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 Post subject: Mountain Bike Trails at Olifants Camp
Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 12:27 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 15, 2007 4:34 pm
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Location: OLIFANTS REST CAMP (KNP)
Good day Forumites,

All I can say today, is I can be very thankful that I am still here.
Yesterday morning John and I got so close to our death it is not funny, it was the closest encounter that we got to, to be killed on our own activity.

Friday afternoon I went through to Olifants to assist with the Mountain Bike Trail of yesterday morning.

Yesterday (Saturday) morning came and we loaded the 6 guests bikes and off we went to the starting point. John gave the briefing and we started cycling.
After a few kilometres we got Impalas and went down to the River and back on the bikes continue cycling when I heard Oxpeckers and saw the animal between the dense Mopane Trees.
I jumped off my bike, went around the bush and there was a very badly injured Hippo.
John joined me and as John arrived next to me the Hippo opened his mouth and we got the guests out of the way.
Luckily the Hippo couldn't see us clearly and he turned towards the River.

We were still all full of the adrenalin rush and busy cycling, when we just heard something RIGHT NEXT to us!!!! As John and myself turned our heads to the noise all we could see was a Hippo head...

There was nothing, I am telling you, nothing we could do!!!!!!
Our guardian Angel definitely protected us and the guests from being killed yesterday.
Luckily the Hippo came for John and me and John just shouted Go! Go! Go! Go!
Those 2 bikes of ours never went so fast in their lifetime!!!

As we looked back we just saw this big beast coming after us!!!
His mouth open and shaking his head side to side and we JUST, telling you, JUST got out of his jaws.
He luckily then turned to the River and we could just hear Mopane Trees bashing down to the ground.

Everything happened soooooooooo quickly and am very grateful we survived this unpleasant experience.

The guests were shaking, we were shocked and this thing is still playing off in my mind.

We then had our break where we walked down to the River to enjoy the lovely view over a Hippo pool and can't believe 1 of their specimens almost killed us a few minutes ago.

Luckily we made our way back to the vehicle without dirtying our pants.

Ai ai ai ai ai, 2 seconds of my worst real nightmare!!!! :shock: :shock: :shock:

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 Post subject: Re: Phalaborwa Gate Sightings
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2009 1:41 pm 
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Location: OLIFANTS REST CAMP (KNP)
:D Hi everyone,

The question about the injured Hippo, that was not the 1 that gave us such a big shock. That injuries were definitely caused by another Hippo bull. That particular Hippo was to sore to run at us and when he couldn't see us anymore, because of the dense Mopanies he decided to move down to the river.

The Hippo that attacked us, was surprised by us. He was sleeping under a thick Mopanie bush and we didn't see it as we were cycling and he didn't hear us coming, because through previous experiences they sleep very deep when they do sleep. So the attack was more a defense meganism against us that surprised him.

Hope it is well explained now... :D

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 Post subject: Re: Olifants Rest Camp
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 12:36 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 2:15 pm
Posts: 1904
Location: Johannesburg - too far from the closest Sanpark
I'm yet to write my TR (came back on Saturday) but will cover the mountain bike activity when I get round to it.

goafrica wrote:
The bikes have been replaced and they have 12 new raleigh mountain bikes.


We had some issues with the bikes on our trail. I've filled in the feedback form and would rather wait for a response from Sanparks (should one be forthcoming) before I write about it in the forums.

goafrica wrote:
John said that they do struggle to get enough guns for all the activities at Olifants, and that is why sometimes its difficult to book. They like a minimum of 6, but it depends what the demand for other activities is.


We booked for 3 people, but one had to pull out because he got ill.

goafrica wrote:
Also it seems people may be less than honest about their abilities and may not come properly equipped. Its an activity for the fit, and high heeled shoes wont wash. ( On a game walk at Satara a girl actually had heels on!)



The activity does require a reasonable level of fitness, fortunately both my friend and I are cyclists, and we'd just completed the backpack trail.

