10-Jul-2011 -- This was the second attempt by one of us (BL). In the first attempt, in August 2010, a dense strip of forest blocked the way after about an hour's walk. This time, we were better prepared, with machetes, a Google Earth map and a rough idea on where best to cross the strips of dense forest.
Starting in Mouila Saturday morning at noon, we drove by car to a compound used by a cattle herder, about 15 km south of Mouila. We set off at around 13:00 walking the pleasant landscape of savannah containing stretches of forest. We walked in grass of various lengths, ranging from centimetres to body height. Often we saw evidence of recent grass fires. Several termite mounds were scattered in the landscape. The fauna consists mainly of birds, and we saw one buffalo.
After about 45 min we encountered the first strip of forest, and advanced very slowly because of the dense vegetation. We needed to make heavy use of our machetes. Persistence paid off and we came out at the other side, traversing a distance of only about 50 meters in 30 minutes.
A second strip of forest that we encountered after one and half kilometres was easier to traverse, as we found an entry, which is used by cattle or maybe buffalos which come to drink at a river within the woods. The river is not deep and we could wade through the water to the other side. The rest of the way, about 4 km, was open savannah.
Interestingly, there are old car tracks leading right by the Confluence. From looking at Google Earth maps, it is completely unclear where they could connect to a road, as no opening in the forest is visible.
For the trip back we used the same route, but found a simpler way traversing the first strip of forest. In total, the 16-kilometre walk took 5 and a half hours and we were back just before sunset.