The Extended Short Wilderness Trails (3 Nights/4 Days)
Extended Short Weekend trails are run from about 14 February to about 10 December, and start on Tuesdays. They are 3 nights and 4 days in duration. This trail is fully catered, and all food will be transported into the wilderness trails camp on donkeys, but trailists will be expected to carry a daypack with their personal affects, water and lunch. Personal items will, however, be transported back from the wilderness on the donkeys at the end of the trail.
Guests who overnight at Mpila Resort the night before the trail, may arrange to have the bulk of their personal belongings carried into the wilderness camp in "donkey bags" that are available from the Mpila Resort reception. These are then transported to the wilderness camp by donkeys. These bags must be dropped off at the Mpila Resort office by 16:00 the day before the trail. Please note if you will be staying overnight outside the Park that the gate times are 06:00 to 18:00. Gate times are strictly enforced.
Trailists are required to book in at Mpila Resort by 11:00 as the trail starts at 12:00 on the first day. At Mpila trailists will be met by the trails staff and given a trails briefing. After their bags have been packed, trailists walk approximately seven kilometres to the wilderness camp where they will spend the following three nights in dome tents, with two mattresses per tent. The camp has no ablution facilities, apart from a traditional bucket shower, hung in a tree. A spade, toilet paper and matches serve as a toilet.
Trailists walk back to the Mndindini Base Camp on the fourth day, carrying only their personal affects and snacks. The trail ends at about 10:30. The distance walked on the first day is approximately seven kilometres. The average distance covered on the second and third days can be up to 15 km, but is flexible depending on conditions. Trailists carry all their personal equipment on the first day. On the second and third days they carry only a light pack containing their picnic lunches and water bottles. This trail is by no means an endurance test, but a fair level of fitness will ensure greater enjoyment.
Arrival and Registration
Trailists should check in by 11:00 at Mpila Resort reception where they will be met by the Trails Officer and Field Guide. It is important to arrive early on the date indicated on the reservation voucher, to allow time to pack and walk to the trails camp before dark. Once the trail departs from the Mndindini Base Camp, any latecomers cannot be accommodated. It is thus important to make adequate provision for
traveling time between your point of departure and the Mpila Resort office. The driving time between
Johannesburg and Mpila Camp is approximately seven hours. Durban to Mpila is approximately four hours.
Equipment Provided by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife
• All food, tea, coffee, cold drinks
• Water bottles
• All bedding
• All day packs
• First Aid kit
Recommended Items to Be Brought by Each Trailist
• 3 dull-coloured shirts/blouses
• 3 changes of underwear
• 3 pairs shorts or the equivalent
• 1 pair of jeans
• 1 tracksuit
• 1 hat
• 1 pair of pyjamas (optional)
• 1 light raincoat
• 1 swimming costume (optional)
• 1 warm bush jacket or jersey
• 1 pair of comfortable boots or the equivalent
• 1 pair of sandals or the equivalent (for around the camp)
• Torch with spare batteries
• Sun protection cream
• Toiletries, including biodegradable soap, Insect repellent
• Binoculars, camera and bird identification book (optional)
Bayticol spray (from your pharmacy) is recommended, as ticks can be a problem at certain times of the year. Remember that Zululand winters are cold, with temperatures dropping significantly at night, whilst the summer temperatures can rise significantly by midday.
The trail is fully catered and trailists will be provided with three meals per day, starting with supper on the day of arrival and concluding with lunch on the day of departure. Meals are tasty, simple but nutritious and quantities provided should satisfy most appetites. The menus have been developed with input from previous trailists, and we welcome any comments from other trailists. If you are a vegetarian or have other special dietary requirements, please notify the Trails Consultant when making you booking and this information will be sent to the Trails Manager who will try to make arrangements where possible. People with any special requirements may of course bring their own food and every assistance will be given to prepare it. Unfortunately, there can be no reduction in the cost of the trail. Fruit and nuts are provided as snacks between meals. Trailists may also bring their own between-meal snacks and refreshments.
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 trailists 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 are required to carry your own personal drinks and snacks!
In order to maintain the wilderness ethic and character, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife wilderness trail facilities remain as simple as possible.
Please note that with regard to the short and extended short trails, if an entire trail is booked out by one group, and if the trail bookings allow for it, the group may book two consecutive trails, to allow for a custom-made longer trail of either four or five nights, depending on the combination.