Skip to Content

MGoddard's 340 Days in Kruger. April '09

Tell us about your breathtaking experiences in the parks

Moderator: hilda

User avatar
Mgoddard
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1376
Joined: Fri May 05, 2006 8:07 am
Location: Doha, Qatar

Re: Staying in Kruger for 1 year

Unread postby Mgoddard » Thu Aug 21, 2008 9:54 am

Ok had a bit of problems this morning logging on :(

This is the update...

As I cannot wait until something comes available for July I have decided to change my route.

Now starting at Letaba instead of PMaria, then to Shingwedzi, Tsendze, PMaria, Letaba (1 night) then onto Satara... :D

At least I now have a stand, not all with electricity, but I am sure I can change that as and when it becomes available.

This taught me to book the first day bookings open and dont forget :evil:

User avatar
Mgoddard
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1376
Joined: Fri May 05, 2006 8:07 am
Location: Doha, Qatar

Re: Staying in Kruger for 1 year

Unread postby Mgoddard » Wed Aug 27, 2008 7:55 pm

[quote="anne-marie"]:quote]
anne-marie, annalie, leopard-cub, I appreciate all your concerns, but as said before Im living day by day, taking each dissapointment as it comes and each great thing as it comes :D :D

I am due to start on May 03, 2009, :D :dance: yes I know that is 5 months late, but still better than waiting for another 2 years :shock: at least I am on track with my plans and most camps booked, apart from the distraction and going up then down and up again, yik this is what its all about :D

I think the most dissapointing part will be in Jan when we celebrate our anniversary and My Year would have started :cry: now I have to come back and wait another 3 months for it :x :roll: :shock:

User avatar
Tumble Weed
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 287
Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2008 2:19 am
Location: In the wind...

Re: Staying in Kruger for 1 year

Unread postby Tumble Weed » Fri Sep 05, 2008 3:11 am

Hi Martie,

I've read all the posts with interest and I must say, I am really envious of your trip. As with any trip/expedition, there will be hiccups(as you've already experienced). Just tackle each one as it comes along and you'll soon be in the park.

I've noted that most people have been offering advice on logistics etc but very little has been said/mentioned about how you're going to pass the days and keep your sanity. I doubt very much that you'll be able to spend all your time game-viewing. The novelty factor will soon wear off.

I'd seriously look at an opportunity to do voluntary work in the park for the year - even if it is part-time. Why not get in touch with the Honorary Rangers and see if you can help them out with tasks. I read in one of your posts that you're not keen to be tied down with time constraints, but it will provide a distraction. Either that, or take up some studies/hobbies and take plenty of books.

I would also suggest a TV for the caravan. I know some folks will jump up and down in outrage at that suggestion, but hear me out. Most people who go to the park do so for a short period of time, they normally have company(family, friends) and they do the trip to escape. Sitting on your own at night for a year will be very lonely, believe me, and the TV will provide some comfort. You can still enjoy sitting out in the evenings, but you have an alternative if you choose not to. Also, bear in mind that winter will be cold and not very pleasant sitting out the whole time. Sitting around a fire on your own is not the same without friends and family - I've done it many times!

I'd also suggest using Skype to keep in touch with family and friends - get yourself a videocam for your laptop. Not sure if you'll be able to from the park - worth finding out??

You will also need to be very disciplined(I'm sure you are, being a mother!). You'll need to take walks for exercise - whilst you are in a big park, you'll find you will feel cooped up. You will need to eat normal, healthy food instead of the fare provided in the park. Braaing every night will soon become monotonous, and not to mention unhealthy. And, be careful of the case a day, Kruger trap - you're there for a year.

Trips can soon turn to disaster unless you have a structured, daily routine.

Your biggest hurdle on this trip is going to be the loneliness. Plan for it!

Other than that, I wish you all the best and I believe that most people on the forum would love to do what you're about to do.

User avatar
Mgoddard
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1376
Joined: Fri May 05, 2006 8:07 am
Location: Doha, Qatar

Re: Staying in Kruger for 1 year

Unread postby Mgoddard » Sun Sep 14, 2008 5:39 pm

Anne-marie I certainly hope to meet you and others during my year!!!

