road through mikumi to matembwe gate, Selous





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  1. #1
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    Default road through mikumi to matembwe gate, Selous

    Hello,


    I have read an report from some travellers about the road through the south of Mikumi to Matembwe gate.


    Is there someone who has more information about this route?


    Is it a shorter route then via Morongoro?
    How many hours do you think?
    Is it a nice route?
    Is it a route which is difficult to drive?


    We will be driving it in the dry season ( JULY ) and have a good 4x4.


    Some info would be great, greetings Sylvia

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    Default Re: road through mikumi to matembwe gate, Selous

    Sylvia, I also looked into this route as a short cut last year and could get very little information on it. We were advised on this forum to contact Tan Swiss campsite near Mikumi and in fact emailed the owners. Apparently one of their drivers, Patrick, is an expert. However, although I received a reply they were not able to help.
    I am not sure of your route but perhaps ask at Tan Swiss. I know that this short-cut route is apparently rough but much shorter and I would guess is worthwhile. It might be viable in July, we were there last year in mid-June when we were told it was still too wet. We ended up going via Morongora which was not a great and a rather slow road. Have a look here http://www.slowdonkey.com/content/ge...ve-thursday-18
    And here http://www.slowdonkey.com/content/ta...ursday-18-june
    If you are in the vicinity and have the time, I would seriously consider staying at Hondo Hondo bordering the Udzungwa Mountain NP, we loved it there and there is no better place to see some rare monkeys http://www.slowdonkey.com/content/ta...ungwa-mountain
    You seem to be planning a really great trip to Tanzania. I personally would love some feedback when you return.
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    Trans East Africa 2015/2016 Trip report http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/...e16?highlight= from post 315.

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    Default Re: road through mikumi to matembwe gate, Selous

    When we wanted to do the "shortcut" from Mikumi to the Selous in 2008, the warden at Mikumi NP told us that a drift had been washed away and it was impassable. So, from what Stan says, this route is still not viable. However, it does seem marked on T4A - although this would involve some 100 miles from Mikumi to the Matembwe Gate into the Selous on what are likely to be fearsomely difficult offroad tracks. Furthermore, there is a poaching crisis in those areas and I would be wary of doing this remote and challenging route. But if you do go that way, please write a trip report. You will also use up a lot of fuel with no means of refuelling until such time as you get back to Morogoro after your time in the Selous.

    The route through Morogoro and the Uluguru Mountains is reasonably rough, but goes through beautiful mountain scenery. Once out of the mountains and on the plains, the road is through black cotton soil and thick marshy type grass (which is likely to be impassable with any rain). Stan gives excellent timings on this route from Mikumi-Morogoro-Uluguru Mtns-Matembwe Gate. It took us 5-6 hours from Morogoro to the Matembwe Gate in 2008 and, from Stan's timings, it doesn't look like much has changed. The distance from Mikumi via Morogoro is approximately 150 miles, so there isn't much difference from the "shortcut", and it is tar from Mikumi to Morogoro.

    There had been a plan to build a road from Mikumi to the Selous, but from all accounts, this hasn't been built yet. What is shown on a paper map as a road between the two seems to be a figment of the mapmaker's imagination. As Stan says, ask at Tan Swiss in Mikumi or at the Mikumi NP gate. The other people to email to ask are the owners of Selous Mbega camp - we met them in Kilwa Masoko in 2014 and he is German married to a Tanzanian lady. I am sure he will be able to give you some advice on this proposed "shortcut".

    It would be very nice if you would post a trip report. We are still waiting for your post-trip report from last year...

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    Default Re: road through mikumi to matembwe gate, Selous

    Hello Stan and Wazungu;


    Thanks for your quick replies, great.
    Lot off info on your website Stan, leep on reading.
    It s like a bibble for the traveller.
    Yesterday evening I emailed Tan- Swiss and this morning allready had the answer;


    It is possible to driver through the southern part of Mikumi to Matambwe gate, but we are not sure enough if the road will be okay by that time.


    So I m thinking after the comments we won t be friving this route only 1 car, maybe not a good idea.


    I understand the timings on T4A are not correct in the Selous area.
    It lookst that coming from Mikumi it is quicker to go to the eatern gate ; Mtembwe the the Matembwe gate, is this correct?


    Thanks for your response.


    Yes , I will write down our route and experiences when we are back in Aug / Sept

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    Default Re: road through mikumi to matembwe gate, Selous

    Quote Originally Posted by sylvia000 View Post

    I understand the timings on T4A are not correct in the Selous area.
    It lookst that coming from Mikumi it is quicker to go to the eatern gate ; Mtembwe the the Matembwe gate, is this correct?

    Absolutely not!
    I am hoping you have got your east and west confused. The eastern gate is Mtemere Gate and is only accessible from the Dar es Salaam to Mtwara road. Unless you want to deal with the heavy traffic in Dar, and a ferry crossing - or are in Dar anyway - this is most definitely not the route you would want to take coming from the Mikumi area. It is a long day's drive from Dar es Salaam to the Selous via the eastern - Mtemere - gate, and then it will take some 2-4 hours from the Mtemere Gate to the public campsite at Lake Tagalala.

    The route you would want to take from Mikumi is: Mikumi-Morogoro-Uluguru Mountains-Kisaki-Matambwe Gate (western gate) as per Stan's route on his blog. This will be a long day's drive as well.

    Disregard any timings on T4A and go by Stan's timings - with some extra time built in for the unforeseen. I recommend either the Reise Know How or the Nelles paper maps of Tanzania to give you a good overview. This is a remote part of Africa so don't be in a hurry.

