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 Post subject: Re: How did your love for Kruger start?
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 7:36 am 
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Location: P-town
Thanx Rumuruti, will do a BIG one!!

Mel@nie

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[b]Unforgettable Adventures and Memories . . . . Metsi Metsi - March 2011[/b]
[url]http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?style=2&f=27&t=51559[/url]

27.12 - 31.12 (Shingwedzi)
01.01 (Tamboti)
02.01 - 03.01 (L.Sabie)
04.01 - 08.01 (Pretoriuskop)


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 Post subject: Re: How did your love for Kruger start?
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 8:19 am 
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Location: Hopping around greener pastures.
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. :roll:

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. :D

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. :thumbs_up:

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? :dance:

(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.) :evil:

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". :whistle:

*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.

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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. ..


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 Post subject: Re: How did your love for Kruger start?
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:10 am 
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My Dad has shown me old movies (the old reel and projector type) of me as a baby sitting in the car on my moms lap in Kruger, so I guess that I was first introduced to KNP in about 1972/3 (somewhere around there) and my love for Kruger developed at a very early age.

Our family holiday every year consisted of a trip to KNP, originally staying in bungalows and then migrating off to the campsites in 1985 (which to this day is still my accommodation preference). My first camping experience was at Lower Sabie (before its campsites were downsized due to the Mongolian recession :tongue: , or was it the camps preference for day visitors, I cant recall, anyway :whistle: ).
My earliest memories include Pretoriuskop, Lower Sabie (wanting to go a few rounds with a baboon that grabbed my packet of sweets out my hand at Nkuhlu :evil: ), Satara, Orpen...mainly south of Olifants. Then I was introduced to Shingwedzi in the December of 1986 (that year when the earth was billions and billions of miles closer to the sun 8) ). We used to pop in to reception just to get 1 minute of air-conditioned air. It was quite nice having a late night swim with a few hyena's patrolling the fence, wishing they could either join us or eat us :huh: .
My National service basic training was done at Phalaborwa and our base camp basicaly bordered the KNP, a few hundred meters south of Phalaborwa gate, so thoughts of awol regularly entered my mind :roll: .
From then my visits became far and few between, for some stupid reason :doh: .
But alas.... these days im making every opportunity to get back to my other home. Not as often as I would like but at least im getting there, again in 14 days time :dance:


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 Post subject: Re: How did your love for Kruger start?
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:52 pm 
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In 1956, my dad took up a job in Joburg.
We came from Manchester.
His customers included the saw mills in the (then) Eastern Transvaal.
One introduced him to Kruger and we visited on Friday/weekends.
I was terrified on my first visit, staying in the army tents.
It did not take long to start enjoying it. I still do.

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 Post subject: Re: How did your love for Kruger start?
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 8:38 pm 
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Location: Redmond,WA USA
Many of you have been so very lucky to have the opportunity to visit Kruger over a number of years!
I first heard about KNP in the late 80's from some friends who were expat South Africans.
Financially it was out of the question then.We got older,our financial situation improved and we decided to visit Africa in 1998.Unfortunately it was not SA it was Kenya and Tanzania and frankly didn't want to go back there
Then in 2008 started planning a big anniversary trip focusing on visiting a series of private reserves and a car trip from Cape town.We had a 3 days to fill between reservations so decided to rent a car and see KNP.We stayed a nighteach in Satara and Letaba and were hooked!
The following year my husband was invited to a scientific conference at Skukuza.I felt it would be too expensive to go so soon after our first trip but the fates smiled on us when we were able to get ff seats at such short notice and we were off!
Two weeks there and the first 5 of them i was on my own driving around while my husband went to lectures
Pure bliss
This year it is really a big anniversary (30) so again we are going back.
The world is so uncertain now I don't know if we will ever come back after this
I hope so though

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2/22/14 Twee Riveren
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2/24-25 KTC
2/25-27 Kieliekrankie
2/27-28 Grootkolk
3/1 Nossob
3/2 Twee Riveren
3/4 Mopani
3/5-7 Letaba
3/7-9 Lower Sabie
3/9-12 Biyamiti
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 Post subject: Re: How did your love for Kruger start?
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 9:47 pm 
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:clap: what a nice topic :clap:
In 1967 our whole family took the LONG trip from the Karoo to Kruger. In those years one had to fill in a form a year before with the dates that you prefered and they let you know when and at what camps you could stay. No website availability or special requests then :wink: LS, Letaba and Malelane were our destinations, only "names" for me then. From the moment that we crossed Croc Bridge, I was addicted. LS was fantastic, there were a big fire at night where everybody gathered for a braai, comparing stories and sightings of the day...say no more :D But I spent all my time at the fence, could not get enough. :big_eyes:

They were busy building Satara and Malelane was a small camp, big bungalows with all the beds in a circle, lantern hanging from the middle of the roof, outside bathroom, no lights and lots of spiders.

