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Forum Olifants River Back-pack Trail

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BunnyHugger
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Unread postby BunnyHugger » Tue Apr 08, 2008 10:20 pm

Ok P@m.

From Left to right in top pic. (GS will have to help out on his sisters name.)

G@mespotters Sister.
G@mespotter = Monne
Pieter22 = Pieter
Ndloti = Andrew
Meandering Mouse = Wendy
Yours truly = Russell, the dorky looking one. (Chickened out on the yellow T shirt).
My SO (In green top) = Rene.

Edit: WTM welched out on us. CHICKEN. (Perhaps his parole officer would not let him out.) :lol:
Bunny Hugger

Conservation is not an option.
It's imperative.

Leave KNP alone. Go build a hotel someplace else. Reserves are for the preservation of wildlife.

Think Pink. ..

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Riverrat
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Unread postby Riverrat » Wed May 14, 2008 2:26 pm

Thanks for the welcome folks... I've been watching the SAN parks forum for a while, but I'm pretty VERY new to posting here. I don't spend too much time online, but I'll keep an eye on this thread.

(I'm pretty involved in the Think Bike campaign and forum as well , but don't post there too often either, unless it is something objective and new.)

I did the Metsi Metsi trail last November, and am booked again this year, and I really also enjoy the 4x4 Adventure trails too (Love Mananga in particular.)

Back in 1983 I did the Olifants Wilderness Trail with the famous Tom Yssel (he who fed the crocodile his leg to save a friend) and he took us down soome very unexplored areas of the Bangu River valley. It was an special event among several trails I've done. That part of the park is quite rocky and hilly, but very special all the same.... I've longed for years to return to the area.

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Riverrat
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Unread postby Riverrat » Fri May 23, 2008 8:16 pm

Kewl.... I'm paid and rarin' to go!
I see the temps are not too cold in April.....
See here.

"Due South" have a very compact and light sleeping bag rated > 7 degrees called "Sulawesi' for R225...it's looking very tempting.

I've got this bee in my bonnet that if I'm gonna get fit and buy new kit for this walk, I might as well also do a few others as well.... my sister is talking about a stroll up to Everest Base Camp in the Himalayas. Apparently the end spot is a garbage dump of cylinders and scrapped tents, but the route via Kala Patar is rather appealing.....anybody been there? (Of course the "Sulawesi" bag and khaki shorts won't be part of the kit.

Long url neatened by restio

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ndloti
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Unread postby ndloti » Tue May 27, 2008 11:00 am

PM "maussie" to make enquiries from someone who has done it , I think he may have plotted the route on GPS . If you do not get a reply I will ask him via email , if you do , please let us all know about how to look up the route . I have many photos that he sent me which I can forward via email to those interested .
There is also info on the forum under Kruger National Park , thread "Olifants Back packing trail" .
I understand they use different camping sites depending on where last they camped , the presence of dangerous animals and the mood . A small fire is allowed at night , according to the pdf info file available on the web , only for "social , safety & aesthetic" reasons .
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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Ferdelance
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2009 Trip

Unread postby Ferdelance » Tue Jul 29, 2008 6:52 pm

Hi G@mespotter and everyone on this thread.

I guess it's to late for me to join the road trip, right? Man what a pity...... :cry: Would have been awsome!

I only started reading the thread today, but does anyone know of someone else that is doing somthing similar next year? I also want to do the 4 day KNP hike! :D

We were in the park in June for 10 days: CB,Letaba, BenD. Brilliant!
Stiffneck on the loose.....
Latest Lifer:= Lesser Crested Tern; Rufous Winged Cisticola.

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ndloti
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Re: Forum Olifants River Back-pack Trail

Unread postby ndloti » Thu Sep 25, 2008 5:31 pm

Get fit , let me warn you if you are not a regular hiker !
The walking can be quite tiring especially if it is hot and you are walking through the many areas with soft sand along the riverbed .
The daily distances to be covered are long .
Pack carefully and take nothing extra (never again will I take wine or allow my brother to include 2 (two) tins of peaches and a jar of jam in my foodpack . My pack was at least 7 kg too heavy .
Make sure your boots are comfortable and good (my trusted-good-condition-leather Jim Greens soles both unexpectedly came adrift from the boot with 15 km to go)
Our 1 April trail will be the first of the season , it will make one feel as if you are in virgin territory !
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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G@mespotter
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Re: Forum Olifants River Back-pack Trail

Unread postby G@mespotter » Mon Oct 20, 2008 1:38 pm

OK then.....Sawubona, here we go :twisted:

Here is a little 'report' of our 'back-pack' practise round on Saturday :D 'Jan', Sawubona and myself are quite excited about the backpack trip, so we decided to experiement with our bags etc, and headed for a few, nice hills.
I packed my bag with my usual hiking stuff, but did not make the 20kg, so I used 4 extra pavingstones :lol: J & S used birdseeds etc, which was quite comical. While we stuffed our bags etc, their SO's we're just smiling and laughing at us madheads..... :lol: But hey, it's gotta be done 8)

Image

Off we went, and we quickly smiled for a 'pre-trip' photo. Sawubona didn't like the idea of 'smiling on the forum', so here it is :twisted: 8) Its was nice hot, and we headed for a few mountains.

