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Photo by Igor Djokovic, camping above San Juan river, Arizona USA

I haven't been everywhere...
but it's on my list!

Photo by Igor Djokovic,
camping above San Juan river,
Arizona USA

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Old 9 Dec 2023
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Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Toronto, Canada
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18 days around Tanzania

I just returned from an 18 day tour around Tanzania on a local 150cc motorcycle. Since I didn't see much about the country here in HO, I thought I'd share a few details in case anyone else wants to do something like this.

This whole adventure started because a year ago someone posted a message on Facebook saying that they had a motorcycle for rent in Tanzania. I'd always wanted to do ride Africa so messaged them and they mentioned it was a local 150cc bike and it was about $10/day. That was exactly the bike I wanted (I believe in using local bikes) and the price was amazing. So I was very interested but couldn't travel until a year later (ie now). I told them I'd be in touch closer to my travel dates.

As it got closer to my travel dates, I booked a flight and reached out to the person. Unfortunately, they were radio silent and I never actually heard from them again. But I had joined a Tanzania travel group on Facebook and when I asked about renting motorcycles, a number of people reached out and mentioned they would rent me their bike. All for roughly the same price range as the original person had mentioned. So if you willing to be a bit flexible, this should be a viable route for others to get a bike. In the end, I found a very outdated website that also mentioned that they were based in Tanzania and rented local bikes. Company was called Moshi Easy Riders. I reached out them and they were able to arrange a bike for me. Same type of bike and same price range as what others offered on WhatsApp.

I flew into Kilimanjaro (JRO) and started my trip in Moshi, which is one of the two towns close to Mt. Kili. I picked up the bike, which was a Bajaj Boxer from India. I have experience with Bajaj from my time in India and I know they are good (but boring) bikes. As expected, the bike was in so-so shape. Ran well but headlight, horn and odometer didn't work. Also the brakes were soft. That didn't really bother me as I know these bikes are easy to fix. Told the guy renting me the bike that I needed most of these things fixed (except the odometer). He brought the bike back the following day with things in much better shape. I spent the next day doing short rides out of town to make sure the bike was ok and then started me trip.

Here is the route I took..
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18 days around Tanzania-img_0275.jpg  

Last edited by anuaimi; 9 Dec 2023 at 10:02.
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Old 9 Dec 2023
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Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 23
Background info

I just want to share a few things about travelling in Tanzania...

The airport is about 45 km from Moshi and about the same to another town called Arusha. Arusha is the bigger and more interesting town but Moshi is closer to Mt Kili. A taxi from the airport is around $35US. I heard that from the airport it was about 9km to the major highway and from there you could get a local bus to either town. So of course, that's the way I wanted to do it. :-). On the internet, I couldn't really find much details so I arrived without the plan fulled formed. When I left the airport, I saw a booth for local SIMs and decided to get one. Note, if you can hold off until you get to town, do as it's about double the price at the airport. Anyways, after getting my SIM, the person in the booth helped me arrange a taxi to the highway for 10K Tanzanian Shillings (tsh) or about $3.5. A motorcycle taxi was also possible for about 1/2 the price but it depends on how much luggage you have. I had one 9kg pack so I could have used a bike but decided for the normal taxi anyways. The driver took me to the main highway and you could see there were a few minibuses waiting. The driver asked and made sure to get me to one that was heading to Moshi. I could have done this myself but it's always nice when a local just takes care of it for you. Most of buses for these short routes have about 15 seats and they leave when the bus is full (rather than on a set time). Lucky for me, the bus was just about full and when I got on, the drive put it in gear and starting driving. You don't pay right away. Not sure why. After we were about 10 minutes on the way, everyone started pulling out their money. Note, you don't pay the driver but a collector. Fare is usually between 1000 tsh and 2000 tsh.

If you are staying for a while, it's worth getting a local SIM card. Yes, there are eSIMs now but they are priced much higher than a local SIM. It's best to go to the phone company store if you can. The SIM will then be in your name. But you can go to places like the bus station and find people to sell you a SIM card and a data plan. Vodacom is one of the bigger companies and you can see their data plans here. Note, you won't get a phone number attached by default. It's worth getting one as it doesn't seem to cost much. It will allow you to setup M-Pesa as well.

M-pesa is like a wallet attached to your SIM card. Locals use it to pay for things rather than cash. The only reason you would want it is it makes it easier to recharge you SIM card. I tried to go to a shop to do that and didn't have much luck. They just told me to do it on my phone. Once you have a phone number, it's just a couple of sets on your phone to setup M-Pesa. Basically you need to setup a password. Then to add money to your phone, look for signs saying Wakala. They are everywhere. You give the shop the money and they send the money to your phone. You then can use that to top up your Internet plan as needed.

Getting money is pretty easy as there are ATMs in most major towns. There is a limit on how much you can get from the machines and varies with 400K-800K being the upper end. Also, some banks have fairly large fees of about 15K tsh. There are banks with no fees such as Diamand and KCB bank. The ATM Fee Saver website was a good source for what various banks charge. Also, there aren't ATMs in smaller towns and other than higher end hotels, most don't take credit cards, so make sure you have enough cash. Various people mentioned bringing US dollars and while I had some, I never used them.

Finally, even if you have a local bike, you need to watch out for it. Make sure it's locked up inside at night. Most hotels and hostels will let you do this. The picture below is my hostel in Moshi. Note, I also bought a cable lock and used that along with locking the steering column.
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