21-Jan-2011 -- By way of preparation we printed out several ‘maps’ from Google-Earth to show us the details of the tracks to use to arrive near our degree confluence point 21S 22E. The confluence point is located close to the Kuke fence. This cordon fence was constructed in the 1950s to separate the Ghanzi cattle producing area from wildlife-rich (and thus disease-risky) Ngamiland. The fence was constructed on the 21 degrees South parallel, but later we found it to be about 50 meters north of this latitude.
We departed from Maun in a south-westerly direction on Friday, 21 January 2011 at about 8 a.m. The first 170 km were on the tarred road from Maun to Sehithwa and farther on to the veterinary and police check points along the Kuke veterinary fence. After clearing the check points, we proceeded to Kuke village because we assumed that there was a way to access the cordon fence from the village. We branched off the tar onto a track, passed through two gates and then drove along the southern side of the fence, or so we thought. The Garmin GPSs, however, indicated that we were off-track and that our point was now in a north-westerly direction. Nevertheless, we proceeded along the track, hoping that the road (and fence) would start veering to the right. We drove through a large herd of healthy-looking cattle going in the opposite direction and next met people (some of whom were bushmen from the area) carrying bottles of milk, who advised us that we were entering an area with many ranches and that we were driving along the wrong fence – we were following the quarantine fence which runs almost parallel to the main cordon fence. We had to return to the main gate on the tarred road and start again. Once we found the proper gate to the track along the fence it was an easy drive due west over a wet sandy road for about 44 km along the fence.
For the last 1 km, we proceeded slowly with the GPS in GOTO mode toward our confluence point. We stopped when the remaining distance was at its smallest which turned out to be less than 100 meters. We moved the vehicle off the track and walked the remaining meters through dense savanna bush-veldt. We used our GPSs to define the exact location of the Confluence and took photos in all directions around the point.
This area is characterized by thick savannah bush with bushes mostly at over 2 metres, grass, and the occasional taller tree. The bush is dominated by species such as Grewia flava (Branbybush, Mogwane), Grewia flavescens (Donkeyberry, Mokgomphatha), Boscia foetida (Smelly shepherds tree, Mopipi), Croton gratissimus (Lavender croton, Moologa), Bauhinia petersiana (Large white bauhinia, Mogose), Combretum elaeagnoides (Oleaster bushwillow), Dichostrachys cinerea (known as Sicklebush or Chinese lantern tree or Kalahari Christmas tree, Moselesele) and Acacia erubescens (Blue thorn, Moloto).