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12 May 2012

A part of my move to Kruger National Park was a morning hike with my friends which we booked in advance, as there is nothing better than to walk early morning in the bush and do some game tracking.
Two of my friends did a multi day hikes previously and absolutely loved it, telling us great stories about their adventures.
Needless to say the whole party was very excited and we got going on Saturday at 5.15 a.m
We should have met the guides at 5.30 but no sign of them until 5.45 when they rocked up hang over from the night before, barking at one of my friends to put her cigarette out as we are leaving before a good morning or an apologies was even given by these two “guides”.
Then he introduced himself as Pilot but his “co-pilot” stayed nameless and running down in a very rude voice the rules for the hike:

Don’t talk
Don’t go slow
Don’t take pictures
Don’t touch anything
Don’t leave anything behind
My friend added: don’t bother us and good Pilot lost his plot completely at this point screaming at my friend that he has to stay here or shout up.
I reminded him that  we are paying customers, that his behaviour is completely out of line, so  Pilot got into his vehicle sulking.
We drove around 30 min from the camp and were told to get out and that we will be walking from now on.
At this point our 3 hour hike was already 45 min down and our two guides started to slender in a very casual walk through the bush.

These two seriously tried to avoid any wildlife and walking so slowly that your 100 old granny would have overtaken them!
They finally brought us up a little hill and now it was time for our snack breakfast which consisted out of Provita and sliced processed cheese and a small bottle of juice.
We were given 30 minutes to rest after our very exhausting hike of 30 min through the bush before returning in a loop back to the vehicle and driven back to the Rest Camp.

Summary: For ZAR 365,00 per person you did get 2 hangover guides, rude behavior and literally were robbed  by 1 hour of your hiking time  maybe walked 3-4 km but only due to the slow pace of the guides and every effort was made to keep us away from any wildlife.
Before you consider doing this hike take your money and donate it to the local orphanage or get the kids something they need or donate it to the  rhino anti poaching foundation.

I might be unfair and generalise our bad experience with 2 guides but for any visitor it would have left a very bitter taste in their mouth.
However if you have the time and do your booking for a 3 or 5 day hike a few months in advance or plan your trip to Kruger National Park around such a trip I can ensure you that you will have a great experience.
Oh and I still took some pics 🙂

PeAce Out
Ford Prefect
Hitchhiker of Life