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  1. #1
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    Default Nairobi to Cape Town help please

    I知 planning to drive from Nairobi to Cape Town during December. It is not a leisure trip. That I am planning for a return leg next year. So it will be driving every day between the 2 cities and I'm looking at doing it over 7 days. It is the first time that I知 driving between Tanzania and Zambia and please need help on the following:

    1. Visas
    I知 South African but has Kenyan resident status. What would be the visas requirements for Tanzania/Zambia and do I need to apply beforehand or can I get it at the border? What documentation would I require?

    2. Vehicle documentation
    It is a Kenyan registered vehicle. What documentation would I require for border crossings? I知 planning to get a carnet. Is this the right way to go and would it cut down on the documentation I would require? Also a first for me.

    3. Vehicle markings and other requirements
    What would I require for Tanzania and Zambia? Would I be able to pay for fuel with my SA bank cards or do I need cash? I know what Botswana would require because I have done it before.

    4. Route, distance per day and accommodation options.
    I have used T4A to plan the route and iOverlander to find accommodation options but please feel comment based on your own experience. I need a clean bed and wifi would help. Again just for Taz and Zam. Once I致e hit Bots I値l be fine.

    Stop Distance (Est) Accommodation
    Arusha 290 Meserani Oasis Lodge & Campground
    Iringa 680 Iringa Sunset Hotel
    Mpika 820 Bayama's Hotel
    Monze 830 Relax Guest House

    Thanks in advance and please feel free to add anything else that you feel would be important for me to know.
    Gerrit Laubscher

    Angola sempre

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Nairobi to Cape Town help please

    You will need to get COMESA third party insurance which your insurance broker in Kenya will be able to issue for you. It will cover Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. For the other countries, you will need to get third party insurance at the border.

    A quick Google says South African citizens do not need visas for Tanzania, but I would advise you to do your own research. You will need at least six months validity on your passport.

    The AA of South Africa website has a good section saying what is needed on the vehicle for each country. I seem to remember that Zambia requires reflective stickers of a certain size both back and front. White front and red back. And for all the countries you will need warning triangles, and possibly hi-viz vests.

    I think your time plan is optimistic.

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  5. #3
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    Default Re: Nairobi to Cape Town help please

    Quote Originally Posted by Wazungu Wawili View Post

    I think your time plan is optimistic.
    Thank you very much for the valuable info. How do you suggest I adjust my travel plan to be less optimistic? What would be your suggested Km to cover per day on average?
    Gerrit Laubscher

    Angola sempre

  6. #4
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    Default Re: Nairobi to Cape Town help please

    Quote Originally Posted by lirritma View Post
    4. Route, distance per day and accommodation options.
    I have used T4A to plan the route and iOverlander to find accommodation options but please feel comment based on your own experience. I need a clean bed and wifi would help. Again just for Taz and Zam. Once I致e hit Bots I値l be fine.

    Stop Distance (Est) Accommodation
    Arusha 290 Meserani Oasis Lodge & Campground
    Iringa 680 Iringa Sunset Hotel
    Mpika 820 Bayama's Hotel
    Monze 830 Relax Guest House

    Thanks in advance and please feel free to add anything else that you feel would be important for me to know.
    What kind of vehicle is it?

    - Arusha to Iringa in a day is doable, but a very long day. Maybe 12 hours of hard driving. We drove from Tarangire to Kizolanza (643km) in 11h 25m. We find 50kph our "speed made good" when driving in Tanzania, once accounting for the traffic, pot holes, many speed bumps, many police officers and very strict, and enforced, speed limits.
    - I don't think you can do Iringa to Mpika in one day during daylight. T4A has that as 11h 47m and that is very optomistic. That border crossing between TZ and Zam will not be fast (it is fairly notorious). I did read a rumor that perhaps some of Zambia's great north road has been repaired, so perhaps...? Mbeya alone can have terrible traffic, and Mbeya to the border can also be very slow.
    - Mpika to Monze also seems very aggressive. Lusaka can have terrible traffic if you hit it at the wrong time. Lukasa Gueshouse in Lusaka is an very good stopover and is on the southern side of the city, for making a clean break the next day. Alternatively Fringilla Farm north of Lusaka is also a good stop (very different than Lukasa) if you want to stop early to avoid getting stuck in Lusaka traffic.

