Skip to content

SANParks.org Forums

View unanswered posts | View active topics






Post new topic Reply to topic  Page 2 of 4
 [ 49 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: Wolhuter Trail: photos and report
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 12:08 am 
Offline
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Sun Mar 08, 2009 9:37 pm
Posts: 7460
Location: Daar waar die bobbejane hul borshare kam
I know who's going to do this trail in a week or two... :whistle: :whistle: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

_________________
“Life is too short to wake up with regrets. So love the people who treat you right. Forget about those who don’t.” - Harvey MacKay


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Wolhuter Trail: photos and report
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 6:29 am 
Offline
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2005 8:47 pm
Posts: 12762
Location: meandering between senility and menopause
FAC Member (2013)
Diesel, what a wonderful report :D thank you :thumbs_up: Just loved all your little Waxbills :clap: :clap: :clap:

My daughters did the trail about a year ago and they just fell in love with the Dwarf Mongoose. They told me that the grass looked alive at times there were so many.

Imberbe, my daughters found the food absolutely delicious. They could not believe the quality and quantity. Mind you they are used to MM's cooking :wink: Bedding was provided, but a torch was essential.

The highlight of their trip was walking into a pack of Wilddog chasing an Implala. The Impala was very happy about their appearance, not so the Wilddog. They had a thrilling few minutes while the Wilddog tried to make sense of what these creatures were. In the meantime the Impala got away.. one lucky Impala.

_________________
The bird doesn't sing because it has answers, it sings because it has a song.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Wolhuter Trail: photos and report
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 6:48 am 
Offline
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2009 9:51 am
Posts: 18312
Location: Germany, busy planning next trip
Lovely report Diesel, thanks so much for sharing :clap: :clap: The Blue-Waxbill pic is beautiful, I never got even one in a pic, as they were to fast or the grass was too high. :lol:

_________________
Katja

____________
Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former. Einstein

Kamadejo returns to KNP after 7 years
Balm for the Soul


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Wolhuter Trail: photos and report
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 5:58 pm 
Offline
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Sun Mar 08, 2009 9:37 pm
Posts: 7460
Location: Daar waar die bobbejane hul borshare kam
Micetta wrote:
The original post is from 2008 :shock:


:lol: :wink: Poor Diesel, no one responded to his TR, and now two years later... :clap: :clap:


Imberbe wrote:
:lol: Yes, I can dig well! :tongue:


Dig, digger, diggest. :lol: :lol:


I agree, Kamadejo, those blue waxbills are out of this world. :clap: :clap:

_________________
“Life is too short to wake up with regrets. So love the people who treat you right. Forget about those who don’t.” - Harvey MacKay


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Wolhuter Trail: photos and report
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 1:14 am 
Offline
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2005 12:28 am
Posts: 14219
Location: Pretoria, RSA
Herewith the promised report!

Going to do it a bit differently so as to answer some questions prospective hikers may have.

ARRIVAL:


We met our guides at Berg-en-Dal at three pm. on the first day of our trail. We parked our vehicles under the trees at the parking area set aside for the trails. After a brief welcome some basic information was given as to what to expect, and we packed our suitcases in to the trailer of the game viewing vehicle.

We then departed on a 45 minute drive to Wolhuter trails camp, which is situated in the wilderness area located between Berg-en-Dal and Pretoriuskop camps, in the Stolsnek area of the park. This is to me one of the most scenic areas in the park with lots of granite hills (koppies) and rolling savanna bush veld. Ideal rhino country, not known for major animal populations, but well known for sightings of some special and scarce animals such as wild dog and sable.

Image

Entering the no entry road at the Matjulu waterhole, we were not to see any other humans or vehicles for a full three days. The trail last for four days and three evenings.

Arriving at the camp we were taken for a brief introduction to the camp, while one of the guides unpacked our luggage from the trailer.

THE CAMP:

Wolhuter trail is the oldest trail in the Kruger and was started due to the vision and commitment of people like Trevor Dearlove, Johan van Graan and Mike English. It became operational on the 4th of July 1978. For more information on the history of the trails read here.

The camp itself is fenced only by an ordinary cattle height diamond mesh type fence, which merely demarcates the boundaries, and will not really keep anything in or out.

Image

The view from our unit across the fence, with a small water hole hidden behind the grass.


The camp does not have any electricity. Water is pumped by a Lister engine from a nearby borehole, and are clean and drinkable. Warm water for showers are provided by gas geysers, and lights in the camp are provided by paraffin lanterns.

Image
This "donkey" used to provide warm water, but have now been replaced by gas geysers.

There are four thatched guest huts, each with two single beds. They are small but quite nice and clean. Bedding is provided as well as a paraffin lamp in the evenings. In front of each unit there is a wash basin which is filled with warm water in the mornings when you are woken up. The huts have wooden shutters which can be opened or closed.

When we were there the temperature late at night was quite cold, and the huts got really fresh, due to openings in the wooden floor and walls. Luckily enough blankets were provided.

