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Tansania - some questions

Old 10-11-10, 03:47 AM
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Tansania - some questions

Hi,

I'm going end of the year to Tansania. Our first leg is to cycle from Dar es Salam to Moshi.

We want to cycle through the Saadani NP.

1. There is the Wumi River. I do not find any information how to cross this river. Does anybody know if there is boat service who can bring us to the other side?

2. Question: How is it cycling through this national park (regarding beach access and animals (lion, elephants, antilopes)?

In Moshi we want to start our 2nd leg: Climbing the Kilimanjaro.

3. Which route is the most scenic one?

The 3rd leg is to visit the famous national parks (Arusha, Serengeti, Norongoro Carter)

4. Does anybody know a good rental car service 4x4 + give the car back in Mwanza (Victoria Lake)? Or knows a good tour operator?

The last leg is from Iringa to Dar es Salam.

5. We want to cross the Mikumi NP on bicycles. Has anybody information about?

A highlight would be to go from Morogoro thourgh the Selous NP. Afaik is no tour operator in Morogoro. The idea would be to cycle to the entrance gate of Selous, get a lift to park center, stay there 1 day, and get back a lift to eastern park exit.

6. Has anybody information about this idea?

Thanks in advance. Any other infomation about cycling in Tansania would be nice as well.

Thomas
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Old 10-11-10, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnyW
I'm going end of the year to Tansania. Our first leg is to cycle from Dar es Salam to Moshi.

We want to cycle through the Saadani NP.
I visited Tanzania twice in the late '90s. Haven't heard of Saadina NP, but I would suggest avoiding the main road from Dar to Moshi. It's no place you want to be on a bicycle...

2. Question: How is it cycling through this national park (regarding beach access and animals (lion, elephants, antilopes)?
Most parks in Africa don't allow cycling. Too many tourists have fatal encounters with animals (lions, hyena, hippo, snakes), which is bad for business. I've visited quite a few national parks in a half-dozen African countries. The Okavango Delta in Botswana was the only park where I've been able to travel without a vehicle.

In Moshi we want to start our 2nd leg: Climbing the Kilimanjaro.

3. Which route is the most scenic one?
The Machame Route is the most scenic, and also one of the most difficult. If you want to climb the Machame Route, you need to be very, very specific with your guides. I found out the hard way: most of them start on the Machame Route, but switch over to the Umbwe Route near the top because it's logistically easier for them. All of the routes are over-used by tourists and none of them are terribly scenic after the first day...

The climb is pretty easy until the last day, which is excruciatingly difficult. If you want to make the top, do pay for the extra day of acclimatization on the Shira plateau. Plan on a minimum of 2-4 days to recover from the climb. I lost so much weight I literally had to punch a couple of extra holes in my belt to keep my pants from falling off!!!


4. Does anybody know a good rental car service 4x4 + give the car back in Mwanza (Victoria Lake)? Or knows a good tour operator?
You almost have to use a tour operator in Tanzania. I can't remember if it's required by law, but it's nearly impossible to find your way around without a local guide. When I was there, most rental car services wanted you to return your car to the same location where you rented it. If you can find an office for one of the international rental car agencies (Avis, Eurocar, etc), you might be able to arrange a one-way rental but you'll pay a lot more for the car and the drop-off.

5. We want to cross the Mikumi NP on bicycles. Has anybody information about?
Again, I'm not sure you'd be let into a NP on a bicycle.

A highlight would be to go from Morogoro thourgh the Selous NP. Afaik is no tour operator in Morogoro. The idea would be to cycle to the entrance gate of Selous, get a lift to park center, stay there 1 day, and get back a lift to eastern park exit.

