07-Mar-2021 -- This is the last out of 3 confluence visits on our trip from Knysna to Durban in South Africa. The story starts at 33°S 27°E.
This confluence point had only been visited once – almost 20 years ago! The adventurous report of the previous visit probably prevented other visitors to attempt it. However, we wanted to give it a try.
Coming from 31°S 29°E in the morning, we took the N2, followed by the mountainous and windy roads R394 and R61 until we reached a distance of 2.5 km to the confluence point. But once we turned off the asphalted R61, we found ourselves on a very rough track. The track went steep up and down, with huge holes and many local people along the track going to the nearby church for the Sunday service. At a distance of 2.2 km, we gave up driving and started our hike.
The confluence is in a relatively remote valley in the otherwise very densely populated area. We walked on open grasslands until we reached the Ntlakwe River. It was no problem to wade across it. Some people having a campfire were yelling at us. Probably they wanted us to join them, as foreigners would have been a party-special. We continued along the river and for the last 300 m we climbed a valley flank – thereby we kept some distance to the four rondavels (round traditional African huts) which were actually in our straight line to the confluence.
Just 25 m before reaching the confluence, we had to climb through a deep canyon (luckily we found a footpath). The confluence itself is on a meadow with some nice views into the river valley. We could see a white dot on the horizon, which was our car parked at a hilltop.
We noticed that the rondavels had damaged roofs and therefore figured that the little hamlet was abandoned. On our way back, we took the straight line to the rondavels. We found no one there, but some chickens were running around – so it is clear that someone takes care of them. We walked another route back that we thought would be quicker, but at the end it wasn’t at all. After 2 hours we were back to our vehicle. In all, it was a nice and recommendable hike.
CP Visit Details:
- Distance to a road: 2500 m
- Distance to a track: 2200 m
- Distance of car parking: 2200 m
- Time to reach the confluence from the car: 60 min
- Time at the confluence: 11:42 AM
- Measured height: 312 m
- Minimal distance according to GPS: 0 m
- Position accuracy: 3 m
- Topography: hilly
- Weather: mostly cloudy, 27° C (felt temperature)
- Given Name: The Rondavel Confluence
The story finishes here.