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Bush and beach in Mkwaja, Tanzania

My bike story, a Tanzanian Rider
3 January 2022
Sala Gate, season 2
6 January 2022

By Mwenda Steve

Let me tell you of one of my favorite places. A bustling village called Mkwaja that is right by the ocean approx 100km south of Tanga, Tz. You see, this village is about 3kms away from Saadani National Park which fascinates me because one of its borders is the Indian ocean. So this place is the perfect combination of bush and beach. On the 30th Dec we took a family vacation to Mkwaja and of course I took my bike with me while the rest of the family caged.


I've taken this route multiple times, I know it fairly well so I always use it as my testing ground to determine how well my riding skills have developed. About 97% of the route is off-road with a lovely mix of climbs, drops, banked corners, gravel and sand. I had also early gifted myself a set of Mitas E07+ tyres from Bike Tyres Kenya which I had not gotten to quite test yet. Also changed to an aluminium front rim for weight reasons.

The first half of the journey was rough but Cyler took it with grace. We got to Pangani, a historical village by the River Pangani right where it drains into the Indian Ocean. The river crossing is by a little ferry that acts like a matatu, it'll not move until it's almost full πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ so it can be hot fun times waiting for it as I have before but not this time.


Across the river and the roads are wide and smooth allowing for fast riding leaving a trail of dust past Mwera Estate that has hundreds upon hundreds of acres of sisal, then to Sakura. A village that shows up unexpectedly. They houses must have been living quarters for workers at the Sakura estate. They're all uniform and white.


Then finally to the vagabond lodge at Mkwaja. The area is quiet, amazing beaches and very little light pollution so the night sky was alive and a haze of light from Zanzibar is visible at night.

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On the 1st I decided to take a ride on the beach. I had done this months before but the ride was cut shot when I met with a 1inch nylon rope that was used to anchor a boat on the beach, right on the chest. So this was round 2. Had my body armour on and off I went, more attentive this time round. Got stuck a few times and generally had a maaad time on the beach.


The next day I took a pillion with me for a beach ride to check out a rock that I've been seeing for years. It's off the beach and only time to get to it was on low tide. We parked the bike and walked what must have been about 800 meters off the beach to the rock. It honestly wasn't anything too special but it definitely cured a curiosity.


The ride back on the 2nd was uneventful but still as fun as it was the very first time I ever did that route. Oh and the tyres were amazing, handled everything so well and gave me more confidence.

All in all Morris Njue and Triffy Faith Akinyi this route awaits you.

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