Team Green wrote:
Im curious to know - How did your love for the Kruger start?
Were you always a bush baby, Did your parents introduce you to the game experience from a young age? What keeps you going back to Kruger?
I fell in love with Kruger when I started visiting as a young girl together with my family & was completely hooked since my first visit - I always told my Mom that I would one day work in Kruger as a shop cashier just as long as I could live there!
I came close and worked in the sister reserve - The Timbavati - but nothing compares to The Kruger...so how did your love for Kruger begin?
I guesstimate that it's one of those things that is either "in you", or it's not. As a youngster, I used to enjoy documentaries on wildlife. (I once asked my dad why we never went to the Kruger Park. His answer was one of those that suggested that any further questions about the Kruger or anything to do with wildlife, bugs, or anything not in and of the city, might be bad for my health, so it was not from my parents.) I digress, so I leanred a lot about wildlife from TV documentaries.
At some stage, my mom met a guy who took us to a game farm up near Sprockyland for a weekend. (Phalaborwa.) I loved this experience of walking alone in the bush and almost got run over by a herd of buck. I have no idea what they were. One day, we took a drive into the KNP as day visitors. I cannot recall anything
I saw back then.
When I did national service, one year, we ended up doing a quick tour of the Etosha Pan up in Namibia. Although we saw very little game, I loved the experience.
Then I got married and my outlaws invited us to go to KNP with them. We both jumped at the chance and I found I was rather good at spotting game. I remember seeing many Lilac Breasted Rollers and was facinated by them. The Starlings too. During that trip we stayed at Lower Sabie, Satara, and Letaba. It was awesome to lie in bed at night and listen to the sound of nature. The gentle murmur of conversations around the fires at night and chatting to everyone about what they saw, where, while doing the dishes in the comunal kitchens at night. The ambience was AMA-ZZZZZZZZZing.
Getting pointers from people at picnic spots about where the lions were was also something I loved. Everyone was friendly, we all waved at one another and stopped to tell peple of interesting sightings or got stopped by people who told us what to find and where.
I recall very well stopping somewhere to watch two giraffe "necking" They were knocking their necks together. Subsequently I found out that this was an exercise undertaken by two males over mating rights.
This was a proper introduction to KNP and I could not help but fall in love with it in so many ways.
Since then, I have been many times with and without outlaws and introduced my current wife to the wonders of nature as well as my step son. Both of them love the reserve.
What's not to love about KNP?
(Besides the mad crowds of hooglians that seem to be drawn there lately. People just don't seem to be as friendly anymore. Not many people still wave at each other and very few share important or interesting sightings.
Also can't like the behaviour of peole speeding and getting out of their cars and crowding cat sightings.)
During my last trip there, we got stopped by none other than Jerome Mansfield (a popular morning show radio host) who told us about a breeding herd of Ellies. That's so cool, "Thanks Jerome," I said. "If you follow this road for about three km and turn left, you will find a group of cars beneath a large tree filled with Vultures. If you hang around long enough, you might even see the wild dogs moving in and out of the dense bush beneath that same tree." (Sensorship rules prevent me from quoting his reply.) Needless to say, he was quite "surprised".
*Sigh.* Paradise is so special in so many ways.
Now I love animal documentaries so much more. Still a distant second to being in the wild but I'll take whatever connection to wildlife that I can make.
Conservation is not an option.
It's imperative.Leave KNP alone. Go build a hotel someplace else. Reserves are for the preservation of wildlife. Think Pink. ..