Things To Do in Kruger ParkNyalaland Wilderness Trail
Where? Start and finish at Punda Maria in Kruger National Park.
When? Booking is essential. Contact SAN Parks to book.
How much? Price on request
Start: Punda Maria (the camp is a further 1 to 2 hours drive)
Finish: Punda Maria, Kruger National Park
Duration: 3 days, 2 nights
Fitness: you need to be fit enough to manage 2 hikes a day (the evening one is gentler), but most of it is on the flat at a leisurely pace, and you don't need to be super fit
Our tip: the sheer beauty of the hilly area, the flowing Luvuvhu River, and the huge concentration of giant baobab and fever trees more than make up for the lack of big game; however, it is not unusual to spot elephant, buffalo and hippo whilst walking
The most remote of the seven wilderness trails in the Kruger National Park, Nyalaland also has one of the most scenic - surrounded by sheer cliffs, with access to the constantly flowing Luvuvhu River.
Animals in this part of the park are not as trusting of humans, and can get quite aggressive – there is hunting just over the border in Zimbabwe and a lot of poaching in Mozambique, with no fences between the countries.
Nyalaland is a designated wilderness part of the park – 50 000 hectares of rolling hills, baobabs, deep river gorges, ancient ruins and game. No tourists. No vehicles. And you sleep at night to the sounds of lions and leopard.
But don't go on a wilderness trail expecting to see the Big 5, save that for drives along the tarred network of roads in areas of the park. On foot, big game is the exception rather than the rule. Instead you will learn about smaller animals, their tracks and dung from guides who are totally immersed in the Kruger's environment and know a great deal about the animals and bird life, traditional medicinal uses of plants, and animal behaviour.
The best walk at Nyalaland is Lanner Gorge – the banks of the Levhuvhu, roughly two hours drive from the camp.
Nyalaland's original wilderness camp was flooded recently and a temporary camp was still in use in August 2015, with a spectacular setting high above the Luvuvuhu River. The temporary en suite tents provided are spacious and comfortable, and possibly a better option to the A-frame huts in use on the other trails. Perhaps the rave reviews will persuade the Kruger to remain with the temporary set-up.
Take all your own drinks, as even the water in the temporary camp is not drinkable.