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Mananga Adventure Trail

Discuss activities available in the Kruger National Park, and follow all the sighting reports.
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DinkyBird
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Mananga Adventure Trail

Unread postby DinkyBird » Sun Oct 15, 2006 5:47 pm

The Mananga Adventure Trail

Begins 11kn from Satara, traveling a short distance north before turning east into knob thorn/marula savannah. Here you can expect herds of zebra, wildebeest, buffalo, and of course their predators – including cheetah.” - SANParks Adventure Trails pamphlet.

We, Hawk & I in our trusty Landy and friends in their Pajero, set off from our camp at Balule bright and early to be at Satara reception when the office opened. One can only confirm that it is possible to do this trail on the actual day. After paying the R460 per vehicle fee and an extra deposit of R100 for them to use should they need to come and fetch us, receiving a map with a list of do’s and don’ts, we set off on the adventure.

At last! We could legally drive down a no-entry road!

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Unread postby DinkyBird » Sun Oct 15, 2006 6:00 pm

There was a fair amount of game along the trail – zebra, waterbuck, giraffe, impala and wildebeest. Somehow it seemed as if we managed to get ‘closer’ to the game…maybe being away from a ‘road’ and really in the bush was the reason for this. The antelope seemed to find our 4x4’s as interesting as we found them!

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Unread postby DinkyBird » Sun Oct 15, 2006 6:00 pm

I can fully understand why they close a trail like this if it has been raining…we made our way over a fair amount of dried pans that must be absolute quagmires after rain.

The grass along most of the route was long….so we paid heed to one of the tips on the pamphlet and stayed in our vehicle only alighting where there was a really good clear area.

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The trail incorportates roughly 10km of the S100. We drove down the S41 as well to enjoy lunch at N’wanetsi Picnic site and pay a visit to the Sweni bird hide.

One re-enters the Mananga Trail on the S41 and the trail then winds along the Mavumbye River and exits on the S90. There were some lovely, pretty pools of water along the river.

Being able to be in the bush, away from other vehicles and people is truly a special experience. We thoroughly enjoyed every minute of the trail and it comes highly recommend!!

Ok Mousies – shut your eyes at this point…..

I navigated and got a bit muddled….. we ended up going the wrong way along parts of the trail….so I really suggest one takes a GPS along. I had one on my PDA with me but!
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Freda
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Unread postby Freda » Sun Oct 15, 2006 6:15 pm

Lovely report, DB :)
We have also done this trail and thoroughly enjoyed it, didn't see another vehicle, feels like you are the only people in the bush 'sigh'
Hope to do it again next month, weather permitting.

I took a GPS and still got muddled, two angels making the same mistake must mean the instructions are at fault :wink:

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Unread postby Jay » Sun Oct 15, 2006 6:16 pm

this was great to read DB AND I got to see all your pics yeeeeeah :lol: been having trouble downloading pics lately
As for the 'detours', I'm sure they added the fun :wink:
This is definitely on my wishlist of things to do! I didn't realise you could stop and get out the car, that's amazing! :D
Deebs,do you know how many cars do they allow per day?

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Unread postby DinkyBird » Sun Oct 15, 2006 6:18 pm

Yes Freda - that is it... only a mousie could have written the instructions!!

Jay - 6 4x4's a day are allowed on the trail. Reception at Satara told me that only ever in June did they have 6 on the trail at once though.
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Unread postby DinkyBird » Sun Oct 15, 2006 6:30 pm

Further info on the Mananga Trail (courtesy of the pamphlet issued by SANParks at the start of the trail):

You may get out your car in open areas but do on wander off into the bush. Stay within 5-7m of the vehicle. Leave the doors open.

Never enter any watercouse on foot.

No services (ablutions, water, rubbish bins etc) are provided on the route.

There is a cut off time - 11am - for commencement of the journey.

Adhere to slow speeds - 15-20km/h.

Maintain a safe distance from dangerous animals. Avoid confrontation with elephant.

No spinning of wheels is allowed. Respect the ecology at all times.

Fires are prohibited.

There is a whole lot more included in the pamphlet.
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Freda
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Unread postby Freda » Sun Oct 15, 2006 8:36 pm

These trails are great fun and well worth the money.
In our case it takes the whole day as we keep going round in circles, we even stop and cook a skottel brekkie, so far we haven't had any four legged visitors join us to eat.
We hope to do all four trails again in November, weather permitting :D

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Unread postby Snoobab » Mon Oct 16, 2006 8:46 am

Morning all.
Have to agree with DB on the trail directions.
The section in the middle with the windmill is rather confusing.
I had a lengthy debate with my SO as to which way to go.
We eventually flipped a coin and as luck goes we went the right way.
If you are staying at Satara and speak to the reception very nicely they might let you book the night before which allows you an early start.
We did and they let us, so at gate opening time we headed off to the trail.
We were the only car and it was October with no chance of rain in the night or the next day.
I would think in the rainy season they might not let you book the night before.
We loved the trail and saw lion on it - the section close to the S100.

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Unread postby Wild@Heart » Tue Jan 16, 2007 6:52 am

Hi jakoventer,

A max of 6 vehicles are allowed per day. Some info:

Translates to 'Wilderness'.
Begins 11 km from Satara, traveling a short distance north before turning east into knob thorn / marula savannah.
Here you can expect herds of zebra, wildebeest, buffalo, and of course their predators –– including cheetah.


The trail is 48 km's. It cost R460,00 with a R100 deposit.
You can book the trail at Satara Camp (013) 735 6306 but this can only be done the night before or on the morning.
This is due to weather conditions as sometimes the trails are closed after or during some rain.
These trails cannot be booked in advance.

You can also view this page for more info: KNP 4x4 Adventure Trails

I personally have not done the trail ... but from information gathered the 4x4 trails are a must do.
NO TO HOTEL DEVELOPMENT IN KRUGER

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Unread postby Freda » Tue Jan 16, 2007 5:31 pm

We did it last November, it is a lovely trail and we didn't see another vehicle the whole time :D
Some lovely picnic spots once you have had a good look around.
Don't expect it to be a test for your 4 x 4, these trails only allow 4 x 4's to protect the environment not to test what your vehicle can do :wink:
We have done all four, some more than once and will definately do them again just for the feeling of being the only people in the bush.
Had some nice sightings too, especially birds.

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Unread postby KNP Spokesman » Tue Jan 30, 2007 3:49 pm

Hi Everyone

Thanks Freda. You summed up 100% EXACTLY how KNP management see the four adventure trails. I am afraid that we have had guests that have been on the trails and thought that they didn't challenge their 4x4 driving skills enough - but we don't believe that is the purpose of a national park.

Besides Freda, is there any other forumite that has done all four trails (just out of interest sake)?

Kind regards
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110 Years of Conservation Success - Now isn't that worthy of a Celebration!

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Trails

Unread postby Groovy » Tue Aug 14, 2007 8:29 am

Hi All / KNP Spokes (Now 40)

Done all four at various times of the year. TOTAL Bush is what I go for. Solitude, hardly ever see another sole or vehicle for that matter, if I happen to see someone ahead, I slow down, if someone approaches from behind, which has happened once or twice, I let them pass. Allways have brunch packed, and the necessary refreshments and beverages.

Memories of the trails
Madlabantu - getting caught in a thunderstorm whilst out on trail, believe me that's why you need 4x4.
Mananga - Wildebeest, zebra, and elephant like a small migration. Photographing a baby boomslang, extreme close ups from the vehicle.
Nonokani - never seen so many Golden Aubs in my life, getting charged by a hippo whilst trying to cross the overflow onto the dam wall en route.
Northern Plains - really big bull elephants, watching tsetsebe running into a dam and "hide" with only their noses sticking out. Sitting at a waterhole/dam, and being enveloped in a buffalo herd 800 strong.

The reason why I haven't reported on them before, I probably want to try and keep it as quiet as possible to enjoy for many years to come. Yes game viewing is generally good, depending what you are looking for, but for a Bush Junkie like myself, plenty to see and explore.

Lebombo Trail - what a way to go.

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Unread postby jb72 » Tue Aug 14, 2007 8:51 am

Hi guys,

Just a quick question. Is a 4x4 a must ? Will a 2x4 with diff lock be ok ? I am going to Satara next month (September) so I guess there won't be much of a chance of rain. I would really love to do the Mananga trail.
Your answers will be greatly aprreciated.

Thanks !
Jean

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Unread postby Groovy » Tue Aug 14, 2007 9:54 am

Sorry 4x4 only


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