Tanzania Advice from CalDriver





Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Northriding AH
    Posts
    14
    Thanked: 22

    Default Tanzania Advice from CalDriver

    HI Caldriver

    I've planned a long day on the road to Singida from Tunduma then Singida to Mwanza; Mwanza to Musoma; Musoma to Oloolola. Does this sound feasible. Where should we stock up on supplies for camping 2 nights in the Mara Triangle? We go to Nairobi after the 2 nights in Mara Triangle.

    Do you have any experience of Tunduma Border Post and any advice re getting through efficiently.

    Last question - where is the best and earliest place to buy the COMESA? We're coming Botswana - Plumtree - Kariba - Lusaka - Tunduma. Should we make time to stop in Lusaka and get the COMESA there or is it possible somewhere else in Zambia?

    Response from CalDriver

    The Mara was absolutely amazing, one of the very best stops on our whole trip. Here are some thoughts, hopefully helpful:
    I donít know about Tunduma to Singida in a day, that seems like a real long haul in one day and maybe not possible. Are you thinking of taking the main road via Dodoma and turning off towards Singida or taking the more direct road that is probably slower?
    I didnít go either route, so I canít say for sure, but that seems very ambitious in one day. Our experience in Tanzania was that we could average about 50 kph. Between traffic, road works, speed limit is 50 in villages and there are villages everywhere, and frequent speed traps, on the main roads at least.
    I met a couple that was going to drive from the Old Kisolanza Farm house, south of Iringa, to Mwanza in two days via Dodoma. Maybe if you could get some way into Tanzania after you cross the border you could ease the pain a bit of the following days? Utengule Coffee Lodge maybe? Anyway, that part of you plan seems very ambitious, so you might have a plan B up your sleeve just in case you donít make the progress youíre anticipating.

    The road between about 50 km east of Mbeya to about 70 km (donít quote me exactly, thatís just off the top of my head) is under construction now and is slow going. North of Iringa, if you go that route, the road is very good and not much traffic. Most of the trucks seem to come onto the road at Iringa. If it werenít for the speed traps you could make very good time on that section, and they have mercifully not put too many speed humps on that section.

    As for your Mwanza to Oloololo plan, yes, no problem. The road east from Mwanza is good enough, and becomes excellent somewhere around Lamadi all the way to the border. You might be able to do Mwanza to Oloololo in a day if you got an early start from Mwanza and didnít get hung up at the border too much. Or one of the camps just outside the gate. Isibania to the Oloololo gate is 2.5 hrs, and weíre slow so you could probably do it faster. We went the reverse, so for you itíd be Isibania - Kehancha to the C13 to Lolgorian - Oloololo. Pretty good marram road with one short paved part in the middle. There is provisioning in Lolgorian, but it will be a mix of an odd supermarket and the local open market. I think the last ďproperĒ supermarket is in Mwanza, but we didnít go there so Iím not sure where. Alternatively there might be one in Migori. If you go that route beware, there is a lot of traffic there. No real problem, just slow.

    Isibania border is reasonably efficient.

    We didnít go through Tunduma, so no advice there. We used the smaller post to the west, Keseysa, I think. But I assume the paperwork is the same, nothing magic. We donít have a carnet, so requested at TIP. This took a little extra time, maybe 20 minutes, and cost 25 dollars. Youíll need a new one (another 25 dollars) on the way back. Payable in shillings or dollars converted to shillings. They made the most lazy one minute inspection of our vehicle, just I think because they felt they were supposed to. ďWhatís inside?Ē I opened the canopy and replied ďCamping equipment.Ē Long pause. ďOkay.Ē And that was it. Thatís the only inspection weíve had on our whole trip.

    We bought COMESA in Livingstone from Nico Insurance, there is a forum post on it that I added to recently. Will you cross at Vic Falls or Chirundu? If Vic Falls I would make time in Livingstone. If not, I suppose Lusaka, but I donít know where. Whomever you buy youíre 3rd party from will have to be who you get COMESA from, so when you buy 3rd party at the border verify they can sell Comesa from their main office in town (wherever that is) before you buy 3rd party. They may say yes and even then be wrong. Iím sure you can get it in Lusaka, but who knows where. You might email Mudpackers in lusaka, theyíre a 4x4/overland outfitting shop and they might know.

    I hope that helps. You've asked some good questions that might also be on others minds. I'd suggest reposting your original question and my response in a public post so that others that find themselves in the same situation might find this in their research. But up to you, no big deal.

    Also, maybe you read it already, but I have a couple blog posts on the Masai Mara that are mostly me droning on about how neat animals are, but there might be a few helpful logistical details in there, you can check it out at stuckinlowgear.com.

  2. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to DonaldWA For This Useful Post:


  3. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    East London
    Age
    66
    Posts
    4,387
    Thanked: 2513

    Default Re: Tanzania Advice from CalDriver

    Thank you Donald for posting this and to CalDriver for suggesting you do so!

