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 Post subject: Re: Morning walks - General advice
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 4:19 pm 
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Location: OLIFANTS REST CAMP (KNP)
:D Good day,

The walks from all the camps in Kruger is about 3 hours long but sometimes 3.5 to 4 hours. (That includes the drive to the walking area, the walk, the break on the walk and the drive back to the camp)

NOT TO DO:

It is recommended to wear NO bright colour clothes,

NO ALCOHOL allowed,

NOT to talk while walking (it spoils the experience, and for safety to pick up warning signs of dangerous animals in the area).

The only thing you bring back to the vehicle is your pictures and the only thing you leave in the bush is your footprints...

GENERAL RECOMMENDATIONS:

VERY IMPORTANT to understand ENGLISH,

CLOSED SHOES works better.

LONG PANTS are recommended,

HAT for if it is hot,

SNACKS are provided, but water can be brought with.

Camera and Binoculars can be taken as well.

The walks is a nice stroll through undisturbed bush, stopping talking about small things, but I would be careful to go if I am over 60 and not fit.

Hope it answers some of your questions.

p.s. please listen to the guides at all times and they will try their best to keep you safe and bring you back to the vehicle safely. (It sounds like a death trap, hey? It is not, it is lifetime experience).

Regards,

Lourens Botha from Berg en Dal- KNP. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Morning walks - General advice
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 4:50 pm 
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Location: gauteng
Lourens mentioned all the important things. I would like to add - don't be afraid to go on the walk people like Lourens will get you in one piece back to the truck :)

Really it is a great experience and nothing to be afraid off. It does help to be a little bit fit... Each walk will differ a bit. (Have been on many many walks) Our last walk was at skukuza about 3 weeks ago and according to the guide we walked about 5 km in total. We heard some lion and elephant sounds the moment we climbed out of the truck :big_eyes:

And you see all the little things that you cant see from the road and so far on every walk I learned something new about the bush. you will stop half way for something to drink and some snacks which include provita, cheese and biltong.


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 Post subject: Re: Morning walks - General advice
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 5:04 pm 
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Location: Nelspruit
Thank you all for the advice. It makes sense to me and I am looking forward to it. :lol:

DinkyBird, I don't know how did i miss that post? (Note to self: remember your glasses! :shock: )

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 Post subject: Re: Morning walks - General advice
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 5:33 pm 
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Not a prob at all! The forum is packed with info - easy to miss posts :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Morning walks - General advice
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 5:55 pm 
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I would recommend that you ask the group to be totally silent as far as talking is concerned , it helps the guide to concentrate on the possible warning sounds , and also for you to hear the undiluted sounds of nature , and this is also applicable when one stops for breaks .

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 Post subject: Re: Morning walks - General advice
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 2:29 pm 
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Yes I agree with ndloti. Also if you want to know something clap instead of using your voice to catch attention. And listen to everything the guide tells you. I recommend you take your own water, especially in the hot summer months when you need extra. Remember that you will only stop once for a snack before moving on.
If possible take a jacket, it can suddenly rain and be miserable and worries arise for the sake of your camera, take it with the water in a backpack.
Always be as silent as you can in the presence of the animals, as they can be dangerous and you could ruin the experience for others if you make them run away.
Appriciate evrything you see out there, these things are not visible from your car or in the camp most of the time.
And my biggest recomendation - DO NOT go on a walk expecting to see the big five - or any game at all, you will be disappointed most of the time. The point of the walk is to share the knowledge of the smaller things in the park, like birds and plants, as well as very useful bush knowledge.

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 Post subject: Re: Kruger morning walks - what to take
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 5:12 pm 
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Location: Hazyview
Take it from me BB, the last walk I did that way the bearers are still running and the donkey was a lions breakfast.

Play it by ear, check weather conditions, and take the basics. You will be able to leave stuff on the vehicle for just incase. Although the vervet that took my shades actually looks quite cool with them, his friends now call him "THE Dude".

No seriously though
- Good pair of walking boots(walked in of course) and good walking socks.
- Sock protectors, available from Cape Union I think. (Loads of grass seeds currently due to the good rains)
- DOOM (works best) to spray around the ankles for them pepper ticks, you dont want them going north.
- Bino's
- Camera
- Sunblock and lip balm
- Nuetral coloured clothing, hat and sunglasses
- Water bottle, although the guides normally carry a small backpack for snacks and drinks along the way
- Sense of humour
- Handheld GPS (can be fun)
- Small pocket notebook and pencil

Leave all books and other paraphenalia at the camp takes notes and verify later.

