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 Post subject: Re: Trail footwear - boots or sandals?
Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 8:54 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Randburg, SA
I recently bough a pair of Hi-tec V-Lite Mach 2 and did a fair amount of hiking with them recently and was very impressed! What is very nice is that they weigh next to nothing and are completely waterproof. MM also used falke socks and had no problems!

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 Post subject: Re: Trail footwear - boots or sandals?
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 9:41 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Location: Johannesburg - too far from the closest Sanpark
TP, that can work, but I prefer to avoid them altogether
I have good memories of my mate being injected on the ORBT and its not my idea of fun.

Another technique I've used (and read about again recently) is to sterilise a needle, and thread some thread through the blister, leaving some thread hanging out.
This drains the blister and keeps it from reforming.
It worked for the back of my heels on the Otter Trail when I dried my leather boots in front of the fire and they dried in a bad shape.

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 Post subject: Re: Which wilderness trail??
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 7:35 pm 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2007 7:29 pm
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Location: Parklands Cape Town
WE have been on the Sweni and Bushmans trails and neither were at all tiring.
We are both over the 60 mark and the SO has already reached the three score years and ten.. ( they do say till 65 but have never queried his age and he is probably a lot fitter than some much younger than himself.) This year we have booked the Nyalaland trail .
The trail does not want to prove anything..
You go to admire the bush around you. and if you are birdie people you might not get too far.
Do a little "training " beforehand and do make sure your hiking shoes have been well worn in before going (dont want blisters) and now the most difficult part --choosing which trail to go on. !!!

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 Post subject: Re: Which wilderness trail??
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 8:56 am 
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Senior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2006 1:45 pm
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Location: southern gauteng
The Wolhuter , Bushmans & Nyalaland trails areas are in predominantly hilly terrain , so bear in mind if your knees are prone to being painfull , though the hills offer better viewpoints !

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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: Which wilderness trail??
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 5:17 pm 
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Location: southern gauteng
Do any one of them - each of them will offer a unique experience, the aromas, the sounds, the priviledge of being in the wilderness outside of the confines of a car, the anticipation of seeing an animal without it seeing you (though the opposite is usually the case) also knowing you will not encounter any other people besides your group (there is a small possibility of encountering field staff) the chances of getting close up to a large animal and the silence of the wilderness will possibly change your outlook of how the Kruger should be experienced ... as has happened to me, sitting on a koppie and hearing the breaking of a branch, the squealing of fighting rhinos , the curved tail if a cheetah in the distance , the roar of a lion , a black rhino in the open , too many wonderful memories to relate ...

My favourite trail remains the Metsi Metsi as I have seen some of the best on foot sightings of all the 56 trails I have walked in Kruger, though again I have seen very little on certain Metsi trails - it is very much a function of luck, of rainfall and the mystical ways of the wild ... the human factor also plays a roll, the fellow trailists can make the experience, or break it, if they do not shut up while walking or at a breakfast break it ruins my experience, this can also change the guides mood .

Nyaland , though with the lower game concentration but great beauty brings me much pleasure for various reasons , mainly that it makes me feel that I am the furthest from civilisation.
The new Napi en suite tent camp is too modern for me - the older wood & thatch camp was more to my liking and the Olifants has a wonderful view, the Sweni must not be discounted though is overrated, the Bushman & Wolhuter have their own special charms .

So , to offer the best advice , take pot luck and do each one thereafter !

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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: Rating wilderness trails!!
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 2:08 pm 
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Out of a wilderness perspective, they are as follow.

Mphongolo back pack trail 12/10

Olifants river back pack trail 9/10

Nyalaland 8.5/10

Olifants 8/10

Metsi Metsi 7/10

Sweni, Wolhuter, Napi, Bushman 6/10

All of the trails are excellent and compared with anything else in the market of similar fashion, they are incomparable.


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 Post subject: Max age for Wilderness Trails
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2011 10:15 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2005 8:45 pm
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we have booked out the entire wolhuter trail for later in the year. how strictly is the max age limit of 65 enforced? we have two 72 year olds who would like to partake in this trail. both are very fit (one climbed mount kenya earlier in the year). as we have the whole trail, would they be allowed to participate? any ideas on whom i can contact for an official response?


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 Post subject: Re: max age for wilderness trails
Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 8:28 am 
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Senior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2006 1:45 pm
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Location: southern gauteng
When there is a group booking the entire trail Sanparks is more lenient regarding the age limit .
I have walked in KNP with fitter 70 yr olds than 20 yr olds !

I have heard that a medical doctors certificate is required for those participants above the max advertised age .

