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 Post subject: Re: max age for wilderness trails
Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 3:36 pm 
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True! :thumbs_up: I have a patient who is over 70 and he often walks these trails. He is very fit! I just need to give him a medical certificate every time - and off he goes.

The best part for me is always catching up afterwards and getting to hear about all his sightings... After I consulted with him (which entails long stories about KNP, birds and photography) - I'm always behind schedule... :redface:


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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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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
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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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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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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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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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 Post subject: Re: Wilderness trails
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 2:33 pm 
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To give sound advice places one in a bit of a dilemma ...

Generally Sweni offers better game viewing as the Olifants area is fairly rocky and thus there is less grazing available and less plains game , whereas Sweni is on the plains with much general game - though the amount of rainfall in a particular area during the last season may just result in the opposite being true ...
The Olifants camp setting & scenery is in my opinion slightly better than Sweni .

As Merel states it is more about the wilderness experience , one should regard the scenery and game viewing as a bonus , I have experienced that one may see game regularly on one day , the next day the game seemed to have disappeared from the same general area .

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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: Wilderness trails
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 8:00 pm 
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Location: The Netherlands
Here some photos as promised.

View from Sweni.

Image

A close up from a Sweni view.

Image

View from Olifants

Image

Afternoon walk along the Olifants River with our ranger Nicol

Image


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 Post subject: Kruger Park Video/Wilderness Trails
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 2:57 am 
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Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2010 10:58 pm
Posts: 11
Dear KNP Lovers,

My wife and I were able to get a lot of information from this site before visiting Kruger Park this past spring/summer.
So I figured I should create and post a short YouTube video to share with others on the San Parks forum.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIfxQaLe4qY

We were in Kruger for about one month and were able to participate in six of the wilderness trails.
We started on the Wolhuter Trail on June 1st and then did the Metsi Metsi Trail, Sweni Trail and two back-to-back trips on the new Mphongolo Backpacking Trail, which was fantastic!
We finished things off with a trip on the Nyalaland Trail near the end of June.

Thanks to our amazing guides and all the fantastic staff at Kruger for making this such a memorable trip.
We will be back!


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 Post subject: Re: Kruger Park Video
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 9:56 pm 
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Fantastic video clip of an amazing trip by all accounts. :clap:
Thanks for sharing. :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Wilderness Trails Advice
Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2011 9:07 am 
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Location: southern gauteng
Have a look here - there is more trail specific info further down the page :

viewtopic.php?f=133&t=281

http://www.sanparks.org/tourism/activities/

a) Heat - a facecloth kept wet and applied to the neck works for me . Sprinkle water on the sheets .
b) There is a gas fridge for cooldrinks . Providing fellow trailists are considerate there is sufficient space for at least 2 - 340 ml six packs per person . There is allways a large cooler box full of ice provided .
c) Poachers will avoid any activity , there is little chance of encounters . Besides that poaching is not that prevalent (yet) .

Olifants has the most scenic setting of all the trails . Any questions are welcome .

_________________
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: Sweni or Nyalaland trail.
Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 9:12 am 
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Briefly , mammal sightings are much more frequent on Sweni as it is situated on the grass plains , Nyalaland covers a more rocky mopani veld .

_________________
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: Sweni or Nyalaland trail.
Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 9:27 am 
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If you want to see lions and lots of other animals do the Sweni trail. I will never forget the night when we were caught in the middle of a huge pride of lions roaring all night around the camp. The cook had to throw pots and pans at 2 females who were hellbent on getting into the camp! You open your door of you A-frame hut and you could smell the damp cat scent all around. It was awesome! :D :D

Nyalaland is best for scenery and birds.

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 Post subject: Which wilderness trail?
Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 11:22 am 
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Location: Pretoria
My pal and I are basically and intrinsically lazy - so self-drive holidays in the park usually suit perfectly (next trip only 4 months away :dance: ). We are also at the lower end of the fitness scale. Although we love to go (and often go) on short 6 to 10 km day hikes, we've never done an "overnighter" with heavy gear to carry etc.

However, a fitness freak colleague has convinced me that I have not experienced the KNP until I have walked around in it...

I notice the wilderness trails in KNP are all several days long. So advice please:
Which one is not necessarily the most scenic, don't necessarily have the most animal traffic, BUT is the easiest (flat terrain in other words), and offer the most shade in the form of large shade trees (coolest in other words) of all the hiking trails (I mean wilderness trails) in the park? :redface: ... First time we don't want to push our luck... :redface: And when is the best time of the year to go - Winter I suppose?

:lol:


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