July 16, 2024

Tanzania – the highlights! 28 Sep – 7 Oct 2011

Driving on gravel for more than 1000 km through the Western side of Tanzania still remains one of the highlights of our entire trip. We enjoyed the people of Tanzania and the place was overflowing with small bikes exactly like ours so we felt right at home!

Here is the route we took through Tanzania:

Tanzania GPS track

Read more about our experiences in Tanzania whilst on the trip here…

Francois’s highlights: The people in on that Western route was amazing and riding gravel roads for around 1 130 km in the dust and rain and road works, it really felt like an adventure biking trip. Especially since we’ve done mostly tar road up until then. Having my MotoMia sorted out by a local in Kasulu was another highlight. We struggled at times due to the bad conditions on the road, getting wet for days on end and falling over in the mud, but looking back it was one of the top five experiences of the whole trip!

Francois’s lowlights: I think this must have been buying 3rd party insurance at the border upon entering Tanzania. The guy charged three times the amount we’ve paid at other crossings and we couldn’t make out whether he was robbing us or not. In the end he offered for us to pay via recharging credit on his phone (as we didn’t have enough cash), but we couldn’t manage even though we tried for more than a week.

Francois’s favourite photo was this one, both falling in the slippery mud…

Slip sliding away in Western Tanzania

Tania’s highlights: It was an amazing experience travelling through Western Tanzania. Despite all the rain and challenging roads I would still do it all over again. I have to say that seeing the 200 + hippos next to the road in Katavi remains a definite highlight. I also discovered Mandazis here – sweetish bread almost like “vetkoek” which quickly became my favourite snack in the day, plus did you know that you can get potato chips (“slap tjips”) everywhere in Tanzania?

Tania’s lowlights: On our second day in Tanzania, we had to do what everybody warns you against when travelling through Africa – drive during nighttime. We totally misjudged the time and kilometers to get to Sambuwanga and it was quite a hairraising experience at that time. I was also very tired at the end of it all, not being used to heavy off-road on a “road-bike”. But, still through it all I still managed to laugh at seeing a huge pink pig in the road in the middle of the night. I mean where else would you ever experience this?

Tania’s favourite photo was this one of Francois. He had this “Not cool!” look on his face.

Francois on the way to Sambuwanga in Western Tanzania

Tanzania Trip Stats:

Distance: 1 502 km
Time: 9 days, 0 hours, 37 minutes, 16 seconds
Highest point: 2 290 m (87 km into Tanzania, close to Mbeya)
Lowest point: 486.6 m (Border with Malawi)
Maximum speed & Fuel consumption (Francois & Tania): You will unfortunately have to wait for the Crossing Africa book to come out for this (Along with other detailed information e.g. the accommodation and food budgets)

Tanzania GPS profile

Our video of Tanzania

And finally… here is a short video of our most interesting experiences in Tanzania.