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The 'mite formerly known as joshilewis

FGASA Level 1 Guide

Glen Reenen TR

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 Post subject: Re: Olifants Rest Camp
Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2009 11:38 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2009 3:51 pm
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Location: UK
Hi

My SO and 2 friends went on the cycle trail. The ranger will assess you for the level of the cycling. Although it says you can book the different levels actually it doesnt seem to work like that............mainly because just like with walks, people will say they have done Kilimanjaro, and then turn up in high heels!

All three of them had different cycling experiences, my SO cycles in town every day, one friend is a pretty serious cyclist, and the other is not much of a cyclist, but very very fit. They are all half marathon/marathon runners, so pretty fit people. The ranger took them on the route that suited the least experienced among them. However what our group were looking for was a bush experience and not demanding cycling. I'd say cycling 20 k regularly would be absolutely fine for this level. :thumbs_up: Having said this , my SO really enjoys morning walks.....and they are a lot cheaper.

They went in August when it was pretty cool, but the trip leaves at 5.15 am and they were back by 10am, so it wouldnt be hot. I will try and upload some photos, but obviously they wont be action shots as they were cycling!

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 Post subject: Re: Olifants Rest Camp
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 11:03 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
I still need to complete my TR, which will have some info on the mountain bike trail.

You should be fine fitness-wise. Off-roading is quite different from road cycling (I do both) but you should be able to adapt without too much trouble. My friend and I had just done the Olifants River Backpack Trail, which the guide knew, so I'm not sure which trail we did (easy, hard etc). I didn't find it strenuous (though my legs weren't so used to cycling). The pace we cycled at was pretty laid back.

The weather one can't predict, but its timed so that its during the cooler parts of the day.

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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: Olifants Rest Camp
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 11:55 pm 
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Location: Johannesburg - too far from the closest Sanpark
Floppi wrote:
I enjoy cycling on forest paths, but not going offroad downhill in the Alpes. Thanks to you I think I can manage it. :dance:

It's a pleasure. You cycle either on dirt roads or game (hippo) trails, so it shouldn't be too different from forest paths. Maybe we didn't make this clear before?

Good luck and I'm sure you'll enjoy it

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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: Recommended MTB trail at Olifants ?
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 3:33 pm 
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freeclimb-64 wrote:
Hi @ all,

can anyone recommend the one or the other MTB-Trail at Olifants?
Morning or afternoon, long&easy, short&strenous?

Afternoon, and long and easy
Why work too hard on your holiday? :)

Without having done the morning trail, I've heard that the afternoon trail is better value

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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: Recommended MTB trail at Olifants ?
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 3:38 am 
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Location: Germany / Mayence
Hi @ all,

we did the mornig trail - extremely good decision! :dance:

As experienced MT-bikers - no sweat at all. :dance:
...but have a look at the two guides... :redface: uhhhh.... :whistle:

Anyway - it was a big, a great, a unique experience.
Just only 4 people: 2 Guides, my girlfriend and me. 8)
Around 18 k´s upstream, starting from a place near the H1-5
at (-24.013002° / 31.650885°).
It took us 2,5 hours riding & hiking.
Additional transport to & from the start.
Be prepared for a 2,5 to 3 hours MTB trail in extreme environment.
25°C (early morning in december) up to 35°C at 7:30 (december).
Carry water (approx. 3 liters) and some nutrition.
Special MTB-shoes are not needed, helmet would be nice,
gel-gloves reasonable, biking-pants necessary (no full suspension bikes).

Kind regards,

Achim.

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3.-15.12. 09: Berg, Lower, Sat, 2x Oli, Mop, Let, Tam, Skuk, 2x Pretorius, Berg.
6.-14.10. 10 Berg-en-Dal, Lower Sabie, Satara, Olifants, Letaba, Talamati, Skukuza, Berg en Dal.
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 Post subject: Re: Recommended MTB trail at Olifants ?
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 1:27 pm 
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I am aware that bicycle riding is banned in the camps. But does anyone know if one would be allowed to bring along your own bike and take part in the MTB trail at Olifants?