We quickly made it to the top, and had a nice view, altough the area did not had rain recently, it was a bit green already :wink: From the top, we spotted a heap of elands in the distance.
Image


Image
Also, to our right baboons were crossing a fence, on their way to get water..
After a few adjustments to the backpacks, and a 'water-refil' we carried on, downwards the hill, which was very rocky, and our pace slowed down quite a bit. Just glad all of us have proper hiking shoes :dance:

We looked at all the small flowers, and actually there are numerous 'wild' flowers, which is quite amazing as it hasn't rained yet... as we walked on, we spotted a Eland quite close to us! As stupid as G@mespotter can get, I called out loud where it was :redface: (quite excited :P ), so yes, the Eland heared us and sprinted away. Another lesson learned :wink: It had a small claf with it, and we're guessing it must have been born recently :dance: Anyway, my first Eland ever 8)
Image

Image
We found lots of animal dung, including jackal dung, and we thought Eland dung looked like 'bees' dung, but after consulting a spoor-guide-book that is wasn't :wink:

Coming back, we saw 2 BLESBOKKE and a few baboons with a couple of big males :shock:

Image

All in all, we walked 5,3 km in just over 2 hours, which I think wasn't bad at all :thumbs_up:
It's just nice to chill out in nature, whatever you do. It was a nice experience :dance:
Last edited by G@mespotter on Mon Oct 20, 2008 2:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Tambotie 20 July, Shipandane Birdhide 21 July, Mphongolo Backpack Trail 22 -25 July, Tzendze 26 July, and Greater Limpopo National Park 27 -29 July :D

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G@mespotter
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Re: Forum Olifants River Back-pack Trail

Unread postby G@mespotter » Mon Nov 03, 2008 5:10 pm

Hi folks :D

Good to be on the forum after a looong boring day of studyin :wink: Sawubona, I'll pm every member within 2 weeks if that is OK?
Three weeks ago all remaining members confirmed that they will come along, even BH :twisted: (He's avoiding this topic :twisted: and should be punished...... 8) )

MM...again thanks for your input sofar, really a pity, but we understand :thumbs_up:

Ndloti, as for the substitute for MM. I have a friend (currenly in the US) who seriously wants to come with as he is a flora/fauna fanatic :wink: and I told him there is one space open. He really wants to come with and asked me to give him 3 weeks as to arrange leave with work etc. So he will let me know ASAP (2/3 weeks) and I do want to give him this oppurtunity, as he most likely will not come accross an opputunity one like this again.

That is if you guys don't mind ofcourse. Please let me know.
Tambotie 20 July, Shipandane Birdhide 21 July, Mphongolo Backpack Trail 22 -25 July, Tzendze 26 July, and Greater Limpopo National Park 27 -29 July :D

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Riverrat
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Re: Forum Olifants River Back-pack Trail

Unread postby Riverrat » Mon Nov 03, 2008 11:02 pm

After spending this last weekend on the Metsi-metsi trail with ranger Steven Oosthuizen, Im most certainly still in for the backpack trail. I'm sure several of my newly-made companions from this last experience would be dying to fill any openings that might develop for the Olifants.

I'd also like to suggest that we request Steven to be our trails guide.....I was very impressed with his handling of the wilderness trail and it's unusual incidents, and he really seems to get the overwhelming support of all of his clients. he has already led two of the Olifants trails this year, and seems keen to join us if we want his expertise.
Some tips from him:
1. Much of the trail is in the soft thick sand of the river bed.... SHORT gaiters are essential to keep sand out of our boots.
2. Robust nylon sandals are also an option for the river-bed as we will cross the river several times.
3. The best tent in his opinion is the R150 cheapo from Makro... single-layer and about 1.8kg including poles.
4. Short-pants are better suited because of the high humidity.
5. Only 2 sets of clothing are really necessary...those we wear and a spare set in our bag.
6. It is 3 days hiking...on the metsi trail we averaged 4km per hour and if we are covering 20 km per day, that's only 5 hours...three in the morning and 2 in the afternoon. On firm soil this was not difficult (we did 14 km each day), but the sand of the Olifants River bed is apparently a bit more taxing.
7. the trail starts against the fence where the olifants enters the park on it's western border. It ends just west of the N'wamanzi lookout on the H1-5 where it turns away from the river and heads north towards Letaba.
Dr. Kevin Azzie

RESERVES were declared to keep natural areas in their wildest form.
KEEP IT THAT WAY!!



