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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 12:17 pm 
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Senior Virtual Ranger
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Location: southern gauteng
There is an article on this trail in the July issue of Getaway magazine

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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: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 12:59 pm 
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Making Andrew and Donovan famous!

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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 12:13 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2010 11:06 pm
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Unfortunately the magazine is not available in Germany. It would be really great if anybody would do me a big favour and send the article as pdf to me.


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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 7:28 am 
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*GS in his car... 2 wheels around the corner to fetch that latest issue.. Bumped a few peeps in the shop. My bad! Ah finally got it 2 minutes later :D *

Zappel will see what I can do this weekend :thumbs_up:

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Letaba 8 July, Shipandane 9 July, Shingwedzi 10 - 14 July :D


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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 7:32 am 
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Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 2:15 pm
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Location: Johannesburg - too far from the closest Sanpark
Zappel you can read them all online. I'll check if they've 'released' that issue yet and send you the link

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The 'mite formerly known as joshilewis

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Glen Reenen TR

15-18 June: Berg-en-dal


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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 7:57 am 
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Hey joshilewis,

If it's not too much trouble, would you be able to send me the link as well? Or even just post it here? The magazine is not available in Canada either. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 8:05 am 
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Location: Johannesburg - too far from the closest Sanpark
I feel a bit silly, I misread ndloti's post, thought I read Go! instead of Getaway. Looks like Getaway isn't available online :(

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The 'mite formerly known as joshilewis

FGASA Level 1 Guide

Glen Reenen TR

15-18 June: Berg-en-dal


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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2010 12:49 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 29, 2006 2:05 pm
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Hi everyone !

I just booked te mphongolo back pack trail starting from 3 oct!
I was a bit hesitating as it's a new trail, but after reading the first feedback I, my doubt disapeared quickly !

The only thing is, at this moment there are only 2 participants for the trail. So I hope other participants will follow quickly.
So if any of you are up for a good time with with 2 friendly, interesting and fun people from belgium :wink: and want to join us, let me know !!!!


Kind Regards,

Ruben


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 Post subject: Water availability Sept 1 Mpongolo trail departure?
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 12:26 am 
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My husband and I are booked on the Sept 1 departure. Somewhere we read it is necessary to carry 5-6 litres of water per person. We plan to bring our "First Need" water filter and supplement with iodine tablets in case it gets clogged. Since we are travelling from the US with all of our camping and backpacking gear, we hate to bring extra water vessels if it isn't necessary.

Questions:
Will there be limited to no water this time of year?
Is the water muddy or somewhat clear?
If there is water, would iodine tablets do the trick or should we pack our filter anyway?
If we need to carry all of our water from Shingdwezi, how much total water should we plan on bringing?

On another topic-fuel for our backpack stove....
We own a jet boil stove and hoped to buy fuel in Nelspruit on the way to the Kruger. Does anyone know of a store that would sell fuel that works with this brand of stove?

Also, we would love to hear from the other 6 people booked on this trip if they happen to be forumites. We are avid backpackers and are quite excited about this trail experience.

Thank You
Carson


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 Post subject: Re: Water availability Sept 1 Mpongolo trail departure?
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 8:11 am 
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The iodine tablets will be more than adequate, you don't need to bring lots of water containers from the states. if you bring your normal containers for 2l you can always just by a normal 2l bottle of water at Shingwedzi.
I would recommend always having 4 l of water with you but there will always be places were you could replenish your supply,the water can vary from crystal clear to muddy depending on where you collect. On average people drink about 4-5l per day and you would stop of at places were you can replenish at least twice a day.

Unfortunately i cant help with were you will be able to get fuel.


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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 8:51 am 
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Just completed another superb Mphongolo Trail 23-26 June.

We walked the area between Zari and Dili along the Phugeane river.
The first afternoon we camped 300m from the waterhole and found tracks of an elephant breading herd that had just visited the water before we got there, we tracked them about 400m threw the mopani before catching up to them and viewed them very close from a couple of rocks.

During the evening we heard a pride of lions approaching all the time roaring as they came closer, at sunrise one of the group members went to collect some water and was frightened by the roar of the lions now really close. After packing up camp we walked in the direction from were we heard the lions last and tracked them back to above our camp were they were obviously observing us packing, shortly afterwards we caught up with them but could not get to see them before they made of. This was one of the cases were beast waches man who is trying to watched beast.
During lunch we had a must bull elephant provide some entertainment at our siesta spot.
At camp that evening before sunset we had an elephant breading herd and a buffalo bull come to inspect our camping arrangements.

During the walk the next day we found elephant and buffalo and some general game but the climax was at our next camp were we had elephant interaction and fighting down the riverbed from us and a young elephant calve take a nap and playing with a peace of vegetation wile lying on his side in clear view from our camp.

The general consensus of the group was that it had been an exceptional wilderness experience with no noise or light pollution and not even a human track or any other sign of humans.