Image

Image

Image

_________________
Imberbe = Combretum imberbe = Leadwood = Hardekool = The spirit of the Wildernis!

Want to know more about the SANParks Honorary Rangers? Visit www.sanparkshr.org


One positive deed is worth more than a thousand critical words.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Wolhuter Trail: photos and report
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 1:53 pm 
Offline
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2005 12:28 am
Posts: 14219
Location: Pretoria, RSA
The camp itself is still very much as Diesel described. But just for in case I will describe it in more detail in the next posting.

_________________
Imberbe = Combretum imberbe = Leadwood = Hardekool = The spirit of the Wildernis!

Want to know more about the SANParks Honorary Rangers? Visit www.sanparkshr.org


One positive deed is worth more than a thousand critical words.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Wolhuter Trail: photos and report
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 2:35 pm 
Offline
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2005 12:28 am
Posts: 14219
Location: Pretoria, RSA
Besides the four guest units there are also two toilets and two showers. These are true to character also simple constructions, with pole walls and thatched roofs.

As mentioned, the showers are powered by gas geysers. The original design, had an old dustbin drum with some piping welded in to it, which stood on a ledge and was filled by hand. It was left for historical purposes, but the water supply is now automated via pipes from a holding tank. There are two shower units.

Image

Two toilet units are provided with flush toilets. They are on the edge of the camp, and at night you are not quite sure what you may find just on the other side of the fence. Again, clean but basic.

Image

There is a thatched lapa (roof) for if the whether gets bad, but it is small and not used unless necessary. The most of the socialising is around the fire, where some steel tables are provided, and the food is served.

Image

Image

The kitchen facilities are very basic. For the convenience of the guests a gas freezer is provided. It does well to keep drinks cold, but should not be used for freezing anything. Guests do not really use the kitchen since food is provided.

Image

To the back of the kitchen, there are more units which is used as a pantry and in which the personnel stay. The have their own ablutions, in the same style as the guests. Here John, one of the guides, sits in front of his home.


Image

_________________
Imberbe = Combretum imberbe = Leadwood = Hardekool = The spirit of the Wildernis!

Want to know more about the SANParks Honorary Rangers? Visit www.sanparkshr.org


One positive deed is worth more than a thousand critical words.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Wolhuter Trail: photos and report
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 3:09 pm 
Offline
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2005 12:28 am
Posts: 14219
Location: Pretoria, RSA
Image

The sound of the drum announces the arrival of food.

Johan was our cook, and he prepared all the meals. You are provided with an early morning coffee and rusks, and after the morning walk a good brunch is served, usually around 12 o'clock. This would usually be something like bacon, eggs and some just made pot bread. Dinner would consists of a chicken dish on the first evening, mince and a combination of vegetables on the second evening and a braai with proper pap (type of porridge) on the last evening. There were salads, and provision can be made for vegetarians, should you beforehand give them an indication. The food was more than enough, but - and here is my only bit of criticism - at times a bit basic. The last evenings pudding of canned fruit was a treat.

And did I mention that our one brunch was interrupted by lions? :whistle:

Image

Tee and coffee are available throughout the day. Snacks and a cooldrink is provided for the half way break during the morning walk. Guests should bring their own snacks, cooldrinks or wines should they prefer.

_________________
Imberbe = Combretum imberbe = Leadwood = Hardekool = The spirit of the Wildernis!

Want to know more about the SANParks Honorary Rangers? Visit www.sanparkshr.org


One positive deed is worth more than a thousand critical words.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Wolhuter Trail: photos and report
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 8:46 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Sat Dec 16, 2006 1:06 pm
Posts: 544
Location: Zululand
Thanks for the report back.. makes my feet itch :thumbs_up:


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Wolhuter Trail: photos and report
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:39 pm 
Offline
Moderator
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:31 pm
Posts: 9583
Location: Ballito, KZN North Coast, South Africa
I am sure this has got many itchy feet a-tapping.
Great description Imberbe. :clap:

_________________
Where ever you go, go with all your Heart.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Wolhuter Trail: photos and report
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 7:45 pm 
Offline
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2005 12:28 am
Posts: 14219
Location: Pretoria, RSA
The program:

Day one.

Guests are met in Berg-en-Dal and taken on a drive to the camp. On the way you will see some amazing natural scenery and do some game viewing. After settling in to your accommodation, dinner is served around the fire and the program plus all the do's and dont's are discussed.

Day two and three

Half an hour before sunrise you are awaken by the assistant guide and warm water is placed in the wash bowl in front of your unit. After getting dressed, coffee and rusks can be enjoyed at the dining area.

Now you either drive to your departure point, or the walk departs directly from camp. The morning walk is around 9/10 km. Different areas are explored, so as not to damage the environment or make the animals used to regular human contact. One area we explored had last been visited some seven months earlier. With some 40 000 hectares of walking area, the options of routes are numerous. At a nice scenic point some snacks will be enjoyed.

At around 12 twelve you return to camp, to enjoy the brunch the cook has prepared. After that the guests may enjoy a nice siesta until approx. 3pm or just sit around and chat.

Now you drive to a spot, where a shorter afternoon walk of around 3/4 km is taken, and afterwards a sundowner is enjoyed. Guests provide their own snacks and drinks for the sundowner. Driving back to camp you may be lucky to see some of the nocturnal animals starting to become active. As this is a wildernis area, no spotlights are used.

