the Degree Confluence Project


4.1 km (2.5 miles) ENE of Nziro, Western, Uganda
Approx. altitude: 1280 m (4199 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest OpenStreetMap ConfluenceNavigator)
Antipode: 0° 149°W

Accuracy: 3 m (9 ft)
Quality: good

Click on any of the images for the full-sized picture.

#2: South #3: West #4: North #5: Team photo #6: Garmin #7: Alternate GPS

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  0° 31°E  

#1: East

(visited by Ante Galic)

23-Jun-2018 -- Brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, grandfathers and grandmothers of the Confluence! Greetings after a nine-year absence from the land of milk and honey!

Once again, I am with you, this time in Uganda’s Western region. The mission members for this mission consisted of my colleague (Matthias) and myself. Matthias was kind enough to find a car for hire (Nissan Corona Premio 1.8, probably the most common car seen on the road in Uganda) for the day at 100,000 Ugandan Shillings (approximately 26 US-$ or 22 €). My colleague Juliet was kind enough to lend me her GPS device (Garmin GPSmap 62sc). I bought water and snacks (a homemade trail mix of almonds and raisins). Matthias picked me up at my house at 7:15 on 23 June 2018. We headed to the Bam fuel station in Mbarara, put in 38 litres of fuel for a cost of 150,000 Ugandan Shillings (approximately 39 US-$ or 33 €) and headed off for the confluence at 0N 31E.

We left the gas station at 7:40 heading in a westerly direction on Ntare road. After about 2 km, we turned right on Mbarara–Ibanda road (heading north). We hit the following villages along the way:

Village nameDistance from Mbarara
Rwentoro13 km
Bwizibwera20 km
Rutooma24 km
Rubindi33 km
Ruhumbi36 km

The market in Bwizibwera definitely has some of the sweetest tasting produce in the region. It is a very little-known market because of its small size. We hit all of these villages on the main road (tarmac). At Ruhumbi, we took an eastern direction going off the tarmac joining the Africa road. Here we hit the following villages:

Village nameDistance from Mbarara
Rwamyamahembe46 km
Byanamira51 km
Rubaya53 km
Kyeitaagi63 km

None of these villages are really extraordinary, mostly servicing the local landscape which is major grazing land for cattle (almost exclusively cows). Next, we joined the tarmac again. We hit the following villages:

Village nameDistance from Mbarara
Kiruhura District headquarters68 km
Nyakasharara73 km
Rushere80 km

Nyakasharara in the local language means the wetlands. Not many people live in the village which is not surprising. Rushere is the last large settlement / township until the Confluence. At Rushere or close by, we took a north by northeasterly direction going towards Kinoni road junction, at 82 km from Mbarara. Once again, we joined Africa road. Here we hit the following villages:

Village nameDistance from Mbarara
Rwoborundo trading centre93 km
Kinoni102 km
Rwetamo trading centre117 km

Prior to our departure, we had planned to stop in Rwetamo trading centre. There we planned to seek out a scout or someone who knew the local area, especially the area close to the Confluence. This person was named Edwin and indeed he knew everything about the area, including the road leading to the farm which was located precisely 512 m due north of the Confluence (according to my calculations).

Reaching the village of Karambi, where there were two homesteads (both big dairy cattle ranchers), we actually came face to face with Isaac the landowner and cattle farmer on the small dirt road leading to his farm. When he saw me, a tall white dude and when my driver Matthias explained to him the Confluence, he immediately thought that there was gold to be had at that point! It was difficult to explain to Isaac the concept of the Confluence even using the local language in simple words. He was also amazed that I was able to take a photo of his home without actually going to his home! He was even more amazed when I told him that the photo came from Google Earth via a satellite from outer space!

As I mentioned above, the Confluence was exactly 512 m due south of his house. The confluence extended well into his farmland / grazing land. Ironically, the Confluence was located right next to a pile of dried up cow dung because Uganda’s Western region is known as the land of milk and honey for its abundance of fresh cow’s milk.

At the Confluence we explained to the landowner, who tagged along with us, that the Equator ran through his property. We gave him the idea of building a hotel which could straddle the Equator – one half in the northern hemisphere and the other half in the southern hemisphere – and that it could be a tourist attraction. He was literally blown away by the concept!!! We reached the Confluence finally at around 11:40 – four hours after we left Mbarara and the famous Bam fuel station.

After we found the Confluence, paid the scout (a good day’s work for less than half an hour at 10,000 Ugandan Shillings (roughly 2.60 US-$ or 2.20 €) and thanked the land owner, we headed back. We stopped in Rushere township at Mulumba’s restaurant for lunch. Both Matthias and I had goat’s meat soup. He ordered the carbohydrate works of posho, matooke, rice, Irish potato and sweet potato while I ordered only sweet potato with my goat’s meat. We both ate for a total of 3 $. Her restaurant is not in trip advisor, they don’t have the Internet there, but if you want to taste the sweetest goat’s meat and experience the warmest hospitality in Uganda then you need to go to Rushere and eat at Mulumba’s restaurant.

We arrived in Mbarara at my house at 15:30 completing the journey. We both shared a hug to congratulate each other on a job well done, a trip that would be impossible for either of us alone – me because I don’t speak the local language well enough and him because he didn’t know about the confluence website and wouldn’t normally pay for such an activity. We learned so much in one trip – he about villages and people he’d never seen before and me to see the landscape and enjoy the company of the kind Ugandan people. Matthias plans to visit other confluence points in Uganda because there are many that have not been visited. This is somewhat surprising because Uganda is a really peaceful country.

 All pictures
#1: East
#2: South
#3: West
#4: North
#5: Team photo
#6: Garmin
#7: Alternate GPS
ALL: All pictures on one page