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Makhadzi Picnic Site

Discuss the different camps and roads of the Kruger National Park
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Makhadzi Picnic Site

Unread postby KNP Spokesman » Thu Jun 23, 2005 4:00 pm

Oumie wrote:Well done mikev :clap:
Not many people visit this picnic spot. Nice and clean :!:
It is the Makhandzi-Giriuondo picnic spot, hope I got the name right :?


Hi Oumie

Very close ... we call it the Makhadzi Picnic Site and Interpretative Centre. It is indeed on the road that will eventually lead to the Giriyondo Border Post and then on to the Limpopo National Park (as part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park).

Makhadzi was built from the foundations of the old army base that was used by the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) to patrol the Moz-SA border. The stone structure under thatch - where you can now buy cool drinks - was the officer's pub (I think) and the "troope" (soldiers, but Oomie will know that!) slept in tents all around this structure.

On the right hand side of the parking lot, we have constructed a wooden building which we are using as an interpretive centre (our "name" for an education/information facility) where at present there are the Steinecker's Horse Regiment artifacts (which used to be displayed in Mopani's Reception) and a number of posters explaining the whole GLTP process.

Thus - its full name ...

I understand that an elephant bull nearly trashed the place a few weeks back and so it doesn't quite look the same anymore. We will be repairing it soon, but you never know when this guy will return.

By the way, the road between the picnic site and the tar road has been very productive for me in the past. I have seen tsessebe, roan, rhino and plenty of elephant!

Kind regards
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Unread postby Loams » Thu Jun 23, 2005 5:25 pm

KNP Spokesman, I have a question about the abovementioned border posts between Moz and SA.

Are they going to be a proper border control as in between the two counties at Komatipoort?? I know this sounds like a dumb question, but the fences are going to be down. What's the point of a border control on the road? A border control is to control illegal immigration. Shouldn't the border control be at the entrance gates in Kruger (I.E. Numbi etc) for "exit" and "entry" depending where you came from? And of course on the Moz side you have the same?

Thank you in advance
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Unread postby KNP Spokesman » Fri Jun 24, 2005 7:40 am

Hi Loams

I think Toddelelfe has put an interesting European slant on the issue, which is quite true for the Moz-SA situation as well.

Like it or not, illegal immigrants cross the border through the KNP, and at great danger to themselves, in any case (whether the fences are down or not) and I don't think the border post will effect this in any way. No matter what condition the fence is, it also doesn't stop illegal crossings - I have seen a demonstration as to how illegals crossed the electrified fence (called NOREX) between Komatipoort and the Swaziland with remarkable ease - even during the 1980-1990 period when it was switched to lethal!

It must also be remembered that VISA requirements between the two countries have been dropped too.

The border post will be a tourism border post only and not a trade or commercial border post. You will not be able to go through customs as there will only be immigration officials there. If you are transporting "goods for trade" or any other item that needs to go through customs, you are going to be directed to Lebombo Border Post (Komatipoort/Ressano Garcia - hope I spelt that right?) anyway.

It is not, and was never intended to be, a commercial border post but rather to facilitate movement in the transfrontier park. The option of having border control at all the gates into the GLTP (including all nine KNP gates) was an option looked into at the time - ie as you drive into the GLTP, you are effectively in no-man's land - but it was decided that this would be unpractical and more expensive.

I trust that - and Toddelelfe's post - answers your question to the highly challenging task of illegal immigrant traffic, which is a problem experienced all over the world. Another classic example are the illegal border crossings between Mexico and the USA. Perhaps one of our US forumites can tell us about this?

Kind regards
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Unread postby Loams » Fri Jun 24, 2005 9:31 am

Certainly answered my q's, thanks KNP Spokesman. I think it's probably better to not have KNP as a "no man's" land as you call it. Not all Saffies (can you believe) have passports. Some jsut don't need it and it might deter them from visiting.

I am so glad the entry restrictions between Moz and SA was lifted. I have never been and can't wait to go.
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Unread postby Johann » Mon Jun 27, 2005 11:35 am

What a lovely picnic site. Had breakfast there when staying at Olifants week before last.
Nice and quiet. And the birds were not a problem like at most other picnic sites.
Couple of the trees were pushed over by elephant but spot still looked very nice.
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Makhadzi picnic spot

Unread postby bushguy » Tue Aug 02, 2005 2:17 pm

Hi

There was some discussion earlier about the Makhadzi picnic spot on the road to Giriyondo. I cannot find the original thread.I have just joined the forum to be able to add some info.

We went there in june for breakfast, and what a disapointment! I had been looking froward to showing my family where I was in the army.

It is indeed the old army base. I was stationed there in 1988 with a platoon of horses. I was the horse medic and ran the canteen. The only bit left from the old camp is the officers mess /canteen. (the little stone and thatch structure in the middle, which has also been modified slightly). You can also see where the stables were. The patch of open veld to the left of the road just before comming in to camp.

