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Sweni trail

Legendary Virtual Ranger
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 10:27 am
Posts: 5297
Location: Chasing down the rarities
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Wed Jun 29, 2005 8:21 am Unread post
I did the Sweni trail last year in June.
Lovely trails camp with excellent views from almost all A-frame huts.
All huts have a little wooden deck with nice layback chairs.

A view from the waterhole linking out of the Sweni stream from the fire area is awesome.
Hippos are present there.

The sweni area about 50000ha is excellent for almost all game species and is host to the Park's biggest lion concentration.
No wonder we had 2 prides roaring at each other on the first night on both ends of the camp.
They were so close that you could smell them and hear the intake of air as they were about to roar.

The sun-downer spots are awesome alternating between a low water bridge and a lookout from a hilltop with a breathtaking view to the east.

The walks are conducted more on the flat open plains of the Sweni area.

Good sightings of lion, rhino and elephant were marked on the trail.
Awesome to see sometimes flocks of up to 30 ostriches.
Plenty of general game around which gives you the impression that anything can happen at anytime and causes some major adrenalin rushes.

Birding is quite prolific on this trail and we picked up a 103 species on the 3 days.

A truly lovely trail!!
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Virtual Ranger
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 9:10 pm
Posts: 706
Location: Cape Town
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Wed Jun 29, 2005 8:50 am Unread post
WTM does the Sweni trail go along the Sweni river?
If it does will pass it onto my SO.
He just loves that road and keep on going on it at least 5 times during our trip :!:
He is thinking of going on a trail next year (I have to stay in the camp due to back problems :cry:,
but I sit and watch the birds :!: )

Legendary Virtual Ranger
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 10:27 am
Posts: 5297
Location: Chasing down the rarities
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Wed Jun 29, 2005 9:05 am Unread post
Oumie, it is quite far from any tourist road that you know off.
Some parts of the trail is conducted along the Sweni stream.
It is a huge area, roughly 50000 ha.
It is a beautiful part of the Park.
Lots of open plains mostly.

If you look at the map you'll see that the trails camp is some km's below the Nwanetsi tar road.

Some parts of the area is very similar to that you and your husband drives.

Legendary Virtual Ranger
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 10:27 am
Posts: 5297
Location: Chasing down the rarities
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Fri May 26, 2006 12:59 pm Unread post
Tracking the Sweni lions.

The wet cat smell hangs strongly in the air, almost as strong as the sound of two lion prides’ roaring on opposite sides of the Sweni Wilderness Trail camp.
Now is not the time to go deal with the consequences of the earlier consumption of a couple or more of beers around the campfire.

Pitch dark.
Lions roaring their heads off.
And they are real close, so close that you can smell them.

Earlier in the day we were picked up at Satara by our trails’ rangers.
A lovely dinner and socializing around the campfire set the tone.
Never would we expect to experience nature in the form of lions going mad right outside the camp on the first night.

Early the next morning we set out to find these felines.
Only footprints.
Not a visual of any lion.
After tracking lion spoor, not clear and even sometimes invisible, leading by our tracker for 2 hours we decided to pull out the breakfast feast.
How lions manage to cover such a vast distance in a morning still remains unclear to me.

Breakfast consisting of crackers, cheese, biltong, fruit juice, dried fruit and fresh fruit are being laid out delicately by our guides on our breakfast table; a rocky outcrop.
Half way through our meal we got silenced by one of the guides.
A white rhino bull appears from nowhere and gently makes his way towards us.
Cameras out and action!
Only after he came 15m from us did he realize that something was lurking in front of him.
He stood dead still… And then trotted off away from us.

What a way to enjoy a breakfast!!

Lion tracking continued after breakfast, which brought us to a kill.
Young kudu bull, our guide informs us. Lion spoor all over the place.
Nothing left of the kudu except for the horns and a hoof.
Silently our guide replays the event of the happenings.
Astonishing how good he replays the events in front of our eyes.

The executors, 5 female lions, 2 young ones and 2 males, only 30min in front of us.
We take the spoor of the 2 males whom broke away from the pride.
viewtopic.php?t=16557We are getting close, real close if you listen to the calls of helmeted guinefowl going off like burglar alarms. Then suddenly… a guinea-fowl flushes and I have my heart bouncing around in front of my feet.
At the stream 2 fresh pairs of male lion spoor.
Soaking wet.

As we continue to move through the stream we see the “spin marks” of a zebra, which would make a Gezina voortrekker street racer proud.
There he stands looking as nervous as an Elvis Presley impersonator before his maiden show.
Lions? No sign but they are too close.
And our guides lead us away to safety.

A day later, having sun-downers on top of a hill, everyone gasps at the beauty of unspoilt Kruger nature. Forty thousand hectares of it, stretching out in front of us.
No one says a word.
Only the memories of the 2 days’ hike and the close encounter with the lions in our minds.
The only sound is that coming from a waterbuck clearing the stream below us and the sound of a chin-spot Batis.
Oh yes and of course that off an Amarula bottle’s “doep-doep-doep”.

Junior Virtual Ranger
Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 2:36 pm
Posts: 244
Location: 40 yrs South Africa, 4 yrs United States
Tue Nov 14, 2006 2:45 pm Unread post
Hi Fredi

Some of the pics I could find on my adventure on the Sweni.







Hope it gives some idea of what it's all about

Last edited by Elsa on Mon Nov 26, 2012 3:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Resized Pics.

