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Best Kruger Wilderness Trail

author
Ava Flores
• Saturday, 26 December, 2020
• 11 min read

If the Big 5 are a priority for you then we suggest driving the network of tar and gravel roads through the Kruger. Because whilst you may catch a glimpse of a cheetah, elephant, buffalo or lion (you may even find yourself within 50 meters of one), it is the exception rather than the rule.

kruger trails wilderness walking
(Source: www.walkingholidays.co.za)

Contents

WHAT IS A WILDERNESSTRAIL A group of no more than 8 people, led by two experienced (and armed) guides, explore the wilderness on foot. Days begin with a very early morning hike (to beat the heat), an afternoon siesta, followed by another walk or drive.

You are housed at least an hour’s drive from the departure point, in A-frame, two-bed, rustic huts with accompanying reed-walled showers and flush toilets, but no electricity, and a basic communal area and campfire from which the cook produces safari-style meals (stews, barbecues and accompanying salads and vegetables). The camp lies in one of the most beautiful settings of all the wilderness trails, in amongst riverine bush where the Nazi and Bimini streams meet.

Walks along the river banks in amongst large trees, through woodland and Talbot thickets give rise to interesting discoveries, whilst both white and black rhino are often spotted at the seasonal pans of the area. It might have something to do with its remoteness, but you will wonder why this secluded spot on the Madzaringwe River, with the Soutpansberg Mountains in the background, is not on everyone’s bucket list.

Access to the Manner and Levhuvhu gorges along the Levhuvhu River are spectacular and the beauty and access to bird life more than makes up for the limited big game, although it is not unusual to spot elephant, buffalo, lion, leopard and rhino. OXIDANTS WILDERNESSTRAIL This wilderness camp lies on the banks of the Oxidants River, its highlight the remote valleys and gorges where the river meets the Bomb mountains, and the wide open plains that offer great game viewing.

The river is the main attraction and the camp overlooks it, offering sightings of hippo and crocodiles. POLLUTER WILDERNESSTRAIL This is one of the most scenic of the wilderness trails, with huge granite outcrops, and deep valleys etched into the transition zone between mixed bush willow woodlands and the Male lane mountain bush veld.

lake bear autumn trail conditions rocky mountain park national hiking trails plan wildlife visit expensive move code why need don
(Source: www.nps.gov)

Polluter WildernessTrail is renowned as a white rhino area, and it is unusual not to spot at least one. Polluter wilderness is also an area least frequented by humans, so game sightings are usually high, and it has the highest concentration of leopards in the park.

Caves in the area are rich in San rock art, and it is not uncommon to sight herds of zebra, wildebeest, impala and even buffalo. KrugerWilderness trails are popular and booking ahead, sometimes months in advance, is advisable.

Would you send a friend who is visiting for the first time to this place or activity? YesNoUnsure The most remote of these six trails, Nagaland departs from Panda Maria and traverses the north of the park, including the bird-prolific Papyri region.

During summer, mottled spine tails breed in the towering baobabs and the area is alive with European migrant birds such as the carmine bee eater, woodland kingfisher and a variety of cuckoos. There are far fewer animals roaming these parts compared to Kruger’s south, but look out for elephant and buffalo and rare trees such as the endemic sesame.

Spot large herds of buffalo, perhaps encounter a pride of lion and closely observe signs left behind by elusive leopards. The least challenging of the trails, Seen departs from Sahara Rest Camp and takes you along the open, flat savannas of central Kruger.

wilderness kruger safari walking travel overnight campsite brief transfer bush walk drive game
(Source: travel.africageographic.com)

Depart from Skua Rest Camp and explore the park’s game-rich east, close to Spokane Picnic Site. It’s an easy walk and, apart from a handful of granite poppies (good for spotting for klipspringer), the terrain is mostly flat and grassy, interspersed with patches of knob thorn and Marla trees.

During the rainy summer months, the grass, shimmering gold at dawn and dusk, comes up to your knees; wear long pants to avoid irritation. Departing from Berg-en-Dal Rest Camp, the trail explores the ancient granite hills in the southwest of the park and follows the footsteps of the renowned father-and-son ranger pair, Harry and Henry Polluter.

