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 Post subject: Bangu Gorge
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 3:00 pm 
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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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 Post subject: Re: Bangu Gorge
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 4:20 pm 
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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 .

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 Post subject: Re: Bangu Gorge
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 9:32 pm 
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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 .


Thanks Ndloti I have just seen your post and note that I have about 5 unread new messages....so busy with the Royals here this week I will have to empty my message folder next week and download the excess ones. Getting back to the Bangu Gorge...from the description it certainly sounds correct doesnt 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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 Post subject: Re: Bangu Gorge
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 9:58 pm 
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Welcome Ronk261. Thanks for sharing! Sounds like a awesome experience.
:mrgreen: :mrgreen:
Regards, Cees 8)

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 Post subject: Re: Bangu Gorge
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 1:21 pm 
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Bangu gorge remains one of the best walking experiences and the most beautiful areas I have ever enjoyed in the KNP .

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 Post subject: Re: Bangu Gorge
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 2:58 pm 
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Hi Ddloti

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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 Post subject: Re: Bangu Gorge
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 4:52 pm 
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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 .

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 Post subject: Re: Bangu Gorge
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 8:00 am 
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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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 Post subject: Re: Bangu Gorge
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 8:21 am 
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I will make enquiries as to whether Bangu gorge is accessible , and if they do visit it .
I will advise .

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 Post subject: Re: Bangu Gorge
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 9:36 am 
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Do any of you guys have some foto's of the Gorge?

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 Post subject: Re: Bangu Gorge
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 11:00 am 
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I am sure I have slides of Bangu that I have yet to look at (can you believe it ?) that I will have scanned .

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 Post subject: Re: Bangu Gorge
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 12:06 pm 
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Thanks, Ndloti, it'll be great to see some photos of the Gorge. I did take some shots but a hard drive crash a few years ago put paid to them! I have learned the hard way to back up on a regular basis!


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 Post subject: Re: Bangu Gorge
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 1:02 pm 
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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 ...

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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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 Post subject: Re: Bangu Gorge
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 3:15 pm 
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Thanks for the effort and info Ndloti, really appreciate it. Ron King.


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