Sweni Trail

Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2006 10:41 pm
Posts: 2
Location: Belgium
Mon Dec 18, 2006 11:49 pm Unread post
Hey folks,
I'm back in Belgium now.

I did the Sweni trail from 29/11 till 02/12.
We had 2 excellent guides Laurence and Obet.
The other guy's doing the trail were 6 South Africans, 3 men with their wives mid 50 year each.
They all where living in the Lowveld and were farmers.
They constantly spoke Afrikaans what was easy to understand for us.
Problem was that they were not prepared and they didn't know what such a trail is.
They thought they would have a nice 3 day in the bush with friends in the bush drinking beers at a sun-downer.
So some of them couldn't walk a lot what was a big disappointment for us.
We were very lucky we had 2 excellent guides.
We saw a lot but walked not enough!
Otherwise I can recommend you that trail and the professional Kruger staff that accompanies you.


Virtual Ranger
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2006 12:11 pm
Posts: 1607
Location: Back on earth.....
Sat Nov 03, 2007 12:59 pm Unread post
I'm not sure, but I think 'game wise' and 'scenery wise' this is the best trail to do?
Anyone that agrees?
Because if it is, I will do this trail...!!

Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2006 11:40 pm
Posts: 70
Location: Barberton
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Thu Nov 08, 2007 6:46 pm Unread post
I've only been on the Sweni so can't compare with others... but it was great!
We went 29 March 2006 with guide Kally and tracker Ozzy - great guides too.

Onto the Sweni, we saw white rhino and the guides were disappointed that the rhinos got wind of us and ran off but frankly we were all OK with it!
Got a good look at them and don't want to get too close!

We did get lions on foot.
Beforehand I thought I wouldn't want to (too scary) but when it actually happened, it was amazing!
They ran off and as Kally was explaining to us what he think had happened etc., I saw another one behind him (quite a distance).
We couldn't believe it, it was really amazing.

My trip report and video of the lion encounter.

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:31 pm
Posts: 9785
Location: Ballito, KZN North Coast, South Africa
Thu Nov 08, 2007 9:46 pm Unread post
That was an amazing video clip wilmaw, what a wonderful experience, thanks for sharing. :D

Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2007 2:43 pm
Posts: 5
Location: Cape Town
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Sat Dec 08, 2007 5:31 pm Unread post
Hi all,

Can anyone tell me what the lower age limit is on the Wilderness trails like Sweni?

How old do kids have to be and what are the distances covered?

Many thanks in advance...

Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2005 12:28 am
Posts: 14226
Location: Pretoria, RSA
Sat Dec 08, 2007 10:56 pm Unread post
No children under 12 allowed on trails.

Sweni Wilderness trail

Senior Virtual Ranger
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2006 1:45 pm
Posts: 4954
Location: southern gauteng
Tue Feb 26, 2008 10:13 am Unread post
Can anyone who has been on Sweni in the last month or so update us on veld conditions and animal sightings ?

And BTW , the pics posted above by fannymays are almostly , if not all , of Napi trail .

Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2007 4:58 pm
Posts: 22
Location: Gauteng but wishing i was in Kruger
Tue Feb 26, 2008 4:58 pm Unread post
Went on the sweni trail some 16 years ago.
excellent sighting.
Saw lion and elephant that the rangers had to take down the week before because it charged a group on the trail.

The lions left the carcass the day after and we have a change to get up close to the carcass.

Dead ellie more that a week ripe in the Africa sun is not something to enjoy on a walk.

Did not see much the second day. the rangers had to try and catch some illegals/ poachers from Mozambique that were returning to Mozambique through the park and had to resort to shooting over the heads of the fleeing people to stop them in their tracks, then had to wait for rangers to come and arrest these people.

other that that incident wonderful trip!

Wilderness Trails - Sweni

Joined: Sat May 31, 2008 12:57 pm
Posts: 1
Location: SA - KZN
Sat May 31, 2008 1:04 pm Unread post
Hi there!
I'm really keen to do the Sweni Trail - I've visited Kruger many times but this will be my first trail.

2 questions:
The info states the camps are fenced - does this take away from the 'bush-veld' experience?
Do you feel cut off from the bush, or do you still have a good view into the environment?

-How fit do you have to be?
About how far do you walk?
I'm young and don't need a cane or anything but am not super fit!


Senior Virtual Ranger
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2006 1:45 pm
Posts: 4954
Location: southern gauteng
Sat May 31, 2008 1:37 pm Unread post
The camps of all the trails (besides the Olifants back packing trail) are fenced, although certain sized animals will be able to enter and have entered .
If people are up after the trails ranger has gone to bed animals would possibly pose a threat and the camps are also large enough for dangerous animals to be hidden within without trailists knowing of their presence till it is perhaps too late.
The fences are not high , perhaps 1.5 metres and one can still easily see out of the camps and I am of the opinion that although there is a perception of it, the safety concerns outweigh the detraction from the bushveld experience .
If you page further down on this topic you will find a separate thread on each trail , as well as one "Wilderness Trails , FAQ" (frequently asked Questions) which will answer most of your questions .
A moderate degree of walking fitness is all that is required .

This is Sweni trails camp, a view of the lapa .
To the right you can see the roof of one of the huts , 2 are on the one side of the lapa , another 2 on the opposite side of the lapa behind the point from where the photo was taken .


This is a view fom the lapa northwards .

The bathrooms .

The huts , they have a small verandah on the opposite side with a view over the plain similar to that from the lapa .

Last edited by Elsa on Mon Nov 26, 2012 3:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Resized Pics.


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