27-Feb-2004 -- This Confluence, the last unclaimed in KwaZulu-Natal Province lies a fair distance offshore on the province's northern coast between Richard's Bay and Mtunzini.
I have been in discussions with local fishermen to visit the Confluence, but things are progressing slowly, mainly because of work commitments, but also because of tides, which have to be watched in order to ensure safe access to the sea from the estuary at Mtunzini. The Confluence can also be approached from Richard's Bay, but this involves a longer journey due to the "dogleg" in leaving Richard's Bay harbour. Closest point to land is in the vicinity of the Port Durnford Lighthouse, between Mtunzini and Richard's Bay.
The purpose of this trip was to investigate the approaches from Mtunzini in order to be in a position to finalise the attempt in the next three weeks or so. Mtunzini is a small coastal town serving the local sugar farmers and is also a popular place for retirees. The KZN Conservation Service has preserved the local dune forest and sand dunes by incorporating these into a Nature Reserve
, and this reserve is a popular birding and fishing spot and also serves as the beach for the local population and the main launch spot for fishermen with ski-boats. A few species of wildlife are present in the nature reserve, including zebra
, and the birdlife is prolific.
From Mtunzini the Confluence is 22.1 km offshore, almost due east. On a calm day, the Confluence should be easily reached in an hour or so, and I intend to complete this visit in the next month or so.
An excerpt of the local 1:250,000 topo map shows the general area.