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sub-Saharan Africa Topics specific to sub-Saharan Africa. (Includes all countries South of 17 degrees latitude)
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  #1  
Old 24 Oct 2010
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Road conditions: Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania

Hi all, I'm starting to plan a trip around lake Victoria and I need to understand how the road conditions are.

As we don't have lot of time (2 or 3 weeks), our "must see" are: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Murchison Falls, Masai Mara, Serengeti and Ngorongoro.

I need information about roads because I have to understand how to travel. First choice is me, my girfriend and our luggages on 1 motorbike, but I wonder if it's possible/safe. If it isn't, I'll study some alternatives.

The starting/ending point could be Kampala, but we could change depending on where we'll find a motorbike to rent or where we'll can send our own motorbike in the cheapest way.

The period would be between mid-june and (more likely) august.

I'm not a totally unexperienced rider (I already rode gravel and rough roads in Southern Africa and South America) but I don't like to risk for free. Namibian gravel roads would be ok, but I don't want to try something more difficult with a motorbike loaded with 2 people and their luggages.

Thank you in advance!

Mirco
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Old 24 Oct 2010
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Mirco,

I assume you know that you will not be able to take your motorbike into the Masai Mara, Serengeti and Ngorogoro parks?

You can ride Kampala - Nairobi - Arusha all on tarmac. If you plan on heading south of lake Victoria into western Tanzania (and thus heading into Arusha from the west), some of the roads are badly corrugated and fairly rough. All of which is possible two up, but may not be particularly fun.
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Old 24 Oct 2010
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Guides will give you some fresh info...
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Old 24 Oct 2010
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Thank you very much for your help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Roach View Post
Mirco,

I assume you know that you will not be able to take your motorbike into the Masai Mara, Serengeti and Ngorogoro parks?
Yes, I plan to do as I did in Botswana and Namibia: we organized our park visits with the campsites/lodges where we stopped, using their vehicles.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Roach View Post
You can ride Kampala - Nairobi - Arusha all on tarmac.
At the moment the idea is to stay closer to the lake entering the parks from west, without arriving to Nairobi.
The Track4Africa map says that closed to the lake there is a mix of tar and gravel roads.
Kampala-Nairobi-Arusha could become a simple, mainly tarred solution.

I've some doubt about entering Tanzania from west, as Italian Foreign Office discourage to pass near Burundi for safety reasons. I need to understand if it's an excess of precaution or not.
As you add that roads are possible but bad, I don't exclude to do only an half ring around the lake. Normally I'm careful, but with my girlfriend on the bike I'm still more careful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by freeflyd View Post
Guides will give you some fresh info...
Your website already was in my bookmarks... But I need some more info about roads condition, at the moment.



Do you know something about Kampala-Bwindi NP-Murchison Falls road (by lakes Edward and Albert, or again by Kampala)?
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Old 25 Oct 2010
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Sure...

Kampala to Murchison was mostoly tar and good gravel at the end.

Murchison down the lakes to Fort Portal was mostly good dirt. In a 80 series LC we did that trip in about 5 hours.

Fort Portal to Bwindi is a mix of tar and gravel. Good tar from QE NP all the way south.

Most roads in Uganda were good, but don't rush, it had been our favourite country by far!

If you check the Blog section on my site you'll get full stories of our Uganda adventures about a month ago.
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Old 25 Oct 2010
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As other people say the roads in Uganda are pretty good.

The roads in western Tanzania is worse and if it rains a lot I don't think it's possible to go there, if the weather is good the roads are okay but a bit slow.
I have only traveled the route Ugunda - Kahama - Nzega - Manyoni - Dodoma but I'm not sure if it's possible to arrange a safari something from the west-side of the park. It's probably possible to go further east via Lalago or Mbulu and then enter the parks.

Safety has always been a concern in western Tanzania but it's a fascinating area if you like remote places.
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Old 26 Oct 2010
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Thank you for your suggestions, now I think more clearly about the itinerary.
Yes, I'll don't rush: the more I study, the more I think it's better to shorten the trip to better enjoy it. I'm asking to myself if it would be better to leave Serengeti and Ngorongoro for a future trip. I could focus this trip on Uganda, maybe with an extension to Masai Mara. I keep studying...
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