Skip to Content

Bushmans Wilderness Trail

Discuss activities available in the Kruger National Park, and follow all the sighting reports.
User avatar
wildtuinman
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Posts: 5508
Award: Birder of the Year (2013)
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 10:27 am
Location: Chasing down the rarities

Bushmans Wilderness Trail

Unread postby wildtuinman » Thu Apr 28, 2005 1:51 pm

chocca chinos on the bushman's

I can't wait to go on this trail in June. It is a spectacular area to go hiking in, just as Nic described above. One thing I hope to c which I have missed on a previous occasion is the bushman paintings.

Hopefully I'll get some pics of it and post it here for u guys. Keep ur fingers crossed.

It is amazing how many different types of animals occur in this vicinity. The view from those mountains must be one of the most awesome sights in the Park. Imagine standing up there and looking down below to c game moving around and then to decide to follow the rhino or elephant or lion or as what happened once, wild dogs.

Truely amazing hey? I can't wait!!
668
Latest Lifer(s): Buff-spotted Flufftail, Tree Pipit, Dimorphic Egret, Lesser Jacana, Citrine Wagtail, Black-tailed Godwit

Follow me as I bird on Twitter @wildtuinman

User avatar
wildtuinman
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Posts: 5508
Award: Birder of the Year (2013)
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 10:27 am
Location: Chasing down the rarities

Unread postby wildtuinman » Mon Jun 27, 2005 7:19 am

Why it is called Boesmans trail.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Isn't it amazing what the Kruger can provide? The diversity of Kruger is absolutely incredible!!
668
Latest Lifer(s): Buff-spotted Flufftail, Tree Pipit, Dimorphic Egret, Lesser Jacana, Citrine Wagtail, Black-tailed Godwit

Follow me as I bird on Twitter @wildtuinman

User avatar
wildtuinman
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Posts: 5508
Award: Birder of the Year (2013)
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 10:27 am
Location: Chasing down the rarities

Unread postby wildtuinman » Mon Jun 27, 2005 11:47 am

Image


Image


To walk in a area of 45000 ha is amazing. You can't believe how big the Park really is. Roughly the area of 35000 rugby fields. Amazing hey? We saw the highest point in the Park!!

This trail is situated in one of the most scenic parts of the Park. Rocky outcrops every now and then with some beautifull valleys in between, surrounded by some impressive small mountains.

The shear number of rhino and buffalo there is remarkable. klipspringers were seen on almost every koppie.
Last edited by wildtuinman on Fri Sep 09, 2005 7:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
668
Latest Lifer(s): Buff-spotted Flufftail, Tree Pipit, Dimorphic Egret, Lesser Jacana, Citrine Wagtail, Black-tailed Godwit

Follow me as I bird on Twitter @wildtuinman

User avatar
wildtuinman
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Posts: 5508
Award: Birder of the Year (2013)
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 10:27 am
Location: Chasing down the rarities

Unread postby wildtuinman » Tue Jun 28, 2005 6:46 am

More pics from the boesmans...

Buff.
Image

Rondawel at Boesmans
Image

View from sundowner
Image

Another view from sundowner
Image
Last edited by wildtuinman on Fri Sep 09, 2005 7:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
668
Latest Lifer(s): Buff-spotted Flufftail, Tree Pipit, Dimorphic Egret, Lesser Jacana, Citrine Wagtail, Black-tailed Godwit

Follow me as I bird on Twitter @wildtuinman

User avatar
wildtuinman
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Posts: 5508
Award: Birder of the Year (2013)
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 10:27 am
Location: Chasing down the rarities

Unread postby wildtuinman » Tue Jun 28, 2005 8:52 am

Just a bit more about the boesmans trail.

It is the only trails camp that has rondawel shaped sleeping accomodation.

There are 2 showers and 2 toilet facilities. The ranger, assistant and cook has got their own facilities hidden a bit away on the other side of the camp.

The one toilet has got the most lovely view, right on the fence. That is were I saw the elephant on the Thursday morning early.