Hope this helps

Enjoy


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 Post subject: Re: Kruger morning walks - what to take
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 8:35 pm 
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People tend to dress too warm for walks, especially when it is a bit nippy!

Let me put it this way: When you drive to your destination it can become very cold especially in the winter months. So do take something warm for the drive if it is cold.

But when you get out to walk, do leave those warms clothes behind on the vehicle, except if it is really cold and the wind is really blowing. When you walk, you create a lot of heat, and within a hundred or two hundred meters people start stripping of the jackets etc. This is always noisy and cumbersome and really unnecessary. If the weather get really bad, the guide will return to the vehicle.

I prefer walking in long trousers, since it protects your legs against grasses, twigs, etc. It also gives protection against the sun! But that is purely a personal choice.

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 Post subject: Re: Kruger morning walks - what to take
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 8:58 pm 
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I have been doing lots of walks recently. Started off with too much stuff....and ended up leaving it on the vehicle or putting some things in the backpack the guides gave me to carry (here at CB they like to be free to carry the rifle only - elsewhere I have seen them carrying the 2 backpacks).

Now I put on the insect repellant and sunscreen before we go out. I take my camera and binos, and a small bottle with isotonic drink in a holder clipped to my belt. I wear a sunhat, and dark-coloured neutral clothing, including long pants with sock protectors. And that is all I need.

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 Post subject: Re: Kruger morning walks - what to take
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 11:31 pm 
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Brown, khakie, even blue and green.

The reason ... not all animals are colour blind.

Avoid white, and the colourful bright stuff.

Had a female friend walking with us in the bush once. She was wearing a red blouse. I warned her, but she said it was more burgundy ... so no worries.

Then we got in between two groups of elephant, with the one group closing in on us. She volunteered to get rid of the blouse just there! I had to stop her ... :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Kruger morning walks - what to take
Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 7:47 am 
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Location: Back home in the caravan at Malelane camp, KNP
onewithnature wrote:
Small stuff is just as important as and, frequently, as exciting as, bigger game. You've inspired me to get out there on foot. Thanks :thumbs_up:


Definitely nothing to match it!
You may see the 'big and hairys', but you also see the little things you miss when in a tin can.
The whole feeling and experience is just so different...... I am feeling incredibly privileged at the moment to be doing so many walks, and each one is different.

You do not need a first aid kit as 2 backpacks are standard equipment - one with snacks for the break and the other is a first aid kit.
Your own small water bottle is useful, but keep camera and binos out and ready - you do not want to alert animals to your presence by undoing a zip to get the camera out of its bag!
And make sure you go into the settings and switch off all sound effects too.....

Re colours - think about a black and white photo.
Even in black and white the lighter and brighter colours stand out.
That is why the darker neutrals are best - they blend into the environment giving you some camouflage.

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Have you read the gate leaflet? Do you KNOW the regulations?

Completed over 5 years in Kruger in my caravan.

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 Post subject: Re: Kruger morning walks - what to take
Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 8:07 am 
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One tends to take too much eqpt . Binocs , camera , video camera , in most cases if you try to carry them around your neck to be ready for that special sighting , the binocs strap impedes your access to your camera or vice versa .
In many cases , unless you are up in front , all you hear (not see) is the sound of the animal fleeing . Due to this , my recommendation , allthough allways mentioned in the pre-walk briefing not too often adhered to as the trailists tend to be greedy and hog the forward position for better viewing , is to make sure the people rotate very regularly , that is after 10 minutes or so , the trailist in the front - 3rd in line after the 2 guides - steps to one side that the next person gets a chance up front .

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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: Kruger morning walks - what to take
Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 8:21 am 
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ecojunkie and ndloti, great points you make.

As far as the first aid kit goes that's my personal preference - many, many years of hiking / bushwalking and I do it second nature. (I also carry a compass and map of the area wherever possible - but again, thats me :redface: ) Again, with the water, I've learnt over the years of being in some hot and horrible places always to have water. I do the walks on the same basis that I would do any time in the bush - the old scout motto of "Be Prepared".

As a follower and not a guide, I carry a compact camera on the bushwalks, not the fully blown one that I use in the car. I keep this and my binnies in my vest pockets (one of the reasons I wear it). Easy access and does'nt get in the way.

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 Post subject: Re: Kruger morning walks - what to take
Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 12:03 pm 
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Water bottles are supplied if you do not have your own.

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 Post subject: Re: do you get guided game tours in rest camps?
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 12:35 pm 
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You can also do guided walks.

Have a look at these topics, written by the guides who do the drives from the camps.

http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=67&t=25404
www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=67&t=31346
www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=67&t=27887

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