the Degree Confluence Project

South Africa : Free State

25.7 km (16.0 miles) E of Van Der Kloof (Northern Cape), Free State, South Africa
Approx. altitude: 1482 m (4862 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest OpenStreeMap ConfluenceNavigator)
Antipode: 30°N 155°W

Accuracy: 5 m (16 ft)
Quality: good

Click on any of the images for the full-sized picture.

#2: View north #3: View east #4: View south #5: View west #6: GPS reading #7: Zebra and family #8: Unidentified animals

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#1: Confluence on hill

(visited by Ferdi Schenck)

07-Apr-2003 -- This Confluence falls in the northern limits of the geographical region known as the Karoo, which covers a large part of South Africa. This area has low average rainfall, and is very sparsely populated, mostly by livestock and game farmers. I accompanied my wife, who took some of her post-graduate students for a field trip to Philippolis, a small but historical town in the southern Free State province. The CP lies ± 40 km northwest of Philippolis, and south of Jagersfontein and Koffiefontein (Coffee fountain), both diamond-mining towns established in the 1870's. After a visit to the Van der Post Centre, dedicated to Sir Laurens van der Post who was born in the town, I set off on a gravel road, which leads to the CP. The road passed the Confluence, at the closest point six kilometres to the south, separated by a low mountain ridge which ran parallel to the road.

Just about here I found a faint jeep track which veered off the road through an opening in the mountains, vaguely in the direction of the CP. The going on the track became progressively worse as I entered a valley amongst the mountains, at some parts I had to engage low-range four-wheel drive to make progress. The track ended at a wind pump feeding a small reservoir, at the foot of yet another ridge. I left my car there and set off on a 2 ½ -kilometre hike. It was a dry, hot day, the temperature above 30 degrees Celsius. On cresting the ridge I found another valley with a freestanding hill in front of me, and realised that I would have to do some more steep climbing to get to the CP. The point turned out to be 3 meters below the summit.

On my way back to the car I hoped that the next day's Confluence (see 30S 24E) would be on level ground. On approaching my car I saw a zebra (Equus burchelli) and two strange animals, which from a distance looked like donkeys. Getting closer I realised that although they had the colouring of donkeys, they had the build of a zebra. I don't know whether this was the result of some experiment or a case of spontaneous crossbreeding between two species of the horse family.

 All pictures
#1: Confluence on hill
#2: View north
#3: View east
#4: View south
#5: View west
#6: GPS reading
#7: Zebra and family
#8: Unidentified animals
ALL: All pictures on one page