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Barcelona, Spain
posts: 9


I am planning a trip to Kenya and Tanzania with my friend. I am interested in safari and in my head I made an itinerary which I am completly not sure about. My plane is landing to Nairobi where I planned to rent a 4x4. From Nairobi I thought to drive to Amboseli National park and spend at least one night in there. From Amboseli I wanted to go throught Namanga and Arusha to Ngorongoro driving the road A104 and B144. Driving throught Ngorongoro, Serengeti up to Maasai Mara and from there directly back to Nairobi. Have no idea if all that is possible to drive it on our own ( we are 2 ) or if its a such a crazy idea.

I also didnt really planned how long this trip could last.

I would really apreciate any comment on this. I have never been to Africa and I want to discover as much as I can. Unfortunately our budget is not so big therefore this idea about renting 4x4.

Thanks for your advices.


London, United...
posts: 990
1. Re: Kenya-Tanzania-Kenya


Everything is possible! However, before you think about driving yourself, perhaps you should have a look at his:


be aware, it is not all doom and gloom; but I would think about it twice if you have never driven outside Europe and have little experience, particularly driving 4x4.

You also need to find a Company that will permit the use of its vehicles in Tz, not all do.

Driving that route is fine in principal; how far you can get, how long you can stay in any given place, etc, is wholly dependant on how long your have and can afford the vehicle for!


Augsburg, Germany
posts: 1,680
reviews: 5
2. Re: Kenya-Tanzania-Kenya

Hi Martin,

well, as GJ mentioned - you have to find someone who is renting cars which are allowed to be driven in Kenya AND Tanzania - and that would cost extra.

Also it is not possible to drive directly from Serengeti to Mara - you have to take the border at Isebania. Because of the driving route you are planning - i would highly recommand you to hire a car with driver - it is really worth to compare the prices and despite we have been to several Safaris in Kenya and also for 2 times combined Kenya with the northern part of Tanzania, but i would have never been self-driving.

It depends on what you are want, but you also have to consider, that it is not so easy to have an eye on the street and another one on the surroundings. I like to drive inside Amboseli or Nakuru, but during this time i am always missing the opportunitiy for game watching and taking pics.



Isle of Man, United...
posts: 33,326
reviews: 243
3. Re: Kenya-Tanzania-Kenya

Even should it be possible to hire a self drive 4x4 you should research this trip thoroughly. It should not be undertaken lightly and certainly not by folks inexpereinced in Africa. distances may appear small but travel times may be unaccustomedly long.

Allow at least a week for this. Longer if you can.

Amboseli from NBO is around 4 hours on a good day. From Amboseli you will need one FULL day, 8 hours or maybe more to reach Ngorongoro. You have one border post "Namanga" to deal with and two Park Gates. These take time. From Ngorongoro to Serengeti is half a day, maybe less, but again a park wth its formalities.

As Chrissy says, you then must either retrace your tracks all the way through NBO or cross the Serengeti to Lake Victoria and use the Isebani border point. allow a day for that. then on to Maasai mara.

So the driving alone, not counting game viewing and rests will account for at least four days.

And while you are driving and looking out for homicidal drivers with 'your name on the bullet' how do you propopse to watch out for the wildlife?

Barcelona, Spain
posts: 9
4. Re: Kenya-Tanzania-Kenya

Do you suggest than to rather organize the trip through an oparator?

I would certainly prefere but I am just considering the prices of the operators.

Isle of Man, United...
posts: 33,326
reviews: 243
5. Re: Kenya-Tanzania-Kenya

Not necessarily use a full graded tour operator but I think the rental company would know of a competent driver who would maybe cost a few $$s a day plus his keep. You could even share the driving on the longer runs if you feel confident to do this but I think once you see how the driving is you will be happy to leave it to him.

Barcelona, Spain
posts: 9
6. Re: Kenya-Tanzania-Kenya


London, United...
posts: 990
7. Re: Kenya-Tanzania-Kenya


The rental company I frequently use do provide a drive/guide/cook for 20USD per day. I have never actually needed one myself, so cannot really comment on the quality, but all their others services are great.


posts: 13,996
8. Re: Kenya-Tanzania-Kenya

I'll leave the driving or not to others, but ask:

- where along the way, at Amboseli, Ngorongoro, Serengeti and Masai Mara do you plan to lay your head at night?

- public camp sites?

- lodges?

- tented camps?

You can't just stop somewhere in the middle of the somewhere, i.e., the Serengeti and set-up whatever or were you planning on sleeping in vehicle? Certainly not recommended as visitors have to be off national park lands at dusk, or come upon a public campsite and hope there is space for you and your friend.

Suggest you compare prices of 'daily'

1) hiring a 4x4, driving yourselves (knowing where you're going, rules/.regulations, location of petrol stations, knowing the languarge, communications, etc) and then have somewhere to overnight along the way.

2) arrange with a tour operator for a guide/vehicle/cook with pre-booked campsites, lodges or tented camps; driver will at least know where's he's going

Good luck!

Barcelona, Spain
posts: 9
9. Re: Kenya-Tanzania-Kenya

I see now I should maybe check also the possibility of tour operators.

Do you suggest some which would more or less meet our itinerary?

We are looking for adventure and not for a luxurious zoo trip.

Thanks a lot!

All your posts are such great help to me!!!


Isle of Man, United...
posts: 33,326
reviews: 243
10. Re: Kenya-Tanzania-Kenya

Lots of Arusha based tour operators can put a trip together that won't be an up market "Zoo" visit but a great adventure at low cost into Kenya and Tanzania proper.

Check out the list of names above.

And read IdiotsAbroads 11 posts on his recent trip on the TZ forum.

both excellent places to start making plans.

Edited: 3:07 pm, November 15, 2011