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Exploring East Africa – TRIP REPORT

Exploring East Africa with a visit to Tanzania, Mororgoro, Dar-es-Salaam, Zanzibar coming up ! Right, here I am again with an adventure of a lifetime!  It is advisable to travel in convoy with a couple of other vehicles for safety reasons.  This one is not for the faint hearted. Yet again, 4×4 Rentals Africa came trough with excellent vehicles and thus our group came back with unforgettable memories.

Let me tell you guys it is a long trip, 7 days drive from Johannesburg to Tanzania, 12hrs per day.  Then you average about 500 – 600km per day.  The further you move away from South Africa, the slower you drive because of road conditions.  Some places there is no road, so be prepared.

Make sure your personal and vehicle rental documents are 100% correct, these guys in deep Africa borders does not play and is quite difficult to get across.  Patience and friendliness are probably what saved our heads even with the necessary documents required.

4×4 Rentals Africa provides all client with border documents and information on how to cross borders in Africa. – www.4x4rentalsafrica.com

Off we Go !

And so our long trip begins.  The roads you see now is fairly good, but a lot of speed limits are imposed.  There are a lot of animals, and small towns on route.  Night time driving is an absolutely NO GO!!  The huts next to road consist of small villages and are built all traditional ways with grass and mud because ingenious as they are quite sturdy and provide good shelter for the people.  It is amazing how they survive in such harsh conditions, but always a smile on their faces.  That is really inspirational to me personally.

As we plod along in convoy here and there to get some refreshments we realized and the further we go there is more limited bathroom facilities, yes guys!  So, wet wipes and a spare toilet roll comes in handy in the middle of nowhere. If you got to go, you got to go maybe some places does have bathroom facilities, but yes well…not worth it! For instance.

The potholes are marked by branches, never have I seen this before.  Then we came upon 2 young children with a spade of some sort trying to fix the road….yes I suppose they wanted something and we gave them something.  Always make sure before you take pictures of people to ask first, it can be seen as rude or disrespectful. 

The traffic near borders in Africa are quite a challenge and you need to keep your wits sharp at all times.  No which way to go?  Left or Right?  Yes guys, sometimes a good old fashion map book of the country you are visiting is even better than GPS.  We obviously did extensive research about our route, but sometimes even that is not enough.


As we neared Tanzania after about day 6 we were absolutely knackered from driving and sleep deprivation.  So we got a fairly good hotel in Morogoro to rest for a couple of days.  Believe me, that first cold beer was heaven!

Water is also scarce, so mind you water use for washing or showering.  Morogoro is a big fairly big city with an enormous amount of people.  Motorbikes and the 3 wheeler Tuc Tuc is your local transport, and boy that scared me.  It is such an adrenaline rush to ride on or in one of those but definitely a must.  These guys know what they are doing.

Local Food

Local food is also interesting, with a wide variety for every possible taste.  If you are not so adventurous, there are upmarket hotels with restaurants where you can beat any hunger pains, but it is going to cost you a pretty penny.

There is definitely no shortage of fresh fruit, vegetables and roots at the street vendors.  This lady was selling vetkoek at a local bus stop and was absolutely delicious!  And the custom made drum to fry them, wow just awesome…

So far the trip was without major mechanical issues, and all going well.

Dar es Salaam

Off to Dar-Es-Salaam and Zanzibar.  I am so privileged and excited to share this, it is however impossible to put down in words how it affects you in the most wonderful way as a human being.  And the pictures are countless.

Now, this towns is even more congested with almost everything imaginable however more people, bicycles, vehicles, animals and many more.  The streets are also very narrow and seriously test your driving skills.  You definitely need to be the more well travelled in order not to run into any unnecessary problems.

In the major towns there is a good supply of fuel or diesel.  The smaller towns on route, no.  Make sure you have extra jerry cans filled up for your more remote small towns.

In Dar-Es-Salaam there is a multitude of cultural experiences with modern elements interweaved to make it such a special place.  Sightseeing on foot is a must.  But keep your valuables safe and no shiny jewelry for the ladies, just do not put yourself on the spot for temptation by the regular street thugs.

The architecture is quite magical if that is what you’re into.  From opulent European buildings, Indian/Asian zones to mixed African/Tanzanian buildings can be explored.  Really a wonderful mix for every taste.


Next, we take the ferry to visit the magical island of Zanzibar.  About 3hrs from Dar.  Such a hustle and bustle at the port and absolutely overwhelming at times.  This island is spectacular with its old buildings.  Wooden doors are locally made and the craftmanship is extraordinary.  This island is part of the Indian Ocean which has a great biodiversity of marine life, long sandy beaches and warm water.

The historic Stone Town is a must if you are there and we stayed at Malindi Hotel but it is very basic and sometimes with no water because of no real reason.  But all good and a traveller makes a plan.  The sunsets and views are breathtaking.  Then there is a night food market on the island where there are literally 100’s of food sellers to cater for every taste bud imaginable

A relaxing drink at the Freddy Mercury bar is a MUST!  Named after this iconic singer and lots of memorabilia can be seen there.  He was born in Zanzibar as Faruk Bulsara and what a wonderful way to explore this icon’s history with Zanzibar.

All I can say that this trip was unforgettable and I would love to share more stories and photos.  However, this hopefully is enough to encourage you to start saving for that awesome holiday.

Thank you again for 4×4 Rentals Africa and for everyone travelling with for the use of the vehicles. 

Until next time when another adventure awaits!!

Carel Pienaar

Toyota Hilux Double Cab with Equipment - 4x4 Rentals Africa
Toyota Hilux Double Cab with Equipment – 4×4 Rentals Africa

4×4 Rentals Africa – www.4x4rentalsafrica.com