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Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 9:36 pm 
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Bushveld thoughts

The bushveld is quiet tonite. It's 3.00am on our second night on the Lebombo trail. I've been awake for about 10 minutes, hoping to hear the night sounds of the Kruger. Perhaps a Jackal calling, or the eerie call again of the Hyeana that passed by our camp earlier, or maybe even a Lion roaring in the distance, but so far there has only been the lonely call of the nightjar.

Yes, a lion roaring in the distance would be exciting, but how would I react if I heard that deep roar right outside our tent. What if a pride decided our camp was a good place to settle down for a while, what if one lay down against our tent, if I heard its breathing, felt it's warm body against all that divided us from the night, the thin nylon of our tent. Or perhaps the rasping sound of the most frightening of all the Kruger animals, the Leopard.

Would I, a member of mankind, the mighty conquerors of all the earth, still feel so mighty? or would I be afraid, feel helpless. Man, the smartest creature on earth afraid? Yes I would be afraid. I am an intruder here. I dont belong here. I belong on the other side of the fence, behind the steel and electric fencing. I have come in here with my big steel 4x4 with its diff locks and low range gearing to transport me over any obstacles. I've got 90 lts of fuel to keep all my fancy systems working, fridge, 2 way radio, gas cooker, dual battery systems, lights, big water tanks, even air conditioning to keep me cool.

But what happens when the diesel is finished and all the systems stop working, when the vacuum packed and canned food has all been eaten. I must make sure that before that happens I am able to get back to the safety of my world, to Pick n Pay, WW, The Wimpy and Engen. Then I can talk about the excitement of sleeping out in the bush for 4 nights, yes I've done the Lebombo trail.

But what if I didnt get back before the fuel ran out and the batteries went flat and the water tank ran dry. Could I survive? After all the tiniest little mouse can do it. He builds himself a home, finds a mate, produces offspring, feeds them and copes well. All the creatures out there in the dark do it everyday, year in and year out. And they have been doing it forever.

They survive extremes of temperature, drought, fires and floods. They build homes and they defend themselves and their young. They have no tools, no machines, most of them dont even have hands. They leave no waste, and if they destroy anything , it is only because they are contained and cannot roam freely.

We will take our garbage back with us, our plastic bottles and and tin cans and we will dump them in a bin somewhere and they will be added to the pile that is polluting the earth.

Nature has taken billions of years to develop this intricate balance, where all life helps sustain the whole order. To be out here in the bushveld for five days and have just a glimpse of this is a wonderful experience.

I fumble in the dark for my specs and gaze up through the mesh of our half open door at the night sky. There is a half moon tonight, so I cant see many stars, but the soft wash of moonlight on the trees has its own magic. A deep sense of sadness overcomes me as I think of just how little of this is left unspoilt on our planet. That something that has taken so long to develop can be destroyed so easily. What has gone wrong? Humans have demonstrated their brilliance in so may areas, but we seem unable to curb our insatiable desire for more and more comforts and conveniences, more material possessions, and in doing so, continue to use more and more of the diminishing natural land and its resources.

Have we done justice to the responsibility we were given in Genesis 1:26 ?

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

I think too much has been expected of us. We have been given free will and the power to think and reason, but learning the complexities of life is a slow process and we have, and will continue to make many more mistakes.

The nightjar calls again and I think of the words used to describe its call. Yes, we need help. We cannot destroy this beautiful world. It's all we've got.

But, I must still my mind now and sleep. Tomorrow will be another day in 'Eden'.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2007 10:09 am 
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Peter Betts wrote:
... He was brilliant at finding all the small things ...

So true Peter, he was a great guide with a very good knowledge of birds, as it is the thing he has a passion for. There was no talk about him moving to Punda, but who knows, it will maybe happen. Frank from Pafuri also told us that they are planning a birding drive/walk, but there isn't a date linked to it yet. It could be that the two of them could be working together in the near future.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2007 8:00 pm 
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A new day on the Trail:

Each day brings its own tapestry of colours. The rich red earth mingling with the silver ash and black charred grass, the golden yellow and amber leaves of the Mopani trees, given life and depth by the shafts of the warm morning sunlight. This against a backdrop of deep blue contrasted with sparkling white cumulus clouds.