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    Default Re: road through mikumi to matembwe gate, Selous

    Im very happy, I asked this question.
    Wazungu, glad you responded.
    No I was not confuesed by east and west; If you plan a route from Morongoro to the Mtemere gate east of Selous, you will see T4A has a track that goes down by Mbalizi ( so not going to Dar )


    That s why we thought this was a good one.


    T4A shows roads that are not appear roads..........hmmm.


    So it will be in at the Matambwe Gate and out at the Mtemere Gate ( after Selous we go to the beach at Kunduchi )


    We will drive the route in explained by Stan and use the 4 gps waypoint to go to the campsite in Selous.


    Stan what did you mean by T4A was taking a d-tour in Morongoro?


    Thanks
    Last edited by sylvia000; 2016/04/25 at 09:08 PM.

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    Default Re: road through mikumi to matembwe gate, Selous

    The detour in Morongoro happened with T4A in other urban areas as well. Instead of taking you through the major roads it leads you down all sorts of side streets that are not actually short cuts. Presumably this is to avoid traffic which was not an issue when we passed through.
    Take the obvious main road through.
    We got hopelessly lost on dead end and bad tracks in Selous, this was the only time on the entire trip that this happened. I think it was because Lake Tagalala was full and covered the track T4A directed us to use.
    Enjoy your trip, Sylvia, I am already having withdrawal.
    Last edited by Stan Weakley; 2016/04/25 at 10:51 PM.
    Landcruiser 76SW.

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    Trans East Africa 2015/2016 Trip report http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/...e16?highlight= from post 315.

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    Default Re: road through mikumi to matembwe gate, Selous

    Well, Sylvia, that makes a perfect loop: Mikumi-Morogoro-Matembwe Gate to the Selous and exit by the eastern Mtemere Gate-Mkongo-Kibiti-Dar es Salaam.

    Yes, I do see that T4A has a track coming from Mlandizi (which is how it is spelt on my map) off the Morogoro to Dar es Salaam road. I am sure the T4A team have driven it in recent memory, but I cannot believe that Basecamp/T4A comes up with it as the quickest route from Mikumi. From a quick calculation (Morogoro to Mtemere - eastern - gate) that route is taking you about 270 degrees clockwise involving 123 kms on tar (and this is a busy road) and 166 kms on unknown, and likely to be, rough tracks.

    The route that Stan and I have been recommending from Morogoro to the Matembwe (western) gate involves approximately 135 kms on a reasonably rough road which Stan drove last year and is a recognised route into the Selous.

    For your information, in 2008 we entered from Morogoro down the route we have been recommending to you to Matembwe Gate, camped at Lake Tagalala for four nights, and then it took us about 6-7 hours from Lake Tagalala (exiting at the Mtemere gate) until we met the tarmac on the Dar to Mtwara B2 road. This is a distance of about 100 kms. The tracks within the Selous have obviously improved a little since that time. Just before we got to the tarmac, we met a Kenyan registered vehicle towing a trailer followed by a South African vehicle. Knowing the bush etiquette, we stopped for a chat. It was a family with small children and the grandparents in the SA vehicle. They had left Dar in the early morning and it had taken them some 5 hours from Dar; they asked how long it would take them to Tagalala and we said we didn't think they had time to get there before dark and, furthermore, that we didn't think the trailer would cope with the tracks and the steep in and outs of "luggas" and "dongas". To add to their problems, the SA registered vehicle was leaking fuel and they didn't know that they wouldn't get any fuel until Morogoro (which is how they wanted to exit the Selous). They also didn't know that it was compulsory to take an armed guard when camping and provide his food. We said good luck and left them, and headed south to Kilwa Masoko. A day later in Kilwa, we met them again. They had had a discussion on the roadside and decided to forego the Selous: they were not equipped and ready for what lay ahead, and were very grateful they had met us (actually, they were very lucky as they were on the wrong road into the Selous as they had missed the main turning off the Dar road).

    So, this is just to illustrate my point about the Selous being remote and tough, but I do appreciate that was in 2008, but this is Tanzania and things change very slowly.

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    Default Re: road through mikumi to matembwe gate, Selous

    Hello Wazungu,


    Thanks for this eye-openerer.
    Very usefull because now we made some changes and extra overnight stop etc. in our route.


    I hope this looks better;


    Mikumi leave around noon and sleep at Morogoro
    Next day Morogoro to campsite Selous.
    Stay there for 2 nights.
    After that 1 night outside the Mtemere gate at Africa Safari camp Selous
    Then we will proceed the next morning to Kuduchi beach.


    Last evening we were struggling with this and while searcing for some info we accidentally saw 2 you tube videos about the Selous - Maneromango Village- Dar Road ( posted just 1 week ago ) Really a big no go for us


    Thanks for the valuable information.

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    Default Re: road through mikumi to matembwe gate, Selous

    Glad to be of assistance, Sylvia. I found those two Youtube videos. What an adventure! Roads and tracks on Tracks4Africa are contributed by fellow travellers. This route Mlandizi-Maneromango-Mtemere gate might have been contributed by those 4x4 madmen on the video, or motorbikers. I also found a motorbike Youtube video of that route (2012) and on it there was often no road for 4 wheel vehicles. Often in East Africa, what had been a road (and the authorities and mapmakers have it down as a road) is now little more than a bicycle track. The main means of transport in these remote areas are bicycles and the ubiquitous Chinese motorbikes, and then can get through, but not a 4 wheel vehicle.

    Your new plan looks a good one. You don't fancy a bit of bush work and road building?!

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