Travel Report at Amani Mountains, Tanga
Amani mountains seen from Road Mombo-Korogwe
Beautiful vegitation in the Amanini mountains
Guest house of the Amani Resurch staion
One of the lorries pulled back on the road
The small village of Makanya
Free vision towards the East: Tanga, Segera...
... right from the Anglican Church!
.... up to the Indian Ocean !
There are the two tea factories Marvera left, and Bulwa right
Fiew from Mazita towards Korogwe
Soccer team in Magambo
Aim: To find a suitable Transmitter site for the transmitter at Kisosora Tanga.
After reparing a flat tyre in Korogwe we moved on to Muheza on Friday November 7th 2008. From here we went to Amani Research Station up in the mountains.
At the National Park Gate, we were advised to clarify our trip and pay taxes at the head office in Amani. It was nearly 18:00 when we arrived at the Amani Research Station. Gideon Charles (the financial controller of the research station) was already waiting for uns. He showed us the guesthouse and did business with the National Park Office.
When we saw him there, we were very happy, since we had no idea where to start.
The next morning, on Saturday, he came to the Guesthouse bringing Evangelist Tumaini Schemshanga with him, since he knows every corner of the Amani Mountains.
We started the measuring trip at a staff house of the Amani Research station on a hill. Many radio stations are audiable, especially from the South. But neither Korogwe nor Tanga is in the line of sight. In fact there is neither reception from Mlalo or Tanga!
Then we took the shortest way to the Eastern side, i.e. to Derema Divani, where the plain to the Indian Ocean can be overlooked. Vodacom has an antenna mast there and electricity is available. Unfortunately neither Tanga nor Mlalo can be heared there as well. There must be another hill in the sight of light towards Tanga.
The next stop was at Makanya. The road to this place was very slippery and two lorries blocked the way for quite some while until we could pass. From there we had a clear vision to Tanga, Pemba and South Muheza. This is an ideal place to reach all the East and South of the coastal line with a very strong signal! Electricity could be connected about 4 km away at the tea factory at Marvera. But there is no reception from Mlalo. RSYI from Tanga is clearly audible together with about 50 other stations on the FM band! But towards Korogwe, all the other Amani mountains are in the way.
Therefore we looked for a place overlooking the West up to Korogwe from the Amani mountains. And we came to Kazita. It is just like Makanya, but towards the West of the mountains with a real fair view! It would be even open towards Mlalo, but we could hear nothing from Mlalo. The signal from Tanga is weak, and there is no electricity available.
Now searching for a place overlooking East/South and West equally, we returned to the centre of the mountains. Again we came South to Mgambo. There we met the Youth playing socker on the footballground next to the Lutheran Church. Here electricity would be available, and it would be a safe place close to the Church. But towards the East, to Tanga there is another ridge, which is not too good for radio signals. Therefore Tanga was audible, but not too strong. Unfortunately RSI from Mlalo could not be heard at all.
We were looking for a higher place overlooking East and West. And we came to Kwevihombo. It is 1156m high and an excellent transmission place towards both sides. We could reach Tanga and Korogwe equally well from there and electricity is available as well. The shortcomings of this location are, that there is no Lutheran church as a safe place, RSI from Mlalo cannot be heared, only from Tanga or Lushoto if on air.
Moving higher up to the South, we passed at the elementary school at Kwechwage, about 1172m hight, but no electricity available there.
On our way back towards the South we came through Monga Sakale which is even lower again at 1138m.
Finally we reached Monga, where the ELCT Congregation of Amani has its church. Here we would have a safe place, electricity, and it is still quite high on 1053 metres. But no direct vision again towards Tanga.
On the way from Tanga to Moshi, we passed by the ELCT mental hospital in Lutindi. It is located 1172m high overlooking Mombo up to Korogwe. There is no line of sight towards Tanga, but a transmitter there could serve a big area even towards the South. SYI Mlalo could not be heard. This frequency (102.9MHz) is occupied by a station in Dar or Zanzibar. But there is a good connection to Lushoto Tansmitter, if it will be up the mountain, where all the telephone companies have their antenna masts. In the mean time, internet streaming could be considered, since a internet connection is available through Simbanet Vsat. Electricity is no problem as well!
We could not find a place which blends with all requirements:
- Reception from Mlalo for program connection
- Electricity connection close by
- Safety of the place
- Direct sight towards the West (Korogwe, Mombo...)
- Direct sight towards the South (Segera up to Chalinze)
- Direct sight towards East (Tanga, Pemba, Pangani...)
None of the places is suitable to connect to the signal from RSI Mlalo. RSI Tanga can be heard from afar, but cannot be replaced by the station on the Amani mountains. We are sure, if the booster in Lushoto would be set up on the mountain, it could reach most places for connection. In the mean time just Lutindi could be connected via internet streaming, if there is enough bandwidth. As soon as RSI is available on the satellite, any of these places could be selected.
As a practical advice, a small booster station in Lutindi connected on SYI internet streaming could provide the coverage to Mombo Korogwe and further South to all the people not being able to listen to RSI in that area right now. The station in Kisosora, Tanga has to be maintained until the signal is available on the satellite. Then it could be moved up to the Amani mountains to Kwevihombo if the security problem is solved, or to Makanya if we can manage to bridge the 4km of electricity gap.