This piece of road must be one of the most famous drives in Africa. Mostly for the wrong reasons. Cars break down and people have to camp along the road as they can’t make it all the way to the next town before dark. Well, here is our experience.
The road looks pretty bad leaving Marsabit. In Kenya you drive on the left, but in Marsabit it seems to be a matter of driving where the road looks better.
It is about 240 kilometers from Marsabit to Moyale on the Ethiopian border. A few kilometers out of Marsabit, the road gets better. The next 150 kilometers was a lot better than we expected. The road is rough at places, but not worse than other roads we have done in the last three years. The views a great as you cross the plains towards the mountains at the border. An interesting observation is the new road they (Chinese) are building just next to the old one. It is mostly blocked of for use at the time, but it will be ready in near future. The need for a rugged 4x4s to drive Cape to Cairo is soon history…
Beautiful landscape on the way north. The new road can be seen to the right in this picture.
Close to Solola in the north things turned interesting. It started to rain.
And it doesn’t take a lot of water to change the surface of the road significantly. Ahead of us we saw several larger vehicles parked on the side of the road. They were waiting for the road to dry up. For us it wasn’t a problem, and I don’t think it would have been a problem for any 4x4 if you have a bit of experience.
Closer to the border we saw more trucks stuck in the mud, and this is normally what will stop you on a muddy road. Even if you have big mud terrain tires and lockers in both ends, if there is a truck stuck in the mud that blocks the road chances are you can’t get around it. Here it was okay, and we could get past.
As a final test before reaching the border, the weather gods decided to send a small flash flood our way. When we got there, cars had already been waiting for a couple of hours for the water to go down.
Took some video as well...
We got across and continued to the border. The drive took us about eight hours, and the last 80 kilometers took more time the first 110. We definitely see that heavy rains can change this road into a challenging mud trail, but at least for us it wasn’t as bad as many has told us.