Although a small girl then, I just knew I shall be back. At the moment busy counting the days till 11 July for my 15th visit - 6 blissful nights at LS. :thumbs_up:


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 Post subject: Re: How did your love for Kruger start?
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 9:50 pm 
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In 1988 we were taken on a 'business' trip to see the mills in Sabie and Graskop- and thereafter spent 2 nights in the Park. First night was at Lower Sabie, and en route we stopped at Nkhuhlu for a drink... there was clearly a party starting... it was apparently an awards evening for rangers who had served for 25 years... and my husband and our host were offered a beer by none other than the late Bruce Bryden!! Well... one turned into two :naughty: ... and it was getting late, and Bruce said if we were late for the Lower Sabie gate... to tell them it was his fault!!
That was my introduction to the Park... and the rest is history. We lived in Nelspruit for 3 years and spent many Sundays doing day drives. Now we are in Gauteng and go as often as possible. Booked Tamboti in April, and Lower Sabie in November.
There is nothiing like the bush to restore the soul- such peace and tranquility- my favoutire place :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: How did your love for Kruger start?
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 10:27 pm 
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Location: daar waar dit ook mooi kan wees!!!
I agree leanawel, what a topic :clap:

It was in 1959 when we first visit the KNP. And yes, also remeber the big fire at night where everybody was gathered to prepair food and talk about the day`s experience. Do remeber the big black ketles?? with fire underneath for boiling water. In some of the camps like Letaba we`e stay in tents (like old army tents) and in other camps, i think it was Skukuza and Pretoriuskop we`ve stay in those round bungalows that leanawel had mentioned. Does anyone remember the salt water of Lower Sabie in that years.

The best part of all the memories was the times when we get to Numbi gate on a Fridaynight. To late to enter the park we then sleep in front of the gate, making bed on the tarred road.

Ja, all that one can say is 'those were the days'.

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I`m back home but my heart stays in Kruger!
Next trip...when ever possable!!!

Perhaps in July 2012


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 Post subject: Re: How did your love for Kruger start?
Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:24 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 27, 2010 7:46 pm
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Location: Johannesburg SA
Such awesome stories everyone :D

Keep them coming, I love reading them

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Next Kruger Park Trip:

27 - 31 October 2011- Satara
31 October - 03 November 2011 - Biyamiti


30 December 2011 - 01 January 2012 - Berg En Dal
01 January 2012 - 05 January 2012 - Satara


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 Post subject: Re: How did your love for Kruger start?
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 1:34 am 
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found the perfect subject to start off my Kruger forum life :P

now lets see .... back in 2004 . i was 17 , we decided to join my uncle and his wife together with his brothers and sisters , and my cousins (who were all Kruger "veterans" and honorary rangers).... we were total around 16 people ! it was my very first Kruger experience .. back then we had the corsa sport , with a trailer . . .

the first morning to leave from Durban towards Swaziland ... the alarm going off at 3am... leaving early to get to the swaziland border posts....stopping at the ultra city , it looked like a undercover military operation , drilling to the shops , and to the bathrooms and off we go again !

i remember while we were driving in between two wildlife reservations in swaziland, my uncle stopped and my dad followed. excitedly i rolled down the window popping out the binoculars. i got to see my very first wild lion in a tree , even though it was behind a fence ! we drove on past some animals and i thought about what i had seen on our way there....

a lion , zebras , 2 giraffe , and im not even in the park yet and its in real life, not the zoo specials !

i remember waiting in line at the crocodile bridge gate, the 2 condors, one with a huge caravan and one with a trailer, Nissan hilux with a trailer , and the ritzy corsa right at the back... yes , my family was ready to infiltrate the Kruger !