6. Has anybody information about this idea?
The last time I was in Tanzania, Selous NP wasn't well served by tour operators. If the park is well-staffed, you might be able to show up at the gate and convince one of the park rangers to drive you in, drop you off, and pick you up the next day.
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Old 10-11-10, 12:10 PM
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What precautions are you taking about the wildlife? In South Africaīs northern province we had to be careful on hiking trips even with things you donīt think about like Hippos near water. They kill more people than lions. We travelled with an armed guide. Thankfully never had a problem.
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Old 10-12-10, 09:33 PM
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What is the best time of year to go to Tanzania?
What is the worst?
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Old 10-12-10, 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by CHAS
What is the best time of year to go to Tanzania?
If you're interested in safari, the best time to go is right at the end of the dry season; animals tend to cluster around the few remaining water sources, making them easier to find. In any given year the rains might start earlier or later, but September is usually a pretty good bet. Of course, the downside to visiting at this time is that it tends to be hot, dry, and very dusty.

What is the worst?
Avoid the rainy seasons, which are generally October-December and March-May, IIRC.
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Old 10-14-10, 01:09 AM
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Originally Posted by sstorkel
haven't heard of Saadina NP
It's north of Dar es Salam at the coast. Heard that a few cyclist cycled through it

Originally Posted by sstorkel
The Machame Route is the most scenic
Thanks for that. We use our GPS, so we can control them ;-)

Also thanks for the other comments. By the way - Through the Mikumi NP runs a big major road and I read also that a few cyclist crossed it.

Thomas
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Old 10-14-10, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnyW
Thanks for that. We use our GPS, so we can control them ;-)
It's not a matter of controlling them. If you don't verify the route with them before leaving, they won't bring the supplies necessary to complete the "true" Machame Route. Once on the mountain, you'll either have to follow them or turn around, resupply, and start over. In either case, they'll already have your money...
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Old 10-14-10, 12:13 PM
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Hello again Thomas. Nice webpage. Been a long time since College German so had to get google translate to help out

Do you have plans to start a journal on crazyguyonabike.com? It would be wonderful to read about your progress. Good luck.
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Old 10-15-10, 03:24 AM
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Hello,

oh I would like to keep the webpage up to date. Unfortunately I have to work and so not so much time for that. On holidays I create new content.

Thomas
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Old 11-25-10, 02:59 AM
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Hi,

so all arranged - we head off on Saturday.

Best Regards
Thomas
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Old 11-25-10, 03:16 AM
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I've just come back from a week's supported tour in Tanzania. It was a charity ride, and the support was provided by a company called Classic Tours. They were pretty good, the guide was knowledgeable etc.

Coincidentally, we did cycle through the Sadani game park. But we were able to do so only because it was an organised trip, we'd arranged it well in advance and we cycled through in a bunch with armed game wardens at front and rear. Even then, had there been elephants in the vicinity the wardens wouldn't have let us proceed. Elephants can be trouble, much more so than big cats. Great experience, but trust me, cycling in a big group is not the best way to see big game.

The river was very low: so low we were able to ride across a crossing point on MTBs.

Here's a link to my website. The blog has a brief account of the trip. It was HOT - the shade temperatures tell you nothing about what you'll experience riding in direct sunlight in the heat of the day. Hydration is a real issue, because if you've got any sense you won't be drinking the local water.
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Old 01-05-11, 02:26 AM
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Hello,

we are back in Germany. I thank chasm54: I received your post in Dar es Salam and this convinced us to do the Saadani. From Bagamoyo we took the gravel road to the Wami river (in was knee deep water) no problem to pass (there's also a village on the southern shore, people may help in the rain season). In the Saadani it was no problem to cycle. The ranger just told us: "If you are lucky you will see an elephant, if you are very lucky you'll see lions". Finally to be honest: we saw some antilopes which ran away when we recognized us.

Mikumi nationl park was quite easy to cross. On 55 km we saw nearly no animals, but we had amazing 5 km. Animals were also shy there, but we close to elephants (40-50 meters) and in back there were about 60 of them in the background and giraffes and zebra were also close.

I hope this helps other cyclists

Thomas
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