19-Jul-2003 -- After planning a family holiday with my wife, Sandy, and daughter, Brittany, to see the sites of Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe with Dragoman Overland Adventures, I thought about what confluence points I might be able to visit. I checked the Degree Confluence website and noticed that only a few confluence points had been visited in Namibia. As most of our trip was to take place in Namibia, I was optimistic that I would at least be able to visit one location.
The trip was to start in Windhoek, the capital city of Namibia. Our travels would take us southwest from Windhoek and then north with a various stops along the way. Prior to our departure, I attempted to get a map of Namibia to have a sense of what confluence points I may be able to visit. Unfortunately, nothing detailed enough was available at our home in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, we would have to wait until we started our Namibia & Botswana Family Adventure trip to see where our journey would take us.
This confluence point would be the first one of our journey in Africa. I had recorded the status of all the confluence points before we left and knew that this one had not been visited prior to our departure (at least it had not been recorded on the Degree Confluence Project website).
The possibility of visiting our first confluence point was solidified shortly after departing from Windhoek. Since we were traveling in the Dragoman overland truck with several other people, whom we had really just met two days prior, I had to decide how to sell the group on the idea of a confluence visit. My family and I were the only Canadians on the trip. The other families were from England and Ireland, and our crew consisted of Vic from New Zealand, Claire from England, and Mikey from Kenya. I had decided to track our journey through Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe with my GPS, marking directional changes as waypoints and highlighting other points of interest along the way.
The crew had a recent road map of Namibia, which they were using to navigate our journey. During our travels, I consulted with Vic and Claire as to where we would be going and via what routes. It was during this discussion that I knew we would be very close to 24°S 16°E.
We spent the first night in Sesriem, but had passed by Solitaire and to within 1.5 kilometres of this confluence point on our route. I explained the Degree Confluence Project to our drivers and convinced them to stop on our return trip. We would be traveling back the same way to head into northern Namibia after our visit to the Namib Naukluft Park and the famous sand dunes. After waking early to climb Dune 45 for sunrise, we spent the morning exploring the Namib Desert. We headed back towards Solitaire but first stopped at the Sesriem Canyon. It was now late afternoon and as we were nearing the confluence point I was asked to explain the Degree Confluence Project to the other passengers and hoped they wouldn't mind stopping for half an hour or so.
We took a group photo beside the truck and six people from our group decided to join me for the short hike to the confluence point. It was almost 5:00 pm before we started, so getting to the confluence point and back to the truck before sunset was required that we could make it to our campsite at Solitaire before dark. We trekked across the plains toward a large rocky hill hoping we wouldn't have to climb it. We could see some animals in the distance but made it to the confluence point without disturbing them. We took the required photos and a few of the group and then headed back to the truck. The sun was setting fast so I took a photo of the sunset as it was quite spectacular. We then raced back to the truck and headed for Solitaire for supper and a good night's sleep.
After this visit, I was able to say that I have confluence visits on two different continents. See my first confluence visit at 56°N 115°W. I hoped to make it to additional confluence points while on this holiday. Go to 20°S 15°E to see our second visit while in Namibia.