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 Post subject: Camels at NOSSOB
Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 10:34 am 
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Long before motorised transport the camels were used in the Kalahari as patrol ,transport as they were strong , big , tough mean and bad mannered.The KGP staff used them inside the PARK and Police used them all over in the Kalahari and other arid areas.The names of of the first camels were Tiny , Tinker and Kaputa.Eventually when motorised transport became more freely available the camels became redundant and those used in the KGP were then kept and looked after until their natural end.Today many people criticise the way things were done many years ago, but this is another example of how nature and its inhabitants were taken care of by the old timers.The Kgalagadi TFP is today what is what made of by the le Riche family and their staff .The camels were not just abandoned , they were taken care of.The prominent members of the le Riche family in the Kgalagadi history were : Johannes (who died of malaria), the first warden , then oom Joep his successor , followed by his eldest son Stoffel and then Elias . Years later I met Klein Joep at Melkvlei ( he was the son of Elias in NOSSOB on the bicycle mentioned by me earlier.). Of the other staff members whose names I can recall are (unfortunately I do not have all their surnames ) Gert Jannewarie who died of malaria soon after the death of Johannes le Riche ,Gert Mouton,Malgas who made the bricks for the first brick buildings in the KGP.Jan Jannewarie,Jan Julie,Andries du Pont,Agarop,Makai ,Regopstaan,Damap and Tokkelos who could run down a Cheetah.Some others were Willem de Waal and later Hendrik , Andries , Frans and the legendary Vetpiet (one of the best trackers In the KGP history) Vet meaning fat , this did not refer to his posture but because he loved fat. The above is for maybe another few posts one day.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 1:22 pm 
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Thanks for these stories gmlsmit -

My earliest trip to KTP was still on the dirt road via Noenieput - quite a trip those days. Saw some of the old Police camels on the Molopo section of the old road. (That was in 1987, if I recall correctly)

My late father-in-law was very friendly with a Stoffel le Riche - a cousin of Elias i think. Anyway he and Stoffel were in the KTP in the early 80's - Elias took them on a flight up the Nossob valley as far as the Nossob camp and back - a great experienceto see the park from the air.


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Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 10:24 pm 
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Thanks gmlsmit for enlightening me on the story of the camels...very interesting !
Again ...thank you for sharing all of this with us ...you do know that we are going to nag you until we have got every last bit of info out of you !!!!


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 Post subject: A bit of KGP History.
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 10:52 am 
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Many years ago pioneers in the Kalahari were becoming concerned about the slaughter of game in the area. Two prominent names here were Piet de Villiers (Inspector of Lands ) and a farmer in the area ,Willie Rossouw (married to Lulu the sister of Johannes and Joep le Riche ) .The Rossouw family were befriended with Mr Piet Grobler the then Minister of Lands as was also Piet de Villiers . Mr Grobler was invited on a hunting expedition in the Nossob area by the concerned persons .This was accepted.The expedition went up the Nossob bed in the direction of Grootkolk during this expedition the minister was told about the slaughter of game and the desirability of a game reserve similar to the Sabi Game Reserve also knowing that he had only four years earlier had the Parks Law Proclaimed in the Union Parliament.. They camped at Kwangpan and Piet Grobler watched and listened, not saying much , contrary to his nature of being talkative when out in nature. Piet and willie knew that they were on the right track and then knew they had to fire the forge.The following morning at early coffee Mr Grobler mentioned his intentions to have the triangle between the Ouob and Nossob proclaimed as a NATIONAL PARK. many negotiating was done with local inhabitants , problems resolved and eventually the plan was supported by all locals.Farms in the area were purchased and the sun was rising upon the proclamation of our second NATIONAL PARK in 1931 only 5 years after the proclamation of the KRUGER NATIONAL PARK. Johannes le Riche was appointed first ranger ( salary 15 pound per month ) of this new gem. . . . . . . . . .

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Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 4:37 pm 
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Thanks for this story about the beginning of the park . I believe the museum at Auchterlonie was a Le Riche farmhouse, am I correct?

Keep em coming


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Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 5:04 pm 
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I think the house at Auchterlonie was originaly inhabitted by windmill supervisors .However I will check in my records . I know that Joep le Riche originally lived in little house on Gemsbokplein.Just as matter of interest Auchterlonie is a name of Scottish origin. There is a pro shop at St Andrews gholf course in Scotland called Auchterlonie - named after a resident Scot who won the Scottish open.I am also aware that the Kalahari locals used to also talk of Agterlonie and of a Voorlonie.

