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I'm in the process of reviewing Open VFR's Tanzania scenery package, and what better way to see the heart of Africa than to mount a safari? So over the next week or so, we're going to embark on a major tour of the country

We're going to start from Dar es Salaam, on the Indian Ocean coast, and follow a route approximately clockwise through and around the country. We'll take in the major sights, from the ocean to the plains, the Great Rift Valley and the African Great Lakes, the mountains and volcanoes, and the exotic spice islands of Zanzibar.

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Day 1. Dar Es Salaam to Mafia

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HTDA-HTUT-HTMA

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Taking off from Dar Es Salaam; the largest city in Tanzania, and its economic centre (although it's not the capital)

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The Rufiji river is the longest river in Tanzania.

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and its delta is home to the world's largest mangrove forest.

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I've decided to land on Mafia Island, purely because of the name. Although not part of the Zanzibar Archipelago, this Spice Island is a popular destination for scuba divers.

Oh dear, I think the tide came in!

Postcard:

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Day 2: Mafia Island - Kilwa Masoko - Lindi - Mtwara

We're going to head down the Indian ocean Coast

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HTMA - HTKI - HTLI - HTMT

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Crossing the Southern tip of Mafia Island.

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We're heading for Kilwa Masoko on the mainland. This port town is known for its Ottoman Arab era ruins.

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This whole area is part of the Lindi region

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The desertification of FSX, even in Africa. And I'm flying in the Rainy Season too! OpenVFR doesn't include textures, although Flight1 has recently released GEX Africa, which may well improve things.

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I chose the Carenado Caravan for this trip, and we'll see later why it was a good choice!

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Kikwetu airport, Lindi. It's in the middle of a massive sisal plantation.

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The far South East corner of Tanzania is the Mtwara region. It's close to the border with Mozambique. Mtwara, the principal city was planned and built in the 1940s. Designed for 200,000 people, but by 1951 it was deserted. But transport links are good, and there is a paved road all the way to Dar es Salaam.

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It's not really in a hole - See the postcard below for the real approach

Postcards:

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The ruins at Kilwa

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Final for Mtwara runway 19

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Yes - I wanted a planner that was "me-proof", and ended up writing it meself...

Thank's for that, I'll go and get it later on :icon_thumbup: .

BTW: Your Safari adventure has given me an idea to do a coast to coast Canadian one, that will be a good way to test out the UTX-Canada software that I have just loaded up on my system :) .

Cheer's...Graham...

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Yonge Street start to finish? :001_th_smiles89:

That one is a bit to close to home for me I'm afraid, in fact! Yonge Street is just at the end of my road :D

BTW: I have just installed Tim's Plan-G, I don't understand any of it yet, but it looks very good indeed :) .

Cheer's...Graham...

RTM :icon_thumbup: :icon_thumbup: Seriously the manual is really good although a little heavy at first. There's a tutorial so far through the manual covering a flight from Carlisle to Liverpool.

Also I found this tutorial quite useful Plan G Tutorial Remember you can save these as PLN or PLG files.

Back on topic. This is superb Tim, really adds something to the experience. I love the idea and it really does get the creative juices flowing. Nice pictures :001_th_smiles89:

Any chance of uploading the flight plans when your finished, would be nice to try this out.

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Day 3: Mwwara - Nachingwea - Masasi

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HTMT - HTNA - HTMI

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Today we start heading inland.

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Our first reference point is this seasonal lake at Mtama.

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Approaching the Lukuledi river valley from the Makonde Plateau. This river runs East, back to Lindi, although only the last 40km or so never dry out.

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This valley pretty much doesn't exist in the default scenery. Even so, the cliffs in real life are pretty much sheer.

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It's I Follow Roads again! According to the map, the airstrip is right by the road; and it's not wrong! The anglican church in Nachingwea is twinned with Stapleford in Cambridgeshire.

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Nachingwea to Masasi is a comparatively short hop, following the line of the hills

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Those hills are known as kopjes

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Masasi is the major town in the region, nestling by that first kopje on the left. Beyond the granite kopjes, there's little here, although it's an important junction.

