Sweni Wilderness Trail, Kruger NP

Almost 10 years to the day after the last occasion at Sweni with my wife and daughters, and late father-in-law, Marion and I returned to immerse ourselves in wild nature once more, with friends Paul and Debbie. As I have written many times elsewhere on this blog about this unique type of adventure, it is [...]

Straddling the Olifants: wilderness walking trails

(another Kruger safari)

Olifants Wilderness Trail, Kruger National Park

Young leopard near Orpen. It was stalking impala. The rams were snorting at it and mobbing it.

The African bush has been calling for a while, so we packed up and headed 2000 km north-east for Kruger and our favourite means of really experiencing the [...]

Rim of Africa Google Earth track

A Google Earth map of the Rim of Africa Conservation Mega Trail, Stage One, 120km from Pakhuis Pass in the northern Cederberg to the Koue Bokkeveld mountains follows:

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Rim of Africa photos

Here are the photos from the Rim of Africa Conservation Mega Trail. It was an epic.

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Rim of Africa

Tomorrow I leave on what I expect will be one great adventure – the Rim of Africa Conservation Mega Trail. This will be Stage 1 from the Northern Cederberg to the mountains somewhere around Ceres – 11 days of wilderness walking. As the blurb says – “a walk of no ordinary proportion”.

The vision of [...]

The thing about African wilderness trails

Walking on a wilderness trail is the only way to feel the pulse of the African “bush”. That is what I believe anyway. I have experienced my fair share of the African safari concept: vehicle-based photographic safaris, game drives and stays in high-end and exotic game lodges, and even canoe safaris down the wild Lower [...]

Machampane Wilderness Trail

Limpopo National Park, Mozambique: September 2007 Circles in the Bush

(With apologies to Dalene Matthee…)

Machampane Wilderness Camp shares the western bank of the Machampane River with tall fever trees at a pool called Xisivene – which apparently means “deep pool”.

The wilderness trail experience that runs out of the camp is similarly structured to [...]

Sweni Wilderness Trail

Eastern Kruger Park: 13 to 16 July 2003

Sweni trails camp gate

The Sweni is one of the most sought-after wilderness trails in Kruger, primarily because of the likelihood of running into the Sweni lions. According to James, the trails ranger, Sweni has the highest concentration of lion per sq km in Africa (i.e. [...]

Metsi-Metsi Wilderness Trail

Eastern Kruger Park: 3 to 6 July 2002

Metsi-Metsi trails camp – it apparently means “water water” in Sotho – is located 6 km from the Mozambique border in rhyolite bushveld on the eastern aspect of N’wamuriwa mountain.

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Groot Winterhoek wilderness

“To Hell and back”: 12 to 13 May 2001

Well, not really. It was more like paradise. A perfect autumn weekend in the Cape mountains above Tulbagh and Porterville.

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Napi Wilderness Trail

Southern Kruger Park: 25 to 28 March 2001

Once again Marion and I were privileged to participate in a wilderness trail (FAQ), this time the Napi Trail midway between Pretoriuskop and Skukuza. Napi was the newest of Kruger’s seven wilderness trails and its location at the confluence of the Napi and Mbiyamiti rivers was surely [...]

Grootlandsvlakte – Cederberg

November 2000

Once again Peter and I headed off into the mountains above Algeria to find silence and isolation, accompanied by a lone Finnish traveller. But this time the weather stayed cool, and on the Sunday became even windy and rainy.

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Ralph’s Wilderness Trail FAQ

Many people from all over the globe email me about what to expect on a “wilderness trail” in the context of Kruger National Park (note that in this context I am not referring to a wilderness hike in a wilderness area such as Cederberg). So here’s a collection of responses to these questions. I am [...]

Cederberg – Wuppertal to Algeria

11-12 December 1999

Our judgement impaired by a few beers and a bottle of red wine over dinner one night in the Strand, Ron, Peter and I resolved to try the Cederberg Traverse from Wuppertal to Algeria again – in the heat of December (a previous attempt was curtailed).

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Boosmansbos Wilderness Trail

November 1999

This trail represented a reunion of sorts for those who had walked the Tsitsikamma Trail. Unfortunately, the whole group couldn’t make it, but Watty, Peter, Big Ron, Charlotte, Lorette and Nico did.

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Nyalaland Wilderness Trail

Northern Kruger Park: July 1999

The Nyalaland was our first Kruger wilderness trail (FAQ). It’s one of the less popular trails in Kruger, but it has a special place in our hearts. Some low-res photos follow…

Crystal Pools – Cederberg

June 1999

The Cederberg is probably my favourite wilderness area.  Little can compare to the remoteness, the silence and timelessness of those mountains.  Ron and I resolved to tackle one of the classic wilderness routes – Algeria to Wuppertal, by  way of Crystal Pools. However, the threatening wild weather and our unfamiliarity with [...]