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Info walks taken from camps.

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LionWhisperer

Re: best camps for bush walks?

Unread post by LionWhisperer » Wed Mar 30, 2011 1:40 pm

I did my first Bushwalk in 2007, and have done 6 since then.
We did 4 from Letaba, and 2 from others camps.

Letaba is now our Bush walk location.
On our last trip, we did no drives from Letaba, but 2 walks instead, along with no walks in any other camp.

The difference we found betweem the walks from Letaba, and the other camps, was just the attention to detail.
When we did a walk from Satara, we walked looking for game on foot, and stopped maybe twice in the whole walk to talk about the smaller things.
We saw no game, so the walk fell flat on its face really.

However from Letaba, the guides (we did 2 with Saskia and 2 with Jacques) talk about the smaller things on the ground, and about things you can't see from the car, bird calls, interesting plants, foot prints, rubbing posts, dung etc.

The result was that on 2 of the walks we saw game (Elephant, buffalo, Rhino, zebra) and on 2 we saw no big game, but we enjoyed all 4 and the times just flies while you out there.

I would recommend the walks at Letaba above most activities in tha park.

That said, I find any activity in Kruger like Pizza. when it is good, its great.
And when not so good, its still pretty good.

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DSouter
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Morning Walks

Unread post by DSouter » Fri Sep 23, 2011 12:11 pm

Hi All :dance:

As will be seen by my itinerary below, The good woman and I will be leaving for 3 weeeks of bliss in the KNP in a months time.

Last year we were there for 2 weeks and did a morning walk at Satara which we thoroughly enjoyed. This time we would like to do a morning walk whilst we are staying at Balule - I read somewhere that you can do a morning river walk here - is this correct. Where are the other good places for morning walks? :hmz:

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Josh of the Bushveld
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Re: Morning Walks

Unread post by Josh of the Bushveld » Fri Sep 23, 2011 12:19 pm

DSouter, the morning river walk leaves from Olifants. It is quite a bit shorter than the ordinary morning walks, and leaves when the morning walk returns. SO and I did the river walk earlier this year (with Duke Ellieton and Sharifa) and I can recommend it, especially if you are a birder (and looking for the Pels Fishing Owl).

We drove to Olifants, but then drove straight back to Balule. If you speak to the staff at Olifants I'm sure you can arrange to be picked up from Balule.
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Josh of the Bushveld
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Re: Morning Walks

Unread post by Josh of the Bushveld » Sun Sep 25, 2011 2:34 pm

DuQues wrote:You can simply book the walk at Olifants. That morning you'll be picked up at Balule. (It leaves earlier than you are allowed out of the gate, so you'd never get to Olifants camp in time.)
It's a great walk, do keep your eyes out for Pels fishing owl!

DuQues, the river walk leaves at about 10h00 I think.

DSouter wrote:Okay - maybe we will do the river walk at balule and a morning walk somewhere else.
I think that's a nice idea.

I must add that I haven't done a morning walk from Olifants, so can't comment on how similar or different it is to the river walk
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Re: Ambush

Unread post by tletter » Fri Sep 30, 2011 7:18 am

dino123 wrote:That is my main fear of going on a walk through the bush .. What are you thoughts on this?

I'm not sure if you're serious but assuming that you are, I'd suggest that your chance of dying on the road to Kruger is greater than being attacked on a bush walk.
dino123 wrote:I believe there is two guides with rifles, one in the front and one in the back guiding people .

Actually the two armed people are in the front of the file.
dino123 wrote:What are you thoughts on this?

Bush walks have been the highlight of our time in Kruger.
hilda wrote:it is very unfair if an animal should be shot because people are walking in their territory.

The rangers and trackers that I've encountered respect and value the animals and so do everything possible to avoid any animal-human confrontations. Such confrontations on bush walks are minimal based on the available information.

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Re: Ambush

Unread post by RosemaryH » Fri Sep 30, 2011 7:39 am

Hi dino123

Last week I did a guided walk in Kruger for the first time :big_eyes: :) I had always been really nervous to do one. Had similar thoughts to you and plenty "what if's"

The minute we stepped off the vehicle and the guides had completed their brief, I was totally comfortable with the whole situation. They are totally in control and if you take their instructions seriously I honestly don't think you have anything to worry about. They are so in tune with the bush. I don't believe they will ever put anyone in danger.

I can only echo what tletter has already said
The rangers and trackers that I've encountered respect and value the animals and so do everything possible to avoid any animal-human confrontations. Such confrontations on bush walks are minimal based on the available information.


I did a morning walk from Orpen with Thomas and Chester and they were great.

Try it sometime, it's an awesome experience :thumbs_up:
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Re: Ambush

Unread post by Goggo EJ » Fri Sep 30, 2011 8:11 am

PeterPM wrote:I thought the guides were there to shoot the walkers in order to protect the wildlife. Think about it, you only have to shoot 1 maybe 2 to satisfy a pride of lions. :sniper:

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:


....and I am told the paperwork is a lot less that if you shoot an animal!

But seriously, we train to use our rifles quickly and accurately if necessary - but the main focus of our training is being able to avoid that kind of situation and staying safe.
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Re: Ambush

Unread post by DinkyBird » Fri Sep 30, 2011 8:43 am

Having a good giggle at some of you here :lol:

We have done many walks, and always felt, and been very safe.
As EJ says, the guides are trained to avoid getting the group into any serious situations in the first place. Obviously, no matter how bush wise one is, there is always the unknown.
But I really recommend to those of you who have not done a walk, to do one - just try it.

Some of the things that amaze me - is one can enter the bush at one point, walk all around for three hours, and exit from another direction but exactly where you entered.
The guides are trained not to get you lost.
And it is not like they walk the same path day after day.

