Skip to Content

Sweni trail

Discuss activities available in the Kruger National Park, and follow all the sighting reports.
User avatar
ndloti
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 4237
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2006 1:45 pm
Location: southern gauteng

Unread postby ndloti » Tue Jun 24, 2008 9:49 pm

Thanks for posting !
The poles of the lapa roof (where python is visible) is secured to the vertical supports just above eye level by strips of a buffalo skin which was shot to feed the the workforce who built the camp during the construction of Sweni in 1989/90 .
I have spent many pleasant days (about 25) there .
Last edited by ndloti on Wed Jun 25, 2008 9:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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.

Elize Botha
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2008 3:47 pm

Sweni

Unread postby Elize Botha » Wed Jun 25, 2008 4:18 pm

I just want to confirm that the Sweni Trail was one of the most exciting things I have done in my life. Walking with lions is definitely something you can not describe to someone, you have to experience it yourself. Worth every cent!

Alrine
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jun 26, 2008 4:42 pm

Unread postby Alrine » Thu Jun 26, 2008 8:02 pm

Hi I’m one of Tersia’s Lion Ladies
(that’s what Obed, our one ranger, called us because of all the lions we saw).
This was my very first trip to Kruger and now I’m totally hooked.
It was a fantastic experience and I’m almost scared that I won’t enjoy next year (doing Olifant’s) as much as this year.
We stayed 2 nights before and after our Sweni trial and experienced so much, even load shedding just when the driver dropped us off in the parking lot of Lower Sabie after our night drive.
Do you know how scary it is in the Kruger when all lights are turned off, its pitch dark and you only know more or less in which direction the safari tent camps are?
Can’t wait for next year.
D4M

User avatar
deidre
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2010 1:47 pm
Location: Johannesburg

Re: Sweni Wilderness Trail

Unread postby deidre » Wed Jul 07, 2010 2:46 pm

I have done all the trails and going for the 2nd round.
The trails are the highlight of my year.
My fist trail was in 1999 where I got hooked and has being going on them once every year.
I will post some photo's of the other trails as well.

User avatar
ndloti
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 4237
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2006 1:45 pm
Location: southern gauteng

Re: Sweni Wilderness Trail

Unread postby ndloti » Thu Jul 08, 2010 8:37 am

Concerning lions ?
Either Sweni or Metsi Metsi prior to the first summer rains around October (sometimes the rain is later) , though it depends largely on availability of forage and the previous seasons rainfall -
though prey species seem to instinctively rotate their grazing patterns .
From my experiences being in the right place at the right time is the main deciding factor .
I have been on trail where we saw very little game where the trails ranger remarked that the group which he guided on the previous trail 3 days prior saw much more game .
One year in August on trail we saw plenty of general game on the first day and after a short rain shower that evening we saw perhaps half a dozen animals during a whole mornings walk - even though the wind was still and it was warm and sunny .
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.

User avatar
deidre
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2010 1:47 pm
Location: Johannesburg

Re: Sweni Wilderness Trail

Unread postby deidre » Thu Jul 08, 2010 4:58 pm

I went on the Nyalaland Trail a couple of years back during September and I nearly died of the heat.
I will agree with "ndloti" that Sweni or Metsi-Metsi is your best option to see lions (but I cannot promise anything).
But as I said it will be VERY humid and hot in October.

Concerning the group you go with.
I've been very fortunate to have a great group of friends that love the bush as much as I do
For the past 6 years we have had the same group of friends going on these trails.
I think it is very important to know the people you go with on any trip, the trails being no exception.
I cannot think of anybody not enjoying the trails and connecting to your “roots” but hey, that’s just me.

User avatar
deidre
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2010 1:47 pm
Location: Johannesburg

Re: Sweni Wilderness Trail

Unread postby deidre » Sun Jul 18, 2010 3:55 pm

Hi Guys, I'm back and had a awesome time. Will post my photo's, video's and report this week. :wink:

PS: We had lion and hyena battling for their share of a wildebeest carcass about 80m from our A-frame. More to follow...

User avatar
Merel
Posts: 35
Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:32 pm
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Sweni Wilderness Trail

Unread postby Merel » Tue Jul 20, 2010 9:47 pm

Lions on the way to a sundowner.
Don't you just love those sundowners!
Thanks for the photos of the hut Deidre; looks good to me.
I have done most Wilderness Trails once, accept for Wolhuter and Sweni.
The Sweni is always quickly fully booked.
I cannot wait to be there.

User avatar
ndloti
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 4237
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2006 1:45 pm
Location: southern gauteng

Re: Sweni Wilderness Trail

Unread postby ndloti » Wed Jul 21, 2010 9:57 am

Deidre , your pics have spurred me on ... what memories ...
Image
Dec 2005 , these were my guides , this could have been taken on the same ridge as the pic of Obed & Julius .
Image
Image
At the Sweni crossing near Marabou windmill , Dec 2004 .
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.

sanyrob
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 11:59 am
Location: Bruxelles, Belgium

Re: Sweni Wilderness Trail

Unread postby sanyrob » Sun Dec 19, 2010 5:44 pm

We are planning to do the Sweni Trail in late September 2011.
Do you think it's a good time to do the trail?
Is there a lot of game during this period??
This November we've been in Nyalaland and just start raining while we were there?
In general, when do the rains start in the sweni region???
Pretoriuskoop 18/09/2011
Croc Bridge 19/09/2011
Satara 20/09/2011
Sweni 21-24/09/2011
Skukuza 24/09/2011

User avatar
ndloti
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 4237
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2006 1:45 pm
Location: southern gauteng

Re: Sweni Wilderness Trail

Unread postby ndloti » Mon Dec 20, 2010 8:55 am

The rains tend to start around October , so Sweni should offer good sightings and visibility at the end of September as game should be concentrated around permanent water as there should be little water in wallows and depressions .
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.

User avatar
ndloti
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 4237
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2006 1:45 pm
Location: southern gauteng

Re: Sweni Wilderness Trail

Unread postby ndloti » Mon Mar 14, 2011 5:40 pm

Image


Sweni camp March 1991 .
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.

User avatar
bambazonke
Posts: 127
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2009 5:21 pm
Location: here and there

Re: Sweni Wilderness Trail

Unread postby bambazonke » Mon Mar 14, 2011 7:24 pm

sweni

this is the first wilderness trail eldest son and I did together, he got the trail as a 13th birthday present, and even though we went on the others including his brother when he reached the magic age, he still talks about this one the most (hunting for spiders by torchlight) What fun!!! NOT
"If Life had a second edition, how would I correct the proofs" Samuel Butler

NO HOTEL DEVELOPMENT IN KRUGER

User avatar
deidre
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2010 1:47 pm
Location: Johannesburg

Re: The Trails Rangers.

Unread postby deidre » Mon Jul 25, 2011 2:54 pm

My First Trail:

I guess I’m kind of funny in that I do not enjoy my first experience of anything I do, no matter how exhilarating it may be.
This includes but is not limited to my first day at school, my first open water scuba dive, my first motorbike ride, my first bungee jump and many more firsts that I probably shouldn’t mention.
It takes me a couple of times to get into it and I then usually decide if I enjoyed the experience or not.
Surprisingly, this didn’t happen to me on my first trail.
I probably had some misgivings when I climbed into the ranging vehicle on our way to the Sweni trail, but after the first night at camp I knew this experience was for me and something that I would do over and over again.
I think that what made it particularly memorable for me was the little speech that Robert Bryden made the first evening around the camp fire.
In no way do I suggest that this was a prepared speech, it came over very naturally and he probably repeated the same concepts a hundred times to other visitors.
Traditionally, the trail rangers use the first evening to go over the ground rules regarding the camp and the hikes and you get half an hour or so to chat with them before enjoying dinner.
This evening was different though.
We were a boisterous group of experienced trail veterans (I was the only newbie) and there was a lot of joking and teasing going on around the camp fire.
I think one or two of the jokes were probably targeted at Robert and me (I was the only male in the group between Deidre` and all her female buddies), so I guess I naturally gravitated towards Robert and more male-oriented conversation and his stories fascinated me.
When it was time, Robert quietened everyone down and started.

