16-Aug-2004 -- The Confluence lies about 7 km north of the main highway between Douala and Yaoundé, the two main cities in Cameroon. I was driving to visit the waterfalls at Edéa, about 50 km from Douala in the direction of Yaoundé, when I noticed a track heading north from the highway near the confluence point, so on a whim I decided to see how close it would get me to the Confluence.
As background: August is the height of the rainy season in Cameroon's coastal plain, which is covered by dense equatorial rain forest. The wettest spot in Africa, and second wettest spot in the world lies at the base of Mt Cameroon, about 100 km WNW of this Confluence, where they can get about 400 inches (10 m) of rain a year. So in August everything is very wet and there are regular and extremely heavy tropical downpours - the sort that make you think someone has turned a fire hydrant on you.
The track from the highway leads almost straight into dense rain forest, but other than a couple of muddy patches, and a few wheel-height puddles, most of the track was in good condition, and mainly gravel-covered. After about 5 km of driving through a tunnel formed by the forest canopy (and a couple of heavy downpours), the track emerged from the forest into thick car-high grass and shrubs. The track then turned NW and I found I was driving alongside the Douala-Yaoundé railway line - it turns out that the track is an access route used for maintenance of line, which explains its good condition.
Following this track brought me to about 600 m north of the Confluence, where again I was glad to see that there was a walking trail leading back into the forest in the general direction of the Confluence. I left the car, donned my waterproof and headed up the track back into the forest. For about 300 m the path lead uphill towards the Confluence and then back under the forest canopy and fairly steeply back downhill, but was now heading to the west of the Confluence, which was now about 250 m away. The rainforest was extremely thick on both sides of the track, so I was pleased that after about another 100 m the path then turned south in the direction of the Confluence.
The path continued downhill for the last 100 m and ran about 50 m to the east of the confluence point. Unfortunately, the satellite reception was very poor - only one satellite overhead and two in peripheral contact, so the level of accuracy was of the order of 25 m, so the confluence reading was bouncing around a fair bit.
However not to be discouraged, I headed off the path and started forcing my way into the rain forest to see how close I could get. I was slightly underdressed for crawling through dense rain forest, wearing shorts and trekking sandals, and it took as long to get through the rain forest for the last 20 m as it took the previous 600 m.
Eventually, I was lucky to get a GPS reading of within about 3 m - however, the only way to get near this was to walk down a large fallen tree to get through the dense mass of trees, creepers, vines and small palms with sharp, serrated leaves. However, this log was very rotten and now the home to a colony of (by now) annoyed biting ants who were delighted with my sandals and bare legs, so while I did take photos of the 4 compass points, there was not the time to stand still on this ants' nest to take decent photos in these low-light conditions under the forest canopy. However, the photos do give you a pretty good impression of being in a damp tropical rain forest at this confluence point.