Written by Marianne on 27 Sep, 2003
Kalenga is 15 kilometres west of Iringa along the road to Ruaha National Park. Getting there was more difficult than we had expected. We walked to the bus stand just beyond the roundabout near the big church in Iringa. That was the easy bit. We…Read More
Kalenga is 15 kilometres west of Iringa along the road to Ruaha National Park. Getting there was more difficult than we had expected. We walked to the bus stand just beyond the roundabout near the big church in Iringa. That was the easy bit. We found our bus, but it was still empty, not a good sign, and found out that it would leave in three hours’ time. A daladala, a minibus, was stopped and we thought we had found our transport, but it took us to another, bigger, very ramshackle, empty bus. This bus would leave at seven. We looked at each other, puzzled. It was 10 am. ‘Tanzanian time!’ some one shouted. We deducted or added 6 hours for ‘normal’ time and we had Tanzanian time.
One o’clock Tanzanian time is six o’clock our time, either am or pm. Tanzanian time begins at sunset. The distinction they make is sun up for am and sun down for pm.
Our ramshackle bus appeared to be the ‘market bus’ and the vegetable market was in full swing. It would also leave at one in the afternoon. So we walked back to the first bus stand and found a taxi driver who asked Tsh 10.000 (10 euros), after a short negotiation. In the end we paid Tsh 5000. The road was bumpy and full of potholes.
We were dropped at Kalenga, a small dusty village. A sign said: Museum 1 kilometre. Another dusty road, houses, huts, children, frantically waving.
The museum is in memory of Mkwawa , Chief of the Hehe tribe. He tried to stop the advance of the German colonisation, ambushed them. In 1898, after a nine year long series of guerilla skirmishes Mkwawa was cornered and committed suicide by shooting himself through the head. His skull was sent to Germany, and repatriated in 1954. The skull and the rifle with which he shot himself are the most important exhibits in the Mkwawa Memorial Museum.
From Kalenga we walked to Tosamaganga. A pleasant two hour’s walk. We passed the tall grass in which Mkwama ambushed the enemy. We met people on bicycles, women carrying containers with water on their heads.
The path to Tosamaganga is very easy to find. Continue straight on from the Memorial museum, after one kilometre cross the main road (the road from Iringa), the path is clearly visible. After about one hour there is a fork in the road, bear right. Now you will cross two bridges across a huge pipeline, then one small bridge across water and one bigger bridge also across water. Once in the village you should take the path bearing right and leading uphill. You now come to the centre of the village. Here you will find the big church, resembling a French cathedral, the mission house, a secondary school and the hospital. Mission work began here in 1902. A greying, Catalan, Spanish speaking father invited us to tea and offered us a lift as it is another five kilometres to the main road from where we caught a daladala back to Iringa.