New Trails To Open in Kruger National Park

By Lynette Strauss

Two new adventure trails will be launched in the Kruger National Park within the next six months. Both trails are based in the northern parts of Kruger - the Phalaborwa and Shingwedzi areas.

As from November 1, 2009 adventure seekers can explore the management roads north-east of the Phalaborwa Entrance Gate on an overnight guided trail.

This trail will depart on a daily basis from Phalaborwa Gate and will be available throughout the year. "However, during heavy rains or other urgent management related issues, the route may be changed or even be closed temporarily," says William Mabasa, spokesperson for the park. Only five vehicles plus the guide vehicle will be allowed per trail, with a maximum of four people per vehicle.

In April next year, the Mphongolo Back Pack Trail will allow visitors to experience the Lowveld bush between Shingwedzi and Mphongolo rivers close to the Shingwedzi rest camp, on foot.

Trailists will leave from the camp on Wednesdays and return Sundays, midday. Taking into account the rainy season, the trail will only be open from February to the end of November.

"There are no overnight huts on this trail and back-packers must provide for all their needs for the duration of the trail such as sleeping bags, tents and food. The trail takes a maximum of eight and a minimum of four visitors at a time and it will be guided by two experienced trails rangers."

The existing Nonokani 4x4 Adventure Trail, which runs in the Phalaborwa section up to the Olifants River, will be permanently closed.

"We experienced a number of visitor related problems in the past that affected the experience of tourists who took part in this trail and that is why we are closing it now;" says Ben van Eeden, regional manager of Nxanatseni Region.

Photos: Archive: Olifants River Backpack Train in KNP. Andrew Desmet

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