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Nyalaland Wilderness Trail

Discuss activities available in the Kruger National Park, and follow all the sighting reports.
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Jen
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Nyalaland Trail

Unread postby Jen » Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:42 am

We will be doing the Nyalaland Train early next month - anyone who has walked it recently? Interesting sightings?

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ndloti
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Nyalaland Wilderness trail

Unread postby ndloti » Tue Jan 15, 2008 1:05 pm

I have walked there 6 or 7 times and wonder why it seems to be the least popular of the trails .
I feel that one can experience a feeling of remoteness which one may not have in the other trails camps ,those with a liking of the northern regions may agree .
For those not so fussed by the anticipation of hoping to see all the big game , this is surely the most scenic of the trails , especially in summer after good rains .
I have had excellent sightings , and birders will be in their element .
KNP is sacred. I am opposed to the modernisation of Kruger and from the depths of my soul long for the Kruger of yesteryear! 1000+km on foot in KNP incl 56 wild trails.200+ nights in the wildernessndloti-indigenous name for serval.

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Re: Nyalaland Wilderness trail

Unread postby Johann » Tue Jan 15, 2008 4:31 pm

I agree with you here. I'll always go back and do this trail in-between any other we might do. The remoteness, the landscape, the birds. All special and fantastic!
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Unread postby dianne » Fri Jan 18, 2008 10:47 am

Hi

The camp is closed until further notice


With kind permission of Thomas Mbokota (Punda Maria Ranger), I (Joep Stevens) was able to visit Nyalaland Wilderness Trail base camp next to the Madzaringwe Spruit. En route is became evident that the Madzaringwe reached a very high flood level. From the damage to trees and the height of the debris, it is evident that the Shikuwa in particular reached an exceptional flood level, where it joins the Madzaringwe. Upon arrival at the camp, it became evident that there is extensive damage to the camp, and that with the exception of the higher ground at the entrance gate, the entire camp had been engulfed by floodwaters (probably at the time of the heavy rains on 17 December 2007).

My observations were as follows:

1. The approach road (via Matekevele) is extensively damaged and mainly so at the narrow poort after having crossed the Mahwahwaila (Madzaringwe?) where the road surface has been washed away and big rock banks exposed. Fortunately, the concrete causeway itself is fine. The various drifts downstream are ok, with one or two where gabions have been undermined – at most other they are working great to prevent washaways.
2. At the camp, the fence is down on the whole frontal portion, namely the entire stretch that faces the Madzaringwe (upstream and downstream). In most cases the anchored posts are also down or uprooted (see pics).
3. The most damage was done to the rangers unit (being closest to the river) and the foundation poles have been exposed and the whole unit is unstable and will require full reconstruction.
4. The four guest units were not extensively damaged and (in my view) could be repaired. Water level was above bed level and mattresses will need replacement. Thatching is also damaged at lower ends by passing debris.
5. The ablution unit (which appears quite new) took the brunt quite well (being on the upstream side) and I thing will only require de-silting and replacement of doors (perhaps).
6. The kitchen area was also affected and the main upright refridgerator units floated around. The stove and other fridge units were still in their place, although it is not clear where there was damage.
7. The geyser unit and reticulation was ripped off the wall and will need replacement.
8. Storeroom was locked and I could not determine damage.
9. The main lapa is still intact although thatch was damaged by debris. The infrastructure was all swept away.
10. The terrain was stripped of all furniture (pieces can be picked up downstream) and gravel.
Dianne Tipping-Woods

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ndloti
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Unread postby ndloti » Thu Apr 24, 2008 3:42 pm

One will usually see less game than the other trails , I have seen many elephant , buffalo , two large male lions killed a buffalo near the gate in the riverbed the night before we arrived , leopard on the way to the trail at Tshulunga spring , been to Makahanda ruins , been sent up onto the side of a passage through a ridge by a breeding herd of elephant that passed a few metres below us .....
I understand from the moderators that they repaired the damage , the camp has not been modernised . There was an upgrade of the ablution block about 7 or 8 years ago .
KNP is sacred. I am opposed to the modernisation of Kruger and from the depths of my soul long for the Kruger of yesteryear! 1000+km on foot in KNP incl 56 wild trails.200+ nights in the wildernessndloti-indigenous name for serval.

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Re: Nyalaland Wilderness Trail

Unread postby ndloti » Tue Dec 09, 2008 9:09 am

A view of the bedrooms .
The Madzaringwe river bed is just beyond .
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This is the cooks converted wheelbarrow of 1980's design .
Notice the table top which rests on the table & handles which are removed .
There are holders for coals to keep the pots warm .
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KNP is sacred. I am opposed to the modernisation of Kruger and from the depths of my soul long for the Kruger of yesteryear! 1000+km on foot in KNP incl 56 wild trails.200+ nights in the wildernessndloti-indigenous name for serval.