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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 6:10 pm 
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Trails area: Mphongolo back Packing trail.
Date: 9-12 June 2010
On the afternoon of the 9 the trail was dropped of on the klein Maswatikali and Larine Firebreak, from there we walked down to Mooigesigt dam. On route we viewed zebra, waterbuck and impala. The dam level is still high, we camped in the drainage line behind an Acacia Robusta. It was a quite night, with the francolin neglecting their duties, in waking everyone up in the morning. There was cloud cover during the evening and a slight smattering on rain in the early morning. We collected water from the dam for camp use.
The first full day we followed the Maswatikali drainage linedown to the Phukwane. Investigated the sound of White rhino grunts and squeals, and came across a cow and sub adult calf with a very amours bull attempting to court the cow, During the sighting an elephant bull came in to investigate the noise, once his curiosity was satisfied he moved of. For the entire duration of the day the air was filled with the shrill trumpet of elephant breeding herd, Obviously a cow in oestrus. We had various encounters with bulls, of Different ages and stages of Must. A 2.5m Rock python crossed our path. Breakfast was taken at Swartpiek. The Camping site selected in the dry river bed of the Phukanwe was far removed from any surface water in the river, and an old elephant digging was used to access water. During the evening 4 Different bulls passed by the camp on route ( one getting an eyeful of the ladies taking a bucket bath) to the breeding herd which had moved further down the Phukwane
The next full day was spent meandering inland up a few drainage lines, and then back onto the Phukwane back passed Swartpiek. There was plenty of sign of a breeding herd of buffalo moving through the area. Vegetation clearly starting to dry up, However we still found a secluded little oasis in one of the smaller drainage lines were a rocky intrusion had forced water to the surface, which had been visited by white rhino the night before. During the brunch break a leopard let us know he was in the area, not to far away, and after a short tracking session and a bit of luck, he burst through the bush about 30m ahead of us and was gone just as quickly. There was still a lot of sign of breeding herds and elephant bulls in the area and along the river. We camped a few km east of Phukwane oos windmill, again in the river bed. Surface water was rather smelly so we used the old elephant drinking scrapes to collect water and some indulged in a splash to clean of the days sweat.
On route back to the vehicle on the last morning, there were fresh rhino tracks, which were followed back up to Mooigesigt dam, they picked us up and moved out of the area before we could sight them.


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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 7:25 pm 
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Trails area: Mphongolo Back Packing trail.
Date: 16-19 June 2010
We were dropped of at the confluence of the Pukwane and Mphogolo, And took a slow meandering walk down the Phukwane until we found a suitable camping site, in the dry river bed. For the entire duration of the trail we never encountered any surface water in the river. There was plenty of general game at sandpiper windmill. We were forced to dig fairly deep, in order to access water in the river bed, Fortunately the elephants had done most of the “heavy Lifting” . It was a very, very cold night, and quite wrt the night sounds.
The next morning we made our way up to the hot water spring, Matiovila. On route we passed Tomlinson wind mill. Reaching Mafayeni, a little after 12 we had a long lunch at the spring in the hope that we could view “something” coming down to drink, But we were only obliged a few Pigeons. Tranquilty was the order of the day. We made our way up to Matiovila latter in the afternoon, setting up camp in the Tambuti forest. In the early evening we took a short walk around the area, and encountered one of the resident buffalo bulls who after a long stare took exception to our presence and bolted of into the undergrowth. The drainage lines leading out of Matiovila are truly exceptional, and there was a fantastic opportunity to look at track and sign. The ladies enjoyed the warmth of the spring for a bath until one of the aquatic residence crawled a little to close to home, and they all leapt nimbly from the water. Water from the spring was used, although the sulphor smell and salty taste not being appreciated as it flavored the evening meal. The night was quite except for the a lone hyena, a little warmer because of the tree canopy, the track of a buffalo bull passing close to the camp the only evidence of nocturnal visitors.
The next morning we headed back down to the Phukwane, we took breakfast under a Large baobab, with its host of inhabitants. A chameleon had a brush with death as my size 6 boot narrowly missed flattening him. And we had lunch in the river bed, were for the duration we sat in anxious anticipation to see if a Natal francolin would have enough sense to return to claim a single chick who had been left behind when we arrived and disturbed their peaceful existence. ( Ultimately we left to allow nature to take its course, so we will never know the outcome) On route to the final camp site, we encountered a small breeding herd of Ele, Basically an Old cow, and her two successive calves. From the opposite river bank we could watch them feeding comfortably and with out disturbing their evening. The last evening was the warmest of the three as mother nature provided a fleeting blanket of cloud that trapped a little of the days heat. During the night two lions indulged us with a guttural symphony, which was strongly competed with by some of the guttural exhalations of the sleeping guests.

On the last morning we headed out in the direction of the roaring lions but they had disappeared, and latter in the morning we heard what we can only assume to be them calling in the far of distance to the south. We encountered some very interesting signs were what appeared to have been to very large snakes had engaged in either foreplay or an aggressive display. There was also fresh Rhino track and sign of were a breeding herd of Buffalo had moved across the river bead in the early hours of the morning. This was the same area three days previous which had been extremely quite and without any fresh sign of large mammal activity. It just goes to show that the bush is in a constant state of flux, and you can never walk the same area twice with the same outcome.
Although the large game sightings on this trail were by most accounts “slow” the actual objective of wilderness was attained. No watches, No cell phones, and no place in particular to be, resting the senses from the constant battering they receive in the cities, reacquainting your self with the sounds, smells and feeling of our mother nature. This is what wilderness is about.


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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 7:46 pm 
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Location: Back on earth.....
LOVELY :clap: LOVELY :thumbs_up:

It's amazing to read how many encounters with cats you guys have :mrgreen: Besides the cats, the wilderness experience must be extraordinary!

After having done the Olifants... CANNOT WAIT for this one to come... :D

Keep me alive with the stories and the occasional pic 8)

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Letaba 8 July, Shipandane 9 July, Shingwedzi 10 - 14 July :D


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 Post subject: Re: Water availability Sept 1 Mpongolo trail departure?
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 11:54 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 13, 2010 3:01 am
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Thank you for the quick reply Katamboega. This is very good news indeed.

Perhaps someone else might respond to my question regarding fuel for the Jetboil stove.

Loved reading the recent trip reports. We can hardly wait to participate in this adventure!

Carson


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