23-Sep-2002 -- Monday the 23rd of September was a school holiday, as it was sandwiched between the weekend and a national holiday. I decided to try and reach the only unvisited confluence point within reasonable distance from my home in Pretoria (± 200 km by road). According to maps it is situated on the northern bank of the Vaal River, one of South Africa’s major rivers.
I took my youngest child, Fraser (10 years old), with me as navigator and assistant. He is quite keen on confluence hunting and already had 5 to his credit before 27S 29E. We left home just after 5 o'clock in the morning, heading south from Pretoria on the N3. We took the Heidelberg turnoff and headed in the direction of Standerton. We took a gravel-road turn-off south to get to a road which runs parallel to the Vaal River, from west to east. At one stage we were 3.8 km directly north of the point, but kept on going in this direction to get to a T-junction and followed a road south. We got to the bridge over the Vaal River at Roberts Drift, which is 4 km directly east of the confluence point. I realised that this was the closest we would get to the point on public roads, and that we would have to get access to some of the farms to get there.
At the bridge I met some farm-workers with a truck at the entrance to the farm on the northern shore of the river. I enquired who the farms along the river belonged to, and I realised that one of the owners might be someone I knew. I got directions to his farm and got there at eight. It turned out to be the Tollie van Rensburg I knew while at university 20 years ago, a great surprise and co-incidence! I explained what I was after, and from the GPS reading on his farm, we worked out that the point was most probably on his property. We set off following the GPS directions in his truck up to a point from where we had to go further by foot.
We saw some small antelope, which occur wild in the area, as well as some aardvark/ant-bear (Orycteropus afer) and porcupine (Hystrix africae-australis) burrows. Tollie also showed us some signs of ancient human habitation, which is being studied by the Anthropology department of the University of the Witwatersrand. We found the confluence point in a grazing camp just over his fence, not too far from the riverbed. On the picture facing south, the green trees in the foreground indicate where the river flows in a gully below the line of sight.