Wolhuter Trail

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Meandering Mouse
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Re: Viewing Wolhuter Vicariously

Unread post by Meandering Mouse »

Back safely :thumbs_up: thank you.

They arrived much later than expected..................ended up in Pretoria...between some very strange genes and the G'teng road system, a few mistakes were made. :wink:

They had a very memorable trip. It seems that Wolhuter camp has a bad, bad Dwarf mongoose invasion :big_eyes:
Visual proof to follow. :rtm:

In terms of their excitement :hmz: well we have to talk this one out..

needless to say, I was :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
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Re: Viewing Wolhuter Vicariously

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Thank you everyone for your interest :thumbs_up:

Sarabi and I spent the last couple of hours re-living their trip. No name brand has been downloading pictures. They managed to get some really stunning photos.

The big question is, "who will write the report :hmz: "

All I can say is.... I cannot wait for my "Bushman's trail" trip next month. I wonder why the Wolhuter trail is the last to be booked? What better incentive could one have than Dwarf Mongoose running around the camp...
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Re: Viewing Wolhuter Vicariously

Unread post by no name brand »

Just thought I'd pop in, to begin my version of the tale. :)

I came on to read my mom's Mapungubwe report and came across this thread already on its 4th page before a single 'report' has officially been posted.

I was warned that I was going to have to write a trip report by MM and so on our long, silent walks through the beautiful early morning and late night bush I started writing it in my head. Unfortunately some of it may have to be revised... Mom's can't know EVERYTHING.

Today I spent many hours reminiscing while trying to distil the 629 photos that my sister and I took, using our 4 combined cameras, into a collection of 60 to put on facebook. There are some gems in there that will most definitely appear here soon.

It has been very touching to read this thread. I am aware my mom worries when we travel (especially when I drive) but it is eye-opening to see how much she considered us. Thank you!!! And the extra clothes were indeed used. Sarabi and I wore everything at night. (Except the crunchy ski jacket)

It was definitely an amazing experience. I bonded with Sarabi in a really special way. We discussed her future a lot. I think she came to a decision about both what and where she's going to study, and I have a good feeling about her choice.

We both made lists of 3 animals (not big 5) that we wanted to see when we entered the park and both of us got to see all 3 (well... I saw 2, but heard the 3rd). Even better, I saw my DREAM animal :D , that I hadn't dared put on my list because it didn't seem like it could POSSIBLY happen. Not only did we see "said animal" we actually "encountered" them in a spectacular fashion.

Alas... this was on the last sundowner walk of the last day, and I am going to go through the trip in order, so you'll have to wait (I'm methodical like that :wink: )

I just want to say thanks again to MM (aka My Mom).

Actual photographic evidence tomorrow.
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Meandering Mouse
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Re: Viewing Wolhuter Vicariously

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Just a little feedback and there will be a proper report.

No Name Brand has left today to join her twin sister in Europe. It meant frantic activity and a loss of focus.. but MM never looses focus on the forum, so you will get feedback soon.
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Re: Viewing Wolhuter Vicariously

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Had the strangest experience yesterday. I knew that No Name was going to be have a stressfull traveling day and I was concerned. She was travelling to Turkey where she had to change flights. She was then flying to Rome and from there had to catch a bus to some little Italian village.

I had a break at work and started to wonder how she was coping. I saw my cell phone and on impulse dialed her number..... and she answered :big_eyes: She had just managed to get through customs in Rome. Now none of us have international roaming, and I can never make calls to people outside my normal cell phone range...

I will give Sarabi a gentle nudge today.... if she is not socialising :wink: She is writing her matric prelims soon and I think has been taking advantage of her last taste of freedom.
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Re: Viewing Wolhuter Vicariously

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I will give the two travellers a gentle nudge. NoName is back from Europe where she joined her twin sister. Sarabi is doing what matriculants do best when approaching prelims :shock: partying with friends :roll:
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Re: Viewing Wolhuter Vicariously

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I was getting ready for my own trail, which meant "cleaning my camera". They had used it for the first day of their trip. I decided to down load some of the pictures from the day they arrived and entered at Malelane gate, until their trip to Berg n Dal...

I will also give a gentle nudge.

First sighting

Image

Beauty at its best

Image

All creaures great

Image

and small

Image

Can you see me?