We had 30 horses with which we patrolled as far afield as north of Mopani camp. We were there to stop the refugees from entering SA. Some very sad times and stories of desperation.

We called the camp "Makhadzi Sun" It looked much nicer back then with lawns (horses were lawn mowers!) and bungalows dotted around the central area. The trees had also grown well with years of protection, something that is being lost rapidly from ellie damage at the moment!

The road to the border (if it is still the one we used) should be interesting in parts (near the streams) , but also long streaches of mopani scrub. Nice to be able to explore the lebombo mountain habitat though! Spent many hot thirsty days trekking along those mountains. (more like hill's though) We even resorted to drinking water out of buffalo wallows!

There used to be a fantastic road linking Makhadzi camp and the roads around engehart dam running along the makadzi stream. I was informed that the road had washed away so badly that it was not going to be repaired. Pity because the vegetation alomg the stream is beutifull! (read: not just mopani!) It would also make a fantastic round trip from Letaba.

I could carry on about this for ever, but work calls. If anyone is interested I could scan some of my old pics and post them! (some of you might get a shock as we were young and stupid then or maybe IDIOTS as we definately were protruding from vehichles!)

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Unread postby Bosblues » Fri Sep 16, 2005 11:57 am

....wow... that was interesting!

I thought I knew the Park very well, but never heard of this Picnic Site before.... :redface:

Am going caravanning during April next year (millions of days to go, or so it feels.....) and am going up North this time.....

Thanks Oumie for sharing.

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Unread postby richardharris » Fri Sep 16, 2005 12:43 pm

Nice quiet picnic spot well worth a visit. Only cold drinks available though.

Its a good road there too; had lots of good sightings on it. Most amazing was actually at the junction where there is a waterhole. Two large groups of elephant converged and there were well over a hundred elephant there before they dispersed!

Richard

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Unread postby Bush Baptist » Sun Sep 18, 2005 5:07 pm

Oumie wrote:Thanks Guru,

The only damage we could see was the fence around the camp was trashed, otherwise everything looked normal. We were there on the 15/6/05.


I was there on (about) 13/6/5 and saw that the fever trees in the centre were 'struggling' and some of the pathway poles were 'rearranged'. Some of the staff told me that they had spent quite a long time indoors as the bull visited!

My theory about this new picnic site and the delightful area it is in, is that this was a thoroughfare for a big bull - and we saw one close by - and he will just continue to walk through his area.
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Unread postby Bosnimf » Mon Sep 19, 2005 2:45 am

We were there 02/09/05, thought it was a lovely picnic spot, just a bit strange that they have so money toilets (some picnic spots only have one long drop) :lol: and it is the first fenced picnic area that I have seen.
Toilets
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More toilets
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Info centre
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The road leading to Makhadzi isn't that great, and when the border post opens it will probably get worse. (Hold on to your fillings) :twisted:
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Unread postby Johann » Wed Sep 21, 2005 12:34 pm

Had breakfast there on Sunday morning. Very pleasant. Nice and quiet without the big rush of people like at Masorini or Mooiplaas (in the area). Joseph remembered me from my visit in June, we had a chat then about the elephant bull BB mentioned. The trees aren't looking too bad, Mr Elephant has not been around again, yet. Think the fence around the site is also to try and keep him out :)
The plenty toilets are of course in preparation for when the Giriyondo borderpost opens one day. Joseph said that it is scheduled for some time in October.

Only one negative thing about Makhadzi at the moment - one can't see enough of the river. Would have liked to have a little bit better view of it. Other than that, one of my favourite picnic spots. On the way back after breakfast we did see some Tsessebe, zebra and two elephants drinking at the Malopenyana wh. Fantastic :lol:
Last edited by Johann on Tue Jun 27, 2006 7:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postby Johann » Mon May 08, 2006 1:49 pm

Bush Baptist wrote:Does anybody know if the Makhadzi picnic site has been fixed.

It was trashed by elephants just after it opened.

The electric fence didn't bother them and the staff and visitors went scurrying for the buildings as they pulled down fever trees and logs.


I was there sometime after the incident and saw the damage you speak of BB. 3 months later I did visit again and all seemed to be ok. The fence had been fixed. Broken branches etc. had been removed. The attendants told me that they haven't had any damaging visits again, yet. (must remember that this was in Sep 2005)
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Unread postby vos » Mon May 08, 2006 4:58 pm

We were there on 03 May 2006 and it was beautiful.
It has become one of our traditional b-fast spots when we stay in Letaba.
The electric fence underneath the fever tree was broken down.
The person on duty informed me that the elephants are regular visitors now but it seems like they are not doing any serious damage.
I will try and post a pic for the first time....

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Last edited by Elsa on Wed Nov 19, 2014 8:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postby DuQues » Tue Jun 27, 2006 11:08 am

How to get there:

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The rules:
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Last edited by Elsa on Wed Nov 19, 2014 8:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: pics resized.
Arriving currently: The photos from our trip! Overhere! :yaya:

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Unread postby arks » Thu Jul 06, 2006 1:40 pm

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