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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 2:31 pm 
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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: 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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 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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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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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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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:33 pm 
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Location: Ballito, KZN North Coast, South Africa
Bundi! what an excellent trail, report and pics! :clap:
Sounded amazing and I can see why you are so keen to do another.
Thanks so much for sharing it with us! :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 1:16 pm 
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I have booked the Mphongolo backpack Trail for 27 - 30 March 2013 :dance: Can't wait to walk it again, backpacking is the most magical way to experience Kruger!!!! 8)

I am however wondering what is gonna happen to the usual departure of the Backpack trail since the trashing floods of January 2013?! I'm sure the veld will be walkable by then, however the point of departure is Shingwedzi.... and it seems one of my most favourite camps (Shingwedzi) has been hit the worst.... Is SANParks going to change the point of departure for this walk, or will they first assess the damage and make recommedations from there??

REALLY hope the walk is still happening!! Maybe somebody informed can help a brother out? :D

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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:10 am 
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I spoke to Sanparks this morning,because we have a booking for this trail in September and according to them Shingwedzi will be closed the whole year and our trail will be cancelled.

I then called a friend or two in Kruger, who is connected to the trails, who said the most likely thing to happen is that they would probably move the departure point to Mopani.

It is wait and see I suppose.


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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:39 pm 
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:D Dear All,

Please take note, that the backpack trails (Mphongolo, Lonely Bull and Olifants) will still proceed.

For the Mphongolo Backpack Trail the departure point will be changing and whoever is booked on the trail will be notified.
.

Regards,

:D

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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 2:50 pm 
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I have spoken with a trial guide (name not important) who confirmed the trial departure will be from Mopanie Camp. This makes sense, since Shingwedzi was flooded and is closed. Mopanie has all the parking and other facilities, and is not far from Shingwedzi.

Can't wait for our trip to commence :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 4:10 pm 
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Traditional Aboriginal Australians have developed, and are bound by, a highly complex belief systems that interconnects the land, spirituality, law, social life and care of the environment. They share a common belief in the creation or “Dreaming”.

The creation myths tell of legendary totemic beings who wander across the continent during the Dreamtime, singing out the name of everything that crossed their path – birds, animals, plants, rocks, waterholes – and so singing the world into existence.
Many of the Dreamtime stories are presented as elaborate song cycles (Songlines). They provide the Aboriginal with a map, recording details of the landscape and expressing the relationship between the land and their people. Listening to the song of the land is the same as navigating along the Songline and observing the land as you walk. A knowledgeable person is able to navigate across the land by repeating the words of the song, which describe the location of landmarks, waterholes and other natural phenomena. The Songlines combine to form a labyrinth of invisible pathways which meander all over Australia. By singing the songs in the appropriate sequence, indigenous people could navigate vast distances, often travelling through the deserts of Australia’s interior.
In some cases, a Songline has a particular direction and walking the wrong way along a Songline may be sacrilegious (e.g. climbing up Uluru where the correct direction is down). Some Songlines even span the lands of several different language groups. However, language is not a barrier to the Songline, because the melodic contour of the song describes the nature of the land over which the song passes. The rhythm is what is crucial to understand the song.

“The ancestor is responsible for the law and country, a responsibility which is carried by the traditional owner of the song today. The owner of the song is responsible for the country and particular sacred places, and when the song travels over these sacred places it is sung by the traditional owner of song or country”.
- Wardaman Elder, 2009

The stories and Songlines encompass law, culture and spirituality to ensure the continuity of all living things. Traditional Aboriginal people regard all land as sacred and according to tradition these songs must be continually sung to keep the land “alive”.

I can draw a parallel between the Traditional Aboriginal Australian's responsibility and that of the Wilderness guide. Dreamtime is our journey of realisation, discovery and understanding of Wilderness. Collectively the guides contribute to Wilderness Dreamtime by exploring the Wilderness concept on trail and discussing it amongst each other. It allows us to revisit and share our Dreamtime and develop our own Songline.

Think of the Wilderness guide’s Songline as his Wilderness and conservation message. Our personal definitions and feeling of Wilderness and the ways in which we facilitate the Wilderness experience on trail will differ. Perhaps this can be compared to the different languages the Songline transcends. As long as the rhythm of our song (our Wilderness message) is the same, we must surely still be on the right track.

But where have all the trailists gone, are they now perhaps singing a silicon song?

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"Keep the Wind in your face, the Sun on your back and the Wilderness deep in your heart".


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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2013 1:41 pm 
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ndloti wrote:
Brenden , is there a scarcity of Mphongholo trailists ... ?


I am afraid we have a scarcity of trailists on all backpack and most wilderness trails. The reason(s) still elude many of us.

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