14-Jul-2002 -- Since our mission was crowned by so much success last weekend (we were able to map 2 Confluences in one day), we boldly went out to find our 3rd one on Bastille Day. This Confluence is situated 150 km from Johannesburg in a north-easterly direction in the northwest corner of Mpumalanga, near a small commercial farm settlement in the Mpumalanga province. Mpumalanga is a Zulu word meaning "Sunrise".
When we got nearer to the point, we realized that we, once again, had to navigate through native townships and subsistence rural settlements, where road maps are not of much help, for the whole area is littered with tracks and trails that are not to be found in any but aerial photographic maps, which we do not have.
Approx. 50 km away from the point we started to track the direction with the help of the GPS and used any trail, which would bring us nearer to the target. With the help of our off-road vehicle this was not too difficult. After criss-crossing for about 45 minutes, the GPS showed that we overshot the Confluence without meeting it. We reversed and arrived at a gap in a farm fence, which was wide enough for our vehicle to drive through. We entered a disturbed fallow field and managed to navigate inside the car to within about 10 m from the Confluence. The remaining 10 m we had to check out on foot.
The area around us was covered in white wispy grasses and pioneers, such as thorn scrub and Solanum incanum, a low growing night shade, indigenous to south African grassland. The weather was wonderful and mild. After a chilly night, we decided to pick nick right on the spot. I might add, that we arrived at 11h00 am local time sharp, exactly the same time as my very first Confluence mapping the week earlier. After an hour of resting, we left but did not re-trace our steps, but boldly went north to find the first highway that we would see, which was quite difficult, but South Africa has a fairly good infrastructure and one is bound to hit a tarred signposted road sooner or later, provided you carry enough petrol with you. Our vehicle has a range of 800 km, so we were not worried to get stuck and admired the landscape around us. An hour or so later, we joined civilization once more.