ROAD TRIP TO TANZANIA
Day One: Nairobi to Diani – 606kms
Day Two: Enjoying Diani
Day Three: Diani to Moshi – 533kms
Day Four: Moshi to Nairobi – 379kms
5 friends. 2 countries. 1518kms covered.
Benelli TRK 502
Hero Karizma ZMR, 223cc
Bajaj Pulsar NS 200
Suzuki Gixxer 155cc
Documentation Required for the trip and at the Border points:
1. Passport OR Temporary Pass (applied through e-citizen for KES 350)
2. Yellow Fever Certificate. The lifetime vaccine is available at Port Health at Wilson Airport for KES 2500
3. Valid driving license
4. Identification card
5. COMESA Insurance
6. Original logbook. This is to be surrendered at the border point however since we were crossing through two different points, we surrendered our original logbooks at Customs HQ and received authorization letters. We then received form C32 that was stamped at the border exit and entry points.
Route: Nairobi – Voi – Mariakani – Kaloleni – Mtwapa – Mombasa – Diani
The morning was gloomy and it was raining but nobody and no weather was stopping reggae. We were to set off as 5 bikers, however, 2 couldn’t make it due to unavoidable circumstances. Riding on Mombasa road in the rain was terrible, to say the least. Even after the anti-fog tricks on the visor, visibility was poor mainly due to the splatter of dirty water from the car ahead so one had to keep positioning themselves better. It was finally dry after the Machakos junction and bright and shiny at Emali which was our first stop. We had a quick bite to eat and drink and set off to the next stop which was Voi town. We pushed off the road by oncoming vehicles more times than we could count, the shoulder on the way to Voi served as a good escape. There was no shoulder to escape to after Voi. The road was patchy and uneven as the tarmac appears to have chipped off. We encountered a near miss when we came across a saloon car that overtook a trailer at a bend and refused to move or slow down for us to pass. It was a close shave and we thank God.
Riding through Mombasa to the ferry was tiring. TIRING!! The road was being constructed in some parts and there were so many tuktuks and lots of disorganization. It was also the last leg and we were honestly tired and irritable. Crossing the ferry cost 50 shillings and they let motorbikes through to the front of the line. Riding out of the Likoni Ferry through Likoni was absolute chaos, suffice to say we will not use that route in the near future. We got to Diani at around 8 pm sweaty, tired but happy. We stayed at Upani in Diani.
The two bikers left behind the previous day were able to set off on this day and we decided to stay in Diani enjoying the water (pool and beach) as we waited for them.
Route: Diani – Lungalunga – Horohoro – Same – Moshi
We set off to Tanzania through exiting Kenya at the Lungalunga border and crossing over to another building and entering Tanzania through the Horohoro border. It took us about 3 hours which was a longer process than anticipated as there were network challenges at both border points. We were dripping sweat literally…sweat my fren’ albeit having fewer layers. At the border, we presented our documentation and received c32 forms which is a temporary exportation form for a motor vehicle/ cycle into a foreign territory.
To note, there’s an NMB bank ATM at the border point that accepts VISA. Outside the gate, there are locals with Kenya and Tanzanian shillings for exchange.
The road from Horohoro to Same town was super. Well tarmacked, well marked and complete with road signs (including zebra crossings for those with wheelchairs). We saw about 4 rainbows and the peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro as the sunset. It was beautiful. The road was the total opposite from Same to Moshi. To make it worse, we rode at night which made it more challenging. We must applaud drivers in Tanzania as we were not pushed off the road at any point.
To put it politely, it was a challenging ride. We were tired before we got to Moshi and had to stop and take a break to snack on something na kuchochana; the encouragement session was much needed.
We finally got to our home for the night and that is just a story for another day
Route: Moshi – Arusha – Namanga – Nairobi
We were tired from the previous days ride so we had a late morning just chilling and talking. Had some delicious breakfast and set off to Nairobi. The ride from Moshi through Arusha to the Namanga Border was enjoyable. So enjoyable that we didn’t fuel because the route master told us Namanga ni hapa tu. The Gixxer and Pulsar ran out of fuel on the main tanks but we were able to ride with the reserve tank fuel to Longido town which was before the Namanga border.
The process at the Namanga border was seamless as it is a one-stop border point so all processes are under one roof. We made it back to Nairobi safe and sound having enjoyed the ride and learned some things about ourselves and each other.
Tony’s point of view
This trip was eye-opening for me in different ways. Tanzania is a beautiful country that is begging to be explored. Awesome views of mountains and lowlands. (Too bad we didn’t get enough time to take as many pictures as we could). The roads are just meant to be ridden and ridden and ridden some more.
This trip has taught me a lot considering it pushed each one of us to the last ounce of energy in our bodies. Such a journey needs friends who bring different traits to the group. You need a clown to lighten up the mood when you are tired and feeling you are about to give up. You need an organizer who will make sure you have your documents in order as well as speed up the group when you are being lazy. Most importantly, you need each other. You need to communicate with one another. You need to trust each other as well as be comfortable with your pack. In case of any emergency or obstacles encountered, you know your squad has got your back. You also need to tolerate each other when the going gets tough, you are tired and you are yet to reach your destination for the day.
This will be healed by a shower, food and good night’s rest. You also need to be open to the idea of sleeping anywhere when you get tired or the dark sets in before you get to your next stop. The crucial thing is to make sure you are in a safe and secure place for you and your motorcycle, a place that has a bed you can put your body to rest as well as have food to fuel your empty self. It is important to fill up your bike with fuel when it is running low so you can enjoy the trip knowing you are covered for the next 200 or more kilometers. Kindly set your expectations of people, places or hotels realistically as you may be disappointed when reality checks in. Vitu kwa ground huwa different, ask the ladies about their experience at Secret Garden in Moshi.
If possible, start your journey early so you can have as many stops as you want to take pictures as you explore new places and make memories. Invest in a GoPro or something of the sort to record your travels to cherish them in the future. It is never that serious, go out and ride as well as meet people with similar goals as yours and tour together while having.