The point of Wilderness Trails is to reinforce
the idea that man himself is just a visitor who does not remain; in the Umfolozi
wilderness area there are no roads, and access is only permitted on foot or
horseback. (The trails in the Umfolozi were the first to be introduced in South
Africa in the late 1950ís,and is the only park under formal conservation in
KwaZulu-Natal where the Big Five occur - let alone its history as the exclusive
hunting preserve of the Zulu kings).
Trails are led by two armed wilderness guides - their role, beyond protecting
you - assuming you are not able to make it up a tree fast enough - is to provide
background knowledge, the history, flora and fauna, of the trails.
A fair degree of physical fitness is assumed, as walking occupies the majority of time spent on this
trail - the average distance
covered per day can be up to 15 km. As the terrain is relatively rugged, and the best game
viewing points are on higher ground (the same as when you are in a car), if you
are not physically fit enough, you will only be letting other trailists down.
Similarly, being able not to chatter, so that you can both listen to the sounds
of the bush around you, and, more importantly, not to frighten animals away from
the trail group, is essential.
The KZN nature conservation service provides everything you are likely to need -
all food, cutlery and
coffee and fruit juice, water bottles, backpacks and daypacks, and all
bedding. Three meals per day are provided, starting with supper