19-Jun-2004 -- On 19 June 2004, following an amazing journey through one of the finest and least known wilderness destinations in southern Africa, the Khaudum Game Park, we reached the Trans-Caprivi-Highway by mid-morning and found us to be 26 km away from the confluence 18S 21E. We continued east on the road B8 until we reached the D3309, a gravel road leading towards a small village called "Mashivi" at the Okavango River.
By following the D3309, we came as close as 1.7 km to the Confluence. After following a small footpath with the vehicles, we stopped 1.3 km away and decided to do the rest on foot. Due to the dense terrain and the hot lunchtime temperature, the rest of our family waited at the vehicles, while Christoph and myself started our journey.
We came across a Mahango field and asked the owner permission to cross it, rather than having to walk around. Rural women were collecting crops. The easy walk soon came to a halt when we were faced with thick thorn bushes that seemed to stretch on forever. As we were only 600 m away and not prepared to give up, we "leopard-crawled" for about 50 m through the thorns, thankful for a clearing. With torn shirts and bleeding arms we continued. We passed cattle trails and tracks left by ox-drawn sledges, a mode of transport very typical for the Kavango region.
The Confluence is beautifully situated in a clearing, adjacent to a pan frequently visited by cattle and wild buck. At the southern edge of the small pan is a large, old Leadwood tree (Combretum imberbe). This tree is particularly interesting as rural communities use roots and leaves medicinally. Its ash is used as toothpaste and as a substitute for whitewash.
Satisfied, we took a longer route back to the vehicles, to avoid the thorn bushes...
Continued at 18S 20E.