    I'm tired just reading your plan. We occassionaly do one big driving day like you have proposed, but never so many back to back. Each to their own - good luck!
    Blog of our African travels: stuckinlowgear.com

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  8. #5
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    Default Re: Nairobi to Cape Town help please

    We did Arusha to Jhb in 6 easygoing days, stayed over at Shiwa Ngandu Hot Spring and spent an extra half day there, spent an extra half day in Harare with family and also spent an extra half day at Tsipise hot spring in Limpopo.

    We travelled in July, when days are shorter, only the first day we travelled last 100km in the dark, we took 12 hours from 06h00 to 18h00 from Arusha to Kissolanzo Farm

    We were towing as well. We could have made it in 5 days, so perhaps 7 or 7 and a bit days from Niarobi to CT

    These were our stops:
    - 1st night at Iringa (arrived 1 nerve wrecking hour after dark)
    - 2nd night at Shiwa Ngandu Hot spring (getting dark as we booked in - last 10km very slow)
    - 3rd night at a Campsite about 20km south of Lusaka (Lots of road works - arrived at 5pm)
    - 4th night in Harare (arrived at 3pm)
    - 5th night at Tsipise Hot Springs (arrived at 2.30pm)
    - 6th day mid afternoon at home in Jhb (arrived at 3pm)
    we tried to leave as close as possible to 6h30 am every morning

    I towed a trailer, we travelled between 100 at most (when roads were good) and 50 to 80 on poorer sections.
    Last edited by mvcoller; 2023/10/05 at 11:56 PM.
    Malcolm van Coller - retired 2013 but remained in Jhb area for now, moving to the West Coast, (bought a house there in 2022), once the wife retires end of 2023.

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  10. #6
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    Default Re: Nairobi to Cape Town help please

    Quote Originally Posted by lirritma View Post
    Thank you very much for the valuable info. How do you suggest I adjust my travel plan to be less optimistic? What would be your suggested Km to cover per day on average?
    With the average speed through Tanzania very low due to enforced 50kph signs through the numerous villages, and border crossings taking a minimum of two hours, I don稚 think your plan is doable or safe.

    My route and stopovers would be:

    Nairobi to Arusha (you might make it to Babati or, at a big push with a ツ吐air windツ, Dodoma).
    Babati/Dodoma to south of Iringa (Kisolanza Farm).
    Kisolanza to Mbeya (Utengule Coffee Farm).
    Utengule to King痴 Highway Kalungu ZAM or, at another big push, Kapishya Hot Springs.
    King痴 Highway/Kapishya to Fringilla Farm. A big day.
    Fringilla Farm to Livingstone.

    Of course, driving in the dark is a complete no-no. We would never contemplate 850 kms in a day.
    Last edited by Wazungu Wawili; 2023/10/06 at 12:24 AM.

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  12. #7
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    Default Re: Nairobi to Cape Town help please

    Malcolm's days are long but I've done the same to Lusaka then Livingston, through Botswana in a day then a very long day to Cape Town or a stop over on the way if you feel it's to far. I was driving my old Landy on the last trip so not speeding at all.
    It's tiring but if you're just pushing through then doable.
    Here's a contact for a guy called Canel at Tanduma boarder +260 97 9706462. He's good at getting you through fast just negotiate the price up front.
    SA passports don't need a visa into TZ or Zambia.
    Get an interpol police clearance as well. Should be easy in Nairobi.
    You need two red reflector strips on the back and white on the front.
    TZ you'll need cash to fill up, Zambia you can use your card.
    Last edited by 2.8i rocks; 2023/10/06 at 01:01 AM.
    There is no such thing as sanity only varying degrees of insanity

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  14. #8
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    Default Re: Nairobi to Cape Town help please

    Thank you very much to everyone. I will respond on a few individual messages to get more clarification. I will be driving a 78 Series LC Troopy. Not loaded with much but with parabolic suspension (got rid of the standard leaves).
    Gerrit Laubscher

    Angola sempre

  15. #9
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    Default Re: Nairobi to Cape Town help please

    Quote Originally Posted by Wazungu Wawili View Post
    You will need to get COMESA third party insurance which your insurance broker in Kenya will be able to issue for you. It will cover Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. For the other countries, you will need to get third party insurance at the border. Started arranging with my insurance.

