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Offline chaddrayton

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Cape to Kenya final route advice
« on: July 26, 2016, 09:03:19 pm »
Hi all

So this is the route I've been working on for months. Ive arranged couch surfing accommodation in pretty much all the spots along the way now its just a question of whether any of these routes are suicidal (literally or by boredom)

Please do share if you have feelings on any of the below

Thanks in advance

I suppose that asking what gear you need is like asking how long a piece of string is so I will refrain from that but if anyone has any clever things that one would not usually think of taking that would be greatly appreciated too
 

Offline Fransw

Re: Cape to Kenya final route advice
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2016, 09:17:43 pm »
The route looks perfect. All advice I can give is to take lots of pictures and post it here. O0

 

Offline Xpat

Re: Cape to Kenya final route advice
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2016, 09:25:43 pm »
Look, you are basically sticking to the main tar routes, so not much advice is needed.

Except your route through Tanzania - you will not be able to do section between Arusha and Lake Victoria as it crosses Ngorongoro reserve and then Serengeti, which are off-limit to bikes.

I have ridden down through Africa 10 years ago, through some of the areas you are looking at - you can check 'Africa - Photoreport' in my signature, if you want te get better idea. Just one note - I have actually ridden illegaly through NgoroNgoro, but chances are you will not be able to do that now (it was illegal even then). I haven't ridden through Serengeti though, but on double track on its southern boundary, which I was told are now private reserves so also off limit.

Offline Amsterdam

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Re: Cape to Kenya final route advice
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2016, 10:40:58 pm »
Chad,

Consider going South of Kariba as opposed to North via Zambia and then you go into Zambia on the East side of Kariba.  It is a long haul without fuel and you will have to make a plan, carry lots extra or source along the way.  You should be able to get fuel in Binga and next in Kariba.

I would stay West in Tanzania when you head North and miss out that big loop you are doing now.  You can always cross back from Kenya if your plan is to go to Arusha/Kilimanjaro.
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Offline chaddrayton

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Re: Cape to Kenya final route advice
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2016, 06:23:48 pm »
Look, you are basically sticking to the main tar routes, so not much advice is needed.

Except your route through Tanzania - you will not be able to do section between Arusha and Lake Victoria as it crosses Ngorongoro reserve and then Serengeti, which are off-limit to bikes.

I have ridden down through Africa 10 years ago, through some of the areas you are looking at - you can check 'Africa - Photoreport' in my signature, if you want te get better idea. Just one note - I have actually ridden illegaly through NgoroNgoro, but chances are you will not be able to do that now (it was illegal even then). I haven't ridden through Serengeti though, but on double track on its southern boundary, which I was told are now private reserves so also off limit.

Hi Xpat

 I had a brief look at your photo report and was absolutely blown away. Thank you for your input on our route it is thoroughly appreciated. We would actually prefer to do gravel roads but we are absolutely clueless as to which ones to take

What  a pity re the  national parks, it appears we may have left the trip 10 years late.

Perhaps  The best way to phrase this is  it would be a huge help if anyone could give us advice on good gravel roads and adventures to be taken that are somewhat on the route posted above

 Thanks again
 

Offline chaddrayton

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Re: Cape to Kenya final route advice
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2016, 06:27:42 pm »
Chad,

Consider going South of Kariba as opposed to North via Zambia and then you go into Zambia on the East side of Kariba.  It is a long haul without fuel and you will have to make a plan, carry lots extra or source along the way.  You should be able to get fuel in Binga and next in Kariba.

I would stay West in Tanzania when you head North and miss out that big loop you are doing now.  You can always cross back from Kenya if your plan is to go to Arusha/Kilimanjaro.

Amsterdam

Thank you so much for your advice,May ask why you recommend going South of the lake?

We  would ideally skip out the coast altogether but I have something that I have to visit in Zanzibar

I  have heard numerous times that it  is  a dirty tourist hellhole,  but I have to go nonetheless

 

Offline Amsterdam

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Re: Cape to Kenya final route advice
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2016, 07:59:04 am »
May ask why you recommend going South of the lake?

We  would ideally skip out the coast altogether but I have something that I have to visit in Zanzibar

I  have heard numerous times that it  is  a dirty tourist hellhole,  but I have to go nonetheless


The road on the south side is a nice gravel road that is much more interesting to ride than the tar road in Zambia.  You end in Kariba and from there you can pick up the tar road again that crosses into Zambia.

We liked Zanzibar a lot.  Is the trip really on now?  When are you going?
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Offline chaddrayton

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Re: Cape to Kenya final route advice
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2016, 09:16:05 am »
May ask why you recommend going South of the lake?