Tumble Weed it took me a few days to read your post and respond as best as I could….I am sure many people have the same concerns as you…..ME INCLUDED!!!


[i]I've read all the posts with interest and I must say, I am really envious of your trip. As with any trip/expedition, there will be hiccups(as you've already experienced). Just tackle each one as it comes along and you'll soon be in the park. I've noted that most people have been offering advice on logistics etc but very little has been said/mentioned about how you're going to pass the days and keep your sanity. I doubt very much that you'll be able to spend all your time game-viewing. The novelty factor will soon wear off.

I do think that the novelty will wear off, but I think the trick is to stay focused and remember why I’m in the Park and doing this. Must admit this is probably easier said than done and I am prepared to take it day by day and see where it leads me!

I'd seriously look at an opportunity to do voluntary work in the park for the year - even if it is part-time. Why not get in touch with the Honorary Rangers and see if you can help them out with tasks. I read in one of your posts that you're not keen to be tied down with time constraints, but it will provide a distraction. Either that, or take up some studies/hobbies and take plenty of books.

Im not interested in becoming an Honorary Ranger as after my year I will return to Doha and my life here, but would not hesitate in helping them on a short time basis whenever and wherever required…….As I just started getting into birding I am quite excited about learning about all of them, ID, calls etc….so I think apart from my thirst of learning about the animals and their behaviour I am very much looking forward to becoming a birder of note!! (Still a long way off as the weekly challenges has shown me!!)

I would also suggest a TV for the caravan. I know some folks will jump up and down in outrage at that suggestion, but hear me out. Most people who go to the park do so for a short period of time, they normally have company(family, friends) and they do the trip to escape. Sitting on your own at night for a year will be very lonely, believe me, and the TV will provide some comfort. You can still enjoy sitting out in the evenings, but you have an alternative if you choose not to. Also, bear in mind that winter will be cold and not very pleasant sitting out the whole time. Sitting around a fire on your own is not the same without friends and family - I've done it many times!

I take this without insult….THERE IS NO WAY IN THE WORLD I WILL TAKE A TV WITH ME TO KRUGER, Not even a radio!! Apart from meeting forumites on and off, I will also enjoy the company of a few family members every few months for a few days….My family knows that if I can have no tv, just me and my own thoughts those are the happiest times for me….can you imagine getting to know all the sounds of the bush!!! Just me, my fire (when I can afford to just burn wood for the ambiance!!)

I'd also suggest using Skype to keep in touch with family and friends - get yourself a videocam for your laptop. Not sure if you'll be able to from the park - worth finding out??

I already have skype and apart from SMS this will be my life line to my husband, girls, and other family members!!. I know and have experienced no signal in Kruger and will try my best to find the best possible spot to keep in touch with him/them and also post my daily reports!!

You will also need to be very disciplined(I'm sure you are, being a mother!). You'll need to take walks for exercise - whilst you are in a big park, you'll find you will feel cooped up. You will need to eat normal, healthy food instead of the fare provided in the park. Braaing every night will soon become monotonous, and not to mention unhealthy. And, be careful of the case a day, Kruger trap - you're there for a year.

This is a very interesting point (a wood braai is my utmost, staying in the Gulf with no wood for a braai I am green every time I see a real Kruger fire from one of the trip reports…..….I am quite happy with a broccoli a few lamb chops and a potato…..I am sure this is what most of the family worry about as I do not have the healthiest of eating habits around. I will make an effort to take a walk around camp, at least I will be able to report on all stands, facilities, crowdedness etc….while doing my daily exercise, and getting used to it


Trips can soon turn to disaster unless you have a structured, daily routine.


Tubleweed, hopefully in the last 18 months I have thought about all that can go wrong, and must say, will go wrong….but I think once you decide on something like this you need a strong willpower, the support of your family, the forum and the good Grace of God to see it through!

Your biggest hurdle on this trip is going to be the loneliness. Plan for it!
Hopefully I have done that with the sounds of the wild….sure if a hyena calls I will miss my family~!!!


Other than that, I wish you all the best and I believe that most people on the forum would love to do what you're about to do.