    The AA of South Africa website has a good section saying what is needed on the vehicle for each country. I seem to remember that Zambia requires reflective stickers of a certain size both back and front. White front and red back. And for all the countries you will need warning triangles, and possibly hi-viz vests. Thanks. Could get all the cross-border requirements here.
    Gerrit Laubscher

    Angola sempre

  16. #10
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    Default Re: Nairobi to Cape Town help please

    Quote Originally Posted by Wazungu Wawili View Post
    With the average speed through Tanzania very low due to enforced 50kph signs through the numerous villages, and border crossings taking a minimum of two hours, I don稚 think your plan is doable or safe.

    My route and stopovers would be:

    Nairobi to Arusha (you might make it to Babati or, at a big push with a ツ吐air windツ, Dodoma).
    Babati/Dodoma to south of Iringa (Kisolanza Farm).
    Kisolanza to Mbeya (Utengule Coffee Farm).
    Utengule to King痴 Highway Kalungu ZAM Can you please help. I cannot find this one on Google Maps.
    or, at another big push, Kapishya Hot Springs.
    King痴 Highway/Kapishya to Fringilla Farm. A big day.
    Fringilla Farm to Livingstone. Would it be possible to reach Kasane from Fringilla in a day?

    Of course, driving in the dark is a complete no-no. We would never contemplate 850 kms in a day.
    Gerrit Laubscher

    Angola sempre

  17. #11
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    Default Re: Nairobi to Cape Town help please

    And then a last question. From Lusaka to Cape Town - Shall I go via Kasane/Lobatse or shall I go Katima/Windhoek?
    Gerrit Laubscher

    Angola sempre

  18. #12
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    Default Re: Nairobi to Cape Town help please

    You won稚 find it on Google. Tracks4Africa. https://tracks4africa.co.za/listings...ouse-campsite/

    Fringilla to Kasane in one day? I don稚 think so.

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  20. #13
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    Default Re: Nairobi to Cape Town help please

    Kings Highway is just south of the Tan border on the left side of the main road. Google gives some detail. Lots of trucks a potholes on the road. It is a great stopover.

    Frangilla Farm to Kasane is doable in a day. Just leave Frangilla early so that you pass through Lusaka before 06:00 to miss the traffic which is a nightmare.

  21. #14
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    Default Re: Nairobi to Cape Town help please

    Our trip report from 2018.

    Through Zambia: https://www.4x4community.co.za/forum...ghlight=Zambia

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  23. #15
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    Default Re: Nairobi to Cape Town help please


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  25. #16
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    Default Re: Nairobi to Cape Town help please

    Quote Originally Posted by Wazungu Wawili View Post
    Kisolanza to Mbeya (Utengule Coffee Farm). T4A shows this to be only 300km (about 4 hours). WHy would you not continue and sleep south of the Taz/Zam border?
    Gerrit Laubscher

    Angola sempre

  26. #17
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    Default Re: Nairobi to Cape Town help please

    Tunduma is a very busy and somewhat chaotic border post. It might take you some considerable time. And the road through Mbeya is busy and then south to the border is narrow and busy with many small villages and 50kph zones. See my trip report.

    Try doing Kisolanza to south of the TAN/ZAM border and let us know? I wouldn稚 attempt it, but everyone is different.

    The best overland advice followed by many over many years is to overnight as close as safe to do so near a border crossing and then leave early for the border. If it takes you a considerable length of time to cross the border, you won稚 find yourself benighted in a strange country. We follow that advice. And never, never wild camp near a border.

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  28. #18
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    Default Re: Nairobi to Cape Town help please

    Quote Originally Posted by Wazungu Wawili View Post
    Tunduma is a very busy and somewhat chaotic border post. It might take you some considerable time. And the road through Mbeya is busy and then south to the border is narrow and busy with many small villages and 50kph zones.
    Thanks. I thought that it had to do with something like this. Really appreciate all your valuable input and guidance. I will go through the reports over the weekend. Thanks for sharing the links.
    Gerrit Laubscher

    Angola sempre

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    Default Re: Nairobi to Cape Town help please

    From Tan/Zambia border: T2 is ok for the first 100km approx, after that up to Serengi is very poor with lots of potholes and complete sections turned into holes that can swallow trucks. Its very intense and slow going.

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  31. #20
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    Default Re: Nairobi to Cape Town help please

    consider posting a question on the facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/OverlandingAfrica . Carnet is expensive and on your route the only country requiring it for visitors is kenya . But is it a requirement for kenyan registered vehicles ? . Also how long a foreign registered vehicle can stay in south africa may be a thing . Lots of knowledge available on facebook

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