it was the normal winter rush ... 5am and we waited at the gate ....it was so bitterly cold, the fresh air piercing my face but i couldn't get enough, it was unexplored territory ... i wanted more ... 2005> 2006> 2007> 2008 ... :mrgreen:

crocodile bridge
lower sabie
satara
letaba
berg en dal
malalan
olifants
mopani
tsentse
skukuza
transfrontier mozambique gate! (i think its called that)
excluding the picnic areas with shops !

i remember the pie and gravy .... and the milk tart ... the endless amounts of biltong consumed mmm the liters of juices , the kilograms of chips ... and my very first wild life picture taken with my mobile phone... 2 excellent megapixels of power haha :big_eyes: !
i have seen most of the animals, the only elusive one is the wild dog ... after all these years ... its the one photo i must have ... i still have my album with pictures that i took with the mobile , if you guys want to see them ill post it up !

This year i will be giving the Kruger bug to my fiance , She likes camping and the outdoors, but nothing compares to the
:thumbs_up: Wild Kruger national park. :thumbs_up:


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 Post subject: Re: How did your love for Kruger start?
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 10:14 am 
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I was born in Empangeni in KZN, and my father was a wildlife fanatic, so we used to go to Hluhluwe quite often. My dad even got to help out with the capturing of rhino in Hluhluwe that were then moved to Kruger. We moved to Johannesburg when I was about 6 and a year later we made our first trip to Kruger. After that we would go at least twice a year until I finished school in 1986. After that there was university, partying, marriage, a kid....and I didn't return to Kruger until 2008 with my dad and my son (my SO is not a Kruger fan).

As a child I can remember going out when the gates opened, coming back to camp for a late breakfast, and then going out again for an afternoon drive, and often falling asleep during those long, hot drives. My son, on the other hand, wants to stay out all day, and never falls asleep...he absolutely loves it!

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 Post subject: Re: How did your love for Kruger start?
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 10:17 am 
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What a great topic, i have really enjoyed reading everyones kruger starter experiences! :thumbs_up:
Welcome to the forums Drake! :clap: from your first post i can see that you will fit right in :thumbs_up:

For me im one of those lucky people to have been born to a bush crazy mom :) and i think her first visit was when she was just over a year old or so round about 1966-67. And with her whole family being in love with kruger when she met my dad he was converted, i was born and a few months later in july i had my first trip :dance: my brother followed and he is now also hooked. Without a doubt some of my best childhood memories are ones from shingwedzi, running around in the sand and chasing the squirrels :redface: there are also thsoe memories of sightings imprinted in your brain. I remember that when the dining room table started to become full it signalled that our annual kruger trip was not far away :dance:

The experience does change you, my brother is now studying nature conservation and im doing a bachelor of science in zoology,environmental science and parasitology. Once you are hooked the feelings never change!

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 Post subject: Re: How did your love for Kruger start?
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 10:39 am 
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Location: Unfortunately not in KNP so I had to settle with Jo'burg
I didn't have a choice: I was there before I was born (twice) and my first real visit was at three months old when I screamed incessantly inside the hut. Take me outside and I was fine! In the end my mom and I slept in the staff village. It was a grass allergy, but luckily I discovered an antidote.
Coming and going to the Kruger dominated my childhood and I was even flower girl there!
I suppose I was just born a bushbaby!!!

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 Post subject: Re: How did your love for Kruger start?
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 1:46 pm 
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Location: Paradise....
I was introduced to Kruger by my SO about 9years ago and fell in love with the 'wild-side of life'. :) I don't know if my parents even knew about Sanparks - and my Mom is most definately not a 'bush-person' :lol:

We now life 9mins drive from Kruger and we visit at least once a week, my whole family including my kids love our regular visits to Kruger and wants to be involved with wildlife when they grow up. :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: How did your love for Kruger start?
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 2:35 pm 
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Location: On the edge of heaven
My love started a long long time ago.
During the 1970's we use to live in South Africa and we went on a holiday to a place called Kruger Park.
I was about 7 years of age and then the journey took about 2 days.
Never will I forget nor have I ever forgotten the smell of Kruger upon entering the gate.
End 70's my parents decide to remigrate and it took me 27 years to decide to go back to the place where I saw my first wild animals. The spark was rekindled to an undying flame and eversinds I come back every year to take a wiff of that place I now call home.


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