02-Aug-2013 -- We spent a couple of days on a farm 60 km north of Touwsrivier and planned that on our way back home to Cape Town we would drive through the Moordenaarskaroo and visit the confluence at 33S 32E which was located north of Laingsburg.
I searched for an explanation for Moordenaarskaroo ("moordenaar" referring to murderer) and the most popular explanation seems to be that during the early years in the development of South Africa escapees, criminals, and the banished took refuge in this vast uninhabited and inhospitable area, which led to it being called Moordenaarskaroo.
On our way there we traveled along the Patasrivier road, which runs from Karoopoort (the south western end of the Tankwakaroo) to Matjiesfontein. We found more water here than one would associate with the Karoo in the middle of winter. This road links with the R354 at Matjiesfontein, just off the N1, from where we followed it north towards Sutherland for 33 km and then turned north east towards Komsberg pass on the P2246. We traveled towards Komsberg pass for 18 km and turned right, east, onto a road with a road sign that pronounced that you are entering the Moordenaarskaroo. We were pleasantly surprised with what we found in an area that everybody expects to be desert-like. It is dry, but there are shrubs and trees. The farms must be large as only occasionally you would see buildings or farm tracks leading off the divisional road.
After 25 km we reached the road that links Laingsburg with the Komsberg pass, the P1484 and turned south towards Laingsburg as the Confluence is close to this road, about 19 km towards Laingsburg. We located the point nearest to the Confluence on the road, parked well off the road and I left my wife at the Microbus. I walked up the hill, scaled a fence and then had to descend the eastern side of the hill where I located the Confluence on a slight slope about 150 m from the road. The GPS showing S33:00:00 E21:00:00 and 875 m. Standing at the Confluence I noticed that had I parked a little more to the north I could have approached the confluence from the northwest and it would not have been necessary to climb the hill as you then have easy access on the contour. This visit took place at 15:00 on 2 August 2013.
The area of the Confluence is covered in small rocks and the typical karoo shrubs on which the sheep feed. From the Confluence you have a beautiful view towards the North and from the hill to the South of the Confluence you have a view towards the West, North, and East. A flock of sheep was grazing in the area and according to my judgement, they were in good condition which led me to believe that they thrive on the karoo shrubs even though the shrubs seem to have nothing to feed on.
We continued south towards Laingsburg which we reached 32 km further.