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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 3:49 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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The wording on the website has now changed:
Quote:
The trail stretches over 4 days and three nights, with departures every Wednesday and Sunday between 1 February and 30 November.


Further down the page, the text is still the original:
Quote:
Bookings can be made through Bridget Bagley email: bridgetb@sanparks.org or Tel: +27 (0)12 426-5117 or alternatively Hesther Van Den Berg hestherv@sanparks.org at the same number as of 1 November 2009 although the first trail will only depart on 1 April 2010.


Can anyone confirm whether the trail will in fact run from 1 Feb to 30 Nov?

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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 4:38 pm 
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Eugene123 wrote:
This year the trail is only open from April 1. Maybe it is meant to start in February in the future.

That's what we were told last year. Maybe they've changed it for this year?

Eugene123 wrote:
93 Days to go! :wink:

Nice.
Got any open spaces? :P

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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2010 4:48 pm 
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Location: West Rand
One, possibly two vacancies have arisen for our trip starting on May 2. As seen in my signature, we are staying over in Shingwedzi the night before ,May1,and we are also staying on for a few days longer at Punda. These last 2 days are not "compulsory".
Please let me know if anyone is interested as soon as possible. This will be a trip to remember!
Total costs to be R1944.45 per person plus petrol and food. It will be less if not staying over at Punda afterwards (in tents)

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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 9:44 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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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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Glen Reenen TR

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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: 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

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Image

Image

Image

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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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 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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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 10:47 am 
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Strider wrote:
We swam in hot springs


Was this at Malahlapanga ?

Strider :thumbs_up: .
So well stated !

joshilewis wrote:
How easy/feasible would it be to organise two back-back to trails, and stay in the wilderness for 6 nights? ndloti, you interested?


That is an exciting idea !
It would be a possibility - though surely would have to go back to Shingwezi for a resupply - or could supplies be brought to us ?

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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: Fri Apr 16, 2010 10:57 am 
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ndloti wrote:


Was this at Malahlapanga ?


Hot springs were at Matiovila, not far from Ribye Windmill - awesome!

joshilewis wrote:
How easy/feasible would it be to organise two back-back to trails, and stay in the wilderness for 6 nights? ndloti, you interested?


As far as I know there are guests who have already booked to do so. So more than possible


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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 12:10 pm 
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ndloti wrote:
joshilewis wrote:
How easy/feasible would it be to organise two back-back to trails, and stay in the wilderness for 6 nights? ndloti, you interested?
That is an exciting idea !
It would be a possibility - though surely would have to go back to Shingwezi for a resupply - or could supplies be brought to us ?

I reckon I could carry enough food for 6 days in my pack, if we're not walking too far. Will have to wash underpants/socks tho :P

Strider wrote:
joshilewis wrote:
How easy/feasible would it be to organise two back-back to trails, and stay in the wilderness for 6 nights? ndloti, you interested?
As far as I know there are guests who have already booked to do so. So more than possible
Great news.
The hot springs sound amazing too

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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 1:21 pm 
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:mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: Looks and sounds unbelievably good...... Thanks for the feedback and pics :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:


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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 3:05 pm 
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On the 25th i did a trail with some journalist,

They will hopefully have a good trip report and some advice for some of you that are interested in this trail.

We walked the area west of Ponda Hills along the Bububu, good rain had fallen the previous week so the ground was saturated and all the small streams flowing. grass was tall and wet in the morning but the area really beautiful at this time of the year, lots of birds and flowers.
First night we had lion roaring and leopards sawing and hyenas whooping all night long,even a elephant came to visit. In the morning we went about two Km before getting the tracks of the lion from when they where walking during the night, we tracked them and found them about 2.3Km later. two big males sleeping in a open area. later we bumped 3 rhino and tracked a herd of 400 plus buff and had a good view of them. in the afternoon we had a view of a leopard in a tree but he picked us up and was gone.
The trail was superbe and i hope the journalists found it as relaxing and fascinating as the other guest on the trail and you get an interesting article to read.


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