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the Degree Confluence Project
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Tanzania : Dodoma

5.9 km (3.7 miles) NNE of Chahwa, Dodoma, Tanzania
Approx. altitude: 1042 m (3418 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest Multimap world confnav)
Antipode: 6°N 144°W

Accuracy: 5.0 km (3.1 mi)

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  6°S 36°E (visit #1) (incomplete) 

#1: Women rebuilding road near Chamwino, Tanzania

(visited by Stef Steiner)

15-Dec-2003 -- I regret not having been successful in logging this confluence point, as I tried twice to get to it from different directions.

We were heading south from Kondoa towards Dodoma, but really wanted to get to Mpwapwa, which lies east of Dodoma. This looked like the perfect opportunity to take a smaller back road from Meia Meia, via Hombolo and Chamwino to Buigira, which lies on the main road linking Dodoma and Dar es Salaam. This would have cut out the dog's leg of heading into Dodoma, and taken us close to the Confluence, which lies less than 10 km north of Chamwino. Besides, often the back roads are in a better condition because there is less traffic to create potholes and corrugations (the Dodoma – Kondoa road is quite rough).

Our Kiswahili was less than rudimentary, so the finer points of asking for directions at Meia Meia were lost to us. We did notice that the locals were a bit perplexed that we wanted to take that particular route, though. The reason for this became quite evident about a kilometre later when we were faced with a deep, wide gully, and the remnants of a bridge. Presumably, a flood some seasons ago had washed away the road. The next person we asked seemed to indicate that there was no road that way anymore, so we had to go to Dodoma anyway.

About 30 km east of Dodoma we found the turn-off to Chamwino. This proved to be a wide sealed road in excellent condition. We soon found out why this road was well-maintained, something not common in Tanzania: Chamwino is the president's residence, and he obviously doesn't like corrugations and potholes either!

Unfortunately, the sealed road ends at Chamwino, and thereafter it becomes a dirt road in fairly good condition for several more kilometres. However, it soon deteriorated into sections of treacherous, thick mud. We traversed some in 4x4, but they progressively got worse. We finally stopped on a raised section where some women were effecting road repairs on another muddy section while the men were sitting in the village playing a board game. This is Africa, after all! The women indicated that there was more mud like that further ahead. At this point we were five kilometres from the confluence point, but we were pressed for time. The round trip on foot, if all went well, would have probably taken three hours which we couldn't afford.


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#1: Women rebuilding road near Chamwino, Tanzania
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