The camp itself is fence with about a 4-5 foot wire fence which only the first meter or so has cables running all around. the latter part of the height is normal wire.

There is a waterhole +- 30m from the fence just behind the lapa which attracts plenty of game as it is the only water facility in the immediate area.

The camp consists out of 4 rondawels, a lapa, a kitchen and a storage facility with deep freezers.

Just outside the lapa there is a fixed fireplace which attracts semi sober hikers at nightfall.

The Wolhuter trails camp is the nearest other form of human inhabitation from this camp.

The trails camp is good for birding and crested francolin, pied barbet, arrow-marked babbler, green-backed cameroptera, souther boubou, grey go-away bird, green pigeon and cardinal woodpecker are frequently seen. the tap and birdbaths just behind the lapa is a good spot to look for birds.

A typical day at all trails would look like this:

5:30 - awakened by assistant ranger with a friendly good morning who pours hot water in a small basin just outside the rondawel.

5:45 - arriving at the fireplace for coffee and rusks and a quick brief by the ranger on the walk.

6:00 - set out for the walk on foot form the camp.

6:30 - Watching the sunrise from a nearby hill.

8:30 - Having breakfast snacks on a hill or boulder overlooking the vast area. Snacks include: apples, juice, boerewors, nuts, dried fruit, provitas, cheese and jelly beans.

11:00 - arriving back at camp and getting feed up and a drink or 2.

11:30 - Having a proper breakfast which contains scrambled eggs, bacon, pork sausages, toast, juice and onions and tomatoes.

12:30 - off for sietsa or waterhole watching or shower or whatever.

15:00 - meet for the afternoon walk, normally a short one accomponied by a drive to a spot where sundowners will be taken.

17:30 - walking back to the vehicle and after a short nightdrive arrive back at camp.

18:30 - Dinner consisting either out of stew, steak and wors or chicken followed by a treat afterwards like fruit and custard.

19:30 - Socialising around the campfire untill whenever.
668
Latest Lifer(s): Buff-spotted Flufftail, Tree Pipit, Dimorphic Egret, Lesser Jacana, Citrine Wagtail, Black-tailed Godwit

Follow me as I bird on Twitter @wildtuinman

Jumbo

Unread postby Jumbo » Tue Jun 28, 2005 11:34 am

Ok WTM, you just convinced me to do this trail. Even if its for nothing else but this:

wildtuinman wrote:The one toilet has got the most lovely view, right on the fence. That is were I saw the elephant on the Thursday morning early.


Just love toilets with views. :lol: Did you take your binocular with when you visited the toilet? :hmz:

User avatar
wildtuinman
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Posts: 5508
Award: Birder of the Year (2013)
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 10:27 am
Location: Chasing down the rarities

Unread postby wildtuinman » Wed Jun 29, 2005 7:59 am

Had absolutely lovely food on the Boesmans trail.

Except for friday afternoon's. I misssed it due to being down and out in the bungalow.

Thanks Elson(Boesman's cook) for the great food.

Breakfast snacks consisted out of boerewors, nuts, apples, peanuts, gum sweets, provitas and cheese and fruit juice.

Brunch consisted out of bacon or pork sausages or both, scrambled eggs, toast, onion and tomato mix and pap and juice.

Dinner was either steak and boerewors, chicken, stew and garlic bread, salad, pap.

finished off with a fruit salad and custard.

The whole time coffee, tea, hot chocolate, biscuits and rusks were available.

Lovely!!
668
Latest Lifer(s): Buff-spotted Flufftail, Tree Pipit, Dimorphic Egret, Lesser Jacana, Citrine Wagtail, Black-tailed Godwit

Follow me as I bird on Twitter @wildtuinman

User avatar
wildtuinman
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Posts: 5508
Award: Birder of the Year (2013)
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 10:27 am
Location: Chasing down the rarities

Unread postby wildtuinman » Fri Sep 09, 2005 7:55 am

Typical sighting on Bushman's trail whilst sitting on a rocky outcrop and having breakfast snacks.

