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Bangu/Olifants gorge

Discuss the different camps and roads of the Kruger National Park
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DuQues
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Crossing the river, but where?

Unread postby DuQues » Tue Jun 27, 2006 11:02 am

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Unread postby Pjw » Sun Mar 16, 2008 3:18 pm

When I was a kid, this was a favourite picnic site for breakfast or lunch. It's a childhood memory, but i seem to remeber being high up looking down onto the Olifants river. I was very sad when it closed as we spent a lot of time there as a family.
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Old Gorge restcamp

Unread postby ndloti » Wed Mar 26, 2008 5:27 pm

I saw a few poles lying around at the camp location in 1999 , which according to a field ranger I spoke to were remnants of the Gorge camp . I assume they have been washed away by flooding by now .
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Bangu Gorge

Unread postby Ronk261 » Mon Oct 20, 2008 3:00 pm

Having seen previous references to the Bangu Gorge, I wondered if it was the same place I visited some time back, whilst on the Olifants Trail.
The ranger in charge , said he would take us to this special place as a treat.
It took us about an hour or so, from the Trail Camp, to get to the head of the gorge, by 4 x 4.
We then descended along a fairly overgrown path littered with dried-out skeletons of fallen Mozambique Candelabra trees, and dense bush on either side.
One could hear incredible birdlife echoing through the high cliffs with Three Streaked Tshagras the most dominant.
The path eventually widened into one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen in the Kruger Park.
The valley floor was paved with almost pitch black Rhyolite stone interspersed with various grasses, leading to three or four extremely large pot-holes carved out of the rock.
Each pothole contained stagnant water ranging in colour from dark green to very pale blue.
We guessed that this was the bed a stream which only ran during periods of heavy rain.
Further on we came across a large area scattered with the bleached out bones of many elephants, adding melancholy to the already strange atmosphere of this incredible place.
And then to add to the strangeness we found what appeared to be a grave mound on the floor of a cave overhang carved out of the shear side of the gorge.
The dry stream bed then turned a sharp right and deep down what must have been an incredible waterfall when it rained, to flow eventually into the Olifants River.
From my description, is this the Bangu Gorge which is being threatened by the newly created dam on the other side of the Mozambique border and does anyone have a more detailed history of this wonderful place?

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Re: Bangu Gorge

Unread postby Peter Betts » Mon Oct 20, 2008 9:32 pm

ndloti wrote:From the description it certainly sounds as if it could be it Bangu Gorge .
I recall going down a fairly steep valley with interleading pools of water , extremely beautiful . That was about 12 or more years ago .
The Olifants river level has apparently not risen that much that it would fill the gorge , except the immediate Bangu confluence area .
Maybe Peter Betts will reply , I will alert him .


Getting back to the Bangu Gorge...from the description it certainly sounds correct doesn't it...great place...been there only once so cant comment about the level caused by heightening Massingir dam in Moz... Its so unique there with the euphorbias, Nyala and steep rocky gorges...quite eerie
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ndloti
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Re: Bangu Gorge

Unread postby ndloti » Tue Oct 28, 2008 1:21 pm

Bangu gorge remains one of the best walking experiences and the most beautiful areas I have ever enjoyed in the KNP .
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: Bangu Gorge

Unread postby Ronk261 » Tue Oct 28, 2008 2:58 pm

Whilst exploring the Bangu Gorge, did you ever come across the grave under an overhang in the eastern wall, before it takes a dramatic drop to the confluence with the Olifants? I'm sure there's an interesting story here.

I believe that hunters from Mozambique would chase elephant into the Gorge from the top and then slaughter them en masse once they could go no further........hence the large number of bones still in evidence halfway down. I'd like to think the Elephants turned the tables on one of the hunters......hence the grave!

I'm sure you'll agree with me that the Bangu has a very strange, beautiful and almost spiritual atmosphere......everyone in our party felt it and discussed it well into the early hours of the next morning round the trail camp fire!

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Re: Bangu Gorge

Unread postby ndloti » Tue Oct 28, 2008 4:52 pm

When did you visit there , Ron ? I hope the road has been repaired since I was there in around 1994 , if I recall correctly .
This is the first time I have heard of the grave , but then I only got to see Bangu gorge once !
It seems it is a bit far or inaccessible to visit on trail , in fact I remember a posting elsewhere on the forum mentioning that access is difficult since the road was flood damaged a few years ago .
Another factor is probably that it is probably more dangerous in the gorge than on flat terrain - there is very little in the way of escape routes in the gorge should one meet up with dangerous animals .
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: Bangu Gorge

Unread postby Ronk261 » Wed Oct 29, 2008 8:00 am

Hi Ndloti, I was there in 1998 and the ranger's 4 x 4 had no problem with the road. I'm planning to go back there next year some time, and would be terribly disappointed if the Gorge was inaccessible.I'm surprised that KNP don't make this a feature of the Olifants Trail as it's a wonderful contrast to the usual trails through the bush and along the river proper.

As a matter of interest the Gorge is easily picked up on Google Earth.

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Re: Bangu Gorge

Unread postby ndloti » Mon Nov 03, 2008 1:02 pm

ndloti wrote:I will make enquiries as to whether Bangu gorge is accessible , and if they do visit it .
I will advise .


I have received confirmation from Nicol Cotsee who is one of the Olifants trails rangers that Bangu gorge is accesible and is regularly visited by trailists .
The only limiting factor is the fitness of the trail group .

I will look for those slides so as to scan and post them , to find time is just the limiting factor ...
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: The Old Gorge Restcamp near Olifants

Unread postby Hugh » Wed Feb 24, 2010 7:21 am

DB We went up there in 1970 and it was a picnic site with a view to die for. There was a bushpig scratching around in the bushes making rather a noise. Next time we were that way it had already been closed.. such a pity.
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Re: The Old Gorge Restcamp near Olifants

Unread postby ndloti » Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:51 am

Book a place on Olifants wilderness trail and you will have an even better view .
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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Gorge Picnic Spot

Unread postby Fankie » Fri Jul 29, 2011 6:13 pm

Hi everyone

I remember as a young kid visiting the Gorge picnic spot near Olifants with my folks.

Is there anybody out there who knows whether there is a particular reason why this absolutely gorgeous view is no longer available to us (as far as I remember it was closed off to tourists in the early 70's)

Any possibility of getting the powers-that-be to look into initiating a study to reopen it to us all?

Just asking .... :twisted:

Cheers
Fanki

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Re: Gorge Picnic Spot

Unread postby Imberbe » Fri Jul 29, 2011 6:29 pm

Hi Fankie

There is a thread around on that topic ... will see if I can find it.

The Gorge was actually not only a pick nick spot but also a small camp. It was closed with / around the erection of Olifants camp.

The current Olifants trails camp is now situated in that area.

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Re: Gorge Picnic Spot

Unread postby ndloti » Sat Jul 30, 2011 9:16 am

I imagine it was too remote for ease of service , being far by road from major camps and routes , though the same would apply to Hlangulene & Talamati .
The road immediately north of Bangu windmill area contains a lot of clay and became impassable after heavy rains - if I recall correctly I was told so by a veteran trails ranger - one of the reasons for Bangu being closed .
I have had actually been close to being bogged down on foot on a wilderness trail in 1987.

The area was one of those proclaimed a wilderness area - minimal human impact , better so , having spent many hours on foot in the area I can testify the area is too beautiful to be desecrated by the hordes of people one sees today .

There are a few photos of the area on this thread : viewtopic.php?f=67&t=46122&start=390
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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