Tanzania 2011

5 weeks - solo travel - Toyota Hiace 4x4 van

Usambara - 4x4 required

December 3, 2011  —  Tanzania

When I was in the Usambara Mountains, I camped at a very nice place called Mambo Viewpoint. At this place, the owners talk to me about a 4x4 path going down the mountain that would allow me to avoid backtracking 100 km to go back to Lushoto. They strongly advised me to use a GPS, and despite the fact I had none, they briefly told me how to reach the road... And I tried it not without some fears...

Mtae Village - Usambara Mountains - Tanzania
Mtae Village - Usambara Mountains - Tanzania

The start was from the Mtae Village. However, after reaching it, I could not see anything looking like a 4x4 path. Thus, I parked the car to scout around on foot. The village in itself is very nice with magnificent views each side of the mountain.

Usambara Mountains - Tanzania
Usambara Mountains - Tanzania

The beginning of the path was fairly large, but as you can see on the pictures, one had to have a good set of brakes. There was a bit of nervousness on my side, but it was hugely worth it just for the beauty of the landscape.

Usambara Mountains - Tanzania
Usambara Mountains - Tanzania
Usambara Mountains - Tanzania
Usambara Mountains - Tanzania

At the foot of the mountain, I was really surprised to stand in front of a dry river. The river bed was very dry and all in sand. Although my vehicle is 4x4, I was not sure that I could do this path. After some more scouting on foot and finding the sand was compact enough, I threw myself in.

After a few dozen metres, I was again standing in front of another dry river a lot larger than the first one. This time, I drove it without too much hesitation.

Usambara Mountains - Tanzania
Usambara Mountains - Tanzania

In the end, I managed to leave the river bed behind just before reaching a broken bridge. Thereafter, the path was going on for a few more kilometres before getting to a village and a maintained road.