Riding in Tanzania

Riding a motorcycle in Tanzania not for the faint hearted. In fact, Tanzania is one of the few places in Africa i’ve been consistently scared of having an accident while riding. Riding on the main road from Mbeya to Dar Es Salaam, there are a number of features of the road and driving that have caused this anxiety…

Overtaking

  • Blind overtaking: Where the oncoming vehicle overtakes on the outside of a bend or on the way up to a blind summit
  • Might-is-right overtaking: Where a lorry or bus will overtake another vehicle, knowing that they will not be able to complete the manouvre before reaching you
  • Tailgating overtaking: A combination of the above, where a second or third vehicle will overtake, without being able to see if the road is clear

Condition of the road

  • Surface: If the road is gravel or tar, that’s ok as your prepared. In urban areas, as soon as you come off the main road, your mostly onto dirt.
  • Potholes: On even the newest roads there are sections that appear to have been forgotten about so deep potholes exist, causing the traffic to slow down and lurch side to side in an unpredictable fashion.
  • Tramlines: Created by the overloaded lorry tyres remoulding the tarmac in the high heat, the rutted tarmaced surface has become one of my most hated adversaries. Coming to an obstacle in the road such as one of the many broken down trucks, the tramlines that can create an over 6″ vertical barrier to moving across the roadway leave you with few options.

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