iMfolozi Basecamp Trail
Hluhlwe-iMfolozi Park, KZN
This primitive wilderness trail is aimed at the outdoors enthusiast who would like to combine a wilderness experience with backpacking and sleeping out under the stars. This trail can accommodate a maximum of eight and must have a minimum of six confirmed bookings in order to take place. The trail is designed to provide a basic living experience, with a minimum of equipment but with adequate water and food. Water is collected from springs or rivers in the wilderness area, and bathing is done in the river wherever possible. A very important part of the trail is spending time alone on watch at the fire at night. In this way one gets to embrace silence and solitude, qualities that are difficult to find in today’s world.
Trialists are required to leave their watches and cellular phones in their cars in order to experience greater freedom from time constraints and deadlines. The trail is fully catered – all equipment (including first aid kit), bedding and food is provided. (Unfortunately, no special diets can be catered for). Trialists are required to assist with food preparation and camp setup.
Please note that there are no ablutions and showers on this trail. After booking in at Mpila Resort by 09:00 on the day of departure, trialists are met by the Wilderness Trails staff who will advise them on how best to pack their backpacks. After a late breakfast and a briefing, trialists set off into the Wilderness area, where they will spend four nights and four full days, accompanied by a Trails Officer and a Field Guide. The trail ends at Mdindini Base Camp at 10:00 on the last day. All four nights are spent out in the bush, camping wherever the Trails Officer finds a suitable spot. Camping follows a very strict ‘minimum impact, no trace’ ethic, which is in line with wilderness principles. Small camps are set up at night, with trialists sleeping under the stars around a small fire, after enjoying a meal prepared by the Trails Officer, the Field Guide and triallist.
A lightweight rain shelter is provided in case of bad weather. Distances covered each day are not excessive due to the need to carry all equipment. Backpacks are sometimes left at a campsite however, and day walks taken to explore the wilderness area in relative freedom. Primitive trails are conducted from mid-February to mid-November. It is essential that you make certain that you know what to expect before you book a primitive trail.
Arrival and Registration
On arrival, check in at Mpila Resort reception to register, after which you will be directed to the trails officer. It is important to arrive by 09:00 on the date indicated on the reservation voucher, to allow time to pack, walk into the Wilderness Area and make camp before dark.
Equipment Provided by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife
- First Aid kit
- Water containers
- Toilet trowel, paper etc.
- Personal water bottle
- Knife, spoon, cup and plate
- Rain shelter (fly sheet)
- Sleeping bag
- Sleeping mat (optional)
- Cooking pots etc.
- Large plastic bag (to put contents of backpack in case of rain).
Recommended Items to Be Provided by Each Trialist
- 2 dull-coloured shirts/blouses
- 3 changes of underwear
- 2 pairs shorts or the equivalent
- 1 pair of trousers or jeans
- 1 tracksuit
- 1 hat
- 1 swimming costume (optional)
- 1 light raincoat
- 1 warm bush jacket or jersey
- Sun protection cream
- Torch with spare batteries
- Insect repellent
- 1 pair of comfortable boots or the equivalent and 1 pair of sandals for use in camp
- Toiletries, including environment friendly/ biodegradable soap
- Binoculars, camera, field guide booklets, notebook etc. (optional)
- NB: It is imperative that you wear a comfortable pair of hiking boots, which are well worn in.
Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife will supply all equipment and provide all food for meals. You may bring your own equipment if it blends into the bush environment. You may bring you own additional snacks and drinks should you feel it necessary.
A little alcohol may be brought into the wilderness area; however, no excessive drinking will be allowed for reasons of safety, and to avoid detracting from the wilderness ethic, which involves quietly blending in with the environment. A good guideline is to keep within the legal alcohol limit for driving a vehicle. Should trialists insist on excessive drinking, the walks will proceed no further than one kilometre from the base camp or wilderness camp, depending on the trail. Remember that you will have to carry your own alcohol for four days.
- Min of 6 hikers
- R55.00 once off per reservation.
iMfolozi Wilderness Trails