There are three reasons why we decided not to travel extensively in Tanzania, but only to drive through it.

  1. The rainy season has just begun and we are not in the mood for masses of rain and gloomy days
  2. After the death of Tanzanian President John Magufuli, there is uncertainty as to how his successor will deal with Covid-19. Secondly, it was no longer possible to enter Kenya from Tanzania because Tanzania was considered a high-risk area and it is now unclear whether the surrounding countries – including Zambia – will close their borders with Tanzania (which we now know they have not done). It is also not clear at this point how widespread corona really is.
  3. The entrance and vehicle fees for the Tanzanian national parks are horrendous. We didn’t want to be part of that. At the same time, the slopes in the parks are not well maintained, making it difficult to get through.

Yes, and then we also simply felt the need to “get ahead”. There is therefore not much to report about Tanzania from our side. Maybe we’ll go again at a later opportunity?

In any case, the many police checks spoil the joy of driving in Tanzania. The policemen are just waiting for you to make a driving mistake and if you are already driving 1 km too fast at the “end of 50” sign, they generously round it up to 58 km/h and collect the fine with a sardonic grin.


The meadow by the CBA hotel is already a little soggy from the rain. The people in Tanga (and elsewhere in Tanzania) don’t wear masks – we do.

Here in Tanga we want to buy a SIM card, which turns out to be impossible. We were warned in advance. The employees look for our fingerprints in the system and of course they are not stored there. So there is no SIM card. Fortunately, our tuck-tuck driver gets involved, makes a phone call and soon afterwards a dynamic young woman walks in, shows her ID card – and within minutes we have our SIM card. Juwairia, as the lady is called, is a single mother and she also gives us her telephone number in case we have another problem.

At the same time, we realize why our old smartphones have become so thick – the batteries are bloated, so let’s get rid of them. This also means that we need a new smartphone to be able to use it as a hotspot.

Tanga – Tan Swiss Lodge

SIM card purchased, new smartphone bought, money taken from the ATM – nothing can keep us in this hot and humid climate. We therefore take the road to Tan Swiss Lodge near Mikumi. Today, however, we only make it as far as the village of Mkata, 135 km away, where we can spend the night at a petrol station for 3000 Tanzanian shillings. We like to spend the night at filling stations because the roar of diesel engines and the arrival and departure of trucks is exciting for us. In such cases, however, we are also glad to have a passageway to the driver’s cab, which allows us to get through unnoticed and thus attract less attention from the locals.

The next day we continue the remaining 300km to Tan Swiss Lodge in Mikumi.

Tan Swiss Lodge

Tan Swiss Lodge is located on the outskirts of Mikumi and only a few kilometers from Mikumi National Park. This is where the emigrant“Joseph from the Muotathal” founded his own little paradise. In addition to a large and well-known restaurant in the area with a clear swimming pool, Joseph also rents out bungalows and apartments. Away from the road traffic, there is also a campsite that is well-known among Overlanders and meets European standards. Of course, Tan Swiss Lodge is affected by the current coronavirus crisis. The NGOs (aid organizations) in the area have flown home and only a few travellers are still passing through Tanzania.

Washer broken?

We have an appointment with Esther & Thomas with MAN “Muck” from Switzerland at the Tan Swiss Lodge campsite. This turns out to be a stroke of luck, as we had to drive with the side windows open during our last driving lesson yesterday, as the automatic windows were not working. In the end, it’s no longer Thomas who helps me, but – as you can see – he feels comfortable in his element. As he has been traveling in this world for 14 years, he knows the construction inside the door, so I assist him.

In the end, it was worth opening the door lining. The window regulator mechanism urgently needed to be lubricated. The cause of the fault was quite simple – the fuse, namely a 10 A instead of a 15 A fuse in the console.

Drive to Kisolanza Farm

Another hotspot on our itinerary through Tanzania is Kisolanza Farm. As we are still under the impression that the PCR test for Zambia is valid for 14 days overland, we drive on after two days and the route from Tan Swiss Lodge to Kisolanza Farm is scenically beautiful.

Kisolanza Farm

The farm is around 16,000 hectares in size. Part of it is native African bush, where the spacious campsite is also located. As we can finally move our legs again at Kisolanza, we stay for two days and spend them walking around the farm grounds.

The next larger town – Mbeya – is another 300 km away. About 80 km before the Zambian border, we spend another night in the parking lot at the ICC Hotel in Mbalizi. One last lovely evening with Esther & Thomas – tomorrow we cross the border into Zambia while they try to enter Malawi.

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