On the road
Important information for self-drive in Tanzania. Covered in this section:
- How are the road conditions in Tanzania?
- How does it work with navigation?
- What happens in case of a breakdown or accident?
- How to deal with traffic police in Tanzania
How are the road conditions in Tanzania?
By East African standards, the road conditions in the northeast of Tanzania are very good. All of the primary roads connecting Arusha to Ngorongoro in the west, Moshi/Kilimanjaro in the east and Lushoto/Dar es Salaam in the far east are smooth asphalt. You can expect a lot of speed bumps and the occasional pothole. Usually, the last stretch of your daily trip requires some driving on gravel roads to get to your lodge or park entrance gate. Inside the parks it’s off-road driving on dirt roads.The conditions of these gravel and dirt roads tend to be variable from one season to the next and most difficult during the rainy season. Driving in the national parks of the northern safari circuit is not technical, except for the Serengeti and the road to Lake Natron.
Self drive safari in the Serengeti
The main road running from the Ngorongoro Crater Road to Naabi Hill gate ( entrance to the Serengeti), from Naabi Hill gate to Seronera (the centre of the park), and from Seronera radiating to the East and West, is notorious among all tour guides in Tanzania for its condition. It’s a challenging road due to its rocky surface with washboard ribbons. We do allow self-drive safaris into the Serengeti but a Land Cruiser is required. Drive at LIMITED SPEED (25 km/h), otherwise you will lose control instantly, with a single vehicle rollover as a result – this is NOT covered by the insurance.
Driving times to the Serengeti are as follows:
- Loduare Gate (Ngorongoro entrance) to Ngorongoro Crater Road: 1.5 hours
- Ngorongoro Crater Road to Naabi Hill Gate (Serengeti): 2.5 hours
- Naabi Hill Gate to Seronera: 1 hour
Self-drive in the national parks of Southern Tanzania
The longest gravel sections are the gateways to the safari parks in the South: from Kibiti to Selous (90 km), Morogoro to the Selous Matembwe Gate (90 km) and from Iringa to Ruaha (110 km). The driving time between Dodoma and Babati is approximately 2.5 hours. Off-road driving in Selous Game Reserve can get technical during the rainy season, so a Landcruiser is required.