13-Oct-2004 -- On 13 October 2004 me and three friends from the U.K. (Dan, Noby and Daisy) visited confluence 19S 24E in Ngamiland, Botswana. We were en-route during our 2004 Southern Africa overland safari, which started on 30 September 2004 in Pretoria, South Africa.
The first leg was via the Lowveld escarpment, and a 4-day Hunting Safari close to Mussina in the Limpopo province. The hunting was successful and 7 animals were hunted by the group of 12. Each of my U.K. friends hunted their first Impala and my son a magnificent Blue Wildebeest.
On 4 October a group of eight of us departed on the second leg for Olive Beadle in Zimbabwe for six days of Tiger Fishing in the Zambezi (approx. 110 km below Victoria Falls). We had a pontoon and my boat to our disposal for exploring the Zambezi from Deka to Milibizi. Unfortunately, the fishing was not all that good being early in the season but everyone thoroughly enjoyed it. After the Tiger Fishing trip two nights were spent at an exclusive lodge in Victoria Falls and the surrounding area was explored, which included an exhilarating helicopter flight over the falls.
On 12 October 2004 we departed for Botswana on our third leg and stayed over in Kasane, due to the Ihaha campsite in Chobe being closed as a result of an anthrax outbreak. Game viewing in Chobe was excellent and we saw abundance of elephant and various species of antelope, and a pride of lions.
The planning was to at least visit one Confluence during our safari, and on 13 October we left Kasane planning our route via Chobe/Savuti to Moremi in the Okavango Delta. The road was quite sandy, especially the stretch from Kavimba village to Gotcha Hills. At around 14h00 and with bodies taking strain due to difficult road conditions, we were approaching Mababe Gate and turned off the track and headed into the African bush, following the GPS readings in search of confluence 19S 24E. After a while I decided that is was becoming dangerous due to the grass being to long and difficult terrain to transverse. A last desperate attempt and the motivation to claim the Confluence pushed me forward, and with three rather worried looking British friends in the Land Cruiser, I kept on showing and clearing the way forward. With an elephant bull keeping a watchful eye and foul weather approaching, we successfully visited confluence 19S 24E at approximately 14h45! This was celebrated with beers and photos were taken of the group. The standard four photos in the different directions were also taken.
We successfully completed the rest of our safari spending three days in Moremi, where we experienced hyenas visiting our camp every night, and seeing all Moremi had to offer, including a scenic flight over the Okavango Delta by small plane during which we saw approx. 3500+ buffalo, 500+ elephant, and a herd of 25 giraffe, to mention a few. Our last stop before returning to South Africa was at Nata Sanctuary with the pans filled with water and an abundance of pelicans and other water birds.
In closing - It was an experience of a lifetime and the confluence visit was probably the personal highlight for me during the trip and certainly something to remember for my U.K. friends.