Exploring Wilderness Trails

By: Kadence Buchanan

Exploring wilderness trails along the Western Cape provides visitors with the opportunity to experience a once in a lifetime adventure. The wilderness trails are located within the boundaries of the Kruger National Park. Visitors are provided with the opportunity to experience the unique nature features of the area up close and personal for three days, on foot. The tour is designed for groups that include up to eight people. During the tour, guests will traverse the trails under the expert guidance of armed rangers.

A base camp provides overnight accommodations, complete with rustic huts to provide guests with a complete cultural experience during their tour. Daytime hours are filled with hiking opportunities, some of which cover up to 20 km distances on foot. Flush toilets and showers are available. Guests are able to avail themselves of socialization and dining opportunities beneath a covered lapa.

These tours are ideal for visitors as young as 12 and up to age 60. It is recommended that visitors have a fairly good level of fitness in order to manage the 20 km walks that comprise the daily tours.

The walks, which occur at a fairly leisurely pace, provide visitors to enjoy the natural beauty of the area to the best advantage. Each night the group will return to the overnight base camp for socialization and rest before embarking on the next day's hike. Wholesome, simple meals are provided for the duration of the tour, starting with rusks and coffee each morning. A light meal is provided in the bush along with a brunch during the noon hour. Evening meals are typically comprised of barbecues and hunters' stews along with vegetables and salads. Guests are advised to bring along sunscreen, binoculars and a camera along with a powerful flashlight.

Several interesting trails lie within the hiking area. The Bushman trail runs along the southwestern edge of Kruger National Park near a secluded valley. The landscape along this trail features Bushman paintings and such wildlife as buffalo, elephants and white rhinos. The Metsi-Metsi trail is situated area that is to the east of Nwarmuriwa Mountain. Along this trail, guests will enjoy excellent wildlife and bird viewing opportunities.

Between Pretoriuskop and Skukuza, the Napi trail lies in a scenic woodland area, bordered by the Byamiti and Napi streams. Granite hills and soft, rolling plains comprise a large portion of this area. Lions as well as elephants, black rhinos and buffalos are prolific in this region along with numerous varieties of birdlife.

The Nyalaland trail is perhaps one of the more interesting trails in the area due to the presence of numerous cultural heritage sites. Although there is not a large population of big game within this trail area, this spectacular beauty of the region more than make up for it.

A number of interesting types of wildlife can be found along the Olifants trail area, including numerous bird species as well as hippos and crocodiles. Visitors will find the trail slightly elevated on a natural embankment just a few meters from the Olifants River.

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