15 Mar: Satara
21-23 March: Shingwedzi
18-21 April Balule
9 May: Sand River Bush Camp

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Riverrat
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Re: Forum Olifants River Back-pack Trail

Unread postby Riverrat » Fri Nov 07, 2008 2:24 am

Ok folks, here's my report on the Metsi-metsi wilderness trail. Enjoy.

http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=26777
Dr. Kevin Azzie

RESERVES were declared to keep natural areas in their wildest form.
KEEP IT THAT WAY!!



15 Mar: Satara
21-23 March: Shingwedzi
18-21 April Balule
9 May: Sand River Bush Camp

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cougar
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Re: Forum Olifants River Back-pack Trail

Unread postby cougar » Thu Nov 13, 2008 8:37 pm

I'm a little confused--was a replacement found for the opening left by MM?

The reason I ask is I've been interested in going, but even if there was an opening, I couldn't be 100% sure about my availability at this point (if I were welcome).

I also mentioned this trail to a colleague who enjoys hiking and backpacking and she was interested. She's backpacked the Grand Canyon, so I'd say she's tough enough for this.

This is all assuming, of course, that this trip is open to international forum members. No offense taken if it's not--I'll just have to get a different group together sometime! 8)

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G@mespotter
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Re: Forum Olifants River Back-pack Trail

Unread postby G@mespotter » Mon Nov 24, 2008 2:35 pm

Hi there :D

After a few days 'in the bush' ....I'm back on the forum again :dance:

Firstly: Sawubona, no the space has not been taken yet. I must admit I haven't even thought of it the last to weeks, but now I have plenty time...
Cougar by all means, the space is still open and not taken yet, and if you're intrerested you can just pm me and I'll put up your name! International or not, I personally have not preference, as long as you're a 'wildlife 'freak' of some sort :twisted: :wink:

Let me know ASAP as we have to finalise the payments before January 2009. Before I pm each member how much he/she is due to pay, I want the group to consist of 8 members again :)

Anyone still interested to come with the first forum group to do this awesome backpack trail, please PM me ASAP!

:thumbs_up:
Tambotie 20 July, Shipandane Birdhide 21 July, Mphongolo Backpack Trail 22 -25 July, Tzendze 26 July, and Greater Limpopo National Park 27 -29 July :D

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G@mespotter
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Re: Forum Olifants River Back-pack Trail

Unread postby G@mespotter » Fri Nov 28, 2008 11:51 pm

Hi all :D

Looks like I have a new member joining our group, named.....Zorro (I'm mean 'Zorro' is helping this thing survive :twisted: :lol: WELCOME Zorro :lol:

Will give you more details later! Haven't heared from cougar yet....I hope he has read my message/pm....

This means the way things are looking now, we have one space left right now. Comeon formites, last chance to catch the adventure winds and sail right way! :D

I'm still sorry for those who HAD to 'leave' the group, but hey, this isn't the last time :dance:
Tambotie 20 July, Shipandane Birdhide 21 July, Mphongolo Backpack Trail 22 -25 July, Tzendze 26 July, and Greater Limpopo National Park 27 -29 July :D

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G@mespotter
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Re: Forum Olifants River Back-pack Trail

Unread postby G@mespotter » Fri Nov 28, 2008 11:55 pm

The 'new' list:

1. Riverrat
2. Ndloti
3. Zorro
4. Jan
5. Sawubona
6. AlexTheLion
7. G@mespotter
8. (still outstanding)

Lets go! :dance:
Tambotie 20 July, Shipandane Birdhide 21 July, Mphongolo Backpack Trail 22 -25 July, Tzendze 26 July, and Greater Limpopo National Park 27 -29 July :D

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G@mespotter
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Re: Forum Olifants River Back-pack Trail

Unread postby G@mespotter » Sat Jan 17, 2009 8:53 am

Hi all :D

I have good and I have 'bad' news....again :wink:

Good news is: I have paid the last outstanding amount (phoned them but it will reflect monday) and so all of us coming with have paid their share, so the financial part is finalized :dance: Thanks everyone for cooperating :thumbs_up:

The 'bad' news is that my sister had to bail out this time. It's beyond her control and she really didn't want to but unfortunately had no choice but to withdraw.... :roll: Anyway, the 'new' member Frank has taken up her place, so this means 1 person can still join us 8)

I recieved an email from BH, saying he is still interested and might consider coming with, but if somebody definately want to join he/she should get preference.

I cannot believe it's only 10 weeks from now :dance: Lon we have waited, planned and discussed for this walk to come, and now it's coming real fast!

I just want to inform you guys that each of us should arrange accomodation in either Letaba or Olifants the night before, as we have to meet at 8:00 that morning at Olifants camp. Just watch, because accomodation for these dates is going real fast at the moment.

We still have some paperwork to do, like the doctor's certificate etc, but that I will email you guys 2 weeks before we leave or so.

One last question, I have almost all equipment, how are you guys doing so far?! Would love to hear :D

Cherio :thumbs_up:
Tambotie 20 July, Shipandane Birdhide 21 July, Mphongolo Backpack Trail 22 -25 July, Tzendze 26 July, and Greater Limpopo National Park 27 -29 July :D


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