The guides hearing is excellent and tuned into the bush sounds ... so is their sight.

We see only so much from our vehicles, once you are on the ground in the bush, it is amazing to see the tracks, the spoor and all the signs on the bush.
It always strikes me how a 'quiet' bush can actually have so much activity.

And remember the golden rule ... don't run :twisted:
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Re: Ambush

Unread post by DinkyBird » Fri Sep 30, 2011 10:10 am

This reminds me of our first walk we ever did, donkey's years ago, before they were really 'the thing' in the Park. We did it at Shimuwini with Frank Watts; he told us that leopard could hide in the trees which we were going to walk under along the bank of the Letaba river. If we did see one eyeing us from above, we were not to have eye contact with it, and to walk on calmly :|
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Re: Ambush

Unread post by DinkyBird » Fri Sep 30, 2011 11:38 am

Dino - something else to put your mind at rest, and encourage you to try a walk, animals do their best to avoid humans. They all have a comfort zone as well (the distance they feel comfortable between them and humans), and the guides are trained to respect the animals comfort zone.

And Hilda has a good point; even if animals do not get shot, humans walking in the bush still leave a footprint and disturb nature. Just leaving our smell disturbs nature.
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Re: Ambush

Unread post by carolv » Fri Sep 30, 2011 12:30 pm

Hi Dino

I really hope you will pluck up the courage to try a morning walk when you are in Kruger.
The guides are very well trained, highly alert and the areas selected for walks well considered.
They will go through everything with walkers before leaving the vehicles, what you can and cannot do, what ifs etc.
It is an incredible experience and you will learn more than you could ever imagine.
We were so lucky to be on the very first walk from Malelane last year, led by Raymond and Stanley from BnD, and were able to watch a group of white rhinos at the same time as two black rhinos.
The blackies were a first for us in Kruger so a truly special day. I
n truth, we have always felt safer on a bush walk than at some of the Kruger look-out points.
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Re: Ambush

Unread post by ruthp » Fri Sep 30, 2011 2:07 pm

You learn a lot when doing a walk - even if you don't see much actual game - We did the Olifants wilderness trail many, many years ago and were privileged to see an elephant as close up as were were allowed without invading his "space" - all our guide did was pick up few stones to have handy to distract him if necessary - they had been doing the trail for 12 years at that time and never once had to use their weapons

when explaining things to us in the bush the guides spoke to us in very low tone and we were told to snap our fingers or or pat on our leg if we wanted to attract their attention and then to speak in almost a whisper and no chatting between ourselves :naughty:

This to keep OUR disturbance to the animals and nature to the minimum. :) We were told that any danger would come from the front - if we startled an animal - that's why the guides both walk in front - BUT the likelihood of that happening would be very minimal as our group of 8 would sound like a herd of buffalo coming through which would scare off animals :big_eyes: :roll: - quite apart from the human smell :wink:

We had the unique experience of running after a lion on that trip!

The guides had tracked a mating pair - when we were near they whispered to us that as soon as the lions saw us they would take off so if we wanted to keep them in sight we would have to run with the guides - towards the lions :shock: :roll: :big_eyes: - this is exactly what happened - the pair were under a tree - as soon as we saw them - and they saw us - they jumped apart and ran off - AWAY from us

It is still one of my most treasured memories of being in KNP :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:

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Re: Ambush

Unread post by Rooies » Fri Sep 30, 2011 2:16 pm

Dino, check the statistics. The first bush walks were started during middle 1978 with the Wolhuter route. Now you can calculate how many people up to now, went on these walks without any incidents. As Ecojunkie has said, the people that take visitors on these walks are highly trained and not any Tom Dick or Harry are allowed to do this.
Last edited by Rooies on Fri Sep 30, 2011 4:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ambush

Unread post by Elsa » Fri Sep 30, 2011 3:55 pm

I think if one looks at the statistics as well, if you take how many people go on walks in Kruger alone every year and then take how many incidents or accidents occur, I am sure it would it be very very small to virtually nil.

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Re: Ambush

Unread post by vinkie » Sat Oct 01, 2011 12:11 pm

I can only agree with the previous posts. :thumbs_up:

Doing a Guided walk is a lifetime experience you will never forget. :D
How much closer can you get to nature than being able to walk in one of world’s best nature reserves instead of sitting in your car.

The guided are fully qualified and highly trained. 8)

We did our Guided morning walk at Satara on the 17th of July and enjoyed every minute of it. The next time we go to Kruger or any National Park we will certainly do a Guided walk again.

You leave very early and are accompanied by two armed guided who walk in front of the group…if you are lucky like we were you will see lots of animals before the walk starts because you leave before sunrise and will drive from the camp to the walking spot. We encountered previous to the walk: giraffe, rhino, BBJ, martial eagle and 2 lions.

Prior to the walk you get instructions on the do’s and don’ts(Major Rule: DON’T RUN).

During the walk we encountered a pride of lions :big_eyes: …..you can’t imagine what an adrenalin kick you get …..we had to stand behind the guides and were able to make pictures as long as we didn’t run and make a noise. The fun part was that the lions looked at us and ran of.

We went to the spot where the lions had been lying and had breakfast…still feeling the warmth of the lions on the stones and smelling them. :roll:

So don’t hesitate and just experience the thrill of a guided walk or a wilderness trail(I haven’t had the opportunity to experience this myself but I’ll certainly do this one time after reading about this on the forum.)

Below just some pictures as example of the morning walk.

Giraffe before the walk
Image

Starting the walk
Image

Information about tracks and animals
Image

Lions during the walk :big_eyes:
Image

walking in a line
Image
Live life on the edge but be careful not to fall off! :wink:


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Addo
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orpen
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satara
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nossob
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