Image

more to come....
Last edited by Meandering Mouse on Mon Aug 10, 2009 6:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Wolhuter Trail: photos and report

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Diesel, what a wonderful report :D thank you :thumbs_up: Just loved all your little Waxbills :clap: :clap: :clap:

My daughters did the trail about a year ago and they just fell in love with the Dwarf Mongoose. They told me that the grass looked alive at times there were so many.

Imberbe, my daughters found the food absolutely delicious. They could not believe the quality and quantity. Mind you they are used to MM's cooking :wink: Bedding was provided, but a torch was essential.

The highlight of their trip was walking into a pack of Wilddog chasing an Implala. The Impala was very happy about their appearance, not so the Wilddog. They had a thrilling few minutes while the Wilddog tried to make sense of what these creatures were. In the meantime the Impala got away.. one lucky Impala.
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Re: Wolhuter Trail: photos and report

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Lovely report Diesel, thanks so much for sharing :clap: :clap: The Blue-Waxbill pic is beautiful, I never got even one in a pic, as they were to fast or the grass was too high. :lol:
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Re: Wolhuter Trail: photos and report

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Herewith the promised report!

Going to do it a bit differently so as to answer some questions prospective hikers may have.

ARRIVAL:


We met our guides at Berg-en-Dal at three pm. on the first day of our trail. We parked our vehicles under the trees at the parking area set aside for the trails. After a brief welcome some basic information was given as to what to expect, and we packed our suitcases in to the trailer of the game viewing vehicle.

We then departed on a 45 minute drive to Wolhuter trails camp, which is situated in the wilderness area located between Berg-en-Dal and Pretoriuskop camps, in the Stolsnek area of the park. This is to me one of the most scenic areas in the park with lots of granite hills (koppies) and rolling savanna bush veld. Ideal *** country, not known for major animal populations, but well known for sightings of some special and scarce animals such as wild dog and sable.

Entering the no entry road at the Matjulu waterhole, we were not to see any other humans or vehicles for a full three days. The trail last for four days and three evenings.

Arriving at the camp we were taken for a brief introduction to the camp, while one of the guides unpacked our luggage from the trailer.

THE CAMP:

Wolhuter trail is the oldest trail in the Kruger and was started due to the vision and commitment of people like Trevor Dearlove, Johan van Graan and Mike English. It became operational on the 4th of July 1978.
For more information on the history of the trails read here.

The camp itself is fenced only by an ordinary cattle height diamond mesh type fence, which merely demarcates the boundaries, and will not really keep anything in or out.

The camp does not have any electricity. Water is pumped by a Lister engine from a nearby borehole, and are clean and drinkable. Warm water for showers are provided by gas geysers, and lights in the camp are provided by paraffin lanterns.


There are four thatched guest huts, each with two single beds. They are small but quite nice and clean. Bedding is provided as well as a paraffin lamp in the evenings. In front of each unit there is a wash basin which is filled with warm water in the mornings when you are woken up. The huts have wooden shutters which can be opened or closed.

When we were there the temperature late at night was quite cold, and the huts got really fresh, due to openings in the wooden floor and walls. Luckily enough blankets were provided.
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Re: Wolhuter Trail: photos and report

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Besides the four guest units there are also two toilets and two showers. These are true to character also simple constructions, with pole walls and thatched roofs.

As mentioned, the showers are powered by gas geysers. The original design, had an old dustbin drum with some piping welded in to it, which stood on a ledge and was filled by hand. It was left for historical purposes, but the water supply is now automated via pipes from a holding tank. There are two shower units.

Two toilet units are provided with flush toilets. They are on the edge of the camp, and at night you are not quite sure what you may find just on the other side of the fence. Again, clean but basic.

There is a thatched lapa (roof) for if the whether gets bad, but it is small and not used unless necessary. The most of the socialising is around the fire, where some steel tables are provided, and the food is served.


The kitchen facilities are very basic. For the convenience of the guests a gas freezer is provided. It does well to keep drinks cold, but should not be used for freezing anything. Guests do not really use the kitchen since food is provided.


To the back of the kitchen, there are more units which is used as a pantry and in which the personnel stay. The have their own ablutions, in the same style as the guests. Here John, one of the guides, sits in front of his home.
Imberbe = Combretum imberbe = Leadwood = Hardekool = The spirit of the Wildernis!

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Re: Wolhuter Trail: photos and report

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The sound of the drum announces the arrival of food.