Image

A view from the camp towards the dam at morning time.

Image

A view of the terrain in which the trail is conducted.

Image
668
Latest Lifer(s): Buff-spotted Flufftail, Tree Pipit, Dimorphic Egret, Lesser Jacana, Citrine Wagtail, Black-tailed Godwit

Follow me as I bird on Twitter @wildtuinman

internationalstudent
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2005 11:39 am
Location: Johannesburg

Report

Unread postby internationalstudent » Fri Sep 16, 2005 8:24 pm

Thanks so much to everyone for all of the advice!

Both of us were very happy we did the drive to Kruger -- that was excellent advice.
To get out of town we used the last set of directions posted, MM's "shortest route," which worked great.
It was a lot easier than I thought it would be to drive on the other side of the road. (It helps that the gas and brake pedals stay the same in relation to each other!)
We ended up eating lunch at Milly's by accident -- we just stopped at a rest stop for lunch, and the lunch place ended up being BJ's/Milly's Trout Farm.

We both had an absolutely fantastic time at Kruger.
We arrived via Malelane Gate and saw all kinds of animals (including elephants crossing the road right in front of us) on the way in to Skukuza.
I was worried that Skukuza might feel busy or noisy, especially since it was a Saturday night, but in fact it was extremely quiet.
The next day we drove down to Berg-en-Dal for our Wilderness Trail.
It was hard to make it on time, since we wanted to stop for everything -- even the fiftieth impala is just as much fun to watch as the first.
Everything about the Wilderness Trail was great.
Our guide was terrific: he was just as excited about being out in the bush as we were, and just as enthusiastic about everything we saw.
We really enjoyed the bush camp: the round huts were fun to stay in, and there was a watering hole next to the camp where we saw all kinds of animals.
While we were there, my boyfriend became addicted to rusks (anyone know where to find them in the US?).
The walks themselves were great, too, and made a really nice complement to the drives we went on before and after the Trail, since you're really looking at different things, like animal tracks, that you just can't see from a car.
One thing I was wondering: our guide ate with us, but the second-in-command guide and the cook ate separately. Wouldn't it have been nicer for everyone to eat together?

For anyone going to do a trail: I was very glad I wore long pants, especially when I looked down and saw a group of pepper ticks on my pant leg (also, the people who wore shorts got kind of scratched up).
I think this isn't normally a problem, but when there's a rhino blocking the trail, you have to go more in the bush where the ticks and prickly things are.
Hiking boots aren't worth buying just for the trail, but they're nice to have if you've already got them.
I bought a lantern-type flash-light for the trip, which was useful in the hut and the bathroom as a supplement to the kerosene lamps provided.
We didn't bring our own water bottle on the first walk because the guide said he was bringing plenty of water, but then we didn't drink much because we didn't want to trouble the guide to take water out for us every time we wanted a drink, so after that we brought our own water.
(We had Nalgene bottles with us, which were admired by everyone -- they're less common here than in the US.)

When we finished up the trail, we weren't ready to leave Kruger, so we were really happy we'd planned to spend another night there (as a result of good advice).

One other piece of advice: apparently temporary residents (such as international students) can pay local rather than international conservation fees if you have a temporary residence permit.
Not every employee is aware of this policy, however -- when we showed up at the Wilderness Trail, some German students were arguing about it with the employee behind the desk.
I was really glad that I had gone ahead and bought a Wild Card and didn't have to worry about persuading anyone that I was supposed to pay local rates.

Overall, it was a really fantastic trip.
We spent half of my boyfriend's time in South Africa in Kruger, and every day was worth it.
He says, and I agree, that if we both lived here permanently, we'd want to go on each of the Wilderness Trails over time.
Part of the reason our trip went so well was the advice that I received here -- thanks so much to everyone!

internationalstudent
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2005 11:39 am
Location: Johannesburg

Unread postby internationalstudent » Fri Sep 16, 2005 8:34 pm

I forgot to add . . . one of the really pleasant things about the Wilderness Trail was that we had a campfire to sit around every night. If I had thought about it, I might have brought marshmallows with me to roast.

