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Thread: Trip advice

  1. #1
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    Default Trip advice

    Good afternoon all you knowledgable people
    I am after a little advice
    We have been looking at the various threads regarding booking a Mara Triangle campsite for End Aug/early September 2017 and have secured one for a 5 night stay and really hope to get the great migration crossing the Mara River so that part is sorted
    What the advice required is if anyone knows the driving time by that I mean very sensible time not foot to the floor and miss everything.
    We live and "work" in Zambia and our time is coming to an end. Before we head back to UK we want to do a big drive so the Mara is part of it. We finish towards the end of July and therefore have a month to get from Copperbelt in Zambia via Lusaka and up the Great East Road and into Tanzania. We wanted to know if there was enough time (sensible time) to visit Rwanda for a few days and take a Gorilla trek say for 3-4 days (one day with the Gorillas) and a visit to Kigali and the museums then still leave time to drive back into Tanzania to Kenya and the mara Triangle say end of August.
    To give you the rest after Mara it would be back into Tanzania and the wildlife there and onto Mozambique and South Africa taking our time as we go and stopping at many places on the way. Our flight back from Zambia is early December.

    I would appreciate any advice on the Zambia to Mara via Rwanda if it is sensible

    Many thanks

    Mike

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Trip advice

    Hi Mike. So you have a month to drive to the Mara via Rwanda. In Rwanda I presume who want to visit the gorillas at the Volcanoes NP? This is very close to the Ugandan border at Cyanika. There seems little point in driving back all the way through Rwanda to enter Tanzania again before entering Kenya along the eastern route along Lake Victoria.

    In my opinion (others may differ) this is plenty of time to visit Kigale and the gorillas. You will have time to visit a few other highlights along the route. This is why I would advise going via Uganda.

    As an illustration I checked on my GPS Tracks4Africa program and came up with the following:

    Starting in central Tanzania from Dodoma.

    • Dodoma to Kigale/Volcanoes NP and then back into Tanzania, via Mwanza to the Mara: approximately 2,200km and 36 hours on the road.
    • Dodoma to Kigale/Volcanoes NP, then via nearby Cyanika Border Post into Uganda. Through Uganda around northern Lake Victoria via Kampala to Busia border post onto nearby Masai Mara: About 2,200km and 35 hours on the road.


    To me this is a no-brainer. I hate needlessly travelling the same road twice and travelling all the way back south through Rwanda will be tedious. Although tarred the roads through Rwanda are narrow, winding and busy. Those through Uganda are easier to travel and you will find it more rewarding covering new ground.

    On entering Rwanda, at the border you can purchase a East African visa for about US$100 per person covering Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya for 60 or 90 days or shorter. The only extra will be the vehicle insurance fees at the Ugandan border, less than US$100.

    You may want to have a look at the relevant sections in my Slow Donkey blog.

    Enjoy your trip and planning!
    Landcruiser 76SW.

    “Great journeys are memorable not so much for what you saw, but for where you camped”.

    At least "Once a year go someplace you have never been before" Delai Lama.

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

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  4. #3
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    Default Re: Trip advice

    Hi Stan
    Thanks for all your info
    Yes we have already been reading your Slow Donkey Blog and it is a great help

    We may have changed our Mara booking or rather in the process off. When we enquired a few days ago we could only get one of the camps in the triangle from Sept 5th. It now seems that one of our preferred ones has come up from 25th Aug so a week earlier or so. It still gives us around 1 month as I think we can finish around 25th July and get on the road.
    You are correct in that we want the Gorillas in Volcanoes National Park. We have seen them before in Uganda in 2006 on an "overlanding" trip as it was my first time in Africa. Now much more experienced so we live and obviously drive everywhere here.

    Your blog will help as we put it is going to be a long trip this one and besides getting up to Kenya we then are looking and planning the trip to turn after the Mara and head back through Tanzania and hopefully Ngorogoro area to head down through Mozambique and into South Africa and the Kruger as we have never been plus Swaziland, Lesotho and the Garden route to Capetown before turning north and into Namibia. We spent 5 weeks in Namibia in 2011 driving so have a few return places to go and then I had ideas of cutting through Angola (no idea if possible to Zambia and spending the last week of November in Liuwa Plains before our sad final drive back to Copperbelt. It is sad as we want to leave Africa around 10th December to head home to UK and our families and friends. We will have been here for 30 months then and done many many things.
    At the moment we are concentrating on the early part, August and into September for as we have put Zambia to Mozambique via Tanzania, Rwanda, Kenya and back through Tanzania.

    We will keep looking
    Thanks
    Mike

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Trip advice

    A month ought to be enough time to get from the Copperbelt to the Mara, but you won't be able to dilly-dally on the way. I agree with Stan - why don't you loop round through Uganda?

    I would go the more intrepid and satisfying route from northern Zambia - cross over into Tanzania at Kashesha, then to the lovely Lakeshore Lodge on Lake Tanganyika, Katavi National Park and then up the rough-ish road from Katavi to Kigoma. Then from Kigoma and long and, apparently, pretty rough road to the Rwanda border. Exit Rwanda through Cyanika into Uganda. Through Uganda, exit into Kenya through Busia and onwards to the Mara via Kericho, Sotik and Kilgoris.

    Safari njema!

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