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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2013 8:14 pm 
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ndloti wrote:
Brenden . are you referring to a scarcity of "genuine / purist " wilderness trailists who understand the concept of wilderness , or trailists in general ?


Trailists in general.

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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2013 8:55 pm 
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Location: southern gauteng
Possibly a seasonal trend , apprehension of getting cold while roughing it ?

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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: Sun Jun 02, 2013 11:00 pm 
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The silence of a warm winter’s morning moved us deeper. Floating in a lake of Mopane the leafy mosaic of green, yellow and orange imitate reflecting sparkles as an ancient Elephant path steers us forward like a soft breeze in a sail. Fine flakes of dried mud swivel from the brush as I cause a disturbance in passing. Beads of moisture on my skin intercept and rehydrate it once more. We have traded wet earth, pachyderm and I. None the less we remain but visitors, strangers in our old home.

Diary extract from the trail 29 May to 01 June.

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Last edited by Brenden on Tue Jun 04, 2013 8:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2013 2:23 am 
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True poetic prose, Brenden. Delightful to read. :clap: :clap: :clap: Do you have more?

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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2013 1:09 pm 
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Vibrant birdsong midst the wooded plane, church bells engaging the pilgrims. Tree colonnades hold green ceilings tall, flank Elephant path and isle. The sun’s energy through the branched windows flow to illuminate the basilica’s dome. Civilisations curse, immense inner burden, we have found a moment of peace. Blue eyed pigeons feed on yellow jackal fruit, may this Wilderness never decease.

Diary extract from the trail 29 May to 01 June.

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Last edited by Brenden on Tue Jun 04, 2013 8:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2013 1:27 pm 
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Oryx wrote:
Brenden, the most obvious reason is cost. It is becoming too expensive


Oryx, I have to agree that R 3900 for a Wilderness trail is excessive. However, I do still find the backpack trail price of R 2050 reasonable.

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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:52 pm 
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ndloti wrote:
Are you permitted to quote the actuall occupancy rate of the backpack trails ?


At this stage only 33 of the 86 Mphongolo Back Pack Trails are booked this season. Even if these going out were all full (8 pax per trail), it is a measly occupancy of 38%.

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Last edited by Brenden on Tue Jun 04, 2013 10:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2013 10:35 am 
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29 May 2013: Day 1

We followed a well used game trail from the middle firebreak access road down to the Phugwane River. It was only a stones throw away from Maribyeyobasa - 'white stones' in Tsonga referring to the resistant quarts hills of the area. Tracks of Elephant, Buffalo and Hyena litter the path as we move closer to the river's edge. We were greeted by a mass of water, I have never seen anything like it on the Phugwane before. The floods have scattered deep, dark pools along the meandering river and Hippo track have become a common pattern in the sand.

Not too far ahead on the southern bank a lone Buffalo bull seeks out green grass under shrubs and small trees. The wind was in our favour and we unloaded the backpacks to observe him for a few minutes. We managed to stay unnoticed for about 5 minutes before the wind changed direction and the black mass thundered off into the wide open spaces away from the river.

Before long we reached a sharp bend in the river, on the opposite grassy bank we could see Waterbuck and Impala peacefully going about their business. We skipped across a small watershed to the Sheshanyana spruit, a beautifully harsh stretch lay ahead as we roved through open sodic sites with intermittent pans. A branch snapped close by, but we could not find a visual of the culprit. The vegetation was rather dense and the sun not ideally situated. We could now see the grey giant moving parrallel to us, but conditions were not in our favour and it was soon time to move on. Further along, Dwarf mongoose scattered as we selected a resting point under a large Nyala Tree. It was time to drop the packs and rehydrated.

Before long we had reached the Sheshanyana confluence with the Phugwane and it was time to consider settling down for the night. As we moved around the bend two young elephants continued their playful scuffle. They moved away with time as we started pitching our perfectly located camp. Another perfect Kruger night with the stars filling the moonless sky in all their glory. We heard Hyena and Lion in the distance during that night, but managed to secure good rest for the adventure that lay ahead.

30 May 2013: Second Night

The night was still and cool. Bright stars once again provided an extraordinary atmosphere as our little fire flickers on. We will be staying here at Zari for two nights. Fireside stories had already tapered into silence and we were just about ready for bed.

We had just zipped up as the distant crackling began. It grew ever louder as the grunts and sound of breaking branches floated toward camp. It was a big herd and they were most definitely heading this way. The noise deafening, the experience intense as this large herd of Buffalo decided to come have a drink in the pool next to our camp. Thunderous grunts and heavy clicks of hooves on rocks echoed into our camp as we lay silently in our insignificant little tents. What an experience, what a rush!

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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2013 1:26 pm 
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Location: Johannesburg - too far from the closest Sanpark
I really need to make a plan to do one of the backpack trails soon.
Worrying that the occupancy rate is so low. I hope they won't be closed.

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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2013 8:32 pm 
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I am planning to do the trail on the 17th of July, are there other folk interested, seems only two trialists so far. if we do not have the 4 needed, I will have put it off for another year and this will be a disaster


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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 12:59 pm 
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Location: Johannesburg - too far from the closest Sanpark
Would love to join you, but already got plans for then (its school holidays)

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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: Wed Jun 12, 2013 3:24 pm 
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Hi there all

Have now had to change my plans and now can do the mphongolo trail on the 3rd of July. need to know do we meet at Shingwedzi or mopani to start the trail

Thank you
Shrew


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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2013 7:20 pm 
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Just got off another magical trail. Leaving again tomorrow and the departure is, at this stage, still from Mopani. I will let you know as soon as the pick-up point changes back to Shingwedzi.

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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2013 1:12 pm 
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Thank you for that Brenden , look forward to doing the trip with you.


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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 2:20 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2009 1:29 pm
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Location: Constantia Kloof, JHB
Booked 25 September!!


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