The bushveld is not just a place where we see beauty, it's a place one feels beauty. All of our senses are awakened, It's our inner being, our spirit that is moved. Like the little whirlwinds we see so often in the Kruger, it begins with a small stirring deep inside our soul. Feelings and emotions which have been stilled by the drought in our spirit, like the leaves and the dust, swirl and move us in ways we have almost forgotten.

Lilac breast rollers, their bright colours brilliant in the morning sunlight watch us pass; a steenbokkie stops and gazes silently at us.

We have dropped back from the two lead vehicles to avoid their billowing dust, but now as we reach the crest of a long hill we see them far below us as they follow the track winding through the valley. The flat plains stretch to the horizon, the view marred only by the haze.

We drive through waving fields of maize and pink redgrass. The colours in the late afternoon light are beautiful, again invoking the awe one feels at the brilliant artistry of nature's designer. I try to capture it on video, but I know I will be disappointed. No manmade device can recreate this; only the human mind and spirit can recall these moments fully: the feelings, the sights, the sounds. Perhaps the blueprint is buried deep within our souls, explaining the constant restlessness of human nature. Is it perhaps a need to return to a way of life which we were intended to live.

DB seated beside me is silent. Words are inadequate; they cannot convey the sense of serenity and peace I know we are both experiencing.

The day passes too quickly and all too soon we stop at our next camp site. The atmosphere is relaxed and cheerful. Everything, including ourselves is covered with a film of red dust, but we are happy. Tents and equipment are quickly erected and we gather around the camp fire.

The setting sun has set the bushveld ablaze with its fiery glow. It has surrendered it's watch over mother earth to a shy half moon. Accompanied by a few twinkling stars, she will watch over us through the night.

Lulled by the tranquility and the dancing flames of the campfire my thoughts begin to wander .....


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Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 9:08 pm 
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Time for the next chapter:
Tuesday, 18 September 2007

7:00 and everybody is ready for the mornings briefing before we hit the road. Just outside the camp was a fair climb with some loose rocks. We went to the Phumbe pan, stop just before we descend from the mountain for a lovely view of the area a bit south from Balule.

Phumbe Pan
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We continued via Balule to Olifants camp for a shower we all needed after all the wind and dust from the previous two days. We saw Rhino, Black backed Jackal and Secretary birds. After a very pleasant shower and some food while looking over the Olifants River it was time to continue towards Shilowa.

Some hippos at the Letaba River
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Now for the joke of the trip. We had a puncture, thanks to a big thorn in the tyre’s sidewall. Jerry spotted it. It seemed to be holding on fine and we could continue to the camp before changing tyres and patching the hole. The joke? It happened on our Isuzu with its offroad tyres. The Pajero and Land Cruiser had road going tyres fitted, and they completed the trail without any punctures.

The only puncture of the trip
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We stopped at the Giriyondo Border post for site seeing just before closing time. On the way to Shilowa view point we encountered a breeding herd of Elephants. Everybody managed to pass without any incident. There was one who started to flap it ears, but nothing serious.

Shilowa is a rather high point in the park with again a most beautiful view over the park. We stopped and went up onto the koppie. Because of a few ellies there was a gap between the first 3 and last 3 vehicles. We were the second vehicle behind Jerry, and the 6 of us already on the koppie realized the occupants of the last 3 vehicles didn’t see us getting out of our vehicles. They were sitting patiently and waiting for the convoy to move when they heard the rest of us whistling, screaming and waving before they realized we weren’t in the vehicles in front of them. Needless to say, we had quite a laugh.

Scenery from Shilowa
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Just for the trailists to know, it would be nice if the parks will mark the Tropic of Capricorn on the route as well. We had quite a discussion on where it is or should be. At the end, nobody was correct, with GPS and all. Once home we saw we got it a bit more south than where we thought it actually is.

The camp site was absolutely beautiful. It is a secluded place in the bend of a stream (dry bed, giving the time of year we were there).

Image
The routine, once at the camp site, was always the same. Pitch tents, relax with something cold, lit the fire with dusk and sitting around the fire till about 21:00 to sleep.
What could beat that feeling?


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Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 5:14 pm 
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Wednesday, 19 September 2007

We are on our way to the last camp of the trail. We stopped for some Rhino and Lion tracks, not to far from where we camped the previous night. I have also learnt something new about different behavior between white and black rhino. For those of you who didn’t know, the white rhino calf will always be in front of the cow, whereas the black rhino calf is always behind the cow.

