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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:00 am 
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The spring were Matiovila and Mafayeni.
the graves are from boors suspected to have been killed by Bulala Taylor.
The next trail will be in the Phonda hills area.


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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2009 8:47 am 
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Some of the guides got to experience true wilderness in the far north.
they were all impressed when they got to the top of Pondo hills and there was no sign of human development anywhere to be seen.They were all from the South of Kruger and have never been in such a wilderness area.

The whether was a bit cold and windy but still great to be out there and this did not stop us from finding game. We tracked down a pride of lions,the tracks were from the previous evening but following the tracks for 4.5 km brought us to where they were sleeping for the afternoon and gave us the perfect opportunity to view them from close without them knowing of the human presence.We found buffalo and lots of Ellie's to. lots of general game.


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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 2:40 pm 
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Betelgeuse wrote:
katamboega, will you be with the exploratory group on Monday? I'm dropping the guys off and picking them up again on Thursday...


Su, please have a proper 'hearing' on thursday, and then report to us. Big please: if it's allowed to be 'reported' :pray:

:thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 12:05 am 
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This is starting to get really tempting GS... you planning another invasion of bushwhacking Hollanders? :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: Let me know if you're keen on this hooligan :twisted: :twisted: coming along?....I'd be honoured to join your bunch again :wink:

As for the particular trail route, from the reports we're getting, it appears to me that either:
1. the pioneering team are still attempting to identify specific sections and combinations of route to follow, :doh: :doh: :doh: or
2. The route has been finalised, but experienced trails rangers are being used as guinea-pigs to give feedback and fine-tune certain aspects such as suitable rest / bathing locations, emergency evacuation routes, or
3. The route is already complete, and select members of the press and publicity and tourism houses are being taken through it in preparation for a large press and TV launch. (they would still need to edit their video material and complete their productions in time for the release.

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RESERVES were declared to keep natural areas in their wildest form.
KEEP IT THAT WAY!!



15 Mar: Satara
21-23 March: Shingwedzi
18-21 April Balule
9 May: Sand River Bush Camp


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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 7:53 am 
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Katamboega was there.

The launch date has not been decided yet but i will tell you as soon as the bookings open for it.
The area is huge and there is no route,but we have divided the area into blocks that we will use on a rotational basis to minimise the impact.

This last trail we got dropped of in the Malalhapanga block and only did 1km before pitching camp close to a waterhole were two ellies were drinking.During the night we heard lions roaring so started tracking them in the morning from the waterhole close to our camp for about 3.5 km along the Mphongolo river until they spotted us and ran off,we gave them a rest to settle down while we were having breakfast at a beautiful pool.We continued tracking them for about 2km but gave up on stony ground around mid day.Returning to camp we packed up and headed to the Malalhapanga spring and enjoyed a bath in the warm water and camped close by.Lots of other game was sighted during the tracking
and even sign of Black rhino.

This is the type of day that you can expect (total freedom)WILDERNESS


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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 6:39 pm 
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This sounds like a dream trail! :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 9:09 am 
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Did another trial run last weak in the Mooi Gesig area along the Pugwane
and it was ekselent

You should ask Betelgeuse for her comments as she was on this trail.


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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 9:09 am 
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There's no getting away from this one hey?! :whistle: :lol:

It was such an awesome experience, I don't really know where to begin...
This trail is not everybody's cup of tea, definitely something different!

Things that are etched in my memory are:
Mooigesig dam and the amazing amount of wildlife around on day 1 - eles, buff and rhino and their interactions. The location of our camp. Listening to the sounds of the wild under the stars.

Sweating it out between the Mopani trees on day 2 and digging for water in dry river beds untill we got to the windmill. Having a rhino peep at us over the river bank and an elephant heading towards the water diggings in the river bed and smelling us in the sand (or was it that elephant bull in musth that he smelt??? :wink: ), but he decided not to hang around anyway. All those elephant sightings! Walking past Sharpe's grysbok & sleeping warthogs (they were huge!). Pitching camp under those big trees and having a swim (we were smelling like elephants by then)...

Being blessed with a cool day, we walked quite a distance since we didn't break up the camp (we took water and food for the day) and saw eland while tracking buffaloes. How cool is that - eland on foot! Whalberg's eagle, impala, kudu, warthogs, elephants and scrub hares were on our list as well.

Walking back we didn't see the large numbers of game at the dam like on day 1 (due to the cooler weather) but we had a good time observing the crocodiles, general game and birds around the water like white-backed vultures, Mosque swallows, Egyptian geese + goslings. We also came across a clean buffalo carcass and had a very ineresting, in-depth geology lesson at an erosion site.

And as it is with all good things, the trail came to an end.

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There is nothing like looking, if u want to find sumthing. You certainly usually find sumthing, if u look, but it is not always quite the sumthing you were after. - JRR Tolkien.


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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 9:44 am 
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Su that sounds amazing.

Thanks for sharing the experience with us.

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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 9:48 am 
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Su Marie , great news !
Did you walk far from the drop off point to the campsite ?
How many nights did you spend in the wilderness ?
Did you use the same campsite ?
Did you lift your backpacks into trees when you went on the walk you mentioned ? (water & food for the day)
The OBPT was a bit of a slog for me with the distances with a backpack

Please tell us more !

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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: Wed Sep 16, 2009 8:21 am 
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:thumbs_up: Beutelgeuse :dance:

Sounds like a winner, with less preassure than the Olifants Back Pack Trail. I wish I could do some planning for next year...... :x

Eland on foot is indeed special, although not in Kruger I've experienced it once :D You mention a lot of rhino...interesting as I have not seen them often up north.

I hope that WHEN you have time sometime and got hold of some pics, a few pictures of camp might be accidentially posted here :wink: :tongue:

:thumbs_up: Thanks for the update!!

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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 2:28 pm 
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Imberbe wrote:
:roll: No camera ... so you will have to go again ... :naughty:

:wink:


*sigh* I'll take my punishment..."like a man" :wink: :lol: O yeah, anytime! :P

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There is nothing like looking, if u want to find sumthing. You certainly usually find sumthing, if u look, but it is not always quite the sumthing you were after. - JRR Tolkien.


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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 2:41 pm 
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Betelgeuse wrote:
This BPT is different to the Olifants BPT in the sense that there is not a specific distance that has to be covered per day which gives the guides more leeway to decide where to pitch camp, when to move camp etc. We camped in the same spot for two nights thus we took only our backpacks with the daily necessities on the day walk and left the other belongings in our tents. The first and last day we didn't walk far. We spent three nights in the wilderness.


All I want to do is be in the wilderness , take it easy , observing the wilderness without human interference ...

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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: Wed Sep 16, 2009 3:12 pm 
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Ndloti I got blisters under my feet...we didn't take it that easy!

Walking the whole day while tracking buffaloes in cool weather meant that we covered a significant distance...not just a walk in the park (excuse the pun) :)

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There is nothing like looking, if u want to find sumthing. You certainly usually find sumthing, if u look, but it is not always quite the sumthing you were after. - JRR Tolkien.


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 Post subject: Re: Mphongolo Back Pack Trail
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 5:24 pm 
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The Mphongolo Trackers are booked May 02 - 04, 2010!!
Could I be the first forumite to go on the trail apart from the reccies by others? :tongue:
Really, really looking forward.
:popcorn: :D

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