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Kruger National Park

Lebombo Eco-trail

The Lebombo Eco Trail is a 5-day (4 night) outdoor adventure spanning a great part of the Kruger National Park.

Called the “wilderness experience on wheels”, the Overland Trail follows the eastern boundary of the Kruger National Park along the Lebombo hills from the extreme South to the extreme North. Experienced, professional guides act as trail leaders and will interpret the various ecozones the trail crosses, at regular intervals.

Although it is not strictly speaking a 4x4 challenge, road conditions vary from reasonably good to a few places with steep inclines and muddy patches where guests are asked to engage in 4 x 4. Without 4 x 4 capabilities, wheels might spin and the road might be damaged. Therefore only 4 x 4 vehicles and only genuine off-road trailers or caravans are allowed.

The trail departs from Crocodile Bridge every Sunday and ends at Pafuri on a Thursday during the dry season from the 1st Sunday in April to the last Sunday in October, after which the rainy season normally commences. Only 5 vehicles plus the guide’s vehicle are allowed on the trail at any one time, with a maximum of 4 people per vehicle. Bookings can be made at central reservations on (012) 428 9111 or with Hester van der Berg on 012 426 5117. Please note that the route may be closed completely after heavy rains.

Additional Information

This Trail is rated as the best eco-trail in Southern Africa due to the diversity of the fauna and flora encountered en route.

The route covers a distance of over 500km. Clients are required to drive their own vehicles, cater for themselves and to carry their own equipment. Guests also need to bring their own firewood and water. At each of the campsites there is a drum for ash but each vehicle needs to carry there own rubbish until it can be disposed of at one of the camps. A maximum of 4 persons per vehicle is allowed.

Only 5 vehicles are allowed on a trail at one time to ensure that the environment is not unduly affected and to afford groups some exclusivity. A ranger from the park, who leads the convoy in his own vehicle, accompanies each group. Regular stops are made by the ranger to interpret aspects within the environment or to share special experiences. Usually, three camps are visited whilst driving up North to refuel, replenish food supplies and to allow tourists the opportunity to shower!

Thanks go to the Trail sponsors, namely Nissan South Africa and VUSWA, for sponsoring the lead vehicle and to Jurgens CI for sponsoring the lead vehicles roof-top tent.

Logistical Information

Five four-wheel drive vehicles will be allowed to participate at a time with up to four participants per vehicle. Each vehicle must be fully equipped with tent, water containers, gas bottles, cooking equipment etc. This is a self-catering activity, usually three camps are visited en route north for fuel, water and showers. The camps usually visited are Lower Sabie, Olifants and Shingwedzi.

A highly experienced trail leader will accompany trail-goers for the duration of the trail, offering safety and an unparalleled bush interpretation that covers geology, biology, botany as well as historical and cultural information.

Starting and Ending of Trail

The trail starts at Crocodile Bridge every Sunday and ends at Pafuri on Thursday at about 12:00. Please report promptly at Crocodile Bridge at 09:00 on the day of departure. Please check that the vehicles are ready for the trip, ensure that everyone has signed an indemnity form (which can be collected from the reception), vehicles are filled with fuel and trail-goers are present for a short debriefing from the trail leader. Delayed departure’s should be avoided so that more time can be spent enjoying the wilderness.

Route

You start off by driving to the eastern boundary where you will have a magnificent view of the Crocodile and Komati rivers, meeting at the border of South Africa and Mozambique. From there it is up a steep hill and across to Lower Sabie along the eastern boundary. Some of the trail runs along the eastern boundary, but this does not deter from the beautiful scenery of wide, open spaces, bushveld on both sides and many magnificent trees. East of Lower Sabie is the first of four unfenced camping sites, each with its own unique and natural feel. Two Enviro-loos (mobile toilets with no chemical component) are provided at each of these, one for ladies and one for gents. Each site has its own unique bush character as they have been left as undisturbed as possible.

The departure time from the camping sites varies depending on the season but will be no later than 07:00 in the morning. Each day is filled with a variety of experiences - from seeing different animal spoor, animals, plant species and birds to dense bush. It ends with the green, "fairytale" scene at Pafuri picnic spot.

The trail is quite exceptional, starting where two countries meet and ending at the joining of a third (South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique). This "meeting place" takes part in the famous Crook’s Corner area in the north. The trail's duration is four nights and five days.

This is not an obstacle course or a testing ground for four-wheel drive vehicles. The participants on this trail will be true bush lovers and ones who enjoy the wilderness.

Equipment and Accessories Guideline

Camping and other equipment
1. Tent, tent pegs and hammer / or rooftop tent
2. Feather duster can also be handy to dust the rear of your vehicle


3. Portable shower
4. Ground sheet, spade and broom
5. Sleeping bag, towels and pillow
6. Inflatable mattress and pump
7. Gas lamp
8. Two torches (extra batteries)
9. Folding table and chairs
10. Gas stove/cooker, handy braai and gas bottle (2)
1. Braai Grid and stand
2. Wood (please supply own)
3. 2 x 25-litre water containers
4. Refrigerator or cool box (for ice and meat)
5. Cooking pot and kettle
6. Medium-sized plastic bowl for washing dishes
7. Fire extinguisher
8. Insect repellent
9. Table cloth

1. Washing and drying cloth
2. Pot scourer and dishwashing liquid
3. Refuse bags
4. Toilet paper
5. Cutlery and crockery
6. Mugs and glasses
7. Wooden spoon, can opener, egg lifter and cutting knife
8. Paper towels
9. Wooden carving board
10. Hot water flask

Tools
Other
First Aid

1. Toolbox should have the necessary spanners, sockets etc.
2. Gas utility spares and mantles
3. Nuts and bolts
4. Puncture repair kit
5. Spare globes
6. Electrical terminals
7. Tie-down straps
8. Fuses
9. Epoxy glue
10. Prestik

1. Personal toiletries (remember biodegradable soap for showering outdoors)
2. Road maps
3. Camera and film
4. Binoculars
5. Appropriate clothing
6. Hat/cap
7. Raincoat
8. Reference books (mammals/trees/birds)
9. Small plastic bowl for washing
10. Sufficient food and beverages

1. Own personal medication
2. Antihistamine ointment and tabs
3. Eye drops
4. Paracetamol
5. Stingose
6. Cotton wool / gauze
7. Plaster
8. Scissors and tweezer
9. Malaria tablets

 

Take Note

  • A maximum of 20 persons (4 persons per vehicle), may participate per trail.
  • No persons over the age of 65 may participate in the trail.
  • No children under the age of 12 will be allowed.
  • All participants have to complete an indemnity form before embarking on the trail. These forms should be handed to the trail ranger before departing on the trail.
  • The general rules and regulations of the Kruger National Park also apply to trailists.
  • Trailists depend on the trail ranger for their safety and for guidance. The trail ranger must therefore be obeyed at all times. Failure to co-operate in this respect could lead to the immediate cancellation of the trail.
  • For safety and ethical reasons excessive consumption of liquor is strongly discouraged.
  • Trailists provide their own food, liquor and soft drinks.
  • Malaria Prophylactics are essential - please consult your chemist.

map

Booking and Tariffs

Booking and tariff enquiries should be directed to Hesther van den Berg on 012 426 5117.

If any accommodation is required before or after the trail, please make a separate reservation. Bookings can be made through the SANParks central booking office in Pretoria, the reservations office in Cape Town and the reservations office in Skukuza. No persons under 12.

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