15-Aug-2007 -- The story starts from 11N 1W.
Coming from Togo via Sokodé, entering Benin at Bassila, we rode our bicycles northwards, staying the nights in Bassila, Djougou, and Natitingou. Thereby we were passing by some unvisited confluence points which were unfortunately more than 40 km off the road. Weighing between a lengthy confluence hunt and seeing other places, we opted out those Confluences and choose this one, which was not far from our route.
On confluence day we started in the city of Natitingou 100 km south of the Confluence. Meanwhile the road heading towards Burkina Faso is sealed and good to ride on. In the early afternoon we reached the border village Porga. Just entering Porga from the South, the distance to the Confluence from the main road reached its minimum of 1 km. Conveniently a sandy road intersected and allowed an approach to the Confluence of only 480 m on roads. Still we could use our bikes and ride a footpath until a distance of 140 m remained (picture #5). Here we parked our bikes and had a short walk to the confluence point. I never had such a smooth and simple approach to a Confluence in Africa before.
After our visit we continued to ride our bikes on that sandy road for another 7 km in order to stay in Hotel Porga. Unfortunately, the hotel was closed and the nearby Game Reserve Park as well. Since this road turned out to be a dead end, we had to come all the way back and stay in a less pleasant "hotel" in Porga directly at the border, where electricity and water supply were a problem. The nearby swamps are an ideal environment for all kinds of flying insects. In the evening, the density of insects sitting on the hotel wall turned the white wall into a black colour. Without air-condition and quite some heat, I do remember more pleasant nights.
CP visit details:
- Time at the CP: 15:45 p.m.
- Biking time: 10 minutes (from main road)
- Distance to a road: 480 m
- Hiking distance: 140 m from a footpath
- Distance to houses: 500 m
- Topography: flatlands, lowlands, no significant hills in the area.
- Minimal distance according to GPS: 1 m
- Position accuracy at the CP: 6 m
- GPS height: 154 m
- Vegetation: Abandoned farmland, now high grown grass with scattered bushes and trees, some of them being baobab trees.
- Weather: cloudy with sunny spells, 32° C (felt temperature)
- Description of the CP: In North-Western Benin close to the border between Benin and Burkina Faso. In a river basin of the Pendjari River, close to the borders to Pendjari National Park. Typical savannah land.
- Given Name: The Easy Benin Confluence
Story finishes at 12N 1W.