Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Planning, Trip > Route Planning

Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

Calendar Contest Voting is now CLOSED. Results to be posted shortly.


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 14 Aug 2011
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 1
Smile West side of Tanzania the road from Kigoma to Mbeya

I and 3 others are planning a Nairobi to Cape Town trip in November/December this year on Yamaha Tenere 660Zs.
We are intending to go from Nairobi, over the top of Lake Victoria, then through Uganda and Rwanda, down the west side of Tanzania before heading south along the western edge of Lake Malawi into Zimbabwe, where we plan a break in Harare.
The one road we are concerned about is the west side of Tanzania, from Kigoma to Mbeya - whether it is likely to be rainy in mid November and if the road is passable in wet conditions!
Would love to hear from anyone with any experience of the road - comments welcome!
Many thanks.
Jeremy
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 15 Aug 2011
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: London
Posts: 398
Hi,
I did that route in July last year. All in the dry.
Apart from the road to and from Kigoma it's all tarmac.
There's a dirt road from Manyoni to Mbeya but the locals warned me off it, as being "just too much hard work, and not particularly interesting."

I was recommended the road via Dodoma and Iringa and through Mikumi Park, and it was a great ride.
'Touring Ted' on this forum also has a blog and he said he decided against the Manyoni-Mbeya road after exporing it a little.
But I heard somewhere on my route that the southern end of that road is worth exploring for a little way from Mbeya if you have the time.

The Kigoma road here:
Horizons Unlimited Motorcycle Travellers' Stories - Ken Thomas
and here:
Horizons Unlimited Motorcycle Travellers' Stories - Ken Thomas

Don't know what it's like in the wet, but I was told the buses don't go along it in the rains. I would guess it's pretty difficult, depending on your skills and weight of luggage. The river crossings (all dry when I was there) look like they could be pretty deep, and no bridges. Nor do I know when the rainy season is.

Mikumi Park here:
Horizons Unlimited Motorcycle Travellers' Stories - Ken Thomas

The whole of my route through Tanzania was a big highlight of my trip. (Including Kigoma). Most of it was away from tourist areas, and people very hospitable.

I stayed in Harare about 10 years ago, and in Bulawayo last year. I liked both places but for me Bulawayo is just ahead.

In Tete, Mozambique, I met an overlander who recommended the route from there to Chimoio, and it was a good recommendation. Both the route, and Chimoio itself:
Horizons Unlimited Motorcycle Travellers' Stories - Ken Thomas
and
Horizons Unlimited Motorcycle Travellers' Stories - Ken Thomas

Thus I crossed into Zimbabwe at Mutare and ended up in Bulawayo:
Horizons Unlimited Motorcycle Travellers' Stories - Ken Thomas

Another highlight on my route was Bungoma, NW Kenya near Uganda border. A very nice ordinary town.

Have a good trip.
__________________
TTR250 - London to Cape Town
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 15 Aug 2011
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 1
Take the coast road...

The big question for you will be 'when will the rains start?'. You should be fine in November but it can be anywhere between dry as a bone and monsoonal...

The road from Mpanda to Mbeya is rough but you'll be fine on Tenere's. Busses and trucks do it in the wet season.

There is a road and some pretty good tracks that can get you from Kigoma to Mpanda along the lake shore. Drop me a line and I can send you track logs in GPX format if you like. Either way, if you keep asking the locals you'll find your way.

There are two options from Kigoma to Mpanda. One is the main inland road and it's rough, especially in the wet but you should be fine in Nov/Dec. My suggestion though is to take the coast road. Is 4WD only but for Tenere's will be an adventure and very doable. Head out of Kigoma then after 21km turn right towards Ilagala. You leave the bitumen at this point and it's all dirt from here to Mpanda. 150km south, you get to Mgambazi. Go past Mgambazi, through the big river there (towards Lukoma) but after 5km you turn left up towards Ikabulu, Lubalisi, Mwese then Mpanda (200km from where you turned left). Drop in for a cuppa on your way through as we are on this track.

In Kigoma, stay at Jacobsens Beach. It's about 5km south of Kigoma and has camping or rooms right on the lake. You'll need to bring and cook your own food though. It's in Lonely Planet but let me know if you have questions.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 1 Mar 2014
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 1
Hello,
Just found your blog about Tanzania. We are in Rwanda and the moment and would like to do the road down lake tanganika . In a landcruiser... Is it doable or very very rough?
Your help would be very appreciated .
Kind regards
Gudi
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 4 Mar 2014
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: London
Posts: 398
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnmarc100 View Post
Hello,
Just found your blog about Tanzania. We are in Rwanda and the moment and would like to do the road down lake tanganika . In a landcruiser... Is it doable or very very rough?
Your help would be very appreciated .
Kind regards
Gudi
I didn't use that road (Mpanda to Mbeya) but met a young woman in Nairobi who had done it with her small child in a small camper van in the dry season, and she said all was OK.

My experience was that there was a lot of road surfacing going on in Tanzania and I met at least 2 road engineers in restaurants and small-town hotels. (Their work seemed to centre on the small towns. One went to university near where I used to work in London, so that was quite a jolly meeting!)
And they knew the conditions of just about all the roads in Tanzania.
So once you're in the country, ask the locals, or look out for major road works and look for the man in charge.

I liked Kigoma a lot, and Ujiji. Laid back but bustle-y as well. I was about the only white face in town which is how I like it.

You should have a great time in Tanzania!
__________________
TTR250 - London to Cape Town
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
africa, kigoma, mbeya, tanzania


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
West-Side Story, anyone? Endurorally sub-Saharan Africa 5 13 Aug 2009 12:14
Tanzania road Surfer sub-Saharan Africa 9 23 Nov 2007 22:22
Road to Kigoma from Rwanda? danie3 sub-Saharan Africa 0 10 Aug 2006 17:10
Road to Kigoma from Rwanda? danie3 Travellers' Advisories, Safety and Security on the Road 0 10 Aug 2006 17:00
traveling the west side of the us goneforjune Route Planning 9 7 Jun 2006 16:43

 
 



HU DVD Spring Special!

Buy the Achievable Dream Collectors Set and get Road Heroes Part 1 FREE!

Achievable Dream - The Whole Enchilada!

Cooped up indoors in crap weather? Binge watch over 20 hours of inspiring, informative and entertaining stories and tips from 150 travellers! Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to order them both and use Coupon Code 'BoxSet+' on your order when you checkout.


What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders


contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!




New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.



Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!






All times are GMT +1. The time now is 08:51.