Myself and Riana walked the Wolhuter Trail in September.
We reported at Berg-en-Dal the Sunday afternoon and arrived at the camp early enough to go for a stroll after we saw an elephant close to camp.
Our guide Sakkie then took us for a drive.
We came across a young elephant bulldozing a Jackalberry tree to reach the green leaves on top.
We had the hut closest to the ablutions and we had a splendid view as many animals were passing the area on their way to Stolsnekdam.
When we saw the one meter high fence, we decided to limit our liquid intake in the late afternoon.
Believe me, you do not want to be outside your hut at night here.
Sakkie warned us to use a torch and walk in couples when visiting the ablutions at night.
Friends who walked this trail had a leopard in the camp – not a very comforting thought at that moment.
The first night was extremely cold.
The openings in the panels of the A-frame hut were huge and the wind was ice cold.
Due to these openings we had various strange species inhabiting our “residence”.
When I lifted my pillow, a giant spider scuttled to Riana’s side, but luckily for it, Riana is fond of spiders and she didn’t mind sharing her bed with an eight-legged creature.
I did not sleep well at all the first night: it was cold and ......hmm, I needed to visit the loo, but every time I asked Riana to accompany me, she simply mumbled: “no” and went back to sleep.
This was extreme torture...
The first morning we saw many white rhinos and elephants.
Back at camp we had brunch prepared by the chef.
While the rest slept in, Riana and I sat at the clearing in front of our hut and admire the view.
We saw impala, baboons, warthogs and elephants resting in the shade on their daily route to Stolsnekdam. When Riana photographed the elephants she ventured too close for comfort and one mock- charged her.
I never have seen anyone “reverse-jump” so quickly.
That late afternoon we sat at Stolsnekdam on the grass amongst elephant dung and ticks, admiring the playful behaviour of the elephants bathing in the water.
One couldn’t help to wonder about these highly intelligent animals.
Their behaviour reflects a social and emotional creature with a sense of fun, almost humane.
We were stirred by emotion when watching these magnificent, wonderful animals.
On the second night I decided to use my thermal blanket and other thermal goodies.
By this time I didn’t care with sharing my bed with a python, never mind a few spiders... It was extremely cold for this time of year.
The three blankets were folded double, making it six altogether.
Early the next morning I dreamed that my electric blanket was on fire – I was wet with perspiration as the temperature in the Kruger was back to normal (that means “HOT”).
Gone were the thermal blanket and goodies!
The next morning it was time for me to be alone.
Sometimes I enjoy solitude: to be by myself and have my senses experience nature.
I watched a dwarf mongoose playing in the sun.
The bush was alive with animals as well as birds and their songs.
The rest of the group admired the Bushman-paintings on a close-by hill.
The daily temperature had risen and the group returned quite early.
That afternoon we were off to Stolsnekdam again.
This time there were three elephant bulls playing in the water, where after they rub themselves in the mud to get rid of parasites.
Our last night was a HOT Kruger night.
Like every other night, the hyenas whooped: it was time to hunt and the alpha female was calling.
We even heard lions roaring far off.
The last morning, on our way back to Berg-en-Dal, everyone on the bakkie was quiet.
It was time to said goodbye to this truly magnificent place and unique tranquility one can only find in the Kruger Park.
But not for long: in a few months I will be back for my most addictive Kruger “therapy”...
A few pics:
One of the rhinos we sawLarge
Our hut from inside: wind was blowing right through (spider friendly environment)Large
View from our hutLarge
Impala in clearing in front of our hutLarge
Wolhuter wilderness areaLarge
Time to take a breakLarge
Admiring the elephants at StolsnekdamLarge
Time for “sundowners”Large
Toilet with one meter high fence in backgroundLarge
This elephant “mock charged” Riana at the fence of our campLarge
One unhappy elephantLarge
Bird bath in Wolhuter campLarge
A dwarf mongoose at the lapaLarge
Wolhuter wilderness areaLarge
On our last afternoon we visited Stolsnekdam once again to see the elephants bathing one last time (this photo was taken the day before)Large
Sunset at Stolsnekdam ... moments to be quiet to admire your surroundings. Stolsnekdam and it’s elephants was to me personally the highlight of the trail.Large