    I shudder to think how much very valuable expert information is lost when such information is only posted on Personal Messages and never reaches the open forum.
    Landcruiser 76SW.

    ďGreat journeys are memorable not so much for what you saw, but for where you campedĒ.

    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.

  4. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Stan Weakley For This Useful Post:


  5. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Posts
    207
    Thanked: 135

    Default Re: Tanzania Advice from CalDriver

    DonaldWA thanks for posting.

    I should mention that the route we took was Keseysa - Sumbawanga - Kipili (this is a diversion, you could skip it) - Katavi - Kigoma - Mwanza - Isibania. There are a few ways to go from Kigoma to Mwanza, the proprietor of Jakobson's Beach is the man with the latest info. T4A has numerous inconsistencies up that way, so it doesn't quite have the whole story, though served us well. We went up towards the Burundi border and it was the longest day on the road of our trip, but also fascinating, great views, a ferry ride, and other than about 45km of roadworks pretty easy going.

    From a bit north of Mpanda (north of Katavi, south of Kigoma) there are roadworks going for a long time. I'll have to check my GPS track, but off the top of my head I'd guess 80 km? It's slow going. North of that it's a gravel/dirt road of widely varying quality. South of Mpanda to Sumbawanga is pristine new tarmac that you could fly on, if it weren't for the endless villages and 50kph speed limits, but we enjoyed the smooth sailing while we had it.

    I'm not suggesting one route over the other, I just reread my response and saw that I said "that's not the route we took" and realized that might suggest the question of what route did we take?

  6. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to CalDriver For This Useful Post:


  7. #4
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Northriding AH
    Posts
    14
    Thanked: 22

    Default Re: Tanzania Advice from CalDriver

    Quote Originally Posted by CalDriver View Post
    DonaldWA thanks for posting.

    I should mention that the route we took was Keseysa - Sumbawanga - Kipili (this is a diversion, you could skip it) - Katavi - Kigoma - Mwanza - Isibania. There are a few ways to go from Kigoma to Mwanza, the proprietor of Jakobson's Beach is the man with the latest info. T4A has numerous inconsistencies up that way, so it doesn't quite have the whole story, though served us well. We went up towards the Burundi border and it was the longest day on the road of our trip, but also fascinating, great views, a ferry ride, and other than about 45km of roadworks pretty easy going.

    From a bit north of Mpanda (north of Katavi, south of Kigoma) there are roadworks going for a long time. I'll have to check my GPS track, but off the top of my head I'd guess 80 km? It's slow going. North of that it's a gravel/dirt road of widely varying quality. South of Mpanda to Sumbawanga is pristine new tarmac that you could fly on, if it weren't for the endless villages and 50kph speed limits, but we enjoyed the smooth sailing while we had it.

    I'm not suggesting one route over the other, I just reread my response and saw that I said "that's not the route we took" and realized that might suggest the question of what route did we take?
    Hi Caldriver

    Thanks for the feedback. I am looking at coming back from Nairobi via Uganda and Rwanda (we thought of going the Gorilla trek but have decided the cost of the permits is just too much). My husband is keen to experience Lake Victoria and I have heard Lake Tanganyika is also worth a visit. So we will most likely use the above route advice. It looks like we'll give Mwanza a skip on the way up now as we'll shortcut it. We also plan to go through Livingstone and Chobe on the way back.

    What I've done with the Tanzanian up route now which I think is more possible - still long days. I found Kalungu Kings Highway Guesthouse in Zambia which is 56km from Tunduma so will stop over there then make an early dash for the border and aim for Iringa followed by Iguna and then the Serengeti Stopover Lodge and from there to Oloololo.

    I will try to get some trip reports out as we go. We are in Nairobi for a week on conference so may have some time then to at least update the up trip's experiences.

    Regards

    Donald

  8. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    UK
    Age
    61
    Posts
    1,365
    Thanked: 956

    Default Re: Tanzania Advice from CalDriver

    DonaldWA

    I think I have replied to a PM from you. We are currently on the road...

    There is no way that you can make Tunduma to Singida in a day. That is a seriously long way. It is not possible.

    Furthermore, Tunduma is a busy (and rather chaotic) border crossing and it will put you in unnecessary stress to attempt any more than Kalungu King’s Highway, Zambia to Utengele Coffee Farm near Mbeya in one day. Believe me as we did it from north to south six weeks ago (and are poised to do the same in reverse in a few days time). You will only average less than 50kph for long sections.

    The stops on this route are (a good long day’s drive between each):

    Utengele Coffee farm, near Mbeya
    Old Farmhouse Kisolanza, near Iringa
    Dodoma
    ? Singida
    ? Mwanza

    We are currently just south of the Copper Belt in Zambia having driven from Nairobi to (and around) Angola and are now heading back to Kenya on the Great North Road.

  9. The Following User Says Thank You to Wazungu Wawili For This Useful Post:


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •