Wolhuter Trail

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gwendolen
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Wolhuter Trail

Unread post by gwendolen »

The first of all the wilderness trails is situated roughly between Berg-en-dal, Ship mountain and Afsaal picnic site.
It was named after one of the first rangers that were appointed in the establishment of the Sabie Game Reserve in those days - 1902.
Harry Wolhuter later in his career killed a lion single handedly with his hunting knife while out on patrol on horseback.
It is a spectacularly scenic wilderness area characterized by high granite outcrops with deep valleys as well as a flatter undulating landscape.
Wilderness qualities are high as the trail area is far removed from the boundaries of the Kruger National Park.

Culturally, Wolhuter Trail was a very active area in days gone by and a lot of relics of the past can be seen everywhere.
Evidence of Bushmen and stone and iron age people can be found on the higher lying areas and rocky outcrops.
The famous Jock of the Bushveld and his master Sir Percy Fitzpatrick were also criss-crossing this area on their adventurous hunting trips and transport driving routes.

Plant life is very diverse especially in the higher lying areas – this area is also classified as a botanical reserve within the KNP.
Birdlife is good with a lot more species to be seen in summertime when all the summer migrants return.

White and black *** can be found in the Wolhuter Wilderness area with the former very concentrated. Elephant and buffalo are also regularly seen as well as sable, mountain- and common reedbuck can be seen.
Other more common species include zebra, giraffe, kudu, waterbuck, blue wildebeest and warthog.

Wolhuter Wilderness Trail’s biggest plus point however is to sit on a granite outcrop and to stare into the distance and experience a wild feeling in a wild land amongst wild creatures.
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Red
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Unread post by Red »

My dad and I did this trail last year, and it was amazing. We're going back to do it again in September (only a few weeks to go!) and bringing some people with us. Last year we had two fantastic sightings of groups of white *** :)
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Unread post by BushCall »

I did the Wolhuter Trail ...I can still remember it very clearly the evening camp fire and the walks and looking at Bushman Paintings in rock shelters...
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ndloti
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Wolhuter trail

Unread post by ndloti »

I have not been there recently, but have enjoyed it every one of the 8 or so occasions I have stayed there .
The first trail I walked was Wolhuter in March 1985, there were tents not the wood & thatch huts, pit latrines , and one had to climb a ladder to fill the shower tank with hot water .
Cyclone Demoina ocurred a few months prior and the ground was still sodden, all the spruits were gushing crystal clear .
I would like to see the Mangake area near Newu dam again, this is spectacularly beautifully area indeed , perhaps a request to the guide will take you to this gem ....
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.
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jb72
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Wolhuter Wilderness Trail

Unread post by jb72 »

Just got back from a trip to Kruger, which included the Wolhuter Trail from the 6th to the 9th of August.
What a experience !
I just wanted to mention that the two guides Kenneth and Orpa and the cook, John, were exceptional.
We were treated like kings, and the walks were incredible.
These gentlemen are an asset to SanParks, and I hope someone could please pass this message on to the "powers that be".

For the record: 25 Rhinos in one day ! 18 of them on foot !
Must be some kind of record !
We also did an afternoon walk from Stolsnek Dam and encountered 27 different species of animals and birds during the 2 hours !
The highlight being 2 lionesses with their 2 cubs whom we had been tracking for 2 days ! Awesome !

I highly recommend the Wolhuter Trail.
I certainly can't wait to do more.....
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jb72
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Re: Wolhuter Wilderness Trail

Unread post by jb72 »

Diesel wrote:Hi JB!
I believe it is very hot in the Kruger right now - 38 degrees.
:dance:


Take loads of liquid refreshments :lol:
Don't know if you have done the trail before, but there is a big chest freezer in camp, and you can put your own "drinks" in there. Nothing better than an ice cold beer after a couple of hours out in the bush....
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jb72
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Re: Wolhuter Wilderness Trail

Unread post by jb72 »

Diesel,

You are right yes - that is the Stolsnek dam.
You will probably go there on your last day.
It certainly is the highlight of the trail - loads of animals around and maybe the lions with their cubs are still around. :pray:

Regarding the "liquid refreshments":
All they supply on the trail is water and coffee or tea.
The water is straight from mother earth and at 38 degrees it might be a bit hot for coffee, so take lots to drink. :thumbs_up:

Enjoy - I'm certainly :mrgreen:
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Diesel
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Wolhuter Trail: photos and report

Unread post by Diesel »

Myself and Riana walked the Wolhuter Trail in September.
We reported at Berg-en-Dal the Sunday afternoon and arrived at the camp early enough to go for a stroll after we saw an elephant close to camp.
Our guide Sakkie then took us for a drive.
We came across a young elephant bulldozing a Jackalberry tree to reach the green leaves on top.

