the Degree Confluence Project


22.2 km (13.8 miles) WSW of Damongo, Northern, Ghana
Approx. altitude: 247 m (810 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest OpenStreeMap ConfluenceNavigator)
Antipode: 9°S 178°E

Accuracy: 5 m (16 ft)
Quality: good

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

#2: East #3: South #4: West #5: Confluence point area #6: GPS 1 #7: GPS 2 - On the zeros #8: Finding the way #9: 9N 2W Map

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#1: North

(visited by Alpar Kovacs and Felix Sibsa)

20-Feb-2011 -- This journey was planned forlast year, but we decided to visit in February this year in the dry season when access is easier. Based on the prepared maps and the distance, we allowed a full day for the trip and researched two different routes in case access to one was impassable. Finally, we had the chance to combine work with pleasure and the whole weekend (18-20 Feb.) was available. Initially we planned to stay in Damongo, but the city was too busy preparing for the Damba festival and we decided to lodge at Mole Motel, situated in Mole National Park. On the first day that we arrived we did a reconnaissance mission with the car to see from which direction we could get closest to the point.

Choosing Plan B we were able to drive 12 km on a track until we entered in thick forest from where it was impossible to pass by car, and also where the track veered in a direction opposite to the point. This track was more like a footpath and less like a road, passing between the trees until only accessible by foot or bicycle, or motorcycle. The path appeared to be widely used by the local peoples for accessing their farms, for hunting, and for illegal wood-cutting. In talking with local farmers encountered, the path was used for linking Damongo to the town of Bole.

We began our attempt early the next morning but were delayed by two flat tires (probably from the tree-trunks driven over the previous day). This was resolved quickly in Damongo and based on the experience, we also hired two extra tires just in case. Proceeding on the same road we crossed some nice cassava and cashew plantations along with mango and shea trees. This environment is constantly changing to savanna, interspersed with woodlands with drought-resistant trees (dawadawa, acacia) where we were forced to leave the truck. After a short walk we crossed the Sur River (RL 160 m) after which we were steadily ascending up to 250 m where the confluence point is situated. In some areas the forest was burnt by the Fulani people to stimulate the regeneration of the vegetation to feed the cattle herds.

The hiking wasn’t so complicated, only the heat and the flies were absolutely terrible. After 4 hours walk in the middle of nowhere, we arrived to the confluence point where to my astonishment we found few vertical holes that were surely man made, one of which was exactly on the confluence point. We don’t have any clear explanation why the holes were excavated in this place, but perhaps they were traps of some kind for Grasscutter or other delicious small mammals possibly hiding out from wildfires. From a geological perspective it is unlikely that they were used to locate water or for Galamsey mining activities.

The journey back was much harder but even so we travelled the 14 km in 3 hours. However, the heat and dehydration was intense and it felt like longer. After dark we arrived back at the car, where to our dismay we had another flat tire. After changing it we went back to Damango celebrating the successful visit on the Damba festival.

 All pictures
#1: North
#2: East
#3: South
#4: West
#5: Confluence point area
#6: GPS 1
#7: GPS 2 - On the zeros
#8: Finding the way
#9: 9N 2W Map
ALL: All pictures on one page