04-Jan-2004 -- Continued from 22S 25E.
The idea to visit more confluence points was born when we visited point 24S 27E about six months ago. Although we were not the first people to visit this point, the adventure made us feel like a Livingston of old. 21S 26E is close to a very special place we call Kubu Island. We have visited Kubu before but no attempts were made then to visit any confluence points. Everybody in our group likes travelling through remote parts of Africa, and Botswana does offer ample opportunities for this. Attempting to visit 21S 26E would give us a different reason to visit Kubu again and at the same time create opportunities to visit other confluence points on our way there. After all, the confluence point project is an excuse to go to and see places, which you would never visit for any other reason.
Kubu Island is a rocky outcrop covered with Baobab trees on the edge of Sowa pan, part of the famous Makgadikgadi pan area. It is a place of historical interest with evidence of human habitation dating back to the Stone Age. There is a special atmosphere around this place but one needs to visit Kubu personally to experience this atmosphere. 21S 26E is about 20 km southeast of Kubu, basically in the middle of Sowa pan. This would mean driving about 20 km on the pan with no physical obstructions in your way. During the dry season it would have been a walk in the park.
However, heavy rainfall just before and on the day of the attempted visit made a successful visit impossible. We came to within 18 km of the confluence point when we had to abandon our attempt due to very wet pan conditions. Stories of vehicles becoming bogged down on wet pans for days were a big enough deterrent for us not to take any chances. The road to Kubu Island was extremely wet, and it was clear to us that driving on the pans would be impossible. However we did come a long way and would not give up without a proper attempt. After driving for about 2 km on the pans, the conditions became very soft and muddy and we almost got stuck. See a very muddy vehicle as evidence. Another attempt during the dry season would have to be made. Having a quad bike as means of transport will also help but not even a quad bike would have been able to negotiate the pans the way they were. One could not even walk without sinking away. Photo number 3 is a good indication of what the confluence point would look like during a successful visit.
Although the visit was unsuccessful, the trip there was excellent and enjoyed very much by all.