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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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Old 15 Dec 2011
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Southern Tanzania Road Condition?

I am in Tukuyu, Tanzania now and want to take the road from the border town of Tunduma to Sumbawanga. I heard the Chinese are now busy paving the road, and it has been raining. Has anybody done this road recently? Is it passable when wet?

From Sumbawanga, I want to head south crossing the border to Mbala, Zambia. I would like to catch the Lake Tanyinika ferry next week. Any word on this road would be helpful too.

Thanks,
Mike
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Old 19 Dec 2011
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Mike!.. good luck, my brother and I went from Sumbawanga through mbala in august. The road work was just beginning from sumbawanga at that time but it was only for about 10 km at that time. After that the road condition is very variable. there are some dusty sections and it is relatively bumpy (comfortable cruising at like 40-60km)... The road gets surprisingly thin--we thought we had missed a turn and then suddenly you come across the little boarder post there. The folks there were VERY nice--they let us camp out there for the night. Into zambia the road gets a little worse, but then after Mbala the road is AWESOME, paved and smooth... Before you get to mbala you can take a right turn and visit Kalambo Falls (second tallest single drop in africa??). The road is very bad going there. I thought it was epic and completely worth it, my brother thought the road wasn't worth it. (the side track took us probably 5-6 hours round trip) They have apparently changed the price to something like $10 to see them and we politely just had to tell them no and payed them the old price. Once you are on the paved road zambia is smooth sailing. We got a tip that you could cut through from that road and go around north luwanga national park to the other (east) side where all of the campsites and lodges are. We thought it would be a short cut but but it wasn't. It took us two full days to go like 80km or something. I just checked and route shows up on google maps just after a place called chilonga. Unfortunately even after pleadingly we couldn't cut through the park so we had to go an even loger way around the north of the part through luambe national park. It was a very bad road and isn't worth it. ...

I attached some photos... In oder they are

(1) (verticle photo) Kalambo falls are epic

(2)construction leaving Sumbawanga
(3) Road headint toward boarder
(4) road gets smaller
(5) road to Kalambo falls is no good


hope this helps, let me know if you need more info
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