Excluded areas for self drive in a Rav4
Tanzania is perfectly safe and suited to go on a self drive safari. If you are driving in a Toyota Rav4, there are only a few areas we don’t allow Roadtrippers to go to for the following reasons: the road conditions are poor and require technical driving skills, or the area is too remote, so we cannot organize adequate backup support. If you are driving a Toyota Land Cruiser then there are no areas that are off limits.
The excluded areas for our Toyota Rav4s are listed in our rental terms & conditions. Our vehicles have car trackers, so we can monitor if a hirer does not stick to the no-go areas, meaning breach of contract, full liability and loss of security bond.
Western Tanzania lags behind in terms of economic development, and very few tourists make it to the far West. Roads are in bad condition and it would be impossible to follow up adequately in case the car has a mechanical problem. For this reason, we do not allow hirers to take our vehicles on a roadtrip to the national parks around Lake Tanganyika. Ruaha is the farthest west you can go with our rental cars.
Serengeti and the roads to Lake Natron
If you plan to visit Serengeti NP, you should note the following. The main road running from the Ngorongoro Crater gate to Naabi Hill gate and from Naabi Hill gate to Seronera, the center of action, and from Seronera radiating to the east and west is notorious among all tour guides in Tanzania and beyond for its condition. There have been no repairs or maintenance conducted on the road for quite some time and the road is now beyond the condition for a Rav4 to travel on, therefore we have had to deem the Serengeti area off limits for our vehicles
Lake Natron is nestled between rolling volcanic hills and deep craters northeast of the Ngorongoro Crater, it sits at the lowest point of the Rift Valley – 600m above sea level. The area is hot and often very dry and very, very dusty. The Toyota RAV4 is not geared for the driving conditions on the roads towards Lake Natron, as there are many deep potholes which are impossible to see as they are covered by thick layers of dust. This desolate area is not a place where you want to get a mechanical problem with your car, as visitors are uncommon, there are no workshops and the few Maasai villagers who live there speak no English.
If you plan to visit Ngorongoro Crater, please note that self driving is permitted, but the conservation authority requires you to take a guide with you into the crater. A guide can be booked and paid for at the ranger station once you enter the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. The cost for a guide is $20/day.