12-Jul-2007 -- We were travelling from Walvis Bay to Lüderitz to visit two Confluences in the "Sperrgebiet" (restricted area) that had not yet been done (28S 16E and 27S 16E) and realized that we would pass this Confluence on the way. It is situated within the NamibRand Nature Reserve, a private conservation initiative in south-western Namibia. I had previously contacted Nils Odendaal, the Control Warden, who had kindly given his permission for us to visit the area. We called in at Keerweder where he is stationed and he supplied us with beautiful colour pamphlets giving full details of the background and aims of the Reserve, as well as a detailed map of the area. From Keerweder we travelled about 5 km south on the C27 until we reached the turnoff to Wolwedans Lodge. We followed this road for several kilometers until we were abeam of the Confluence, then parked our vehicle and continued on foot towards the Confluence which was about 1.3 km from the road.
It was an easy walk over an open grassy plain. On the way we passed many "Fairy circles". These mysterious circles are discs of completely bare sandy soil from 2 to 10 meters in diameter, often surrounded by a fringe of tall grasses. They are found exclusively along the western coastal fringes of the Namib desert in southern Africa, between 60 and 120 km inland from just north of the Kunene river in Angola, through Namibia, to just south of the Orange river. The circles have become a phenomenon of international interest, as to date no scientific explanation as to their cause has been found. Many theories have been put forward including radioactive soil, toxic proteins left by poisonous plants, termites eating the seeds, electromagnetic waves, UFOs, meteorites, asteroid rain, animal dust baths, and aliens. No evidence for any of these theories has been found, and, in fact, many have been disproven.
The NamibRand Nature Reserve is home to a number of fairy circles and the reserve invites visitors to adopt their own fairy circles. For a donation of US-$ 60, or equivalent in Namibian dollars, the fairy circle is then marked with a numbered clay disc. A certificate is issued to the owner acknowledging his or her donation, and stating the exact location of the fairy circle. A fairy circle register is being kept by the NamibRand Conservation Foundation, and the funds will be used for research and to support the NamibRand Desert Awareness and Research Centre.
This Confluence is situated in a stunningly beautiful area which is being well managed and conserved. Our thanks to Nils for allowing us to visit it.
Continued at 28S 16E.