Transport near Usa River, Kilimanjaro

I’ve now been living in Usa River for two and a half weeks and I’m getting to know my way around. On most of the roads in town it’s quicker walking than trying to take a car, but there is a well maintained highway between Arusha and Moshi, which runs pasts the training centre where I’m based. On the big road daladalas [small buses] and bodabodas [motorbike taxis] are ubiquitous.

The road from Moshi to Arusha
The road from Moshi to Arusha

The morning walk is dominated by Mount Meru, with occasionally stunning results, and on clear evenings you can see Kilimanjaro in the distance.

Mount Meru as seen froM Usa River
Mount Meru as seen from Usa River

Mount Kilimajaro as seen from Usa River
Mount Kilimajaro as seen from Usa River

The walk is cheerfully punctuated by Swahili conversations with friendly passers-by (who only occasionally try and sell us safaris) and shouts of mzungu [white person] from the local children. Technically, when there’s two of us they should use the plural wazungu. Sometimes we point this out.

There’s a scenic route via the football pitch, where matches are played most nights, complete with ducks.

The Usa River football pitch
The Usa River football pitch
Play stops while the goalkeeper deals with a pitch invasion
Play stops while the goalkeeper deals with a pitch invasion

A daladala ride to Arusha town from Usa will set you back 600Tsh, about 20p, for the half hour journey. These minibuses have seats for 10, though the record is 28 people, and each has custom livery, almost always completely random.

Daladala livery is often completely random
Daladala livery is often completely random
John Terry is big in Tanzania
John Terry is big in Tanzania

One can also travel on the back of a bodaboda, though it’s against Engineering World Health rules for us to do so. Our coordinator Brittany has just finished research on brain surgery in Uganda, which you can read about here (spoilers: not good) and with the frequency of crashes this policy seems sensible.

A motorcycle rests against a wall
A motorcycle rests against a wall

I’ve travelled about a bit, and spent Sunday at Maji Moto [lit. Hot Water], a naturally warm lake in the middle of nowhere, complete with rope swing and some sweet treetop dives. I was having too much fun to take any photos except this one:

Pylons
Pylons

Even in the middle of nowhere you can’t escape the pylons.

  1. What is Swahili for ‘ubiquitous’ Conor? Thoroughly enjoyed this one…pedantic even in Swahili,eh?