“Hi everyone and welcome to the Sweni trail.
This is probably one of my favorite trails with some of the best memories I have of the bush.
The area encompasses about 50 000 hectares with pristine savannah bush and the Sweni river as its focal point.
We regularly see kills as the river serves as a gathering point for game and where there is game there are predators such as lions, leopards and cheetah.
We’ll probably run into some scavengers such as hyena and jackal, but I doubt it if we’ll see wild dog due to their small numbers.
The trails are fun and exciting but I would like you to think of a couple of things while we’re hiking tomorrow. Walking in the veldt you realize just how insignificant the so-called civilized human species really is. '
You are surrounded by all types of danger.
Imagine getting lost in the bush.
How would you survive?
Strangely enough there are still tribes that live off the land as hunter gatherers.
Some tribes hunt dangerous game with only a bow and arrow or a spear.
They have learnt to survive and adapt to this way of life.
The Shangaan people have managed to become ingenious trackers, following their prey for days.
They can identify a single animal by its spoor alone; figure out if the animal is injured, its approximate age and how many days it was ahead of them.
If you had to track an elephant, would you even know in which direction it was travelling?
I bet you wouldn’t.
In our culture of fast food and instant gratification, how would you adapt to having to stalk your dinner for days and risk getting injured in the hunt.
Breaking a leg or busting a rib?
Out here there are no hospitals that will treat you; you are left to your own devices.
Would you know which plants serve as natural antibiotics if you have severe septicemia?
Simple things like brushing your teeth, how would you do it?
With what would you make a bed?
Where is the best place to make a bed?
And how about fire, the most important tool to be harnessed by civilized man.
With fire we are able to cook our food to help us ingest the energy quicker.
It wards of dangers in the night and uplifts your spirit and keeps us warm.
What would you do when the last of your lighter fluid runs out?
How would you transport your fire or smoldering coals as you travel?
Where would you get water and how would you carry it if you had no vessel?
What plants are safe to eat and how would you know that?
Where do you hide from an Elephant, behind a bush or behind a tree?
And a rhino?
Why are cattle so important to the Masai people?
For the meat?
Guess again.
They drink their blood as a source of protein and to cure hangovers.
All these questions seem simple until you get confronted with the harsh reality of surviving in the bush.
And you will be amazed at how comfortably the indigenous people live.
There are even plants that serve as a source of alcohol (not, it’s not the Marula fruit) and to cure hangovers.
So, on our menu tonight is lamb stew with potatoes, mealie bread with jam, three beans salad and a leafy garden salad.
Just imagine how long it would have taken us to gather this bounty!
And trust me, I have had far better meals with my Shangaan friends than we’re having tonight.
Fish, game meat and Mopani worms with Marula tea and palm beer.
Delicious!
Let’s enjoy the food and remember what we talked about this evening when you’re hiking tomorrow.
Try and get back to your roots and figure out what being human is all about.
What are the actual important things in life and why we shouldn’t sweat the small stuff?
Think about how amazingly fortunate we all are to be here.
Enjoy the evening guys!”
Robert left to go dish up but I remained at the fire to think about what he said.
I could see the other members of the party were also visibly touched by his words.
We enjoyed our meals in silence, pondering on the fact that an enormous amount of energy went into gathering and preparing this meal.
I cracked open a beer and proposed a toast to the growers of hops and barley.
Everyone joined in and the festivities commenced.
The next evening, on the way back from the night drive, Robert stopped the truck and switched it off.
He killed all the lights and asked us to switch of all our torches.
We sat in bewildered silence for a couple of minutes until our eyes adjusted to the dark.
We could hear the night sounds, frogs croaking and all kinds of weird chirps and tweets that I couldn’t identify.
I heard a rush of wings close by as a night jar took off.
I secretly wondered if I would be able to survive the night on my own.
I looked up at the stars and once again marveled at the wonderful perfection of it all.
Robert started the ranging truck and we roared back to camp.
I had experienced a magical day.

User avatar
Icebear
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2011 8:08 am
Location: Kampala

Re: Sweni Wilderness Trail

Unread postby Icebear » Mon Oct 10, 2011 10:53 am

Sweni has a low fence and as the Lapa and fireplace with the lounge is high up facing a waterhole, you don't see the fence there.
Also not from most of the huts.
Saw lots of Rhino, 1 spotted hyena and other game there from above.

Sweni has a rather puny diamond mesh fence.
A long time ago I was on the Bushmans which had thick steel cables strung around poles and sturdy trees, a bit over 2 m high.
Game proof, one would think.
The veld had burned and the only green in a large area was inside the camp.
During the night some ellies nonchalantly pushed over the trees and flattened the fence.
The next morning we were greeted by munching ellies all over the camp.

It was fantastic!

In Aug we were in Sweni and the lions roared close to the camp.
A friend who went to the toilet at night didn't dare to come back for a long time.
He was convinced the lions were in the camp.

So, fences are necessary, but not bomb proof.
But I have never felt that they distract from the wilderness experience.
That rather comes from flushing loos, hot showers, good food, and a fridge for your drinks :)


Return to “KNP Activities & Sightings”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests


Webcam Highlights

Addo
Submitted by kcilliers at 08:29:21
orpen
Submitted by Oumie at 20:53:54
satara
Submitted by JeanetteAnne at 10:09:47
nossob
Submitted by LindaE at 09:19:30