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Halfway between the camp and Shibavatsengele View point, we crossed the Tropic of Capricorn, without anybody knowing it. It seems as if you could see for ever from the Shibavatsengele View point. A look out point one can reach via the tourist routes from Mopani. There were 2 giraffe between the trees you could clearly see from above.

On the way to Shibavatsengele View Point
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We stopped at the big baobab tree and went into Mozambique to get some nice pictures. What an amazing tree to stand next too.

View to the sky from inside the Boab
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From there we continued to Shingwedzi camp for a shower and a quick bite. There are some of the most beautiful spots in the riverbeds as one continues towards the Shingwedzi River.

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We stopped at the Shingwedzi River where we crossed it the first time. The water is so clear; you can see the small fishes, absolutely beautiful. Some angel had to put her feet in the water (there were no crocs around).

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We came across a small snake in the grass, right next the bridge. No one was able to identify it, maybe one of the forumites can.

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We stopped at ‘Louis se gat’. I think it must be amazing having a bush braai there.
Just before Shingwedzi we saw ellies digging for water, it is very interesting to watch. It seems as if he was playing with the water and spurting all the muddy water out before he drank it.

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Again it was time to get rid of some of the dust in the showers and get something to eat and making sure the liquids is still in order for the next part of the trip. The Shingwedzi River was dry when looking from the deck in camp, but still a view to appreciate.

From Shingwedzi we continued to the Langtoon Dam. We stopped at a place where they closed a man made water hole and Jerry showed us some of the damage to many animals can do to an area. He also told us some interesting stuff about the lalapalm and the influence the beer made from it has on the different tribes in the broader vicinity. We arrived at Langtoon Dam in the early afternoon and there was not much activity around the dam. We saw a Nyala, some zebra, ostriches, vultures, impala, crocs and hippos.

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We arrived at our last camp round about 15:00. Some francolin walked rather tamely around, but don’t try to get to close, they prefer having their private space.

That evening around the fire we heard a hyena calling from time to time and heard how they moved from past the camp in the direction of the dam. You suddenly have a more real feeling of being in the open bush, on the animals turf and having almost no knowledge as how to survive and what to do. The atmosphere went form very relaxed to rather attentive on the sounds. It is something like you can’t wait to hear the sound of hyena or lion, and when you do; you’re not so sure you really want to hear it. It makes the animals real again, and you very vulnerable.

There was a little veld mouse in the grass, but once there is light on it, he scatters to a darker place. It was a bit difficult to get a clear view.

It was sad knowing this was the last night on the trail.


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Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2007 6:17 pm 
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reinette wrote:
Some angel had to put her feet in the water (there were no crocs around).


:evil::evil::evil::evil:
And dully caused a natural disaster! With in seconds we saw fish floating on the water. Minutes later hippos down stream stormed out of the river, some in obvious agony!!!!

Apparently there have been recent reports of people in Mozambique becoming seriously ill for no apparent reason after drinking water from the Shingwedzi!!!!
:evil::evil::evil::evil:

All in jest :twisted:

That was a special place to be, seeing the tilapia so close.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2007 6:25 pm 
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And I have to bath in the same bathroom .....


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Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2007 6:32 pm 
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My deepest sympathies Hawk!

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Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2007 11:52 pm 
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And to get back onto the trail (read topic Jv, Haupie and SO! :evil: )

Day three - just before dawn, Hawk on full 'alarm' alert :twisted: , we were up again to greet first light!

A pic of our luxury quarters at day break - please note the dedicated bathroom area consisting of bucket of water and open soap dish filled with a bar of biodegradable soap!
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Our stop at Phumbe Pan was extremely interesting. Jerry explained how the sea had reach there millions of years ago, how the fish in the pan came to be there and how they 'survived' through the dry periods such as the present one. It was hard to picture water in this natural pan and it filled with fish - but true to just how perfectly everything in nature works, this happens.
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Our beloved Kruger for as far as the eye could see.
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One of the few other vehicles we passed on the whole trail - field rangers heading out for a day's work. Far from tourist roads, keeping an eye on our Park for all of us. Thank you Field Rangers for the sterling job you do!
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Jerry stopped us at one of the waterholes the Park has now closed down. He showed us how the area surrounding the waterhole was barren of any grass - killed off by too much animal traffic in the area.
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The Balule bridge over the Olifants River.
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Dalene