On the second day, the guides pump water into a waterhole beside the base camp, and you can sit back and wait for elephant, giraffe, zebra and buffalo to come to you. Look out for the rare mountain reed buck and admire the Zulu milk berry and Cape chestnut trees, found only in this part of Kruger.

What better way to explore the beautiful Kruger National Park than through one of its BNP wilderness trails? The different wilderness trails are: Bushman's, Mathikithi, Nazi, Nagaland, Oxidants, Seen and Polluter respectively.

You will depart from the designated parking lot (of the relevant rest camp), where your trail ranger will meet you. This 10-km, circular route can start off at either Ceylon Forest Station or Castle Rock Municipal Caravan Park.

trail kruger rock colorado alltrails
(Source: www.alltrails.com)

It is considered an easy, level trail that takes you along the beautiful Sable River, as well as through plantations, indigenous forests and grasslands. Pass stunning waterfalls (like Glynis and Elena Falls), rare wildflowers and perhaps even the green Ka Lorrie, while you enjoy sweeping views of the valley and countryside.

Address: Start at either Ceylon Forest Station or from the Castle Rock Municipal Caravan Park, Sable, Mpumalanga, South Africa. Another great, safer way to experience the Kruger National Park is through a guided game drive.

Reservations for guided game drives should be made two months in advance and can be booked via email or by contacting the park directly. Wynn Us via Unsplash One of the most incredible places in South Africa is the famous Blade River Canyon.

This beautiful green canyon offers breathtaking views and scenery and covers some 26 km in length and is around 800 meters deep. Extending along the Blade River Canyon, the Blade River Canyon Reserve ensures a memorable experience, complete with natural wonders such Burke’s Luck Potholes, the Three Conceives, Pinnacle Rock and God’s Window.

Check the weather before visiting (and pack in sunscreen if it’s hot) but expect to enjoy a wonderful day in this spectacular place. Of course, with all this adventuring, you need to factor in some pamper time as well… Luckily, AM Spa Kruger has you covered.

kruger national park 4x4 trails mpumalanga adventure adventures tours limpopo dirtyboots za
(Source: www.dirtyboots.co.za)

This world-class spa is found in the heart of the Kruger National Park and is perfect for families, couples or individual travelers who wish to unwind in BNP. With world-class experiences to soothe your body and mind, AM Spa Kruger offers a tranquil escape in the midst of the African bush.

You must arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment; advance reservations are recommended to secure a spot. This is a memorable experience for both adults and children and will help educate everyone on the importance of animal conservation and preservation.

Please note: For entry fees, activity information and other rates, please contact Perry’s Bridge Reptile Park directly. Fly over deep gorges, winding rivers, lush valleys and cascading waterfalls, as you soak up the beauty of this region in a unique fashion.

It’s quite a pricey outing but definitely something worth saving for as a bucket list activity or special occasion, like for a proposal, birthday or wedding anniversary. For the Tree Top Challenge, there are two courses, with 35 exciting obstacles, including balancing beams, rope bridges, a 50-metre zip line and much more to enjoy.

While the Aerial Cable Trail offers visitors the thrill of gliding over one of the last remaining forested valleys along the Sable River, adjacent to the Kruger National Park. There are a total of 8 zip lines with 10 platforms and two qualified guides joining each participating group to ensure safety and fun.

kruger national park africa south tripadvisor cheetah lovely
(Source: www.tripadvisor.ca)

So book your adventure with Skyway Trails and enjoy making great memories with your loved ones. Please note: For activity rates, age and weight restrictions and other information, please contact Skyway Trails directly.

Address: Skyway Trails, Perry’s Bridge, Main Road, Hazy view, Mpumalanga, South Africa. Located midway between Blade River Canyon and the southern part of the Kruger National Park, this bustling African village invites visitors to learn more about the Shanghai people’s way of life.

Humans are pretty bad at keeping quiet, easy to smell and seen as the ultimate predator, so experiencing big mammals on foot is rare. Your heart thunders and every single sense is so heightened you discover you’re really just an animal seeking survival too.

We set off at dawn, our guides, Steven Oosthuizen and Excellent Hatchway in the lead, each armed with a rifle. ‘Tannins in leaves turn the dung of browsers like elephant and black rhino a russet red when it’s fresh,’ said Steven.