Postcards

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You're never too far from an Everton v Arsenal match!

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Masasi Kopjes

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Day 4: Masasi - Tunduru - Songea

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HTMI-HTTU-HTSO

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We're leaving Masasi and continuing our climb into the interior.

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Msanjesi is our first Game Reserve of the trip. There are large populations of lions, elephants, hippo, crocodiles, buffalo, Sable antelopes and Kudu, and it acts as corridor for elephants moving up and down on the Selous – Niassa Wildlife Corridor. This is one of the few reserves that still allows hunting.

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Approaching Tunduru. According to Google, both the town and the airport should be several miles further North.

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The airstrip is right in the middle of town, although this is way greener and more sophisticated than the maps would suggest.

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This area is well known for sapphires, and there are many small mining operations.

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We've been climbing steadily ever since the coast - these hills reach above 4000ft, and the airstrip beyond is at 3440.

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The airstrip is well camouflaged!

Postcard:

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Songea airfield. Found, of all places, in Mutley's Hangar!

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Hi Tim,

thank you so much for reviewing with our scenery. We love to see a comparision with original photos, which is very (!) interesting for us as well.

So looking forward to your next ourcomings....Enjoy flying!!

Regarding the airports, we would like to let you know, that (currently) we are NOT modifing any airports. So all airports you see are standard FSX airports.

But, when installing also the openVFR Mesh, you'll get a much better elevation profile around. Unfortunately (in very few cases) this can lead into some worse

results as standard airports from Microsoft are defined with fixed elevation. So they will stay at the same sea level, even if the elevation around is more accurate.

We hope that we can improove this effect in next versions. Anyway, if you find such situations you could try to install 3rd party airports which are hopefully

more accurate..Any feedback appreciated...

THANK YOU VERY MUCH AGAIN FOR YOUR EFFORTS....

If I have time, I will fly the same route - I love it!

So far

Markus

openVFR.de

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Unfortunately (in very few cases) this can lead into some worse

results as standard airports from Microsoft are defined with fixed elevation. So they will stay at the same sea level, even if the elevation around is more accurate.

We hope that we can improove this effect in next versions. Anyway, if you find such situations you could try to install 3rd party airports which are hopefully

more accurate..Any feedback appreciated...

I think Zanzibar and Dar-es-Salaam are the only third party airports anyone has made for Tanzania; at least I didn't find any. Anyhow, I wanted to keep it so the only change over default was OpenVFR, otherwise it could be misleading.

ADE (Airport Design Editor) has a tool for fixing airport elevations. It produces a stub file (it's a cut down version of the AFCAD) that goes into scenery\world\scenery. With only 49 airports in Tanzania, it shouldn't be too big of a job (Orbx adjusted over 400 for their Pacific North West!). I think its well worth doing as it's also a good selling point; without it, some of the errors can be considerable, as we're about to see...

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Day 5: Songea - Karonga - Njombe

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HTSO - FWKA - HTNJ

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Today we're going to visit the first of the African Great Lakes: Lake Malawi, aka Lake Nyasa.

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This is the third largest lake in Africa, and the second deepest. 580km long, 75km wide, and 706m (2300ft) at its deepest! This is, of course, the Great Rift Valley, where Africa very slowly pulls itself apart...

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Lake Malawi is bordered by Tanzania, Malawi and Mozambique. Here we're looking back from the Malawi side. To give you an idea of scale, the lake surface is at 1500ft elevation, and the tops of the mountains on the far shore are just shy of 10,000ft.

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Back in Tanzania, and it's quite a climb to get ovet these mountains - we've had to get to from 1500ft to 11500ft just from one shore to the other. Thankfully the PT6 on the front takes it in its stride. Once over the lakeside mountains, the land drops back down to 6000ft on the plains.

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Oh dear! This is going to be interesting

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The airstrip is about 600ft below the ground surface, but that's no problem for us! Now, the question is... will we get out?

