10-Nov-2003 -- My wife Karin and I are traveling around in southern Africa in a Land Cruiser and naturally we look for unvisited Confluences wherever we go. We found ourselves up in the far northwest corner of Namibia, which is known as the Kaokoveld. This region is mostly desert mountains separated by gravel plains. It is the home of the Himba people, who are semi-nomadic stock herders. They live in small bee-hive shaped huts and are very striking looking - the men wear their hair plaited and tied up in pattern along the crown of their head and the women coat their body in red-ochre and butterfat and dress in skins and fantastic tribal jewelry.
This particular Confluence is located near the track from Purros to Amspoort. Purros is a small town with a fantastic community campsite on the banks of the Hoarusib River. The Hoarusib, like all the rivers in the region, is ephemeral and only flows after heavy rains (usually January, February, March). Amspoort is nothing more than a point on the map where this particular track meets the Hoanib River. Both of these ephemera rivers are home to some desert-adapted elephants who stick close to the few remaining waterholes in the current late dry season. These are some of the only wild elephants in the world living in an unprotected area (most are protected in a park or game reserve) and it is quite a thrill to see them living as they always have. However, they are known to be fairly aggressive and you need to give them respect and keep your distance.
We took the south track out of Purros and it brought us to within 15 km of the Confluence but then started to move further away. A small riverbed seemed to go in the proper direction so we followed the river for a few kilometers, but when the main branch went the wrong way, we took a side branch. This disappeared a few kilometers away leaving us about 10 km away from the Confluence. We climbed a ridge and found that the going looked quite easy across the gravel plains. The next 8 km were easy gravel plain driving, with an occasional side jog to avoid a small watercourse. A few kilometers from the Confluence, we saw a small track heading towards the Confluence… oh no, someone has been here already… wait, that is a big track, hey, that is the main track! It had looped around and come back around so all the cross-country driving was fun but not needed. Anyway, a few more gravel plains brought us right to the Confluence. I did a confluence dance (Afro-Celt Sound System of course), we built a small cairn, and Sylvester ('Silly') the Cross Country Confluence Camel blessed the celebration.
Continued at 21S 14E.