August 15-17 Tanzania – Kenya

  • Toyota going places
  • Driving north each country feels like an improvement over the previous one, then, after a day or two, you can’t wait to leave it behind you, hoping for a better one on the other side of the border. Tunduma border post is still a crazy confused mess. We got there early, just past 6am, but because Tanzania is an hour earlier than Zambia, everything on the other side was functioning, while the Zambians were still rubbing the sleep out of their eyes, or nowhere to be found. So we simply walked across to Tanzania, with the locals, got a fair amount of paperwork sorted out, then walked straight back to Zambia, got ourselves and the Prado officially stamped out of the country, and drove through the gate to get the vehicle checked into Tanzania. Two and a half hours later, we had paid road toll, council levy, carbon tax – whatever they call it, you pay and pay and pay, and each time there is a queue, and sometimes official stamps go missing, so you have to wait until another person with more savvy arrives on the scene.

    Tanzania is a distinctly better experience than Zambia, the roads are tip-top (mostly), but the traffic police are a menace. Imagine three different sets of cops, all armed with radar, within one kilometre of each other. As soon as you enter a village, you have to step on the brakes and slow down to 50km/h. Wherever you see a zebra crossing, the speed is 30km/h. On the open road, the sky is the limit.

    The border crossing into Kenya was absolutely hassle free and took 45 minutes. What a pleasure!


    • Fantastic campsites that we revisited. Baobab Valley is just short of Mikumi National Park at the southernmost reaches of the Great Rift Valley and situated on the banks of the Rufiji River that flows through Selous. Coffee Tree Campsite in Marangu is 1km from the Kilimandjaro gate and probably has the best facilities one can hope for anywhere in East Africa.
    • Vodacom Intaneti stalls.
    • Fuel in Tanzania and Kenya is about the same price as in South Africa.



    • Two more speed fines in Tanzania, reduced or “discounted” to R125 and R60 respectively because we did not insist on an official receipt. Plus a speed cop insisting that we were over the limit in a 30km/h zone – we were adamant that there was NO sign saying 30, and insisted that he show us where it was. Both of us were so convinced that he was taking a fat chance, that eventually he let us go.
    • Shocking roadworks on the main artery from the coast to Arusha. Why they need deviations for about 50km at a time, when they can close small sections and finish the job before moving on to the next section, has us baffled. No fun to average 40km/h when you have to clock up 650km for the day.
    • Third time around and still no sight of Kili. The cloud cover simply will not lift when we are around.
    • We have been driving for 12 hours, day after day, and safely reached Nairobi on our 8th day on the road. Almost 6 000km – but instead of celebration, we were stuck in a traffic jam for 5 hours. Friday afternoon peak hour, granted, but no traffic moving in any direction. Is this normal? Again we arrived at our campsite in Karen in the dark.