I thank you and all other forumites for the good advice, concerns and wishes and I certainly hope I don’t disappoint anyone.!!

User avatar
Mgoddard
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1376
Joined: Fri May 05, 2006 8:07 am
Location: Doha, Qatar

Re: Staying in Kruger for 1 year

Unread postby Mgoddard » Tue Oct 14, 2008 2:01 pm

G@mespotter wrote:Hi Mgoddard...

You're so quiet lately, hope its because you're planning your trip!? Is it still due to start in Jan 2009??



Hi GS.....quiet on this thread...yes and no... I see you did not read my previous posts with all the problems that happened :(

Basically my trip is starting on May 03, 2009. If you look at the "When will I see YR in Kruger" all my dates are posted there. Apart from that I am extremely busy organizing our 25th Wedding anniversary in LS at the beginning of Jan. I see we will just miss you! I am also trying to learn as much as I can about birds, so the birding forum keeps me busy.

My plans are made, my caravan is bought, camps for the first 5 months are booked and paid (can only book 11mnths) in advance, my packing list is made, I have worked very hard and bought all my camera equipment, my PDA, which I will use with the cybertracker program I downloaded to record all sighting of animals and some bird species. Designing this took a few weeks to do and kept me busy)

I am sure that when I return here the middle of Jan I will still have a lot to do and organize, but for now I'm set and ready to start.

At this stage there is not much more to report on, but I will keep you all informed of any change (Hopefully NO MORE bad ones!! and Hopefully no more problems with availability!!)

Hi wildman...sorry I did not reply earlier to your post....I have approach many different corporates, but until now the only responses I got was "Sorry, we do not sponsor individuals" I have given up on asking and am working twice as hard to make this by myself, without the help of any of those big guys...On previous pages you can read about what has been sponsored by two ppl on the forum

Flamelilly....I can assure you this is going to be a trip of a lifetime and I cant wait to start reporting from Kruger :D

Richprins

Re: Staying in Kruger for 1 year

Unread postby Richprins » Thu Oct 23, 2008 6:22 pm

Here's a MEDIA RELEASE from Tuesday! :shock:

The Lowvelder

A dream of living in the Kruger
by: Leólynn Smith
7/15/2008 9:23:00 AM
NELSPRUIT - An American feminist icon, journalist and women’s rights activist once said, "Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning."

Growing up in the Lowveld, Mgoddard, who prefers to be known as such, has been a lover of the Kruger National Park ever since her father used to take her for regular day visits to the park.

"We used to leave home at 04:00 or 05:00 and wait outside the gate for it to open, usually Numbi. We would drive up to Skukuza, have a picnic lunch and then drive back again, leaving the park just before closing time. I still treasure those memories."

From these memories her dream was formed - to spend a year in the Kruger National Park. In 1998, she moved with her family to Qatar in the Middle East and was able to visit the park only once a year for a few days.

Her two daughters, Megan and Carmen, went off to attend university and this made it even more difficult to go to the park as the girls’ holidays had to be taken into consideration.

Mgoddard very often has to keep herself busy when her husband is away from home for long periods.

"One day I was reading the SANParks Forum, of which I am an active member, and the idea came to me how wonderful it would be to go to the Kruger for a whole year! Needless to say it took some effort to convince my husband, but he was very supportive and agreed."

But why do it alone? Mgoddard says it is to show that a woman can spend a year here alone and be safe. Another reason is to "post daily reports and pictures on the forum and bring Kruger closer to those who have unfortunately never or only once experienced the magic of what it has to offer".

But before she could go on this trip, it required extensive planning. At first Mgoddard was intending to start the trip in seven years’ time. A tragic accident, however, made her reduce the planning period to 18 months. "I lost a very close friend of mine a few years ago and it’s always been on my mind. Then our friends’ son, who was like our own son, died in a car accident."

It was then that she realised that she should go sooner as life was too short to only dream of something you would really like to do.

Such a trip requires extensive planning and sponsorships. Mgoddard has been working two jobs. "Working from 07:30 to 20:30 is difficult, but I’m closer to living my dream."

She has to get sponsors for some items such as diesel, food, beer and Internet.

