Well, as always in Africa, the best laid plans can change. Penny reports on a new discovery.
I have now discovered that the source of the uMngeni River is not, as everyone states, the large vlei, called (strangely enough) Umgeni Vlei! The vlei is encircled by a ridge of hills, and the highest peak of these hills, called Drinkkop, seems to be the spot to lay claim to being the source – from the top of Drinkkop which is about 240 metres above the vlei, the water falls down a small cliff face and cascades down to the vlei area. I think. Who knows, maybe there is something before/above Drinkkop? That stream of water at the top of the photo above the waterfall – I wonder where that comes from? There are probably lots of little springs in the hills which feed the vlei, so to find an actual spot is proabably unlikely. Drinkkop has a nice ring to it, so I think we’ll just go with that!
Anyway this new discovery has turned our carefully planned logistics upside down. As there is no accommodation at the vlei, we will be staying +- 5km to the east of the vlei for the 1st night. To access Drinkkop, we will have to drive east, then north, then west, basically in a huge circle to get to the foot of Drinkkop, then hike all the way to the top, to see what is up there, and look down on the vlei. Unless we want to cross 600 hectares of chest deep swamp? Ooooh, not very environmentally friendly! Then we will have to drive back to the east side of the vlei to begin the walk. Eish.
This journey is about exploring all facets of the river, so we can expect more surprises along the way.