He nudged the fresh deposit with his boot and outlined the enormous elephant spoor showing the direction in which it had ambled. The Oxidants WildernessTrail caters to a maximum of eight people and consists of several morning and afternoon walks from a private bush camp.

makuya hiking trail backpacker magazine reserve mcintosh fiona trails southern africa say around
(Source: www.dolimpopo.com)

Bring binoculars, a camera, comfy walking shoes and neutral, dark clothing plus a hat. Cost: R4500 per person, including accommodation in A-frame log cabins at Oxidants Bush Camp, all meals and two walks a day.

Sadly we didn’t spot any leopards on our walk, but when you’re back at camp by eight o’clock after a morning stroll, there’s more than enough time to catch up on sightings like this beauty in the afternoon. At the northern tip of Kruger National Park is Papyri, a region of unparalleled beauty.

This annual event is funded by proceeds from the walk and is a way of showing appreciation for the society that is part of this conservation area. Shangaan's dignitaries from South Africa walked with us, and people from all over the region congregated at a local school to celebrate their culture with song and dance.

The pride of the youngest dancers was infectious, and we were enthralled by the large audience whose traditional outfits enhanced the festive atmosphere. Walking back across the Limpopo that evening, we watched the setting sun playing on the green bark of the fever trees so tall that elephants looked like dwarves beneath them.

We felt vulnerable but grateful for her acknowledgment, a powerful reminder that she was allowing us into her space and that we might be welcome if we work in concert to protect her kind. Bring binoculars, a camera, sunscreen, a hat, comfy walking shoes and neutral, dark clothing.

giants castle drakensberg hiking africa south previous
(Source: www.walkingholidays.co.za)

Cost: From R7800 per person sharing for three nights including cross-border walk and festival, all meals and twice-daily activities, contributions towards the community but excluding visas. Left: a dung beetle scouts the surroundings for obstacles while rolling his precious ball of life to safety.

Pretoriuskop day walk Poppies and valleys abound at Kruger’s oldest rest camp where you can spot sable and brown-headed parrots. Pretoriuskop is easily the lushest part of the park at the moment and the fresh green morning was a welcome change from the drier north.

Here, we witnessed an enormous breeding herd of buffalo and spotted giraffe moving along the granite ridges. On this morning walk the light was purple, the grass green and happiness levels high.

The route is based at the Sable River and walks are commonly led alongside the lively waters. Dawn was yet to break and our guides got out of the vehicle as two lions emerged from the slopes, and we had to wait for them to saunter off before beginning our walk.

The two males didn’t linger and the guides assured us they’re far more likely to steer clear of us than lie in wait. Skua day walk Get away from the traffic at Kruger’s busiest area and peep through thorn thickets at the rising sun and enjoy the flat, easy-walking terrain.

kruger trip national park hunting game
(Source: www.myhuntingblog.com)

We tracked two rhinos and watched them graze from atop an anthill for at least seven minutes before a camera click finally gave us away. Morning walks for day visitors cost R555.50 per person and walkers meet their guides at the respective gates at 5am before being taken into the park.

Crocodile River walk Great for day visitors looking for another way to experience South Africa’s famous wildlife park. Generally speaking, this southern edge of Kruger is good for seeing the Big Five, wild dog and cheetah.

Open’s morning walk A wonderful way for visitors to experience the quieter side of southern Kruger, with the best chance for spotting plains game and cheetah. Scattered trees and wide-open plains make it a great option for a morning walk that’s just far enough away from the buzz of southern Kruger to feel like it’s untrammeled.

Oxidants Rest Camp offers a two-hour mid-morning walk that’ll get you down onto the banks of the wide river. Trained field guides armed with rifles take adults and children over 13 out into the bush (maximum eight people).

Morning walks generally last four hours but are easy-going; most are less than four kilometers with a break for snacks (you also score an early-morning game drive to catch nocturnal sightings of animals such as hyena before the walk as you are driven about half an hour to the departure point). Bring binoculars, a camera, comfy walking shoes and neutral, dark clothing and a hat.

wyoming glacier lake alltrails trail
(Source: www.alltrails.com)

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