23-Oct-2009 -- On 15 October 2009 a 3-man team consisting of Phillip van Ginkel, Wouter van Ginkel, and Renier Albertse left Gauteng to visit Khutse and Mabuasehube game reserves in SW part of Botswana. I realized that out route will take us close to a Confluence that has not yet successfully being claimed. We used Google Earth to plot 2 possible routes making maximum use of existing roads and tracks to minimize the environmental impact.
After spending a few wonderful days in Khutse, we set off for our first plotted route to the Confluence via a cutline running from a small town called Khokhotsa. We missed the turnoff to the cutline and wasted a lot of time finding the correct track to follow. We then started running out of daylight time and eventually threw in the towel as nightfall approached. We set up camp on the cutline approximately 10 km from the Confluence and spent an awesome night under a beautiful clear night sky. That night we were treated by a clear view of the Andromeda Galaxy and the Magellanic Clouds, while the barking geckos and Rufous-cheeked Nightjars (Caprimulgus rufigena) provided the musical entertainment.
The following day we made our way to Mabuasehube, which is situated on the eastern boundary of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. We camped at Bosogobolo pan and spent an awesome 3 days enjoying the sights and sounds of the Kalahari Desert in full splendor after the first summer rains. We eventually managed to come face to face with the elusive black maned King of the jungle/desert – Mufasa himself!
On the morning of 23 October we set off from Mabuasehube with only one mission – to find our Confluence! After a tedious 3-hour drive along a sandy cutline track, we eventually found our plotted secondary route which lead us via fences and cattle tracks to a position approximately 1 km east of the Confluence. From here we had to make our own slow way through fairly thick broadleaf savanna, making sure not to damage the environment or our vehicle. At 11h30 local time we eventually reached our destination – 25:00:00S 23:00:00E.
The Confluence is dominated by thick but low broadleaf savanna bush in sandy soils with isolated patches of thorn bush (Dichrostachys cinerea and Acacia mellifera) with little grass due to widespread overgrazing. Not the most spectacular place but for us at the time – The most beautiful spot on earth!
We celebrated our success with an ice-cold beer in the smoldering midday Kalahari sun.