30-Apr-2006 -- 27S 32E had been on my list of Confluences to do for a long time. It is in my home province of KwaZulu-Natal, but some 400 km from my home. At last an opportunity presented itself when I participated in a Land Rover Owner's Club camping trip to Jozini Dam and Maputaland over the weekend of 29 and 30 April 2006. As the Confluence would be a short 80 km drive from the campsite, I resolved to do it.
Accompanied by a good friend, Rebecca Borain, we set off on 30 April, determined to find the Confluence, and to improve on the accuracy recorded by the previous visitor. After travelling all the roads in the vicinity of the Confluence, we realised that the closest point we could get to was some 500 m away. I then decided to walk through the bushes to the Confluence while Rebecca stayed with the Land Rover.
The shortest route to the Confluence was through some cornfields, infested with blackjack weed, and after getting a few scratches from thorns, I stumbled onto a footpath which took me to within 10 metres of the wanted point. I forced my way into the bushes, trying to get closer and eventually managed to get the GPS reading only 4 m to go, and could get no further because the confluence point was in the very middle of a very thorny shrub.
The Confluence lies on the slope of a hill, about 500 m away from the nearest homes of Zulu subsistence farmers, and is very close to the border between South Africa and Swaziland. The required photographs were taken, and I followed the footpath back up the hill. Amazingly enough, the footpath led me to within 50 meters of where the vehicle was parked.
Close to the Confluence is an archaeological site of importance. Known as Border Cave, the site is well known for Homo sapiens occupation going back 200,000 years. A small museum has been erected close to the site, with interesting exhibits, and a short guided walk takes one right to the cave, where the diggings can be inspected.
All in all, a satisfying day's excursion, with another Confluence visited, with improved accuracy.