape accompanying flamingoes and other birds of Singida is very poor. At the same time it is authentic: this is the way the birds live if they are not exhibited for the tourists. It is thus a matter of personal choice: whether to pay 500 dollars to see flamingoes at the picturesque lake Natron, or to watch them for free in Singida. This is what all Africa is about.
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We did not have time to see the other lake – Kindai – as we needed to leave for the next place. We got chapatti breakfast at the bus station and took the “luxury” bus to Mwanza:
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