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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 2:31 pm 
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Location: Ballito, KZN North Coast, South Africa
Sounds amazing Bundi and glad you had a great trail! :thumbs_up:
What about a full report with some pics! :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 7:34 pm 
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Location: Constantia Kloof, JHB
I will try my best to load some pics and a trip report soonest Elsa, as soon as I get through the masses of mails and meetings back in the real world. How I wish to be back in the bush now.


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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:26 pm 
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:thumbs_up: Bundi!

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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 11:20 am 
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Eagerly waiting , Bundi !

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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 Oct 12, 2012 4:02 pm 
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I am not very good at trip reports and unfortunately did not take any notes, but will try my best.


Last edited by Bundi on Fri Oct 12, 2012 4:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 4:06 pm 
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Location: Constantia Kloof, JHB
Can somebody please help me with photos? I am using Photobucket, but cannot seem to upload. Which code do I need to copy here for the photo to show?


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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 4:27 pm 
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Location: Constantia Kloof, JHB
Day1: We left from Shingwedzi on Sunday at 12h00 and drove for about an hour and a half to what I believe to be the vicinity of the Zare Windmill where we stopped and unpacked the trailer, ready for the hike.
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En route on the Red Rocks Loop we encountered this big boy and our guide, Hans Enslin, was sure that it could be an emerging tusker.
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Because of the severe shortage of water in the Park at the moment it was also decided that we could only camp at one spot for all three nights where we were certain to find decent water, so after a 5km hike, we set up camp close to where the Zare river runs into the Phugwane river and was greeted by a herd of giraffe.
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That afternoon we dug for water and cooked our dinners, very excited about the adventure awaiting us, little did we know what would happen in a few hours?
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At around 20h00 which turned out to be a beautifully moonlit night, we heard a lion roar in the distance and estimated it to be about 1 km away from camp. With every roar the lion got closer and closer and we knew it would enter into sight at any moment. The last roar before we saw it was so load and so close I could feel the vibration inside of me. Then suddenly he was within view and aided by only the moonlight we could see he was a magnificent male. As soon as he saw us he went down on his haunches and stared us down for a few minutes trying to make sense of the situation. As suddenly as he appeared, he then walked off into the night still roaring away. With that we decided to turn in and have a good night’s rest.


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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 4:36 pm 
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I was about to send you a pm with a method using TinyPic .

Bertus , that lion roar is awe inspiring - a week before you were there I camped with an authorised person (just the 2 of us) much further downstream , a lions nearby roaring caused my friend to abandon me for the safety of the vehicle and l was left alone ... I am sure I could see the gauze on the tent vibrating ...

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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 Oct 12, 2012 4:44 pm 
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Great start Bundi and your pics look :thumbs_up:
Looking forward to more!

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Kruger - May 24th - June 6th 2014.


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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 4:53 pm 
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Thanks guys. I knew you would appreciate it Andrew and that you were in all likelyhood there before. I have already booked for 1 May on the same trail and have an opening left for you!! I am serious.

Will post more tonight.


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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 5:48 pm 
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:clap: Great story about the Lion roaring visit!
More please :popcorn:

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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 7:19 pm 
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Location: Constantia Kloof, JHB
Day 2: We woke up early enough and made a quick breakfast happily chatting away with our walking companions. We soon realized that the people accompanying you on the trip would also play a big part in the success thereof and we were very fortunate to have a brilliant group of people, including the two guides Hans and Francois. During the next few days we would become good friends and shared countless jokes and stories.
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After breakfast we started hiking and with the breeze in our backs realized we would not see much wild on the morning strip. We did however found nyala and impala and followed a honey guide without success, found some aardvark, warthog and porcupine burrows and learnt some very interesting facts about nature in general. It was a morning well spent and thoroughly enjoyed.
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The highlight of the day was when we entered the Phugwane forest, which was a very impressive stretch of huge and ancient Nyala Berries, Jackal Berries, Wild Figs and Leadwoods, ensuring a continues carpet of shade. We spent about 3 hours having lunch and a nap under one of these giants and continued slowly back towards camp, while enjoying an aerial display of three or four birds of prey including a giant eagle owl.
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Back at camp we again fetched water from our riverbed pit and enjoyed a good bush bath, followed by dinner, more stories and a well-deserved night’s rest, but no night time visitors this time around.
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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 7:24 pm 
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Location: Back home in the caravan at Malelane camp, KNP
I did the trail last month, and my tent was pitched just where you are all sitting! Had a rhino try to join me in the 'shower' behind a tree off behind this area.

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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 7:38 pm 
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Location: Constantia Kloof, JHB
Day 3: We woke up at the crack of dawn and while having breakfast and even more stories, got ready for the day’s walk. This time around we walked into the breeze and sure enough saw plenty game including a beautiful elephant bull, warthogs, giraffe and impala.
Around brunch time, we spent about an hour in the shade of a beautiful Jackal Berry, overlooking the riverbed.
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Soon after we came across two unmarked graves which apparently belonged to gold thieves from early 1900’s, who were successfully hunted down by a bounty hunter and buried on site.
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Lunch was spent under the shade of a massive Nyala Berry and it was interesting to lie and watch a small colony of bees making nest in the same tree. We continued on to the impressive riverbank at Big Bend, before ending the day in a quick route march back to camp.
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After another well-deserved bush shower, we took a short walk where we had a sun downer while enjoying a spectacular sunset. Dinner followed and the sad realization that our trip was almost over sunk in slowly.
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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 7:47 pm 
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Location: Constantia Kloof, JHB
Day 4: Saddened to head home so soon, but also excited to share everything we experienced with loved ones brought mixed feelings to the group. We broke up camp and rehabilitated the sight in such a way not even a footprint was left behind. En route to the rendezvous point, we spent a last half hour in the soft sand of a riverbed, before heading back where we were greeted by a few ice cold ones.
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