User avatar
Loams
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 864
Joined: Fri May 20, 2005 8:48 am
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa

Unread postby Loams » Sat Sep 17, 2005 7:15 am

internationalstudent wrote: something will eat your soap (anyone know what?) if you leave it in the bathroom.


A Hyena that was blowing bubbles as it laughed??? :wink: :roll:
Operation "Duke" Member

Being African is not determined by race, but by what's in your heart

User avatar
wildtuinman
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Posts: 5508
Award: Birder of the Year (2013)
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 10:27 am
Location: Chasing down the rarities

Unread postby wildtuinman » Thu Jul 06, 2006 7:41 am

More pics from the bushman trail.

Toilet with view. :lol:

Image

Eating area...

Image

Camp fire...

ImageLarge

To wash your kisser with early morning...

Image
Last edited by Elsa on Sat Jul 04, 2015 9:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: pic resized.
668
Latest Lifer(s): Buff-spotted Flufftail, Tree Pipit, Dimorphic Egret, Lesser Jacana, Citrine Wagtail, Black-tailed Godwit

Follow me as I bird on Twitter @wildtuinman

User avatar
wildtuinman
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Posts: 5508
Award: Birder of the Year (2013)
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 10:27 am
Location: Chasing down the rarities

Unread postby wildtuinman » Tue Sep 19, 2006 6:00 pm

pirata wrote:Heyyy I owe you my report,


You certainly do! :lol:

pirata wrote:just for those still wondering if Bushman trail is worth or not, IT IS!!! It was for me and my husband one of our nicest experiences in life!


Great, the camp very nice, the guides:


pirata wrote:Nick, Orris and Elson the cooker, were great


Haaaa! So you had Nick Squires and Orris, Elson the good man, who can beat him @ cooking?!

I walked with Orris last year June. Very dedicated young man.

pirata wrote:, the food very very nice! Of course nothing sofisticated, but nice and plenty... Nothing to complain about the camp, the huts were quite rudimentary, but fine anyway. I can only be very very thanks for the great time they make us enjoy!

The trail is perfect!!! you can see plenty of animals, and since it is a quite montain place, you can get quite close to animals without them getting notice of you... Incredible!

We saw wilddogs! and hunting!! and feeding their children!!

well, a very very nice and recomendable experience...

I'll put pictures and other things soon, promise!


Oh great!! I am so delighted that you enjoyed it... Very few things beat the wilderness trail experience in Kruger. 8)
668
Latest Lifer(s): Buff-spotted Flufftail, Tree Pipit, Dimorphic Egret, Lesser Jacana, Citrine Wagtail, Black-tailed Godwit

Follow me as I bird on Twitter @wildtuinman

Daj
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 11:34 pm

Wilderness Trail

Unread postby Daj » Tue Oct 10, 2006 11:48 pm

We second everything that Pirata said since we were on the same trail, and it was the highlight of our Kruger trip. She didn't mention (yet, though waiting for the full report!) how we sat on a Koppie with 4 male elephants feeding around us just metres away, or sitting on a rock watching a mother & baby rhino feeding below us!
Thanks to Nick & Orris for sharing their skill & knowledge with us. Definitely reccommended!

User avatar
ndloti
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 4958
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2006 1:45 pm
Location: southern gauteng

Bushmans Trail

Unread postby ndloti » Fri Jul 27, 2007 3:56 pm

Planning to go walk Bushmans 26 Aug , havent been there since 2001 .

Any one walked bushmans trail in last month ?

Any rain lately , is there any water in spruits , has the water hole at the camp got water ? ( does the water hole still exist ? )

Has the camp changed , and is the wilderness & camp experience the same as before , now that the running of trails has reverted to SANParks ?

I long back to the days when , in my opinion , the trails rangers
seemed to have a more deep seated interest in the trailists ( spirituall ? ) wilderness well being . ( Or is it the trailists had a more deep seated interest )
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.


Return to “KNP Activities & Sightings”