the Degree Confluence Project

South Africa : Eastern Cape

24.6 km (15.3 miles) W of Tarkastad, Eastern Cape, South Africa
Approx. altitude: 1129 m (3704 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest OpenStreetMap ConfluenceNavigator)
Antipode: 32°N 154°W

Accuracy: 10 m (32 ft)
Quality: good

Click on any of the images for the full-sized picture.

#2: View looking North #3: Looking East #4: View looking South #5: View to the West #6: GPS #7: Joseph & Michael standing on the Confluence

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  32°S 26°E (visit #2)  

#1: General view

(visited by Mark Trollip, Michael Strydom and Joseph De Kock)

15-Feb-2004 -- This Confluence is about 80 km from where we live and one of the last few to still be visited successfully, so we were determined to get there first. As it had been visited unsuccessfully once before, I first got maps from a very helpful Jana Raad at the information office in Cradock. Then I phoned the owner of the land, who said the Confluence wasn't on his land, I was to try the neighbour. I set up a visit with the neighbour, Jannie Michau, and when we arrived we were disappointed to find that the Confluence wasn't on his land but was on the first farm as I'd thought. It appears that names have changed over the years, leading to all the confusion. Jannie then showed us where to find the manager of the farm, Joseph De Kock.

He was a little puzzled but intrigued so we set of in his old bakkie (Afrikaans for pickup truck) with 500,000 km on the clock to the locked gate leading to the property. Down a winding and rough track we came to an abandoned farmhouse, labelled Klipkraal on the map but in fact called Spitskop. Unfortunately my wife had left her hiking shoes at Joseph's house, so she and our 2 year old daughter stayed behind while Joseph, his son-in-law Michael and I set off to the Confluence, now some 800 m away. We climbed a fence and then fought through some thick thorn trees along the Vlekpoort river. We crossed the river - there were just a few puddles from the recent rain - and climbed a steep stony ridge. From there it was plain sailing to the Confluence, which was located near the base of a 'koppie' (small hill) just at the mouth of a little 'kloof' (small ravine). Quite a thrill to suddenly see all the zeros line up on the GPS. My two companions, who knew nothing of the Confluence Project and GPS's, seemed suitably impressed, if not a little bemused at me chasing after an imaginary point.

The Confluence itself consists of small weathered ironstone boulders and stones interspersed with small bushes and grasses. The small hill 'Spitskop' can be seen to the north and the larger Bamboesberg mountains rising to over 2000 m to the northeast. The closest inhabited houses are a few kilometres away leaving the area quiet and pristine.

We would have liked to 'kuier' (visit) with these friendly people for a while but had to move on as we had a lunch date at the Blanco Guest Farm near Tarkastad.

Thanks to Joseph & Michael for taking me to the site and to Jannie who was very helpful and bitterly disappointed that the Confluence wasn't on his farm. Thanks to my wife and daughter who almost got to the Confluence. We'll find the next one together.

 All pictures
#1: General view
#2: View looking North
#3: Looking East
#4: View looking South
#5: View to the West
#6: GPS
#7: Joseph & Michael standing on the Confluence
ALL: All pictures on one page