26-Dec-2006 -- The Green Kalahari is the region of the Northern Cape around the Orange River. Attractions are varied and range from high quality wine routes, vineyards of luscious table grapes, dates, and raisins to unique irrigation systems. Keimoes is situated in the heart of the Green Kalahari, its lush valley consisting of 120 inhabited islands. As I no longer live there, any excuse to visit my birthplace is grasped enthusiastically! Prior to our trip, I made contact with the owner of the farm Melkboom, Mr Murray Connin, who lives in Kenhardt. He suggested that we ask his neighbour Mr Kobus van Wyk (+27-828233639) who lives closer to the farm, to open the gates and accompany us.
After having spent an unforgettable Christmas at the Kalahari Water Holiday Resort (+27-54-4612404) outside Keimoes, we left the Orange River and travelled south on the road to Kenhardt with our quest to visit 29S 21E for the first time. 30 km on the Kenhardt road, we met Mr van Wyk, who guided us on the two-track road into the harsh Kalahari veld. We crossed several camps, passing flocks of Black-head Dorper sheep. The veld is covered with short, dry grass, three-thorn bushes, and camel thorn trees. At some places we drove alongside a telephone line with huge Sociable weaver nests on top of almost every pole.
About 5 km from our destiny, we saw 13 Springbok and 4 Kori Bustards. From there onwards there were several clusters of Quiver trees and the terrain became rockier. We were fortunate to be able to drive to within 200 m of the Confluence: even though the maps showed no roads, the farmer took us as close as possible. The surroundings of the Confluence are covered with white quartz stones. We also found blue- and rose-coloured quartz there. The finding of the actual Confluence was celebrated with sparkling grape juice produced by the Orange River Wine Cellars at Keimoes.
Mr. van Wyk offered to show us the San engravings some 5 km away from the Confluence. Beautifully preserved engravings of hippopotamus, elephant, and giraffe were evidence of a population who roamed the Kalahari together with all these animals that have long been forgotten in this area. He also took us to the deserted mica mine on the farm where we spotted the very rare Elephant Track succulent (Litops sp.).
On our way back to the main road, we discovered a nest of 13 pure white, round eggs in the middle of the tracks. One egg was broken by the 4x4 wheel: an almost ready-to-hatch tortoise inside! We suspect that the eggs were buried, but were blown open by the wind. By the time we reached the tarred road, we were very grateful for vehicle's air-conditioning, as temperatures in that area reach up to 45°C!
29S 21E is a site well worth visiting, depending on prior arrangement with the farm owner, Mr. Murray Connin (+27-54-6510425).