A roaring lion does not catch any prey - African Proverb


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Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2007 8:12 am 
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MM, it was an amazing time. The trail was very special, the guide wonderful, the experience of the freedom to get out one's 4x4 and being away from it all was just awesome, and we were just so lucky that we had such a great group with us. We were very new to the overlanding thing and learnt a great deal from Jacov and Reinette. We also all have the same passion for the bush and Kruger. And we laughed - we laughed and laughed and laughed. So yes, for many reasons, mostly the pure joy I felt every minute of the trail, the experience will stay in my memory for a very long time

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A roaring lion does not catch any prey - African Proverb


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Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2007 12:46 pm 
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Campfire musings:

The voices recede and the images around the fire blur and fade. I drift slowly from reality through the corridors of the mind to that mystical place where we create our own reality. A place where we can mix memories with imagination, a place God has given us which is our very own, where anything is possible, a place where dreams are born. Here in the theatre of the mind we are the directors, script writers, set designers, special effects artists; there are no limits.

The curtain rises and the show begins. We are back on the trail, descending a steep rocky decline. The big diesel growls as we engage low range to help slow our descent. Ahead of us Jaco's vehicle is through the ravine and is crawling up the steep incline. His tyres claw at the loose gravel and rock, but the bakkie doesnt falter. Surefooted it continues resolutely until he reaches the top and continues out of sight. Reaching the crest of the hill ourselves we find the track has widened and become almost a conventional gravel road. Looking far ahead we see it runs in a straight line for kms alongside an unsightly structure.

This fence does not belong in our reality. Fences are designed to limit freedom; and the holes in this one bare testimony to the futility of limiting freedom. It is a hindrance to the free movement of the animals and immediately we make the decision to remove it. The wide gravel road is unnatural and unnecessary, and we replace it with a narrow track through the grass. The looming power lines and their pylons are removed. The animals have no need for electricity. Border posts, buildings, roads, manmade dams that we encounter, are removed.

We stop and consider the changes we have made. How will we accommodate the humans in this new reality. The conclusion is obvious. They were given custody and have brought Earth to the brink of ruin. We make the unanimous decision that if the earth is to be rescued and restored, they must be removed. All their cities, factories, mines, machinery etc are removed with them.

The consequences of our changes will require considerable time to take effect. We fast forward five hundred years and then continue our travels. Already we see vast changes. Huge herds of buffalo, wildebeest and elephant roam freely across the land. The air is crisp and fresh, the rivers run clean. The rain forests are spreading once more and the seas are replenished with an abundance of fish. The earth has cooled, regulating its temp naturally to compensate for the slow increase in our aging sun's heat. The seasons have been restored. The ocean levels are no longer rising and the polar ice caps have regained their losses. The garbage dumps, clouds of industrial smog, polluted rivers and estuaries have all disappeared. There is no litter, no broken bottles or plastic bags.

Mother Earth has been restored. She is pristine and beautiful. She is healthy and balanced. The sunsets and sunrises are magnificent, the brilliant blue skies with the ever changing cloud landscapes are breathtaking.

But something is missing. There is a loneliness. It is a beautiful world, but who will appreciate this beauty, who will paint the pictures, write the poems, compose the music. There is no laughter, there are no children playing in the fields.

The earth needs us, it needs us to appreciate its beauty, its wildness. God created it for us; for us to live in harmony and peace with nature and our fellow man, and when we have learned to practice the discipline and self control that go hand in hand with the responsibility we have as the caretakers of this beautiful planet, perhaps we will be a step closer to understanding our purpose here and finding the true meaning of life.

I feel a nudge and hear DB's voice calling from another dimension: Your food is getting cold, where are you ?

My virtual world dissipates like mist and I am back at the campfire, amongst friends, in a magical place in the real world. I silently give thanks that I am able to experience something so meaningful, and that there are so many dedicated people who work so hard to preserve all these special places on earth.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 5:15 pm 
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Thursday, 20 September 2007

5:00, time to get up for the last day on the trail. Everybody ready to go at round about 7:00. It was our turn to be Tail-end Charlie.

