Good morning to all!!!
Okay what you were all waiting for...
Jannie Jurgens and I did the Olifants River Backpack Trail from the 9th to the 12th of August.
We left on Sunday and started walking around 11:00, it was hot and the wind was blowing in our favour. We went over the small Hills and down to the River where we found a nice sighting of Hippo (Pictures coming).
We found lots of Impalas, Waterbuck, Giraffes, Kudus and more Hippos before we found our first Elephant about 4 km's from our first camping spot.
When we arrived around 16:15 at our camping spot we all put our tents up and went for a bath in the River and had a lovely view of Elephants coming down to drink water (pictures coming). The second morning we crossed the River just before we had breakfast and found Baboons and fresh Leopard Tracks. We went passed Hell Eden which is an old Ranger's picket which Mr. Tedd Whitfield build in the late 70's early 80's.
After a few kilometres we found Lions on the Northern side of the River but when they spotted us they jumped up and ran up the slope and disappeared into the Mopanies. Later the afternoon we were tracking fresh Lion spoor and it lead us to a Hippo that jumped up behind the bush and ran into the opposite direction. The Lion spoor were leading us away from the River and because it was late we had to turn back and look for a camping spot.
Got our camping spot, putting up our tents and took a bath. After a hot day the Sunset was lovely and I took a few pictures (coming).
The amazing thing of this trail was we heard Lions roaring every night and every morning!!!
After preparing supper and sitting around the camp fire, slowly but surely everyone went to bed to get ourselves ready for the 3rd day.
Tuesday morning came and we woke up at 05:00 again, taking down our tents and as it got light we started walking again. We found fresh tracks of a Male Lion, but he was going into the opposite direction, we were walking on his trail for a few kilometres and it eventually lead us to a dead Hippo in the River.
We believe the Hippo died because of a territorial fight and found lots of Lion tracks and Vultures at the carcass.
Not far from there we had our breakfast next to the River. After our breakfast we got to a spot which looked like a snake that moved over the animal path and as we looked down we saw the Leopard tracks next to the dragmark and knew he killed something and dragged it up the slope. We quickly dropped our backpacks and got the spot where he pulled the hair out and wasn't sure what it was and kept on following it and found the fresh evidence. It was a young Baboon, he killed, we first got the one arm then the heap bone with a leg and heard a Tree squirrel complaining not far from there and went into that direction when we just spotted the Leopard running away very fast!!!
We walked and walked and walked and found some Impala Lillies, Impalas, Hippo's, Crocodiles- big and small, Giraffes, Waterbuck, Bushbucks, Duikers, Sharpes Grysbok, and put up camp for the last night close to a Hippo pool.
For that afternoon we had our own amphitheater and man the Hippo's entertain us with their calls and showing their teeth.
The last morning as we got close to the finish point which is the Fig Tree we just heard a sound, like lots of racing horses, and knew it is a breeding herd of Buffalo. We dropped our backpacks and went and sat down behind a fallen down Mopanie Tree, but unfortunately as the Buffaloes came down they smelled us and turned around. We quickly moved up the slope and found this huge herd of Buffaloes. Their thirst was a bigger and more important factor, than watching us and they started running down to the River. It was a huge herd at least 1000 Buffaloes!!! We made our way down to the River and where we could see, it was just Buffaloes, more and more coming down and eventually with a huge dust cloud in the air they all moved away from us.
It was another exciting backpack trail with great sightings and moments which will always be a memory for me, Jannie Jurgens and the 8 guests...