A decluttering walk on the new Mthimkhulu Wilderness Trail

Posted on 8 August 2018

Mthimkhulu Wilderness Trail is a new three-day walking safari that offers plenty of bush and silence to clean out the buzz of the city life.

In our August issue, I explored the Mthimkhulu Wilderness Trail as one of the three new hikes in South Africa. Below are some snippets from that trail:

Walking the Mthimkhulu Wilderness Trail. Image: Welcome Lishivha

If it is as Henry David Thoreau suggests, that you are truly ready for a walk if you are prepared never to return, then a walk in the wild where the big five roams, is the most prepared I’ve ever been.

We arrived at Mthimkhulu after midday, settled down over cold beer before setting off for a 3-kilometre walk within the within a 7500-hectare private reserve that shares an unfenced border with the Kruger National Park.

We started with signing our lives away on the indemnity form, as guide Bradley Frohlich gave us a talk about what to do should an animal, say a lion, elephant or buffalo charge us. We are in the wild. On foot. It was nerve wrecking and exciting.

Klein Letaba River. Image: Welcome Lishivha

The walk started from our chalets and meanders along the border of Kruger National Park, marked by Klein Letaba River that spans 42km.

The animals roam freely between Mthimkhulu and Kruger, since the dividing fence wastaken let down after the land claim was approved in favour of the community.

The community, which is the majority shareholder of the land, recently entered an agreement with Dream Hotel Resorts to use the land for sustainable tourism. The free-roaming of animals between Mthimkhulu and Kruger National Park help Mthimkhulu grow its tourism, creating more jobs in the area while also allowing the animals more space to roam in the wild.

Being immersed in the bush on this hike inspired a calm sense of being in the world that’s unusual in the city, a calmness that would continue to grow on me as we walked through the bush for the duration of the trail. We stopped to analyse all sorts of footprints. Stopped to observe elephants sauntering around their habitat as if deep in thought – some loners and others in groups. I couldn’t help but admire the animal’s gracious and thoughtful-looking gait.

Breakfast in the bush on the Mthimkhulu Wilderness Trail. Image: Welcome Lishivha

We started off our days with coffee brewed over the open fire, which warmed us up before we started our daily ramble. Each walk was concluded with a G&T before heading back to the lapa to for dinner. The meals were always perfectly timed for the moment when I’d confused the rumble in my stomach for a lion roaring in the near distance.

Sizzling steak for dinner on the Mthimkhulu Wilderness Trail. Image: Welcome Lishivha

In the bush, I found the feeling of total escape that can only come from being so immersed in nature. The nigth sky sparkled brilliantly, withotu the city’s light pollution and the silence was so intense that it washed the city clutter from my previously overstimulated brain. One of the beautiful things about indulging in a bush walk is returning home afterwards with a mind as clear as a big,  blue sky on a sunny day.

Grab  a copy of the August issue of Getaway magazine for the full story on the Mthimkhuliu Wilderness Trail and a look at two other new South African hikes.

Cost: The trail costs from R1500 per person per night for two nights for the whole camp that sleeps up to 8. It’s best to book as a group. Includes breakfast, dinner and a guide for the safari walks. Call 0861-010-347, visit dreamresorts.co.za or email [email protected] for reservations.

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