12-Sep-2004 -- We're a bunch of social bike riders living in and around Njombe in Southern Highlands of Tanzania. We came across the Degree Confluence Project on the web and, ever on the lookout for excuses to head off into the bush, saw that 9S 35E was close by. Four of us, Zummi Cardoso, Peter Rowland, Riaan Van Wyk and myself, David Parkhill, headed out on a Sunday morning on a couple of Bajas, a Honda 250R, and a Yamaha AG.
Although the direct route was north-east, the map showed the Confluence in the midst of some very hilly countryside, so we decided to loop round it and approach from the north. We headed along the Njombe-Makambako road for about 20 km before heading off-road past Tanganyika Wattle's No. 4 Estate. For the next 50 km, the land was fairly flat and criss-crossed by numerous paths, so we didn't have much of a problem in finding ones that headed in the right direction. At around 10 km from the Confluence we picked up a decent track and this took us straight there, literally: the point was right in the middle of a path.
We parked and Riaan and I started taking the various photos. We soon attracted a crowd, and Zummi and Peter found out from them that we could get back to Njombe on a more direct route.
The start of this involved a fairly hairy descent down one of the hills on a steep path with lots of loose rock. Luckily no mishaps, not even on the footbridge at the bottom. After that the going was much easier and, apart from a couple of wobbles on sandy stretches, we made it safely home to finish off a very enjoyable day with a braii and a beer in hand.