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cougar
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Re: Nyalaland Wilderness Trail

Unread postby cougar » Fri Dec 12, 2008 5:07 pm

Everyone I've encountered on Wilderness Trails who have visited Nyalaland have told me that Nyalaland is their favorite. I would definitely like to do it someday.

As for the old vs. new camp "debate," I've visited Napi (the newest, correct?) and Wolhuter (the oldest, correct?). I have to say the ensuite bathrooms at Napi are nice and it is nice to have the additional space of the tent. I'm not much of a camp afficianado (sp?) but I liked the Wolhuter camp a little more, primarily because of the bigger trees in the camp.

I would venture to guess that having ensuite bathrooms might lead to more water use compared to having 1-2 bathrooms and one shower.

I'm curious to learn how they decide to "upgrade" damaged/destroyed facilities vs. "restoring" them to something like they originally were. Is it simply a budget thing, or are there people who design these sorts of things? Just curious.

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ndloti
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Re: Nyalaland Wilderness Trail

Unread postby ndloti » Fri Dec 12, 2008 5:40 pm

Aesthetics hopefully , budget to a certain degree and insurance payout constraints also , I assume .
Nyalaland camp is much further from infrastructure and support structures , and for example if one has en suite bathrooms they require gas heated water boilers (water is also scarcer there) which would require more gas containers to be brought in over longer distances at a high cost .
I think water availability may be another consideration . the area as a relatively low rainfall .
The camps drinking water is brought in as the borehole water smells of sulphour and is not palateable due to coal deposits .
An additional factor the Nyalalands rough roads also require tougher vehicles . They learned from experience that the Nyalaland trail needs a much more rugged Toyota Lans Cruiser than the other trails , which use the smaller and less rugged Toyota Hi Lux vehicles .
KNP is sacred. I am opposed to the modernisation of Kruger and from the depths of my soul long for the Kruger of yesteryear! 1000+km on foot in KNP incl 56 wild trails.200+ nights in the wildernessndloti-indigenous name for serval.

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Re: Phalaborwa Gate Sightings

Unread postby Lourens » Sat Jul 11, 2009 10:39 am

:D Greetings,

The Nyalaland Wilderness trail was awesome!!!

We picked our guests up the Sunday afternoon 15:00 and drove to the base camp and found some Elephants, Buffaloes, Nyalas, Kudus and my 1st Yellowbilled Oxpeckers on our way there.

Got there and everyone unpacked their bags, we got some Coffee and sat around the camp fire. We gave a briefing about the rules in the camp and discussed the next 2 days program. Thomas arrived with his magic wheelburrow and we ate ourselves full, had dessert and coffee and went to bed a bit later.

The next morning we went up the Mountain and walked through the Valleys and eventually got to the Hyeana Cave where we found a Dassie (Hyrax). We saw beautiful trees and birds, which included the Yellow-bellied Bulbul (Greenbul), Black Eagle (Verraux's Eagle), Little banded Goshawk, Mosque Swallow, Yellow-spotted Nicator, White Throated Robin and the common birds.

After we walked through the 20 metre cave we climbed onto the Mountain and viewed the Baobab Forest, unfortunately it was raining and it blocked our view a little bit. Had our breakfast snacks up there before we climbed down again.

On our way back to the camp we got some Sharpes Grysbok, Klipspringers and more Dassies.
Arrived at the camp, with Thomas welcoming us with his magic wheelburrow and had our brunch and went to relax a bit.

In the afternoon David took us for a sundowner at the Luvuvhu River and had some nice supper before everyone went to bed.

On Tuesday morning we walked to the Luvuvhu Gorge (Picture above) and got some Redbilled Helmet Shrikes, Redwinged Starlings (Retz's Helmet Shrikes), Tropical Boubou and lots more birds, Hyrax's, Klipspringers and fresh Leopard tracks.

After our breakfast overlooking the Gorge and watching the Lanner Falcon we made our way down the slope we got some Buffaloes, Crocodiles and Martial Eagle next to the River.

As we made our way back to the vehicle we got Nyalas, Impalas and Kudus.

The food was a nice bonus when we returned to the camp and the afternoon we had our sundowners at a natural spring where the Impalas and Baboons were in the vicinity.

Wednesday morning when we woke up, I quickly went for a shower and that's where I cut myself with the porcelaine soap bucket which was broken and the sharp point cut my hand open as I accidentally hit the soap bucket.

Tried to stop the blood flow and eventually got dressed and went to David to assist me with a bandage, got to the Dr. in the afternoon and got the 6 stitches. :evil:

The trail was very nice and happy I could have done it with David.

Thursday morning we had a walk and Donavan took us to Reënvoël Dam and only got Impalas in the 1st half. At the dam we got the Hippo's, Crocodiles, Fish Eagle and while enjoying breakfast, some Impalas came down to drink and then the next moment the Rhino Bull. He was drinking water not far from us (pictures above), whereafter he left.