We had the hut closest to the ablutions and we had a splendid view as many animals were passing the area on their way to Stolsnekdam.
When we saw the one meter high fence, we decided to limit our liquid intake in the late afternoon.
Believe me, you do not want to be outside your hut at night here.
Sakkie warned us to use a torch and walk in couples when visiting the ablutions at night.
Friends who walked this trail had a leopard in the camp – not a very comforting thought at that moment.
The first night was extremely cold.
The openings in the panels of the A-frame hut were huge and the wind was ice cold.
Due to these openings we had various strange species inhabiting our “residence”.
When I lifted my pillow, a giant spider scuttled to Riana’s side, but luckily for it, Riana is fond of spiders and she didn’t mind sharing her bed with an eight-legged creature.
I did not sleep well at all the first night: it was cold and ......hmm, I needed to visit the loo, but every time I asked Riana to accompany me, she simply mumbled: “no” and went back to sleep.
This was extreme torture...

The first morning we saw many white rhinos and elephants.
Back at camp we had brunch prepared by the chef.
While the rest slept in, Riana and I sat at the clearing in front of our hut and admire the view.
We saw impala, baboons, warthogs and elephants resting in the shade on their daily route to Stolsnekdam. When Riana photographed the elephants she ventured too close for comfort and one mock- charged her.
I never have seen anyone “reverse-jump” so quickly.

That late afternoon we sat at Stolsnekdam on the grass amongst elephant dung and ticks, admiring the playful behaviour of the elephants bathing in the water.
One couldn’t help to wonder about these highly intelligent animals.
Their behaviour reflects a social and emotional creature with a sense of fun, almost humane.
We were stirred by emotion when watching these magnificent, wonderful animals.

On the second night I decided to use my thermal blanket and other thermal goodies.
By this time I didn’t care with sharing my bed with a python, never mind a few spiders... It was extremely cold for this time of year.
The three blankets were folded double, making it six altogether.
Early the next morning I dreamed that my electric blanket was on fire – I was wet with perspiration as the temperature in the Kruger was back to normal (that means “HOT”).
Gone were the thermal blanket and goodies!

The next morning it was time for me to be alone.
Sometimes I enjoy solitude: to be by myself and have my senses experience nature.
I watched a dwarf mongoose playing in the sun.
The bush was alive with animals as well as birds and their songs.
The rest of the group admired the Bushman-paintings on a close-by hill.
The daily temperature had risen and the group returned quite early.

That afternoon we were off to Stolsnekdam again.
This time there were three elephant bulls playing in the water, where after they rub themselves in the mud to get rid of parasites.

Our last night was a HOT Kruger night.
Like every other night, the hyenas whooped: it was time to hunt and the alpha female was calling.
We even heard lions roaring far off.

The last morning, on our way back to Berg-en-Dal, everyone on the bakkie was quiet.
It was time to said goodbye to this truly magnificent place and unique tranquility one can only find in the Kruger Park.
But not for long: in a few months I will be back for my most addictive Kruger “therapy”...


A few pics:

One of the rhinos we saw

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Wolhuter camp

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Our hut

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Our hut from inside: wind was blowing right through (spider friendly environment)

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View from our hut

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Impala in clearing in front of our hut

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Wolhuter wilderness area

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Time to take a break

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Admiring the elephants at Stolsnekdam

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Time for “sundowners”

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Toilet with one meter high fence in background

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This elephant “mock charged” Riana at the fence of our camp

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One unhappy elephant

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Bird bath in Wolhuter camp

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A dwarf mongoose at the lapa

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Wolhuter wilderness area

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Bushman paintings

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On our last afternoon we visited Stolsnekdam once again to see the elephants bathing one last time (this photo was taken the day before)

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Sunset at Stolsnekdam ... moments to be quiet to admire your surroundings. Stolsnekdam and it’s elephants was to me personally the highlight of the trail.

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Last edited by Elsa on Mon Apr 08, 2013 2:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Pics resized.
Silence is the entrance into the deepest experience of being...
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Meandering Mouse
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MM's Viewing Wolhuter Vicariously

Unread post by Meandering Mouse »

There is a story here... I suppose life is just that, stories told in many voices.

Anyway, I digress.

Sarabi, my youngest, turned 18 in January. I wanted to give her something to hold onto forever.. so I thought, what could be better than an experience, memories to last a lifetime?

Six years previously I had taken her twin sisters with me on a spooring course with Bruce Brydon for their 18th birthday. A Kruger trail seemed to be just the right answer.

So, on Sarabi's birthday, I presented her with proof of booking and a place on Wohuter trail with mama dearest.

Well, we all know that "the best laid plans of mice and men...". Sometimes stuff happens and plan B needs to be kicked in.

Enter big sister.... who has yet to be named.