(if you don't fancy trying it, there is a bus service from here to Dar Es Salaam!)

Postcard:

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Lake Malawi. This location is just above my left wing on the first lake shot.

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Mjombe region

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Day 6: Njombe - Sao Hill - Iringa

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HTNJ - HTSH - HTIR

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Getting out proved to be no sweat for the Caravan. Now bear in mind that this airstrip is at over 5500ft elevation - in Europe it would be considered an 'altiport' (as would many strips in Tanzania). You'd really struggle to fly here in a piston prop...

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Our first waypoint is left of and beyond that distant ridge of hills. Ans yes, we're still following the road (well kinda). Any of you decided last night to take the bus, well we'll pass you pretty soon! BTW, many of these roads have traffic on them. Not sure if that's part of OpenVFR, but it's a nice touch.

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As we approach Sao Hill, we start to see a number of forestry reserves. These are Eucalyptus and pine plantations, grown largely as crop trees.

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A quick touch and go at Sao Hill

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Back on the road!

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Iringa city (pop.112,900) was built by the German army in the 1890s in defense against a tribal uprising. Nowadays it sports a university campus, TV studios and two radio stations. Its 5000ft elevation sees temperatures near freezing at this time of year (not in FS though!). The airfield is beside the road on the far side of town.

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Setting up for my final approach.

Postcard:

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Iringa

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Day 7: Iringa - Morogoro - Ngerengere

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HTIR - HTMG - HTNG

This leg takes us back, almost as far as Dar es Salaam

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Departing Iringa, and yet again we'll be following the road, although not this road. This one goes to Dodomo, the country's capital. The road we want starts back in town the other side of those hills, but we shall pick it up.

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The Mtera reservoir provides Iringa's water supply. The reservoir was built in the late 1970s, and the dam at the Northern end is the largest in Tanzania.

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A ridge, near Image village

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As we get closer to Mogoro, we touch the edge of the Mikumi National Park. Beyond lie the Uluguru Mountains and the city of Morogoro.

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Morogoro is twinned with Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as well as Linköping in Sweden and Vaasa in Finland.

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Postcards:

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Mikumi International Airport (missing from FS)

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Morogoro town

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Day 8: Ngerengere - Dakawa - Kongwa - Dodoma

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HTNG - Z28Y - HTKO - HTDO

Today's trip takes us across the savannah to Dodoma, the capital of Tanzania.

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Departing Ngerengere. Google shows a parallel taxiway and an apron with several resident aircraft, but they're not in FS

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There's almost nothing on the Web about this area!

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approaching the strip at Dakawa.

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And on again. The savannah textures are quite reasonable close up, but from a distance they look very beach-like. This is mainly because the autogen trees (which provide most of the greening effect) don't get drawn far out.

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Brief stop at Kongwa

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We pick up the Mogorogoro Road into Dodoma, which stands out quite harshly in FS

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The airport is slap bang in the middle of the city. Although it's not massive, it does have an apron and some traffic in FS.

Postcard:

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Dodoma airport final 28

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Day 9: Dodoma - Kilimatinde - Mvumi - Chunya

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HTDO - HTKT - HTMV - HTCH

Heading back towards the great lakes...

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An early departure from Dodoma

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Lake Sulunga. There's a curious line feature crossing the lake in the distance. I think we'll investigate

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Red five, I'm going in...

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Use the force, Luke! The trench turns out to be 3000ft deep, and not much wider than my wingspan. It's also in the default, so it's not the fault of OpenVFR. If you look carefully, you can see a vector line element, which appears to be clamped to sea level.

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Moses would have been impressed!

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Flying over the Rungwa-Kizigo-Muhesi game reserve. Animals mainly found in this area are Eland, roan, lion, leopard, Liechtenstein hartebeest, greater kudu and sable. Access is by 4-wheel drive, and of course, light aircraft.

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Approaching Chunya. This area is home to the second-largest goldfield in Tanzania.

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Postcards:

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Lake Sulunga, taken by Japan's ALOS satellite in 2009. link to high res version (1.3mb)

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