Some trail report of the trial runs we did last year.
Date: 03 – 06 October 2010
Rangers; Lourens Botha 1st rifle, Metwell Mkansi 2nd Rifle
Guests: 1 Couple from Belgium(Ruben and Grietjie)
Arrived at Shingwedzi to meet guests around 11:00, met guests 11:30 and left camp for the drop off point next to the Letaba River low water bridge. We started walking around 14:30 on the Northern Sandbank and it was a hot day. We camped next to the Letaba River (S23.75133°/ E031.40757°) and allowed the guys to wash and cool down around 16:30.
While sitting around the fire a Buffalo Bull and huge male Leopard came to investigate around our campsite. There were no incidents, they moved away from us, without any hesitations. We heard Spotted Hyeana and Elephant during the evening.
Sightings: Waterbuck, Steenbok, Impala, Crocodiles, Hippo’s, Buffalo Bulls, Elephant Cow Carcass, which Julie Wolhuter reported before and Leopard at camping site.
We broke camp and started walking 06:00. We walked passed the Exclosures during our cloudy weather and had breakfast at the Letaba River (S23.75533°/ E031.44583°). After breakfast we proceeded to our 2nd night’s camping site below some Matumi Trees next to the River (S23.74807°/ E031.47845°). We put up camp and went for an Afternoon Walk towards Mingerhout Dam and back. During the evening heard some Lions, Spotted Hyeana and Elephants calling.
Sightings: Waterbuck, Giraffe Bull, Elephant breeding herd, Impala and Buffalo Bulls.
Broke camp early again, overcast and cool and walked to our 3rd nights camping site which was next to the Tsendze River (S23.72342°/ E031.50089°). We put up camp and had breakfast and went for a long Afternoon Walk. Came back and dug a hole in the sand to refresh ourselves. During the evening we again heard some Lions, Spotted Hyeana and Elephants calling.
Sightings: Waterbuck, Giraffe Bulls and Cows, 4 Buffalo Bulls, 2 Hippo’s, Elephant breeding herd, Zebras and Impala.
The camping site was close to the pick up point so we slept in a bit and after breakfast walked up to the pick up point where Robert Bryden picked us up. We found fresh Black Rhino spoor and dung.
Guests had a great time, the first day’s heat was hard for them, but after that they enjoyed it alot.
Metwell was very enjoyable on the trail.
End of report.
Trail Date: 26-29 September 2010 Trail Leader: Julie Wolhuter Trail Assistant: Hans Enslin
Day 1 26-9-2010
Weather Sunny and hot
Route Drop of at Lonely Bull, at 15h30 set up campat 17hoo
Sightings Plenty Buffalo bulls in the reeds. Lots of Plains game
Camp Camped in large bend in river bed on southern side of river 2km from Lonely bull.
Day 2 27-9-.2010
Route Headed South inland from River, lovely walk, Returned to same camp site. About 8km round trip
Siesta 12h00to 15h00 next to river.
Sightings Numerous Elephant and some Buffalo bulls.
Camp 2 hippo bulls in inland drainage . Plenty planins game , hyena and Porcupine in termit mound. Found old elephant cow carcus, with single tusk ( Reported) siesta along the river, watched breeding herd of buffalo come down and drink, followed buy big breeding herd of ele.
Remarks Wind began to pump at about 15h00. No chance of a fire. Guest spent most evening in their Tents
Day 3 28-9-.2010
Weather Overcast & windy
Route Crossed river and head north inland, along highways of hippo foot paths, about 12 km Round trip
Sightings Lots of fresh white rhino sign and very fresh black rhino scraping. Tracked buffalo bulls.. Not .
Camp Same as first night
Day 4 29-9-.2010
Weather Partly cloudy
Route Northern bank of river back to low water bridge
Sightings Elephant breading herds, Buffalo bulls and breeding herd, Impala, Water Buck, Steenbok & Kudu. Dead elephant in river just before Lonely bull ( reported)