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State of the road from Dodoma to Iringa to Mikumi

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El Pie Wy Cee
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State of the road from Dodoma to Iringa to Mikumi

In the next few days I may be driving from Dodoma to Iringa and then on to Mikumi. How is the road on this route? Is it paved? If it is dirt, can it be done with a 2WD that doesn't have very high clearance? If it is dirt, can one go over 40 km/hr on it?

Secondly,and I know this is a long shot, but an alternative is to cut out Iringa and go direct from Dodoma to Mikumi. Looking at the Google map, there is a road called B-127 that runs via Kilosa, that essentially cuts Morogoro out of the trip. Is this road paved? Is petrol available along the way? It is about 340 km from Dodoma to Mikumi on this route, and our car only goes 300km on a tank....

Thank you in advance.

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Minneapolis...
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1. Re: State of the road from Dodoma to Iringa to Mikumi

Hope you will get more definite answers. In the meantime...

Don't know the conditions now... in November 2011 we were traveling by bus and were advised that to go from Iringa to Dodoma, we were better off taking the pavement Iringa-Morogoro (through Mikumi) to Dodoma. They said the bus on the direct road doesn't save much time as the road was soooo bad... and that the bus was prone to breaking down due to the terrible conditions.

That whole stretch of the Great North Road... Iringa to Dodoma to Kondoa to the junction north of Tarangire has been under construction. We saw Chinese engineers in several spots. Someday the adventure will be gone - except maybe for the bandits just north of Dodoma - but last I heard the conditions remained bad enough that I would stick to the pavement.

So if Iringa isn't someplace you want to visit, I'd go Dodoma-Morogoro-Mikumi. On the other hand, Iringa is an interesting destination. The Isimila Stone Age site is interesting, and the nearby rock formations are cool. There are rock paintings in the area that are easier to get to than the ones near Kolo. And we visited and stayed at Neema Crafts - an organization doing great work with the handicapped.

El Pie Wy Cee
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2. Re: State of the road from Dodoma to Iringa to Mikumi

Thanks so much idiotsabroad. I'll try to get more up to date info on Dodoma to Iringa. I'd heard a couple of weeks ago that there was still construction,but that it was passable. But with my car, I need more than merely 'passable'.

Findlay, Ohio
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3. Re: State of the road from Dodoma to Iringa to Mikumi

You need to stay on the hard surfaced roads IMO. You will need to go to Morogoro on the road from Dodoma to Dar, when you get to the roundabout just before Morogoro (there is a bus station off to the left of the road) take the roundabout road which goes off to the far Right (I think that is the 3rd road off the roundabout, 1st goes to Dar, 2nd goes into Morogor, the 3rd goes to Mikumi and then on to Iringa, and the 4th would be a U turn back to Dodoma).

There is a petrol station just before the roundabout on the left side of the road. I would fill up here (I think there's another petrol on the other side of the roundabout, BP if I remember correctly.

Don't try to find a shortcut, there are no shortcuts in Tanzania (they typically take longer). About an hour after the roundabout you will come to Mikumi NP, if you are looking to so a drive thorugh you need to continue on to the far side of Mikumi, or if you need a place to get a guide then go to the VETA in Mikumi village (on the far side of Mikumi NP).

I've driven this route more times then I can count.

Minneapolis...
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4. Re: State of the road from Dodoma to Iringa to Mikumi

Karl was our primary advisor on roads in this area and his advice was never off the mark... I'd follow it if I were heading out.

BTW - I remember Karl talking about the safari options at Mikumi on a previous thread - we didn't have time or budget to do more by the time we passed through... and I know he talked about VETA as the local vocational school where they teach hospitality... so that's the place he's suggesting...

previous thread...

tripadvisor.com/…43806906

El Pie Wy Cee
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5. Re: State of the road from Dodoma to Iringa to Mikumi

Thanks Karl, thanks idiotsabroad. I'm not in the mood for shortcuts that turn out to be longcuts. I've gotten in trouble that way before. I'll study Karls' directions a bit more, and try to GoogleZoom in on that roundabout.

Karl, I'm talking about this route:

http://goo.gl/maps/RXuip

It bypasses Morogoro and runs through some town called Kilosa. Is this the road that is the third exit on the roundabout? If so:

1) Is it paved

2) Is there much traffic -- I'd actually prefer some traffic

3) Are there villages, etc along the way in case of breakdown?

Thanks people.

Findlay, Ohio
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6. Re: State of the road from Dodoma to Iringa to Mikumi

1) No, Take the A7 that road is paved for sure. This other road (B27)is shorter but will most probably take you longer to get there, I am guessing that the other road (B27) is a dirt/gravel road. Most roadways in Tz are dirt/gravel. They have been in an extensive road building program for the past several years and have laid down a lot of tarmac, so I'm never certain anymore what is paved and what is not. I will tell you that the B129 from Dodoma to Morogoro and the junction after A7 to Dar es Salaam has been paved for the past 20 years. It's the road which the Parliamentarians and Ministers take from Dar es Salaam to Dodoma when the Bunge (Parliament) is in session and they keep it paved so that they can travel at 150+ KPH to get to Dodoma quickly.

2) There is traffic on this road, and you will see a lot of people in the villages where they make straw products and they have them out for sale by the roadway. This road goes right through the Mikumi Park and most always you will see animals along the roadway when going through the park. You will need to reduce your speed through the park, lots of animal crossings. I know the map shows the park as going clear into Morogoro, but in reality you will enter the park on the A7 about a half hour out of Morogoro, and there will be a lot of speed bumps for animal crossings after that and posted speed reductions. There will be large signs when you enter Mikumi National Park on the A7.

3) Like most of Tanzania there are a lot of villages and small farms along this way.

El Pie Wy Cee
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7. Re: State of the road from Dodoma to Iringa to Mikumi

Thanks a bunch, Karl. The only roads I've taken in TZ outside of Dar are roads in Zanzibar, Dar-Bagmoyo, and Dar-Dodoma, where I'm sitting this very moment. We drove from Dar yesterday, without incident. But I don't want to subject the car to 200 km of dirt road. Still not confident enough of the car, don't know if I'll ever be. We'll stick to the tarmac. Thanks again.

Findlay, Ohio
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8. Re: State of the road from Dodoma to Iringa to Mikumi

So, you are now in my favorite city in Tz, Dodoma. Have a great time and I wish I were with you.

You will go back on the same road you came to Dodoma on, and go clear back to the same roundabout that you went on at Morogoro, except go clear around the roundabout and take the junction which will have you traveling to the far right on the roundabout. You will shortly go past Sokoine University (on the left side of the road) and you continue on that road until you get to Mikumi.

El Pie Wy Cee
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9. Re: State of the road from Dodoma to Iringa to Mikumi

Thanks, Karl. Now that I've driven through that roundabout a couple times, I know exactly what you're talking about. We're going to go check out some monkeys that live near town today. Tonight might hit the pizza place. Though they say Area C is dodgy late at night.

Edited: 11:27 pm, December 28, 2012
Minneapolis...
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10. Re: State of the road from Dodoma to Iringa to Mikumi

darn... forgot to mention... we didn't have time to visit but Karl has often talked about an unusual project at Sokoine University in Morogoro... the Hero Rat Project. They train rats to find land mines... from what I've read, they are amazingly effective... you might want to check it out!

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