Johan was our cook, and he prepared all the meals.
You are provided with an early morning coffee and rusks, and after the morning walk a good brunch is served, usually around 12 o'clock.
This would usually be something like bacon, eggs and some just made pot bread.
Dinner would consists of a chicken dish on the first evening, mince and a combination of vegetables on the second evening and a braai with proper pap (type of porridge) on the last evening.
There were salads, and provision can be made for vegetarians, should you beforehand give them an indication.
The food was more than enough, but - and here is my only bit of criticism - at times a bit basic.
The last evenings pudding of canned fruit was a treat.

And did I mention that our one brunch was interrupted by lions? :whistle:

Tee and coffee are available throughout the day.
Snacks and a cool drink is provided for the half way break during the morning walk.
Guests should bring their own snacks, cool drinks or wines should they prefer.
Imberbe = Combretum imberbe = Leadwood = Hardekool = The spirit of the Wildernis!

"Wilderness cannot be conquered, it becomes part of you and enriches your soul." - Louis

The ultimate wilderness experience! Visit www.thekrugertrail.com
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Re: Wolhuter Trail: photos and report

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Thanks for the report back.. makes my feet itch :thumbs_up:
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Re: Wolhuter Trail: photos and report

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I am sure this has got many itchy feet a-tapping.
Great description Imberbe. :clap:
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Re: Wolhuter Trail: photos and report

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The program:

Day one.

Guests are met in Berg-en-Dal and taken on a drive to the camp.
On the way you will see some amazing natural scenery and do some game viewing.
After settling in to your accommodation, dinner is served around the fire and the program plus all the do's and dont's are discussed.

Day two and three

Half an hour before sunrise you are awaken by the assistant guide and warm water is placed in the wash bowl in front of your unit. After getting dressed, coffee and rusks can be enjoyed at the dining area.

Now you either drive to your departure point, or the walk departs directly from camp.
The morning walk is around 9/10 km.
Different areas are explored, so as not to damage the environment or make the animals used to regular human contact.
One area we explored had last been visited some seven months earlier.
With some 40 000 hectares of walking area, the options of routes are numerous.
At a nice scenic point some snacks will be enjoyed.

At around 12 twelve you return to camp, to enjoy the brunch the cook has prepared. After that the guests may enjoy a nice siesta until approx. 3pm or just sit around and chat.

Now you drive to a spot, where a shorter afternoon walk of around 3/4 km is taken, and afterwards a sundowner is enjoyed. Guests provide their own snacks and drinks for the sundowner.
Driving back to camp you may be lucky to see some of the nocturnal animals starting to become active.
As this is a wilderness area, no spotlights are used.

Back at camp, you enjoy dinner and start telling bush stories around the camp fire.
You become aware of the bush and the silence.
The last night is reserved for the guide to entertain you with all the stories of close escapes.

Day four.

Sleeping in for a full half an hour later, you are awaken and start packing. After breakfast you depart back to Berg-en-Dal, wishing it was three days earlier and you were just arriving.

What you need for the walks:

Good shoes are probably the most important.
Good walking boots are a plus, but ordinary good quality trainers will do.
Do not use open shoes.

Clothing should be practical and comfortable.
No whites and no brights.
Camouflage is not necessary, but if you want to look the part and entertain the other trailists you can invest in some of those.

A hat and some sunscreen is always a good idea.
If you do not have a water bottle, one will be provided, as it is important to keep on drinking, especially when it is hot.
A number of small rucksacks are also provided.

You do not need to be super fit to do such a trail, but it is important that you have good mobility and a basic walking fitness.
The walking is done on the trails the animals use, and at time just going straight through the bush.
It is quite different to walking on human roads.
There are some climbing involved, but nothing serious or threatening.
A person who are not able to keep up will impact on the group, as the group needs to keep together.

The group is led by the trails ranger.
He is followed by the assistant trails ranger, and then the group follows in single file.
The guides walk in front as most problem situations approach from the front.
Being together they can communicate and face the danger.
The assistant will take control of the group in a dangerous situation, indicating where to go, while the trails ranger will manage the dangerous animal.

The group may not talk while you are walking, as this will alert the animals.
You are however encouraged to ask questions, and the guides will share lots of interesting observations and information.



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Imberbe = Combretum imberbe = Leadwood = Hardekool = The spirit of the Wildernis!

"Wilderness cannot be conquered, it becomes part of you and enriches your soul." - Louis

The ultimate wilderness experience! Visit www.thekrugertrail.com
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