We  would ideally skip out the coast altogether but I have something that I have to visit in Zanzibar

I  have heard numerous times that it  is  a dirty tourist hellhole,  but I have to go nonetheless


The road on the south side is a nice gravel road that is much more interesting to ride than the tar road in Zambia.  You end in Kariba and from there you can pick up the tar road again that crosses into Zambia.

We liked Zanzibar a lot.  Is the trip really on now?  When are you going?

Awesome we will go South for sure then!

It is indeed

Ive attached our schedule, as you can see we have just under 10 days which we are still going to allocate to the places we want to stop for a day in after doing some research

You should really check out  couchsurfing.com, I've done it across America, it works on a reference system and really is a great way to meet locals and have a "real" experience
 

Offline Karambisi

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Re: Cape to Kenya final route advice
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2016, 11:23:47 am »
I live near Tanga Tz, so if you need advice or help this end pm me.. For your trip north to Tanga, take road north out of Dar to Bagamoyo, turn west toward Msata, after about 10km and just after the Ruvu bridge, turn on gravel road through Sadaan... on to Pangani and Tanga. Get hold of me and I will tell you best way through the scenic Usumbara mountains to Arusha, the tar road is borrrring! If you need a bed near tanga and want to share a story or two over a beer... contact me! Steve
 

Offline chaddrayton

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Re: Cape to Kenya final route advice
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2016, 12:22:34 pm »
I live near Tanga Tz, so if you need advice or help this end pm me.. For your trip north to Tanga, take road north out of Dar to Bagamoyo, turn west toward Msata, after about 10km and just after the Ruvu bridge, turn on gravel road through Sadaan... on to Pangani and Tanga. Get hold of me and I will tell you best way through the scenic Usumbara mountains to Arusha, the tar road is borrrring! If you need a bed near tanga and want to share a story or two over a beer... contact me! Steve

PM Sent  :thumleft:
« Last Edit: July 28, 2016, 12:22:55 pm by chaddrayton »
 

Offline Shaky

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Re: Cape to Kenya final route advice
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2016, 12:50:21 pm »
your route from Vic Falls to Kariba will be memorable but although it is a fairly short distance on paper, you could have problems doing it in a day. November is the rainy season and will be slow going and you don't want to be caught in the dark driving into Kariba. I did it once and hippos and Elephants are difficult to see in the dark on a bike ??? was frightening. the locals in this region are some of the best you will find. we slept wild half way just after refuelling in Binga and it was a highlight.     
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Offline Amsterdam

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Re: Cape to Kenya final route advice
« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2016, 01:26:28 pm »
Good advice Shaky, that is too much to do in one day.
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Offline chaddrayton

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Re: Cape to Kenya final route advice
« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2016, 01:30:15 pm »
your route from Vic Falls to Kariba will be memorable but although it is a fairly short distance on paper, you could have problems doing it in a day. November is the rainy season and will be slow going and you don't want to be caught in the dark driving into Kariba. I did it once and hippos and Elephants are difficult to see in the dark on a bike ??? was frightening. the locals in this region are some of the best you will find. we slept wild half way just after refuelling in Binga and it was a highlight.     

Thank you so much, this is precisely the advice we are seeking.

We will take it into account and find a half way point  :thumleft:
 

Offline Offside

Re: Cape to Kenya final route advice
« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2016, 01:46:13 pm »

Looks like you are in the rainy season, so take the gear and enjoy.
 

Offline Karambisi

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Re: Cape to Kenya final route advice
« Reply #14 on: July 28, 2016, 03:37:30 pm »
pm replied to...
 

Offline Kartoem

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Re: Cape to Kenya final route advice
« Reply #15 on: July 28, 2016, 03:53:44 pm »
Chad, from experience, I would say your planned push from Iringa to Dar is too much, on a bike, for a day.  Consider sleeping over in Morogoro on your way to Dar. Its a lekka little town. Also, consider "Old Farm Kisolanza" just before Iringa as a stop over. It is a great place with good food. Good luck with the planning
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Offline Xpat

Re: Cape to Kenya final route advice
« Reply #16 on: July 28, 2016, 11:05:37 pm »
I probably should just shut up, but that is one horrible commute you have planned right there! Getting in two weeks from CT to Ruhengeri (and then in two three days through Uganda - what is the point exactly? With exception of Zanzibar I do not see any days off (I wasn't looking that close though). Are you actually planning to do anything else then sit on a bike for 100s of km every day? No gorillas in Rwanda, no Kilimanjaro, no South Luangwa, no CHobe ride in Kasane, no rafting in Jinja, basically nothing except Vic Falls, Lake Malawi and Zanzibar). I would liken this to 'exploring' South Africa by ridding N1 from CT to Joburg. You will see/experience very little and no couchsurfing is going to compensate for it.

