Driving In 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
RULES AND REGULATIONS
There are a lot of traffic police in Tanzania. You'll recognise them from a distance by their bright white uniform (see picture below). We always wonder how they keep their uniforms so white on the dusty roads, but that's not the answer to your question... So, advice which comes in handy when dealing with any kind of government official in Tanzania is remain patient and friendly, greet them in Swahili and make a joke, and you will have a new friend.
Traffic police will frequently pull you over to check if your car is insured, if the tires look okay, and to check if you are carrying the required fire extinguisher, reflector triangles and first aid kit. Of course, that is taken care of if you rent a car from Roadtrip Tanzania. They will also want to see your driving license. A valid driving license from your country of residence is accepted in Tanzania. If you didn’t break the law (speeding, dangerous overtaking, etc.), there is nothing they can accuse you of. In case you’ve committed an offence, you will receive a fine which needs to be paid via a bank deposit. If you receive a fine, please keep the ticket and call the Roadtrip Tanzania office. We will make the payment, which will save you a lot of time, and then you can refund us in cash upon car hand over.
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
How do in navigate in Tanzania?
We strongly recommend installing Maps.me on your smartphone before you travel to Tanzania. It's a free app. Download the Tanzania maps and enjoy driving with GPS offline. Almost every lodge and campsite is plotted on Maps.me.
There's something to be said for going totally offline with a good old fashioned map on your lap. The roadmap that comes with your rental car is not very detailed, but main roads are highlighted properly.
The biggest mistake travelers make is rushing and trying to cover too ground much in one trip. Have a look at our suggested routes page for a realistic assessment of what you can expect to cover during your road trip in Tanzania. You might get stuck after heavy rains, and a flat tire can be part of the adventure. If you are trying to estimate your Tanzania travel itinerary with Google Maps, increase the suggested travel time by 30%. Always carry cash, water and a charged mobile phone with you!