Back at camp, you enjoy dinner and start telling bush stories around the camp fire. You become aware of the bush and the silence. The last night is reserved for the guide to entertain you with all the stories of close escapes.

Day four.

Sleeping in for a full half an hour later, you are awaken and start packing. After breakfast you depart back to Berg-en-Dal, wishing it was three days earlier and you were just arriving.

Image


What you need for the walks:


Good shoes are probably the most important. Good walking boots are a plus, but ordinary good quality trainers will do. Do not use open shoes.

Clothing should be practical and comfortable. No whites and no brites. Camouflage is not necessary, but if you want to look the part and entertain the other trailists you can invest in some of those.

A hat and some sunscreen is always a good idea. If you do not have a water bottle, one will be provided, as it is important to keep on drinking, especially when it is hot. A number of small rucksacks are also provided.

You do not need to be super fit to do such a trail, but it is important that you have good mobility and a basic walking fitness. The walking is done on the trails the animals use, and at time just going straight through the bush. It is quite different to walking on human roads. There are some climbing involved, but nothing serious or threatening. A person who are not able to keep up will impact on the group, as the group needs to keep together.

Image

The group is led by the trails ranger. He is followed by the assistant trails ranger, and then the group follows in single file. The guides walk in front as most problem situations approach from the front. Being together they can communicate and face the danger. The assistant will take control of the group in a dangerous situation, indicating where to go, while the trails ranger will manage the dangerous animal.

The group may not talk while you are walking, as this will alert the animals. You are however encouraged to ask questions, and the guides will share lots of interesting observations and information.

_________________
Imberbe = Combretum imberbe = Leadwood = Hardekool = The spirit of the Wildernis!

Want to know more about the SANParks Honorary Rangers? Visit www.sanparkshr.org


One positive deed is worth more than a thousand critical words.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Wolhuter Trail: photos and report
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2010 12:44 pm 
Offline
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2006 1:45 pm
Posts: 4953
Location: southern gauteng
Imberbe wrote:
And did I mention that our one brunch was interrupted by lions?


I at least am interested to hear more !

_________________
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.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Wolhuter Trail: photos and report
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2010 1:18 pm 
Offline
Moderator
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2006 12:30 am
Posts: 40177
Location: Worcester, South Africa
So am I 8) !

_________________
aquila non capit muscas


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Wolhuter Trail: photos and report
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2010 5:37 pm 
Offline
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2005 12:28 am
Posts: 14219
Location: Pretoria, RSA
Now for the difficult part of the report. How do you describe magic? Put smell and silence in to words? How do you convey wonder? :huh:

Our guides:

Image

Gordon was our trails guide and he was backed up by John as assistant guide. They have been working as a team for some one and a half years now, and are both very experienced guides, with tremendous knowledge and insight in to nature.

Gordon tells a story of once being charged by a black rhino and being cornered in a gap between boulders. Kicking the rhino in the face had little effect, but luckily the huge animal could not reach them between the boulders.

Now one thing we saw plenty of was rhino, but sadly only white rhino.

Here we approached a group of three rhino, getting quite close to them before they became aware of our presence and moved away.

Image

Here a cow can be seen in the background. She had her calf with her. We watched her grazing on the other side of a clearing, and eventually moved away without her being aware of us. In the distance we could see another three rhino.

Image

A rhino rubbing post:

Image

We also had a great elephant sighting, following a group of bulls for a while and eventually watching the one from above as he rested under a tree while we were higher up against an incline.

Sadly we did not meet the other members of the big five ... oh yes, except those lions ...

Walking in the Wolhuter area offers great diversity in habitat. The koppies are magnets, and offers great views. Some take some climbing, but then we met some elephant right at the top of one of these, so it can't be a too challenging climb.

Image

Stolsnek dam and the rivers are havens of life and great for birding.

Image

Just be careful of the crocks!

Image

A real special experience was watching two giraffe bulls fighting for dominance. They head but each other, but with and incredible punch. It almost looks like a slow motion dance as the two position themselves against each other and then takes a swipe at the body and upper legs of the opponent. A loud thud can be heard for each blow which is landed. It is almost as if the two opponents goes in to a trance as the deliberately circle each other.


Image

Who won? Only they will know.

_________________
Imberbe = Combretum imberbe = Leadwood = Hardekool = The spirit of the Wildernis!

Want to know more about the SANParks Honorary Rangers? Visit www.sanparkshr.org


One positive deed is worth more than a thousand critical words.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Wolhuter Trail: photos and report
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2010 5:42 pm 
Offline
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2009 9:14 am
Posts: 2387
Location: Pretoria, South Africa
WOW and WOW again - thanks Imberbe! :clap: :clap:


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 49 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group

Webcams Highlights

Addo Nossob Orpen Satara
Addo Nossob Orpen Satara
Submitted by KaliCA at 07:32:30 Submitted by kyknetta at 09:42:01 Submitted by Mellory at 09:40:17 Submitted by VicRob at 05:50:04