08-Apr-2003 -- After my successful visit to 30S 25E the previous day, I set off from Philippolis again on the same route, passing just south of this point. I crossed the Orange River, South Africa's major river, and entered the Northern Cape Province. Geographically this part of South Africa falls within the northern reaches of the semi-desert Karoo, with very low annual rainfall. Some of South Africa's major diamond deposits lie not too far north. There are no major towns in the area and it is very sparsely populated. The tarmac part of the R387 ended at Kraankuil, a railway siding, changing into a gravel road. After 15 kilometres I turned south on a dirt road, which would bring me close to the CP.
With about 10 kilometres to go I encountered the only vehicle I saw on this branch of the roads and stopped the occupant with the hope of gaining some local knowledge. The driver of he truck turned out to be a farm owner's daughter returning home to her own farm after a visit. I explained the purpose of my presence and she estimated that the Confluence would lie on her father's cousin's farm. They do not live on the land and she assured me that they would not mind me entering the property. I carried on until I got to a point where my GPS indicated that the Confluence was located 3 km south of the road, parked the car and I set off on foot.
Fortunately the terrain was absolutely level, as the CP is located in a dry, shallow seasonal lake/pan (Kaalpan), 15 km long by 5 km wide. I took pictures of the rather featureless terrain, and returned to my car. On the way back I passed a sheep skeleton, most likely the victim of a black-backed jackal (Canis mesomelas), a grim reminder of the harshness of this part of the world.
The most interesting occurrence for me on this day-trip was a spent rifle shell, a .450 Martini-Henry, which I picked up on my walk back to the car. On the photo it can be seen next to a 9 mm pistol bullet. The British and sometimes the Boer forces used this rifle during the Anglo-Boer (South African) war of 1899-1902. The first major battle of this war, the Battle of Graspan, was waged 80 km north of the area in November 1899. The brass shell I found had a tough black patina, which indicates that it must have been lying in the open for a very long time. Could it be that it was fired during the war more than a century ago?