Cape Town to Kenya - Advice Needed





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  1. #1
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    Default Cape Town to Kenya - Advice Needed

    Hi all,

    First post here, someone on tripadvisor said I might have more luck asking here.

    Me and some friends want to take a road trip from Cape Town to Kenya. The first destination in Kenya being Kilifi. We are from South Africa. We have been to Kenya before but decided this time we want to drive there and spend some time along the way in Botswana/Zambia/Tanzania (possibly Zim on the way back but we have all spent loads of time traveling in Zim so it's not as high up on the list).

    Has anyone done a similar trip before and do you recommend any specific routes? Any advice on which roads are good/bad? I'm struggling to find good recent information online.

    (We have an Isuzu Frontier that we can use for the trip.)

    Thank you!

  2. #2
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    Dear Nim

    Welcome to the form - awesome place! Best advice - in the home page of the forum, scroll down to "OVERLAND" section - there is a Kenya thread, or use the search function at the top of the home page.
    Enjoy
    Mitsubishi Triton DC 3.2 A/T 4X4
    2007 Hilux 2.5 D4D SOLD

  3. #3
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    Johan, I advised Nim to post in this section as their journey is multi-country.
    My preferred route (if you haven't been there before and depending on how much time you have on your hands) would be to do a Namibia road trip, into Zambia at Katima/Sesheke, do the Kafue NP, South Luangwa, into Malawi, do the lake and possibly Nyika Plateau, into Tanzania and whatever floats your boat there, and then into Kenya and up to Kilifi Creek. The game parks in Namibia, Botswana and Zambia are a helluva lot cheaper than Kenya and Tanzania, and the facilities vastly superior for camping, so unless you specifically have a yen to see Ngorongoro (and it is spectacular) or the Serengeti/Mara, do your game viewing down south.
    Last edited by Tony Weaver; 2015/11/29 at 06:05 PM.

  4. #4
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    Go visit slowdonkey.com, loads of information and a super read.
    4x4 less.

  5. #5
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    Also maybe have a look at this website. It's basically a portal where lots of overlanders link their websites. There are websites/blogs for 50 odd current trans-Africa trips on there, including Stan and Anne's Slow Donkey.

    http://www.africa-overland.net/Current-Trips

    Tony's suggested route is great but there are loads of options. it depends how much time (and money) you have and what your interests are (eg being in the bush, game viewing, cities, local culture etc). Do you want to do spend most of your time further north given Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe are all pretty accessible? What time of year you go will also have a big impact, especially if game viewing is a priority. Generally dry season is easier (for camping certainly) but there are definitely pluses to being out of season too.

    If I were you I'd have a good look at other peoples trips, pull together a list of places that really spark your interest and plot a rough route. Don't worry about road conditions. That's not nearly the issue people think it will be. The best piece of advice I can give you, whichever way you go, is to take your time. There are no prizes for the amount of kms covered so don't spend every day on the road or you'll come back with nothing but memories of campsites in the dark.

    Enjoy yourselves.

  6. #6
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    Thank you so much for the responses! I will go through all the suggested links and start figuring out a rough route soon. There so many options its a bit overwhelming. Its good to know that the roads don't seem to be a concern though, we had heard that some of them are terrible and it made us a bit nervous.


    We will be leaving June/July and have 6-8 weeks (still working out the details) before we need to be back home. A fairly large chunk of that time will be spent in Kenya though, as our friends live in Kilifi so spending some time traveling around with them is one of the priority's.

    We still need to work out the budget more closely but we are definitely trying to keep costs low where possible. And we are definitely more interested in spending time in nature and the quieter towns/villages rather than big cities.

  7. #7
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    Itchyfeet gives good advice on not rushing your trip. Bear in mind that the record for driving from Cape Town to London is 10 days 13 hours. http://www.africarecordrun.com/
    And that was in a Fiat Panda. However, when you look more closely into that record run, you will see that they were endurance rally people, the car was modified somewhat from the ordinary Fiat Panda, they drove 24 hours a day, and had well placed help in getting across borders. This was also in 2013 and they, with help from highly placed contacts, managed to drive through Libya with armed escorts. There is also someone at the moment who is driving from Cape Town to Europe in an old Alfa.

    As Itchyfeet says, the road conditions are nothing to worry about and, technically speaking, one can drive from the Cape to Cairo on Tarmac (of varying quality) except for a few hundred kilometers in northern Kenya. But if you want to see Africa then the roads less travelled are much more interesting.

    As Tony Weaver knows, I do not agree about limiting your wildlife viewing to further south. East Africa contains some of the last true wilderness and the wildlife spectacle is something to behold. But it will cost you, so budget carefully to ensure you have the time and money to see some of the East African parks.

    One bit of advice I will give at this stage is - bearing in mind you are going to Kilifi - the road from Tanga, Tanzania to Mombasa, Kenya doing the border crossing at Lunga-Lunga/Horo-Horo is to be recommended as the road on the TZ side of the border has recently been tarred. On the Kenya side, the tar is not great, but fine and even with the border crossing, you can easily get from Tanga to Diani Beach and/or Mombasa in a day.

    Remember that you need a Carnet de Passage for your vehicle for Kenya.

    Happy planning!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wazungu Wawili View Post

    One bit of advice I will give at this stage is - bearing in mind you are going to Kilifi - the road from Tanga, Tanzania to Mombasa, Kenya doing the border crossing at Lunga-Lunga/Horo-Horo is to be recommended as the road on the TZ side of the border has recently been tarred. On the Kenya side, the tar is not great, but fine and even with the border crossing, you can easily get from Tanga to Diani Beach and/or Mombasa in a day.
    Remember that you need a Carnet de Passage for your vehicle for Kenya.
    Good advice - avoid the Nairobi - Mombasa road if you can. The truck traffic is horrible, and there was recently a traffic jam that lasted for two days.
    Last edited by Tony Weaver; 2015/11/30 at 04:40 PM.

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