Friday morning we went and walk at Shivulani Windmill and got 2 White Rhino's on the way there and on the walk a Elephant bull and 5 White Rhino's!!!

On the way back to the vehicle it were us the Rhino's and Elephants again, but later on, some Impalas, Steenbokkies and 6 Buffalo Bulls.

Last night we did a Bush Braai and found Giraffes at Ngwenyeni waterhole, a tiny Spotted Hyeana Cub at the den a African Wild Cat before the Bush Braai spot and after a lovely dinner in the bush some Elephants, Steenbok and Scrub Hares at Sable Dam.

A beautiful Impala Lilly and the Luvuvhu Gorge.
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And my little accident the last morning, when I cut myself, ha ha ha ha…
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That will be it from me to you for now, so will talk later again... :D
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Re: Mopani Sightings

Unread postby M.Paxton » Sun Oct 11, 2009 4:26 pm

Greetings All

Nalaland Wilderness Trail

Wow was it hot Wednesday, but Thursday now that was hot as hell.
Any way, pick guests up at Punda Maria around 3 o'clock and we were off.
On the way to the camp lots of elephant bulls and nyala. At camp it was good to see Thomas the chef. I walked with David this time and his knowledge of the area and all its plants and birds is brilliant.

Thursday morning we left sparrows, game wise we did not see much away from the river but the bird life and all the different plants kept us busy. We did see some zebra close to one of the natural springs in the area. On the way back to the river the heat started. At the river we saw a buffalo bull grazing on the only green grass around. We had breakfast on the banks of the Luvuvhu and the water looked so inviting we had to have a swin. The water was cool and clear. on the walk back to the vehicle we did see nyala under the nyala trees, impala and bush buck.
Back at camp luch was good as normal, then it was time for an afternoon snooze.
The afternoon walk we had some amazing elephant sightings.
The Friday we went up to Lanner Gorge to look for Pel's Fishing Owl. After many kilometer walking through the gorge we did eventualy see the elusive owl. That afternoon we got back to camp late so we only did a short walk.
The birds were good, with sightings like the Pel's, mottled spinetail, tropical boubou and many more.

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One of my room mates at the trails camp hut.

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Retz's Helmet-Shrike. at a stage one could get so close to them. it was to hot on thursday to fly away.

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Coffee and rusks before we walked into Lanner gorge.

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Shield-nose Snake, saw this one on the sunset a few days ago.

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This was group of ten bulls that we came across on one of the afternoon walks on the nyalaland trail. they walked below us. about 10m away.

cheers

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ndloti
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Re: Nyalaland Wilderness Trail

Unread postby ndloti » Tue Apr 13, 2010 10:04 am

Summertime after rains when it is green and lush and the migrant bird species are around .
Even though it is hot , does a degree or 2 warmer than the rest of KNP's 37 or 40 degrees C make much of a difference ?

September 2008 :
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Last edited by ndloti on Tue Apr 13, 2010 10:36 am, edited 3 times in total.
KNP is sacred. I am opposed to the modernisation of Kruger and from the depths of my soul long for the Kruger of yesteryear! 1000+km on foot in KNP incl 56 wild trails.200+ nights in the wildernessndloti-indigenous name for serval.

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Re: Nyalaland Wilderness Trail

Unread postby alf » Tue Apr 13, 2010 10:25 am

Ndloti,

So you won't recommend it during winter times?
Made my booking for Desember 2014!! Whoohoo

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ndloti
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Re: Nyalaland Wilderness Trail

Unread postby ndloti » Tue Apr 13, 2010 10:39 am

I would do it anytime , though in Sept 2008 when above pictures were taken it was cool and windy , so we possibly saw less animals than normally would be the case - although there are many other variables that could influence sightings at any time of the year .
KNP is sacred. I am opposed to the modernisation of Kruger and from the depths of my soul long for the Kruger of yesteryear! 1000+km on foot in KNP incl 56 wild trails.200+ nights in the wildernessndloti-indigenous name for serval.

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Jen
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Re: Nyalaland Wilderness Trail

Unread postby Jen » Tue Apr 13, 2010 10:44 am

Alf - any time of the year is good. The first time I did Nyalaland was in July of 2003 and it was so fantastic have now been back a few times - both summer & winter. As discussed it is just such a different & awesome trail that season doesn't make too much difference.
Napi Tail - Feb 2015

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ndloti
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Re: Nyalaland Wilderness Trail

Unread postby ndloti » Wed Apr 14, 2010 7:46 am

There is an ablution building with 2 showers heated by gas geysers , 2 flush toilets - each seperate but under the same roof and the 2 basins with mirrors on the outside of the ablution building .
KNP is sacred. I am opposed to the modernisation of Kruger and from the depths of my soul long for the Kruger of yesteryear! 1000+km on foot in KNP incl 56 wild trails.200+ nights in the wildernessndloti-indigenous name for serval.


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