30-Nov-2015 -- A hunt to check out the country side near Dar es Salaam
At the end of a short and productive visit to Dar es Salaam, I had half day of free time to my disposal. The logical thing was to hunt for the nearest confluence point and get to know the place a bit better.
Thanks to my gracious local host, Dr. Salim who arranged a perfect line-hunting vehicle – Toyota Land Cruiser - with Avelin doing the driving. As it turned out, the 4-wheel drive was very helpful to reach the point, even though it is only 25 km GPS distance from the capital.
It was a rather slow drive to get out of the city and it gave me a good feeling of what this large city is like. The second half of the drive passed pretty much in a rural setting – villages and dirt roads with few vehicles encountered.
When we reached a turn off about 1 km from the confluence point, the steep downhill road was in very bad shape and muddy. Even with the Land Cruiser we almost got stuck. We stopped a little less than 300 meters from the point and went on by foot.
The area is partially cultivated farm land but not very well utilized. As we were just about zeroing in on the confluence point, it started raining hard so we had to hurry. As we got back near the car, the rain stopped and it gave a chance to interact with some of the villagers. What amazed me was the fully loaded bicycles coming down the road that we had trouble negotiating with our 4-wheel drive SUV.
The return trip was straight forward and Avelin knew a great dive where we had a great fish plate for lunch. What is impressive about this trip is how quickly the largest city turns into a total rural setting. You do not need to go far to appreciate what rural Tanzania is like.
Rating of this hunt:
Degree of Challenge: 1 – Easy drive with less than 300 meters to walk (1= very easy - drive to the point; to 5= a death march – glad it is over)
Scenery: 3 – Pleasant country side and rural villages (Scale: 1= not interesting at all; 5= take your breath away)
Culture-social factors: 3 – Got a good glimpse of the cross-section from the water front of the capital city all the way to very rural farming areas (Scale: 1=dull; 5= most stimulating)