The road from Marsabit to Moyale, Kenya to Ethiopia for some years had a reputation as one of the most notorious roads in Africa, known for highway robberies, and in the rain lots and lots of mud, sometimes making it impassable or a real challenge.
What we found was not an impassable road, nor one which we felt unsafe driving.
Instead we found friendly people, fantastic views, and smooth tar for the most part.
Just a few parts of the road are still under construction, part financed by the EU.
The road is newly paved almost all of the way apart from a few areas where they are working on bridges, around 18km from Merille to near Laisamis and the last 35km to Marsabit.
The entire road (except the last 35km) should be fully complete in the next 6 months. Work has started on the last 35km, but it looks like it will be a while longer before it is complete. If it’s dry, you will have no issues at all.
When it rains, its rains hard, and the town and surrounding roads become muddy rivers...
Once leaving Marsabit, the road turned to a fantastic, smooth brand new road, with only about 8km of road works and the last section of road into Moyale still to be completed.
Safety was once a concern on this route however, as you approach the small towns there are police check points, in addition to this we also saw a few police vehicles patrolling the road.
In general, we felt safe along the entire route. Although recently there were reports of fighting in Moyale, where the border was closed for a couple of days. If in doubt, check with the local police before setting out from Marsabit.
Enjoy the scenery - With the road tarred almost the entire way, you are able to enjoy the breath-taking scenery along this route!!
On to Ethiopia - The first parts of the road in Ethiopia once outside of Moyale, is potholed and under construction, a few kms later you will have perfectly smooth newly tarred road again!! One truck did manage to get stuck in the road works.
Im sure some reading this will sigh, as soon you will be able to drive all the way from Cape Town to Cairo on tar. Whilst this does take out some of the adventure, it does make the route much more doable in bad conditions, and does encourage people to take the more adventurous route via Lake Turkana
Check out the OverlandingAssociation.org if you are planning an Overland Adventure!