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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:57 am 
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Just completed two Mphongolo Trails.

It was awesome,good rains have fallen in the area and it is beautiful. The Pugwane and the Mphongolo rivers were flowing and there was lots of water in the pans.

Along the Mphongolo river we found the carcass of a big Hippo bull that was killed in a fight with another bull, crocodiles were feeding on it out of the water. Black rhino tracks at Mahlahluvane waterhole.lions roared one night and hyena calling most nights.

Found elephant breeding herds, elephant bulls, buffalo bulls and tracked ten lion successfully. The lions we eventually found sleeping in the Pugwane river, very nice sighting. Tracked leopard female but she got wind of us and headed for the hills before we could get to see her. We also found plenty of general game and the scenery is beautiful as usual, new trees distribution for the area was also recorded.

The trail an excellent wilderness experience and you feel like a new person after such an experience.


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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 9:08 am 
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Eich :mrgreen:

Do you at times sleep at the same spot for more than one night or do you change positions every night?

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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 9:40 am 
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1 MAY IM BOOKING FOR APRIL 2011!!! Katamboega pls tell Donavan and Julie I'll email them shortly. I believe I saw you at Shingwedzi aswell ?? Sunday (4 April)..

I'm SOO EAGER to go! :mrgreen: :thumbs_up:

And tnx for reporting back to us :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 9:44 am 
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On some trails we don't move camp, but it really depends on how you feel.
the last two trails we camped on a different spot each night but we were at our camping spots around eleven each morning and settled in and went for walks without the pack in the afternoon. Time is of no importance and the distance that you walk is dictated around what you find or are able to track down.


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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 9:45 am 
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Location: Johannesburg - too far from the closest Sanpark
Katamboega wrote:
Time is of no importance and the distance that you walk is dictated around what you find or are able to track down.

Awesome.
How far apart are the drop-off and pick-up points? Do these change?

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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 9:49 am 
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You can get dropped of or picked up at the same spot or if your trails ranger decides you can get picked up at a different point.


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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 9:52 am 
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Great. So flexibility is the name of the game.
I assume you bathed in the rivers since they were flowing? Where do you bathe if they're not?

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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:20 am 
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Does this not whet somebody's appetite to join us? We still have one space available from 1st May (17 Days!!!)

?Ndloti
?Gamespotter

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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:23 am 
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Eugene123 wrote:
Does this not whet somebody's appetite to join us? We still have one space available from 1st May (17 Days!!!)
Talk to my boss about it?

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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:28 am 
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(A long sigh.... )
Seems I can't , was on a special trip 2 weeks ago , another coming up early June , work intervenes again ... if only I didn't go to KNP 5 times last year , but I can't keep away from KNP for more than 2 months or so ....

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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: Thu Apr 15, 2010 12:34 pm 
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Location: OLIFANTS REST CAMP (KNP)
:D Greetings,

Katamboega asked me to post some Mphongolo Backpack Trail photos.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Enjoy... :D

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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 12:43 pm 
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Heaven ...

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Want to know more about the SANParks Honorary Rangers? Visit www.sanparkshr.org


One positive deed is worth more than a thousand critical words.


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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 12:57 pm 
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More , please Lourens !

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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: Thu Apr 15, 2010 2:09 pm 
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ndloti wrote:
(A long sigh.... )
Seems I can't , was on a special trip 2 weeks ago , another coming up early June , work intervenes again ... if only I didn't go to KNP 5 times last year , but I can't keep away from KNP for more than 2 months or so ....


Complaining or bragging ndloti? :D

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[b]Unforgettable Adventures and Memories . . . . Metsi Metsi - March 2011[/b]
[url]http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?style=2&f=27&t=51559[/url]

27.12 - 31.12 (Shingwedzi)
01.01 (Tamboti)
02.01 - 03.01 (L.Sabie)
04.01 - 08.01 (Pretoriuskop)


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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:13 am 
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Quick Review: Mphongolo Backpack Wilderness Trail, Kruger National Park

The Mphongolo Wilderness Trail is the newest adventure activity offered by the Kruger National Park and it is one of the greatest trekking wilderness experiences I have ever had. It is a unique 3 night and 3 day trail which has no route and no daily schedule. You the guest determine how far, for how long, and how much of this 900 km2 area you want to explore. You carry all your food and equipment with you, collecting water on the way and camping out every night. You are escorted by highly trained and skilled Wilderness Trails Rangers, who not only provide you with protection but teach you to enjoy this unique area by interpreting the signs, sounds and interactions of the different fauna and flora.

Our wilderness rangers, Robbie, and Julie, interpreted all aspects of the bush from tracks to insects to wild flowers, making it an interesting and rewarding experience every time we ventured out on foot. They offered tips on how to collect water by digging for it, explained how to use flint to make fire, pointed out edible fruit, demonstrated how to use trees for survival (to make rope etc) and built shelters to protect us from the rain. Their knowledge of the area, not only its natural phenomena but the historical aspects of the area was astounding. If anything, you should just do this trail to learn about the bush from some of the most skilled and knowledgably guides in the industry.

The greatest aspect of this trail is that you don’t need to finish as there is no end point, making for easy hiking. You may choose to Camp up in one spot for the 3 nights and explore the local area, or hike with backpacks in the morning, setup Camp at lunch and then explore without packs in the afternoon, or you could go the full hog, and trek everyday with packs on exploring as much as you can! This makes it accessible to all, our group included a 62 year old Maths teacher, who according to her own admissions was not fit, but she never struggled and loved every second of it.

The wildlife is abundant but due to the remoteness of the area, rather skittish. Nevertheless, by utilising the weather conditions and vegetation, we were able to approach a wide variety of game and had some fantastic sightings. We came across Impala, Giraffe, Waterbuck, Nyala, Zebra, Kudu, Warthog, Steenbok as well as other little critters like Banded and Dwarf Mongoose. And yes, we also found the Big stuff too, with awesome sightings of Elephant and Buffalo, while we spent time tracking and finding (!!) Lion on foot, a pride of 10!!! The area also boasts White Rhino, Roan and Sable Antelope, Eland, Cheetah, while signs of leopard were everywhere. Bird life is prolific (especially since most of the summer visitors are still here), and we must have sighted over a 100 birds without actually trying.

The atmosphere is unbelievable; it is so quite with no man-made noises. This even troubled some of the guests who actually struggled to sleep the first night. The stars in the night sky are fantastic unaffected by unnatural light, with clear views of Orion, Taurus (only briefly), Leo, Centauries, the Southern Cross, Canis Major and Canis Minor easily visible.

We lay on our backs watching satellites float by while listening to Hyeanas call out into the night! We had no watches, and determined our activities according to our bodies, we woke up to Francolin calling in the morning, ate when we were hungry and went to bed when we were tired, we forgot about daily routines and work schedules. We swam in hot springs (a first for me in Kruger), and bathed in fast flowing rivers. On the final day we all felt in sync with our environment, and incredibly revitalised.

I would suggest this trail to anyone who is keen on a completely different wildlife experience. It goes far beyond the standard safari, and you will gain far more out of the 3 days on foot in the wilderness, than you will doing a standard vehicle safari to Kruger.


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