We decided that mother dearest obviously could not go :( but big sister was chomping at the bit :D

So, today MM will be doing some last minute shopping, giving advice, getting petrol money ready, sorting out Wildcards, yellow ribbon, enough food, drinks.... and.. and.. and ...

the lovely thing about having children is that their excitement can become your excitement, their happiness can become your happiness... so although they have both promised to write and contribute towards the trip report... big mama is getting it started

I realised from my Mapungubwe report that people like to know practical things, to see what the accomodation looks like... and so forth. I have asked them to take many pictures of everything.

So, in terms of intinerary, they spend 1 night at Pretorius Kop and then off to do the Wolhuter trail on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd July.
The bird doesn't sing because it has answers, it sings because it has a song.
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Meandering Mouse
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Re: Viewing Wolhuter Vicariously

Unread post by Meandering Mouse »

Norms, Micetta, A-J, Elsa, Mike :thumbs_up: thank you.

Hugh, Trusted Beauty has to stay at home until she has had a thorough going over and brakes checked. I noticed a bit of slack on the brakes while I was at Mapungubwe. That takes a bit moolah I'm afraid.

My children are laughing at me at the amount of warm woolies I want them to take. I have been called a bush nerd :big_eyes:

My daughters are both very handy with a camera and I am looking forward to seeing some great pictures. I told them that we could go shopping for drinks in a while... The one said that she would like to take "Gin and tonic", the other, "Hunter's Dry".

I meant cold drinks :naughty:
The bird doesn't sing because it has answers, it sings because it has a song.
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Meandering Mouse
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Re: Viewing Wolhuter Vicariously

Unread post by Meandering Mouse »

Carolynn, my own experience has been that the camera has not been a problem in terms of carrying. I have a suitable camera bag that makes shooting easy. My daughters will be taking my camera as well as their cameras with.

When I have gone walking in the past I have taken a light weight day pack with a couple of books and a couple of "odds and sods". Breakfast is usually eaten mid walk, so backpacks filled with food and drinks are shared by those who are most able. I have never been asked to carry the breakfast... I've never been sure whether it had something to do with gender, age, or size :hmz:
The bird doesn't sing because it has answers, it sings because it has a song.
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Meandering Mouse
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Re: Viewing Wolhuter Vicariously

Unread post by Meandering Mouse »

Aboon, Weesy, Jonty, Annelie, P@m :thumbs_up: thank you for your good wishes.

I think that I can hear noises downstairs, so it is possibly the adventures waking up. None of them are very experienced drivers and the eldest, who will do the J'burg driving does not know J'burg roads. For this reason, we decided that it's best that they leave once the worst of the traffic is over.

Sarabi is in that phase of her life when she must make important career and study decisios. I am hoping that the silence and reflective time will give her the space to think.

I will be worried until I hear that they have arrived safely, so in the meantime I will just :pray:
The bird doesn't sing because it has answers, it sings because it has a song.
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Meandering Mouse
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Re: Viewing Wolhuter Vicariously

Unread post by Meandering Mouse »

A-J, Vlekkie, AjayB :D thank you.

Hugh, how is this for inheriting certain genes :redface: :lol: :lol:

My first sms message at one:

"We safe and in Park already. Wrong gate tho :lol: :lol: Came in Malelane, because we missed the turn off. Seen Crocodile :D Loving it. Warm, sunny, exciting."

They were meant to go through White River to Numbi. :roll:

I phoned them last night and they sounded very happy. Sarabi said that her sister nearly wet herself when she saw an ellie. I am sure that I will hear a lot more later.
The bird doesn't sing because it has answers, it sings because it has a song.
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Meandering Mouse
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Re: Viewing Wolhuter Vicariously

Unread post by Meandering Mouse »

A-J, Annalie, there will most certainly be more coming over the next while... but only from Saturday..

Micetta, we have no spatial genes in my family.. no matter how hard we try, we get lost :redface:

Pumbaa, I am also curious about the trail and I have asked for lots of photos of the camp and everything...

Elizabeth, I put so many woolies aside, that my children eventually hid them away. They cannot understand my obsession with keeping warm. As they were leaving, I came running down the road after them with a wind breaker that they were hoping that I would forget about.

Well we have just had a quick chat before they go to find the meeting point.

They saw Leopard this morning :mrgreen: I told them that it is years since I saw leopard in the Park. They also saw lots of breeding ellies, baboon, giraffe, "a little buck", Klipspringer, Warthog, and ... impies.

They will no doubt be meeting with other members of the group this very minute.

I do hope that they are warm enough
The bird doesn't sing because it has answers, it sings because it has a song.
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Meandering Mouse
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Re: Viewing Wolhuter Vicariously

Unread post by Meandering Mouse »

Thanks guys :thumbs_up:

They should be back in about an hours time. They did tell me that they saw someting that would make me :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Sarabi then said that they also saw a Leopard and cub at a bridge :mrgreen: :mrgreen: as if that would not make me :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

So :big_eyes: I am wondering what could be more exciting than a Leopard and cub :huh:
The bird doesn't sing because it has answers, it sings because it has a song.
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