The biggest enemy of good trip is tight and exact plan - trips should be savoured, not delivered. I will bet you right now, that by the end of week 1 you will be completely off on your plan. And forget to get from Vic Falls to Karba on the Zim side in one day - especially in the rain season. Even if you will, you better take the next day off (here are some pictures of my ride only half way through: http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=151222.60.

I'm not trying to dissuade you, but I would strongly recommend that you clarify to yourself what you are actually trying to do with this trip. Is it just to make it up on the bike to Kenya in shortest time? Is this really just a commute (for example you moving to Kenya) or is this intended to be real travel through AFrica, with savouring as much as it can offer?

Actually scratch the above - I am trying to dissuade you. I would do this trip only as a communte (i.e. if I needed to get up to Kenya on bike quickly for some reason) and even then would take out detours to Rwanda and Uganda, and rather savour much more what is on the shorter route. If you want to do your route properly you need at least 2 months - 3 would be much better (I took 6, but admitedly I was spoiled). If you don't have time, I would strongly recommend to rather use the time you have to explore properly Namibia/Botswana/Zim/Moz - hell even Zambia if you want, rather than overstreching yourself and at the end of the day achieving very little.

My 2c - I know it is not what you want to hear, but I would feel bad if I wouldn't warn you. Use it or lose it. If you going to follow your plan you are going to end up with very diluted experience (and I can almost guarantee that with much shortened route anyway), and you will know it.

Offline chaddrayton

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Re: Cape to Kenya final route advice
« Reply #17 on: July 29, 2016, 12:03:40 pm »
Chad, from experience, I would say your planned push from Iringa to Dar is too much, on a bike, for a day.  Consider sleeping over in Morogoro on your way to Dar. Its a lekka little town. Also, consider "Old Farm Kisolanza" just before Iringa as a stop over. It is a great place with good food. Good luck with the planning

Thanks Kartoem, duly noted we will add in Morongoro and be sure to check out the old farm too!
 

Offline chaddrayton

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Re: Cape to Kenya final route advice
« Reply #18 on: July 29, 2016, 12:22:42 pm »
I probably should just shut up, but that is one horrible commute you have planned right there! Getting in two weeks from CT to Ruhengeri (and then in two three days through Uganda - what is the point exactly? With exception of Zanzibar I do not see any days off (I wasn't looking that close though). Are you actually planning to do anything else then sit on a bike for 100s of km every day? No gorillas in Rwanda, no Kilimanjaro, no South Luangwa, no CHobe ride in Kasane, no rafting in Jinja, basically nothing except Vic Falls, Lake Malawi and Zanzibar). I would liken this to 'exploring' South Africa by ridding N1 from CT to Joburg. You will see/experience very little and no couchsurfing is going to compensate for it.

The biggest enemy of good trip is tight and exact plan - trips should be savoured, not delivered. I will bet you right now, that by the end of week 1 you will be completely off on your plan. And forget to get from Vic Falls to Karba on the Zim side in one day - especially in the rain season. Even if you will, you better take the next day off (here are some pictures of my ride only half way through: http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=151222.60.

I'm not trying to dissuade you, but I would strongly recommend that you clarify to yourself what you are actually trying to do with this trip. Is it just to make it up on the bike to Kenya in shortest time? Is this really just a commute (for example you moving to Kenya) or is this intended to be real travel through AFrica, with savouring as much as it can offer?

Actually scratch the above - I am trying to dissuade you. I would do this trip only as a communte (i.e. if I needed to get up to Kenya on bike quickly for some reason) and even then would take out detours to Rwanda and Uganda, and rather savour much more what is on the shorter route. If you want to do your route properly you need at least 2 months - 3 would be much better (I took 6, but admitedly I was spoiled). If you don't have time, I would strongly recommend to rather use the time you have to explore properly Namibia/Botswana/Zim/Moz - hell even Zambia if you want, rather than overstreching yourself and at the end of the day achieving very little.

My 2c - I know it is not what you want to hear, but I would feel bad if I wouldn't warn you. Use it or lose it. If you going to follow your plan you are going to end up with very diluted experience (and I can almost guarantee that with much shortened route anyway), and you will know it.

Xpat, thank you so much for taking the time to write such a detailed, frank and considerate response

Before I answer, let me clarify that we intend taking a month and we still yet to apportion the rest days we will have if we ride to that schedule. (which will hopefully be around 9 to  do the suggestions you gave on gorillas in Rwanda, South Luangwa, CHobe ride in Kasana and rafting in Jinja, all of which sound amazing)

If we were to have it our way we would take six months as you did. Unfortunately, we are limited on both sides by the end of our exams and his graduation respectively.