Thanks to the advice of the SANParks forum members, Mgoddard bought a caravan for her stay in the Park. She is planning to start her trip during May next year.

"In organising a trip like this it is important to keep yourself together and not let anything get you down," she says.

User avatar
Mgoddard
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1376
Joined: Fri May 05, 2006 8:07 am
Location: Doha, Qatar

Re: Staying in Kruger for 1 year

Unread postby Mgoddard » Thu Nov 06, 2008 9:38 am

I meant to post this update a few days ago, but was so busy reading all the TR that I forgot :redface:

6 Months camps are booked and its 6 Months to go until my journey starts :D Many people PM me to ask what camps I have booked for which dates, have a look HERE

Once again I thank you all for your support and I hope I get to meet every single one of you :D

User avatar
Mgoddard
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1376
Joined: Fri May 05, 2006 8:07 am
Location: Doha, Qatar

Re: Staying in Kruger for 1 year

Unread postby Mgoddard » Tue Nov 11, 2008 9:13 am

anne-marie it would be great to meet you :D Let me know which camp and when :)

WAC thank you for your kind words and I certainly hope you are going to enjoy my reports :D A legend 8) Im not so sure about this one 8) :D

For all those who are reading about the build up to my trip, please note that I will post all my reports, sightings, info etc on the Sanparks Blog! I certainly hope you will find the time to check it out and respond as often as possible to make this journey a success and something to remember for the rest of my life :D

I also have a bit of news/information, but to hear about that.......you will have to wait until Feb 2009 :D :D

User avatar
Mgoddard
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1376
Joined: Fri May 05, 2006 8:07 am
Location: Doha, Qatar

Re:

Unread postby Mgoddard » Sat Nov 22, 2008 5:15 pm

Mgoddard wrote:Hi All

THESE ARE THE DATES:


Enter the Park on the 1st Jan 2009 at Croc Bridge :D 559 days

Now the serious planning starts :dance:


Although my dates have changed to May 03, 2009.....I still cant believe how time has flown!! :shock: Only 155 Days until I start my Trip :D

Batman and Maddie thanks for the wishes.

Im going to have a look at my caravan now when Im in S.A and am thinking of changing the little fridge to something bigger. Im not sure as it will take away some of the working surface, maybe just put in a bigger freezer instead of changing the size of the fridge.

Again I had been reminded of how precious life is :shock: Our wedding anniversary is happening in January at LSabie, and MIL (Mother in Law) has taken ill and is in hospital. The doc says there is no ways she can travel for at least the next 4 months :( :cry: Its very sad and we will surely miss her during this special time as it was her idea to have a big celebration, as she rightly said...."My girl this is a miracle" :shock: :D :lol: So, yes again, I MUST go and live my dream
before life is gone :(

Anyway....anyone out there like competitions??? I will be reporting "Living My Dream" on the Sanpark blog and you will be able to be a part of that by posting your comments and before I leave I will give you the opportunity to take part in a competition....3 questions.....and the winner, or runner up....well you have to wait to hear about the prizes :D

Speak to you again soon...

Regards
MG
Last edited by Mgoddard on Sat Nov 22, 2008 5:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
Mgoddard
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1376
Joined: Fri May 05, 2006 8:07 am
Location: Doha, Qatar

Re: Staying in Kruger for 1 year

Unread postby Mgoddard » Sun Dec 14, 2008 7:02 am

Thank you all for the well wishes.

Dotty and oddesy at least I have a few days in Kruger before my year starts, just to help me over the dissapointment of the delay.

Annemarie, I certainly look forward to seeing you at BnD in Oct 09 :D

Fisheagle31 - the thought did cross my mind some time ago to buy something at Marloth, but have decided not to for many different reasons.

Pumbaa Im planning to be in the region of either Balule or Letaba during Feb 2010...hope to see you too :D

Tubleweed and propolis I was very lucky this weekend as our friends have given me an 80l Freezer that works on 240v and 12v (not sure about the gas) :dance: The only question now is where to put it in my caravan. Im meeting with Loftus caravans on the 5th January to sort out this little detail :D

Regards
Mgoddard

User avatar
Mgoddard
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1376
Joined: Fri May 05, 2006 8:07 am
Location: Doha, Qatar

Re: Staying in Kruger for 1 year

Unread postby Mgoddard » Mon Feb 02, 2009 7:43 am

First an update!