Contact Bridget Bagley at Sanparks head office - direct tel no 012 426 5111 or 012 428 9111

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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: max age for wilderness trails
Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 10:26 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2005 8:45 pm
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ndloti

thank you very much. I emailed Bridget and got a reply back within seconds, what great service! the over 70s'just need to bring a doctors fitness letter along to attach to the indemnity and they are allowed to walk. great news, Wolhuter here we come!!!


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 Post subject: DSLR: Too much noise on Wilderness Trail?
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 9:02 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 9:19 pm
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Hi everyone,

in a view weeks we will walk on a Wilderness Trail in KNP and I am afraid to chase away the animals with the shutter noise of my DSLR. I got an superzoom camera as well, which is much less noisy.

Any recommendations which camera to take?


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 Post subject: Re: DSLR: Too much noise on Wilderness Trail?
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 9:34 am 
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Senior Virtual Ranger
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Location: southern gauteng
When on Wilderness trails it is adviseable to check with the trails ranger first before photographing potentially dangerous animals , particularly if they are unaware of your presence , as the camera shutter noise may cause certain animals such as rhino to approach the source in order to investigate . Rhino for instance have relatively poor eyesight , which may result in the animal either charging / fleeing directly towards the trailists .
A shutter noise may result in the animal being viewed becoming aware of you and fleeing .

Animal sightings tend to be very brief so photographic opportunities are limited , thus in my opinion a superzoom (I assume you are referring to a fixed lens non DSLR) which has a false thus muteable shutter sound will suffice .
In many cases , particularly in the next 2 - 3 months while it is extremely dusty , your DSLR will become covered in the dust kicked up by fellow trailists , so if this is a factor which worries you , I would recommend you rather leave your DSLR in camp .

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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: DSLR: Too much noise on Wilderness Trail?
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 9:59 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:32 pm
Posts: 35
Location: The Netherlands
Hi Bessi,

A warm welcome to the forum.
I have been on 6 trails so far and only once I have been in a situation where I decided not to take photos, though the ranger had allowed us to do so;
We stumbled upon 2 black rhino's! The ranger led us to a big tree that was fallen down from where we were allowed to take some photos. I took two photos. :cam: To me the sound of my camera seemed deafening and each time I took the photo, mother rhino looked straight at me! :shock: I thought better to be safe than sorry.
Most times though time is limited and the animals are too far to hear your camera. I find a macro lens to be very handy, because you will have a close look at insects, spiders, flowers etc. which you will not have when you are in a car. And they do not seem to be bother by sounds of the camera. :lol:
Enjoy your trail!!!


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 Post subject: Re: DSLR: Too much noise on Wilderness Trail?
Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 7:43 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2009 12:21 pm
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Location: Centurion
Hi Bessi-F

Most modern cameras have a "silent" mode which is ideal for photographing birds or animals at close range without disturbing them to much. Check your camera's operating manual for further info. Happy snapping!

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 Post subject: Re: Wilderness trails
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 1:24 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:31 pm
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Location: Ballito, KZN North Coast, South Africa
Hi,

I am sure you will get lots of direct replies but have you had a look Olifants Trail

and Sweni Trail for lots of individual opinions and reports.

also Here

Enjoy which ever one you choose. :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Wilderness trails
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 2:26 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:32 pm
Posts: 35
Location: The Netherlands
Every Wilderness Trail is a great experience. Sweni is the most popular trail because it is close to the savanna of Satara and therefor you can have great sightings. What I liked best of the Sweni is the view from the camp; there is a waterhole in front of the lapa where you can see game coming for a drink. Especially in May when it is drier, you will see game there but it makes it harder to make up for some well needed sleep in the afternoon.
We also did one afternoon walk next to the S100! Though we did not see any cats, it was a real treat to walk near this 'famous' road.
The Olifants camp is situated higher with the possibility to look out over the Olifants river, but because it is higher it is harder to spot game near the river. An afternoon walk with a sundowner along the Olifants river is a true special experience.
The landscape during the walks has more variety than that of the Sweni so I liked that better.
Olifants camp has new huts too. (At least I suspect that they are all finished now.)

To me a Wilderness Trail is about being in the bush with just a small group of people with just the basics at hand. To wake up and go to bed with just the sounds of the bush, walk through nature and being able to smell and touch it. Every animal you see, is just a bonus and not the main attraction. Then a shower while you can peep through the 'wall' to the bush, and sitting around the fire. Delicious food (and not having to cook yourself). And having a basic breakfast in the middle of the bush; what can top that?
Both Trails will provide in that fully.

I will try to post some photos this evening.


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