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Last edited by gmlsmit on Sat Aug 02, 2008 9:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Some more KGP history.
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 6:51 pm 
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After proclamation of the KGP in 1931 Johannes le Riche was appointed as Ranger and he had one constable to assist him on his patrols normally by donkey.Poaching was a huge problem motorists would enter and have their firearms sealed by Johannes le Riche - seals were soon broken and firearms used as there was no control at the other end being Mata Mata.Transport was a challenge as the only means being a few horses and a team of donkeys in an area of approximately 13 000 sq km ( the original size of the KGALAGADI TRANFRONTIER PARK). Collecting post at Ashkam took close to a week to cover the 209 km.Fetching supplies from Upington a 800 km journey took a fortnight , patrols took forever.The lack of water was another problem there was a severe drought in the area which lasted until 1934 when the big rains came and the Auob and Nossob started flowing creating the KGP into a wonderland which was watched at in amazement by Johannes and his wife Bettie from their little abode at Gemsbokplein but it also cost Johannes le Riche and his constable Gert Jannewarie their lives . . . . malaria.

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I participate because I care - CUSTOS NATURAE
No to Hotels in and commercialization of our National Parks.
No to Legalized Rhino and Lion trade.
Done 144 visits to National Parks.
What a wonderful privilege.


Last edited by gmlsmit on Sat Aug 02, 2008 9:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Some more KGP history
Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2008 11:03 am 
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Origin of some place names. During the First World War there were many excursions from Duits Wes Afrika into the Union ( mainly through and into what is today the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park) One of these an excusrion was from the Union side led by an Officer with the name of Stumke ,one of the group was the land surveyor of the area called Jackson a Scot. Poor Jackson had a path shot through his hair by a German sharpshooter , apart from a terrible shock no further damage was done.Many of the names in K TFP were given by the locals eg.Kamqua ,Oup,Kiy Kiy,Kwang Nu Quap,Geinab, Cubitje Kap , Kij Gamiesetc.The Scottish names were given mainly by the mentioned Jackson ,being : Auchterlonie , Strathmore , Montrose , Craig Lockhart , Dalkeith , he also named Dankbaar .Folklore says that Jackson was out on on his duties surveying and was running out of water.Poor old Jackson did not have a 4x4 and was in severe trouble . A rainstorm came and Jackson and his helpers quickly laid out some canvas flat on the ground to catch some of the precious rain water. After the storm there a few inches of precious, sweet ,wonderful , clear , cool .................... rainwater and the place was promptly named Dankbaar ( Thankful ) Many of the other places were named just referring to happenings eg. Kameelsleep apparently poachers from the Botswana side shot a camel there and dragged it over to their side of the border therefore Camel = Kameel and drag = sleep. . . . . . . . .Still a few to come.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2008 12:05 pm 
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After the death of Joannes le Riche his younger brother Josef ( Joep ) was appointed ranger of the KGP . He moved into the little house at Gemsbokplein at end of summer 1934. He also appointed his constabel Gert Mouton a big strong fellow with a tiny heart . Both of them bachelors.Joep bought himself some motorised transport and the journey from Upington to Twee Rivieren took two days of skidding and sliding on the muddy roads.Arriving at Twee Rivieren the little wooden spoked vehicle was on the eastern side of the flowing Nossob river and he had to get to the Auob. He got assistance from the local inhabitants , they dug in their big wagon , le Riche drove onto the wagon and it was transported through the river about 1 metre deep , hauled by donkeys to the muddy Aoub where it was offloaded and he could then drive home - Gemsbokplein - arriving after 3 days of driving ,skidding, sliding, digging and patience.Very soon afterwards he went onto a patrol to Mata Mata, arriving at Klein Skrijpan he found another vehicle their. Joep got an uneasy feeling and asked the driver whether he would please open his boot and lo and behold inside was a freshly shot Springbok carcass and some freshly cut thongs,of Gemsbok skin and some venison . Joep caught his first poacher ,a Myburgh who was charged at the Magistrates Court at Witdraai and fined R10.00 .Poaching was a big problem as all Zebra , Giraffe and Buffalo were eradicated from the area before Proclamation in 1931. The first income to the KGP was a fine ,paid by a poacher who was caught by Johannes le Riche, and was fined R30.00 by the local Magistrate.

