I want to drive from Johannesburg South Africa to Kigali Rwanda in August 2015. One leg of the route is concerning me. I see the distance from Mbeya to Tabora in Tanzania is 560km along the B 6 and Google says it should take just over seven hours to complete. My question is does anybody know what the road condition is like and is the 7 hour odd estimate correct? We will be two or three landcruisers.

1 Answer 1


You are right to be suspicious of an estimated 80 km/h speed on a dirt road in a convoy of loaded 4x4s.

However, looking at the satellite view, the road is fairly straight, wide, and flat. I budget closer to ten hours for the trip (plus stops). Of course this depends on driver skill and fatigue as well.

  • Thanks for your reply. I agree with you that Google Maps looks far too optimistic. It will be interesting to see if someone with recent local knowledge replies. I also looked at the satellite images but there are two problems with that. I drove the B8 a decade ago and one day we only managed 112km, admittedly with a seven vehicle convoy which does slow things down. Thanks
    – Sandy
    Commented Mar 9, 2015 at 11:09
  • Firstly, one cannot see the real condition of the road from the images, and secondly, it depends what time of the year the images were taken as the "long rains" season will completely change a dirt road from the condition it would be in in the dry season. August is in the middle of the dry time so it should, all things being equal, be faster than in the mud.
    – Sandy
    Commented Mar 9, 2015 at 11:10

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