Shortly after we left the camp, we saw a flock of Crested Guinea Fowl. Knowing that it could be rather difficult to see them, it was a very special sighting, my fist one of them. It was very difficult to get a clear picture of them. Jerry stopped a bit further on and gave us some information about the vegetation around us. We also saw some spoor of the guinea fowl and hyena. After this, we saw two more flocks of guinea fowl. So, how rare are they? :twisted:

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There are quite a few trees with boxes in them. This is used for some kind of research.

We came to a stop again, and had the most beautiful view over the park. Here you can see the power lines coming from the Cahora Basa dam. Jerry told us, as we go under the lines, we should see fresh spoor from illegal immigrants crossing the park to work in SA.

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We continued to the Pafuri border post. On the way there we saw the most spectacular baobab trees. We also saw Nyala and Kudu. It seems as if there is only red sand between the trees. One can feel the dryness of the environment around you.

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Close to the border post we saw some painted stones on the right hand side of the road. Just downhill from the staff village. We stopped at the top of the hill with the staff village on the right and Wenela on the left.
Wenela was used to recruit people from Mozambique and Zimbabwe to work in the mines in South Africa. It is now a guesthouse and they are planning to change it to a camp and build the section rangers’ house where we saw the painted stones. We walked around there, what a lovely place and met the sergeant, 2nd in command, also a very friendly person.
We even saw a true vegetarian potjie for Dinky Bird.

Some of the flora at Wenela
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DB's Potjie
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We went down hill again and made a u turn at the Pafuri Border post. From there we continued to the pump station with the markings of different flood levels on it. It is just mind blowing to imaging the masses of water going thru there when there is a flood, especially if you think the pump station is 900m from the Limpopo River.

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We were surrounded by fever trees, and this isn’t the fever tree forest yet. Can you think how beautiful is must be there.

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From the pump station we continued to Crooks Corner. Being closer to the river, it wasn’t that dry anymore. Our first time at Crooks Corner, and again, I was just amazed by the view, even with the river being so dry. As we drove thru the rather thick vegetation I thought by myself this looks like leopard territory, and thou we didn’t see it, Jerry did saw its spoor where we climbed out of the vehicles.
We saw some Mozambiquens / Zimbabweans fishing in the river. Jerry told us the story about Crooks Corner.

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On the way to Pafuri we had an interesting encounter with an elephant again. The first 3 vehicles went past without a problem, and then he decided he wants to cross the road and this red bakkie is in his way. With a flapping of ears and a low grumble from the elli, the bakkie made way and it passed between it and the bakkie in front of us. We, this is now the last two vehicles, kept a safe distance until the elephant was calmer again, and passed without any problems. Just down the road and around the bend there was another one munching on a bush, barely noticing us.

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We drove next to the Levuvhu River. I could understand why Jerry said this is one of his most favorite places. We saw baboons, crocodiles, hippos, nyala, kudu, impala and a pair of Trumpeter Hornbills.

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We continued to Pafuri picnic spot, the end of the trail. Here we said our goodbyes. Jerry left for home, as well as one of the vehicles, as their son had to get ready for a hiking trail he’s going on. The other pair from Durban stayed for a short picnic before moving on to Shingwedzi, while DB and I, armed with our binoculars, went with Frank in search of some birds. What a privilege to meet someone with such a love for what he is doing. The rest of our party was sitting next to the river, waiting for the two of us.

Even with half the party gone, it was as if you want hold on to the idea of being on the Lebombo trail as long as you can. And leaving Pafuri was leaving the trail…


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Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 10:10 pm 
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Boy, I have some catching up to do here! Lets go back to the Tuesday of the trail.......

And Balule bridge to Olifants for a shower!! 48hours sans a shower, and we were all getting rather used to the thick layer of dust and what ever else!?!?! Jerry led us straight to the showers.... Right - no time to dally in the showers as we only had two hours before hitting the trail again and also needed to grab some lunch! Considering the time it took for us to be served our meal I'd reckon they need to lengthen this break to about 4 hours!