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I participate because I care - CUSTOS NATURAE
No to Hotels in and commercialization of our National Parks.
No to Legalized Rhino and Lion trade.
Done 144 visits to National Parks.
What a wonderful privilege.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2008 11:44 am 
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This must be one of the most interesting threads on the site!!!
I just can not get enough!!!!


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Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2008 12:30 pm 
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awsome thread!!!!

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 Post subject: A bit more
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2008 1:31 pm 
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Thanks for all the kind remarks.This is just an inspiration for more. As previously mentioned two of biggest challenges of yonder times was water availability and poaching.Many boreholes with windmills were sunk by the Union Government before the 1st World War for in case of an assault from Duits Wes Afrika (German West Africa ).After things had settled down , many of the windmills were removed and re erected in the Kuruman River, and the boreholes sealed.There were a few skirmishes and wounded were treated by the Christoffel le Riche family (the original le Riches in the area).After proclamation there was a lot of hardships and many local farms were bought up and incorporated into the KGP.Poaching was a big problem as there were many hungry locals and the temptation of getting something for the pot often got the better of them.Unfortunately there were many people who were not starving but thought that they could still take part in their national sport - hunting in the protected area. It was documented that on patrol no game of any kind was found in the southern area of the KGP between Twee Rivieren and Gemsbokplein.This illustrates that the proclamation in 1931 came just in time.The few Bushman living in the remote areas were not regarded as poachers as they had little effect on the land, where they had built their traditions and customs and lived their little lives for many millenniums. These little people never wasted ,they only took what they needed , greed was something they never knew of.Recently the name Bushman became controversial and the preferred name is now San or Khoi San.To me the name Bushman always had a romantic connotation to it, the little people lived off the land and did no harm. In later years the few little people were removed from their haven and civilisation did them tremendous harm.a lot is done today to rectify but alas it may be a bit late.

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I participate because I care - CUSTOS NATURAE
No to Hotels in and commercialization of our National Parks.
No to Legalized Rhino and Lion trade.
Done 144 visits to National Parks.
What a wonderful privilege.


Last edited by gmlsmit on Mon Aug 04, 2008 5:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2008 5:50 pm 
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Thank you for these stories about the proclamation and development of this very special place.
Carry on we do'nt miss a single instalment.


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 Post subject: JUST A STORY
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2008 6:49 pm 
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At the end April 2001 we again were on our way to the Kgalagadi TF Park.during that year there was a lot of rain and it was cooling down rapidly.On our way a few Km from Twee Rivieren we stopped at the little shelter of one of the little people, to see what trinkets he has for sale.When a young man has an eye on a maiden he makes himself a very tiny bow with a few very light arrows.To make contact with her ,he then shoots her ,using his CUPID equipment , should she respond favourably he then knows he is in with a chance of a possible future wife . Should the response be negative or ignored - he also gets the message . Obviously no harm or injury is experienced , because of the equipment that is used ( part of their tradition ).Now many years ago I obtained one of these sets but unfortunately it got hooked out of my study. At the little shelter we looked around and I asked him whether he had any of those little bows and arrows. His eyes lit up and he smiled and asked what I knew about this . I told him and he replied that he does not have any as they are not always sold, but he would make me a set and we could collect it on our way out.We spent a few days in the park camping at Twee Rivieren.We had a terrible rainstorm and the weather really turned cold.Eventually time was up and we had to pack up and leave.As we approached the little man went into his little shelter and came out with the little bow and arrows.He let me have it and said that he hopes I will have good luck, I replied that already have good luck as I am married. This little bow was made out of the horn of a Gemsbok and the arrows of very light reed with a blunt tip.Now as previously said it was cold but he was just dressed in his skin loin cloth , we were all wearing thick jackets and jerseys and there he was just in his loin cloth I asked if he wasn't cold his reply was not very . I asked why he was not wearing his karos and was told that it was not that cold.I was also amazed by this little man he told me his name was Oi ,for while still approaching in the vehicle he already recognised us and knew I was his customer.These little people are really amazing , I often sit and wonder and then after many years still come to the conclusion that they posses senses that we don't . . . . . . . . and also never will understand.

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I participate because I care - CUSTOS NATURAE
No to Hotels in and commercialization of our National Parks.
No to Legalized Rhino and Lion trade.
Done 144 visits to National Parks.
What a wonderful privilege.


Last edited by gmlsmit on Mon Aug 04, 2008 7:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2008 7:02 pm 
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Your stories are amazing
Please tell us more


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