Due to country rules and regulations beyond my control I have had to make a change to my stay in Kruger :( I will leave Doha on April 28, 2009 and start my trip on May 03, 2009........then I have to leave to come back to Doha before the 28th April 2010 :( I am only allowed to be out of the country for a maximum period of 1 year...Therefor my trip to Kruger has to be cut short by one month and I will now only stay in Kruger for approximately 340 Days :shock:

Only 90 days to go :D :D and still so much to be done :roll:
Last edited by Mgoddard on Mon Feb 02, 2009 9:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Mgoddard
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1376
Joined: Fri May 05, 2006 8:07 am
Location: Doha, Qatar

Re: Staying in Kruger for 1 year

Unread postby Mgoddard » Sun Feb 22, 2009 8:42 am

Thanks again all for your comments.

naomirsa the rule of 5 days do not apply anymore, as long as you are paying you can stay as long as you want :D Yes, My Trip is still starting on May 03, 2009. 70 Days to GO!!

If you look back a few pages you will actually see my "home" I will definately have a YR flying on both the car and the caravan :D

SC, Cheetahs, lp, I am sure our paths will cross somewhere and look forward to meeting all. :D

Carolynn, Barbara Im not so sure about being "brave" maybe rather stupid :shock: :roll: for leaving my husband and a very good job behind and setting of on my own for One Year :shock: All I can say is that I really appreciate his support, love, understanding and know I will miss him very much :(

I cannot tell you all how many times I have thought and re-thought about what Im about to do, and can just hope that I manage to stay for as long as I can and hopefully the full 340 Days. Only time will tell :D

User avatar
Mgoddard
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1376
Joined: Fri May 05, 2006 8:07 am
Location: Doha, Qatar

Re: Staying in Kruger for 1 year

Unread postby Mgoddard » Fri Feb 27, 2009 12:04 pm

anne-marie I think all knows how it goes :shock: You make plans and think about it and think again and you starting to have doubts, but please know Im STILL going and cant wait for it to start and I really look forward to meeting you :D

Johan N so it will be :D C you on the 10th July in Punda (you have time to give me a few more tips :D )

All that said, Let the COUNTDOWN begin...starting today 60 Days until I arrive in S.A :D :dance:

I will give you a weekly countdown and I truly hope you can feel the anticipation and "fear" with me...Im having nightmares of being eaten by lions, crushed by elephants, rammed by buffaloes as SO is not there to protect me :lol: :shock:

User avatar
p@m
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1861
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2007 1:16 pm
Location: Fairest Cape

Re: Staying in Kruger for 1 year

Unread postby p@m » Fri Feb 27, 2009 4:32 pm

Mgoddard -- now stop trying to talk yourself out of enjoying your dream :twisted:
You have overcome SO many obstacles to get to this point, and, yes, you will miss your So and your family, but I think you will be so busy getting the "hang" of your new "house" and meeting new people and having your dream actually happen, that you must just sit back and ENJOY it all -- even the lonely times and the bad weather times and the rest. It is all part of the deal.
We are all right behind you, cheering you on :clap: :clap: :dance:

User avatar
Mgoddard
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1376
Joined: Fri May 05, 2006 8:07 am
Location: Doha, Qatar

Re: Staying in Kruger for 1 year

Unread postby Mgoddard » Sat Feb 28, 2009 5:00 pm

p@m thank you for kicking me back in gear and remembering why I put this on the site in the first place :D

rarheeder you just so new to the forum and a warm welcome to you, how did you find out about MY Dream? It would be interesting to know if you heard about it from someone or saw it in my signature.. :D

DB and the Mods thanks for moving it here Im sure everyone on this forum will follow everyday with me until I arrive and Live My Dream...only 59 Days to Go!! Not to mention each and every one of the 340 Days while Im in the Park

Please remember to check the "blog" as that is where I wil pos my reports and sightings :D


Return to “Travel Tales”