The Lonely Bull was life-changing
I recently hiked the Lonely Bull Backpack Trail in the Kruger Park. I’m a regular visitor to the park and I’m used to driving around and covering huge distances to see animals. It’s much more difficult to see game on foot. The animals hear and smell you long before you see them. We saw their tracks, heard them stomping around and even smelled them, but most disappeared quickly when we approached. We did have some stunning sightings: a relaxed ellie going about his business; a buffalo that made a toilet break rather interesting for one of the hikers; rhinos drinking from a waterhole; and inquisitive hippos that kept an eye on us when we got too close to their pool. We also spotted lots of smaller creatures: golden orb spiders, rain locusts, dung beetles, tree frogs… The birds serenaded us wherever we walked. We slept in dry riverbeds and listened to the rangers’ stories while lions roared in the distance. One morning, we woke up to elephant spoor in our campsite and a leopard’s perfect footprint at the nearby waterhole. The Lonely Bull was life-changing for me. I’m afraid the Kruger has been spoilt; never again will I sit behind a fence in a camp and be content, knowing what’s out there waiting. INGE MARAIS, Centurion
Read our story about the three-day Mathikithi Wilderness Trail in the Kruger Park on page 32. – Ed.