Your input would be appreciated.

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 Post subject: Re: Recommended MTB trail at Olifants ?
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 10:06 am 
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You may bring your own trailworthy cycle .

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 Post subject: Safari on mountain bike
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 8:45 am 
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Does anybody know about game rides on mountain bikes in Kruger along the Olifants river. The rides only start from the Olifants camp and are guided by Lourens Botha.

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 Post subject: Re: Safari on mountain bike
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 9:13 am 
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I've done one Micetta.
I didn't post too much information on it, except for some complaints and suggestions in the appropriate forum. I don't think I'd do it again to be honest (but worth doing once).
In the future I'd probably spend my money on a morning walk instead.

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 Post subject: Re: Safari on mountain bike
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 7:56 pm 
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We did it and LOVED it! I had not been on a bike in years and years, but luckily there was only one other person (besides my SO) and he didn't care if we went a bit slow. Ok...VERY slow. :redface: It was amazing being in the bush on a bike. We sat out on some rocks along the river and watched the hippos. It is one of those Kruger experiences that I will never ever forget. My goodness, where else do you have a chance to ride a bike in the bush?!!!
I would do it again if I could round up a group of 6 old, chubby, out-of-shape folks so that I wouldn't feel I was holding back the group. Same for the Wilderness walk that we did...I was the oldest, fattest and most out of shape and I huffed and puffed a bit. Ahhhh well.

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Nov 10 - 14 Satara
Nov 15 - 19 Letaba
Nov 20 - 24 Shingwedzi
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Nov 27 - 30 Olifants
Dec 1 - 5 Lower Sabie
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 Post subject: Re: Safari on mountain bike
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 9:24 pm 
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I have done both the morning one to the Olifants/letaba confluence and the easy one along the olifants in the afternoon.
Although the morning one is more expensive, I would recommend that one, and also the more strenuous one to the confluence.
The river route is not as interesting as it just goes through monotonous mopani !
Having said that , the confluence one is a bit lot more strenuous and technical , so only do that if you are a bit skilled at mountain biking!
You don't generally see much game.
On the river route (out and back) we discovered that a leopard and cub, a huge herd of elephants and several buffs had passed over the road behind us as we rode out! (only saw the tracks on the way back)
Also a mystery francolin wing had fallen onto the road!
Unfortunately the bikes are not very good (referred to as "Farm Gates" in MTB circles) and maintenance is an issue, at least when I last did it.
I would definitely try it, maybe not as peaceful as a walk , but what fun !

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 Post subject: Re: MTB (Mountain Bike) Rides
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2010 1:43 am 
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Location: Germany / Mayence
ashmull wrote:
I'm impressed that you were able to reserve from Germany. I have called from California at least half a dozen times and sent maybe a dozen emails.
....


Hi asmull,

that´s a question of trust... :wink:

No one can reserve before 3 days or more.
The reservationsystem additionally will tell the attendants & requesters,
that there is "fully booked" - but it isn´t. :dance:
That only means - booking will be done on arrival, directly to Olifants.
That needs some activity on arrival in Kruger.
The attendants on any reception desk in the park will help - sometimes it will need a bit of ... negotiation. :whistle:

We´ve done it last sunday morning (10. october 2010) in a party of 5 + 2 guides.
Pictures will follow soon.

Take care,
freeclimb-64

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21.-25.4. 09: Berg, Sat, Oli, Shing, Punda.
3.-15.12. 09: Berg, Lower, Sat, 2x Oli, Mop, Let, Tam, Skuk, 2x Pretorius, Berg.
6.-14.10. 10 Berg-en-Dal, Lower Sabie, Satara, Olifants, Letaba, Talamati, Skukuza, Berg en Dal.
dec 2010: Transfrontier


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