I can relate closely to your advice as I just did a 6000 mile trip from California to New York in a month. This was in a car and entirely on tar roads so it is a totally different kettle of fish but it proved what you were saying about plans changing very quickly. It lead to my friend and I for sure missing out on plenty of things, but however rushed it may have been, we made the most of all time and I would not change it for the world. We are both very dedicated and most mornings were up at six to drive so we would arrive promptly and have the day to explore. I fully understand how different motor bike riding is and how taxing it is on the mind and body so I do not expect this to be doable in December.

We essentially have one month to get from Cape Town to Kenya. I want to ride to Kenya because I was born there and because my aunt still lives there, I also intend climbing Kilimanjaro once he has left

I can't agree with you more that trips need to be savoured, however with both of us working it will be very difficult to find any more than two weeks leave in future. It is simply a luxury we do not have.

If you categorically advise against our trip with the above information, we would be hard pressed to continue with the original plan.

Perhaps you could suggest an alternative as getting to Kenya is an absolute essential for me. As suggested earlier maybe leaving out Rwanda and Uganda would work

Unfortunately at the moment I feel like a diluted experience better than none, and although my experience in the USA was diluted, I wouldn't have it any other way with the time I had available because I managed to have a small taste of a lot

In closing yes it sucks we only have a month, but we


 

Offline Xpat

Re: Cape to Kenya final route advice
« Reply #19 on: July 29, 2016, 12:54:23 pm »
Chad

It is your trip and if you feel that diluted experience is better than none, well go for it. We are all different and have different preferences, so of course the ultimate decision is yours, regardless of what I say.

That said, I would add few pointers:
- Comparison to USA: it is much easier to drive in US than on the roads of Africa - most of your route is tar, which also means a lot of chaotic local traffic, and possiblility of accident. But more importantly within a month (which really is not enough for me) you are going to cross what - 8 - 9 african border crossings with all attendant hassle (I never had to pay any bribe unlike some, but I had to spend a lot of time on some of them). Which means a border crossing every three days - sometimes even every other day. That gets old very quickly and can leave your trip with very sour taste. A lot of criticism of Africa and it 'corruption' comes from people who rush through and all they remember are unpleasant officials on the borders. If you spent in each country few weeks or month (I know that is not possible for you but just as an example), it is much easier to swallow once in a while a day of hassle.
- USA is much less diverse than Africa. Basically any east west travelling is much less diverse (and hence require less time to savour) than north - south, where the diversity of weather, enviroment and races is much more. If you have seen the series of Evan and Charlie, the Long Way Round, while laughable sometimes, was quite good IMO and the time frame for the show was all right to cover diversity of Russia, Mongolia, Canada and USA (which with exception of Mongolia are more or less the same country culturaly and ethnically considered from African context). If you have seen Long Way Down, it was utter rubbish as far as I am concerned. They didn't even have one installment per country and each country is brutally different from another (I assure you that Ethiopia is very different from Kenya or Egypt). To cover north west trip properly they would need much more space - leaving aside their silly worries about security and rushed trip down.

I understand your objective is Kenya (and that you will some stuff there after the trip). With that and your timeframe in mind, I would skip Uganda and Rwanda (you have planned like 3 days for both of those - you will be lucky to survive such an intense riding in Uganda where they drive like crazy - just crossing Kampala is probably half a day). And rather focus on the highlights along the way and stay in places. I would skip Monkey Bay (unless you are going to stay there) and definitely explore area in Tanzania around lake Natron and Oldonyio Lengai (see my African report) if you have time left (you can jump accross the border to Kenya if you run out of time). Also South Luangwa (I would recommend FLat Dogs) is a must as far as I'm concerned. If you feel really tough you should try to get there via shortcut from Petauke. I had lepards jumping three meters from me in the elephant grass there and encountered many giraffes and such. It will also shorten somewhat extremely boring and potholed route from Lusaka up.

Other - completely different option (which I did) would be in Malawi to go to Monkey Bay, and then cross to northern Mozambique, visit Isla de Mozambique and take road north through Pemba and into southern Tanzania, and from there up to Dar (which is a shithole, but I understand that you are hell bent on Zanzibar). This is very remote area where lions kill hundreds of people every year, so proper wilderness. This will give you nice contrast to the inner Africa in Bots, Zam and Malawi.

Here are some pictures from that area:

MOnkey Bay and surrounds:











Isla de Mozambique:









Northern Moz/ souther Tan:















« Last Edit: July 29, 2016, 12:55:35 pm by Xpat »