26-Nov-2004 -- When Goetz and Guenter prepared their visit to Mwanga, where I live, Goetz came up with a GPS and the idea to hunt for a confluence point in Tanzania. We looked at the map and decided to try 4S 38E, which is situated in the Mkomazi Game Reserve about 59 km as the crow flies from our home.
We started our trip from Mwanga to Same, where we left the tarmac road, and reached the Zange Gate of Mkomazi Game Reserve. As our map showed the confluence point about some kilometres offroad, we thought it was a good idea to ask for a ranger to accompany and guide us. This is how Francesco Fundi came to join our group. We entered the Park and drove about 15 km to the Southeast. There we left the main rough road as the map showed the CP to be on the right side. We entered an area of even forest-like dense bush until the end of the road at a dried-up river bed with an artificial dam. That area of the park is suffering from illegal mining activities.Due to the remaining distance of 10.5 km to our target we had to return and find another way.
So we continued on the main rough road until we came to the closest point with a remaining distance of 2.38 km to the CP – but on the LEFT side of the road, about 25 km from Zange Gate. When we left the car it started to rain immediately - fortunately only for some minutes. But that was enough to show us the special characteristics of the "Black Cotton Soil". We had a lot of luck that our way only led us through open bush land. So we were able to reach our target after a 40 minutes' walk on which we realized the conflicts you get when you stand in front of a go-away-bird on a wait-a-bit-tree. Finally at the CP, we celebrated, took our pictures and explained the confluence project to our guide.
At Mkomazi you can find only few game but different species like Antilopes, Elefants, Giraffes, Buffalos, Zebras, and even Lions and Cheetahs. In a special sanctuary they try to resettle the black rhino. This is one of the projects of the George Adamson Foundation who is combining direct natural resources protection with a beneficiary project for the people of neighbouring villages. Anyway, walking in some areas is only allowed in company of armed rangers. But luckily our walk did not lead us through such a dangerous area.
Our way back to the gate was a bit surprising, because the rains had made the black parts of the road rather slippery. But close to the gate, the late afternoon sun came out again, and rewarded us with some very nice views over Mkomazis beautiful landscape with umbrella acacia trees and the picturesque scenery of Pare Mountains. Even Mount Kilimanjaro appeared in the background and showed us the direction back home to Mwanga.