Back on the trail just after 13:00. Soon we stopped again - on a causeway over a river.
Which river is this Jerry asked - the Olifants, we all replied :roll:
Which river is this Jerry asked - the Olifants! we replied :roll::roll:
No, it is the Letaba Jerry laughed!
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And on through mopani veld.
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Jerry showed us a communal spider's nest.
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I really found the stop next to the 'gate' where animals are transported through to stock Limpopo National Park, so interesting. I felt part of history in the making! Here a pic of the gate, and one of the convoy next to the 'gate' in the border fence.
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It was then onto the Giriyondo border post for a quick stop.
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Dalene

A roaring lion does not catch any prey - African Proverb


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Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2007 8:41 pm 
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We scrambled up the last of a koppie (having driven up the most of it) and had a 360 degree view out over Kruger and Moz, stretching as far as the eye could see. Just sky and bushveld. Africa. Home. I am not good with words, or poetry - so battle to convey how meaningful standing there was to me. Actually, how meaningful the freedom of this whole trail was. I cannot get enough of Kruger - not ever, and seeing the Park this way.... well.... you guys know what I mean :D It just touches one deep down. And there is this feeling of just pure joy.
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We then headed for our camp for the night, and the comfortable routine of setting up camp, cracking a cold one, sharing the day and the communal braai before crawling into our tents for a night of rest like one just does not get anywhere else!
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The routine continued the next morning - up early, sleepy coffee time while the bushveld woke around us, packing up - checking we were at least going to be ready by the time the neighbours were - and setting off on the trail again.
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And yes, when we stopped on a low level bridge over the Shingwedzi, close to the Moz border, and I had the opportunity to dip my feet into the river making this the third major KNP river I have been barefoot in.... I have paddled in the Crocodile, crossed the Letaba and this one now.
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Oh, and I strongly advise the rest of you NOT to try this dipping of your feet into the major rivers of KNP - earlier on in this report you can all read why I manage to do this without any concern to my health or safety!

Two years ago when we visited the Shingwedzi River, it was bone dry. It was wonderful to see large pools of water in the river!
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A quick stop at Shingwedzi camp for a shower and lunch, and we drove on.

Onto Langtoon Dam - a part of the trail that I was really looking forward to. And it did not disappoint! As far as I could understand this is the only water source for miles around and one is guaranteed to see animals coming down for a drink.
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In the distance we could see vultures circling - Jerry told us it was lion on a buffalo kill. :shock: How could he see THAT far?!?!? :lol: He had radioed the section ranger to find out.

Years ago there used to be a camp alongside this dam - I really hope that in the very near future the Wednesday overnight camp is again built here. It must be magical to spend the night here.

On the SANP list of what to pack for this trail a table cloth is listed. So if SANP says bring a table cloth along - I will bring a table cloth along! Our campsite for the Wednesday night.
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Dalene

A roaring lion does not catch any prey - African Proverb


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Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 1:06 pm 
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Senior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sun Feb 27, 2005 1:13 pm
Posts: 717
Location: Midrand
Thx DB, can always rely on you to put me on the spot...... :P

I've been meaning to post my thoughts regarding the trail and its driving conditions for a while. Now is as good as any.

RalphvV I think you will be answered in what I am saying below.

The majority of the roads this trail uses are normal dirt roads or dirt track (2 spoor pad). These are well within the capabilities of any 4x2, and even most sedans.
But, (there is always a but :) ), there are certain sections where you need to do steep climbs. For these you will need at least low range, or even difflock depending on the condition of the track going up the climb.

For example, on the third morning, just out of camp, you cross a little stream. The opposite bank has a steep climb. The road suface is loose gravel. Close to the top the road surface is really loose. I did the climb in low range 1st, and also engaged difflock. This way I could do the climb at a low speed, a 4x2 vehicle would have to be raced up the hill, and I am sure it would have a fair amount of wheel spin to reach the top.

Also, early in the year, April and May, the level of water in the rivers could still be high, making for some interresting water crossing.

This trail is not difficult, but we did drive it in dry conditions. I think this trail can become quite challenging in wet weather. We passed a number of areas where there where deep tracks, it was obvious that people got stuck when the clay (in Afrikaans we call it turf) was wet. Also the ellies like to play in these mud patches, and the track was nice and bouncy.....

As for skill to drive the trail. A good understanding of your vehicle, some previous experience driving a 4x4 and you are set. I am sure that the majority of people that do drive this trail have very little 4x4 experience.

SANParks will not allow non 4x4 vehicles on this trail. I agree with their reasoning. To me this should be taken a step further, 4x4 vehicles doing this trail should be equiped with lowrange. Difflock to me would be an added advantage, however I know certain 4x4s that do not have difflock, have completed this trail without problems. It all boils down to driver ability.

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Jakes


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