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 Post subject: Re: How did your love for Kruger start?
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 2:55 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2007 11:22 am
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Simple, Kruger has been part of my life forever. 8) Also Kalahari Gemsbok Park(Now KTP) Addo etc. But Kruger is just special. :thumbs_up:


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 Post subject: Re: How did your love for Kruger start?
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 3:30 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2006 12:10 pm
Posts: 54
Location: body in london spirit in KNP
1975 I was 9 and I went with my parents. Had been 2x before but I was to young to remember. My mom loved the park and she would always say we have to stay out till the gate closed . We managed to see lions late one afternoon and to this day I am aways the last one in camp. We stayed at Satara and Skukuza on that trip. One afternoon we were at Nkaya pan when a game ranger happenned to recognise my father , he had been a patient of my dad's, he asked to follow him and promptly produced 3 cheetah. It was amazing . Later on in that trip he took us to the animal holding pens in Skukuza where he let me pat a kudu and a Cheetah cub by the name of Taga who they were trying to return to the wild. They subsequently made a TV programme about him.

I have been hooked ever since and try and return as often as possible. Thankfully my wife and kids love it to.


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 Post subject: Re: How did your love for Kruger start?
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 4:15 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2009 6:04 pm
Posts: 49
Location: Johannesburg
I've been going to Kruger ever since I was a baby...you could say even when I was in my mom's stomach...so you could say it's always been in my blood! :)

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 Post subject: Re: How did your love for Kruger start?
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 4:45 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2010 3:39 pm
Posts: 255
Location: Canadian lost in the UK :-)
My love started at a very early age, but had nothing to do with visiting the park, except in the vivid imagination of a 7 year old. Being Canadian, it seemed a far off and unreachable dream at that age, staring at it from the pages of my brand new National Geographic kids magazine. I remember staring up at my dad and telling him I would go there one day, but I was afraid. He asked me what I was afraid of, and I answered "when I go there, I will never return home again. I will miss you all." I guess, even at that tender age, I was pretty sure it would claim my soul. And on my first visit in 2008, finally reaching that seemingly unobtainable goal, it did just that. I cried the day I had to leave, and for months afterward tried any way I could to find a way to work in the park, thus never having to leave it again....
It pointed me towards the path I am on now. It nurtured my love for animals, and I became a Veterinary Technologist. It is, in some ways, part of who I am.
I now have a 7 month old daughter, and dream that she too fall in love. She will have a chance to visit the park at an earlier age than I did, and, if she wants, to return again and again.

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 Post subject: Re: How did your love for Kruger start?
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 5:07 pm 
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Location: Behind a Nikon camera...
It's simple. we visited Kruger annually (sometimes even twice a year) since I can remember. With my parents both being teachers at the time, we had every school holiday to do something together - and with expensive overseas holidays out of the question on a double pedagogic salary base - Kruger was just the thing.

Me and my sis would buy those books where you tick off the sightings for points and we would hold a contest every year! But it always ended up being my mother's sharp eyes which saw the good stuff first :clap: :dance:

I have now stepped it up a bit - and I make sure I visit at least 2-3 times a year.
:whistle:

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 Post subject: Re: How did your love for Kruger start?
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 6:36 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2006 6:24 pm
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Location: Hout Bay
Lucky you Morkel :D

You obviously don't have a 2000km journey to get there as some of us Kaapies do :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

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Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts and we are never the same ...


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 Post subject: Re: How did your love for Kruger start?
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 6:48 pm 
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Location: Behind a Nikon camera...
Scouter wrote:
Lucky you Morkel :D

You obviously don't have a 2000km journey to get there as some of us Kaapies do :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:


:hmz: let methink...about 330km from my house to Malelane gate, 360km to Kruger Gate, 460km to Orpen gate...
:dance:

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 Post subject: Re: How did your love for Kruger start?
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 6:52 pm 
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Location: On my stoep. Sell by date not expired yet!!
Scouter same goes for us, when we desire to visit
your beautiful parks in the western cape. 2,000 k's
and beautiful they are indeed!

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 Post subject: Re: How did your love for Kruger start?
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2010 2:32 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2009 3:51 pm
Posts: 43
Location: UK
:clap: :clap: :clap: These stories are wonderful, and however long or short a time people have been visiting they all have one thing in common........its love at first sight!!

My sons University in UK had an arrangement ( Tenteleni) for students to spend summer vac teach in in a school anywhere in SA. His happened to be near Kruger. I can still hear the excitement in his voice when he called to tell us about his weekend trip to Kruger and that he wanted us to visit. We had no money, but what the he**. I scoured around for cheap flights.............and a few weeks later we were on our way.

The long drive from Joburg was so exciting, and we stayed outside the Park the first night. Already we were amazed by the birds! I had imagined we would take days to even see ANYTHING.........how wrong were we, and at the sight of our first Rhino I cried...........still do! The rest is history.............whatever the sacrifices we come back every year! We dont need new clothes, dinners out, our home has got a bit shabby, and many things we go without to come back to Kruger. The only thing I wouldnt sell to make the trip is the dog ( well............come to think of it........anyone out there need a spaniel???)

One thing we dont go without tho, our South African red wine............. :D :D

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Just back.......now a whole year to wait till August 2011! I cant bear it.
EVERY DAY IN EVERY WAY I LOVE KRUGER MORE AND MORE


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 Post subject: Re: How did your love for Kruger start?
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2010 10:21 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 6:55 pm
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Location: PnP (Phallies and Pretoria)
I was very fortunate to have been born and raised on the Kruger's doorstep, in the small beautiful town of Phalaborwa. I finished school there and since I was at the age where you can actually remember, we were in the Kruger almost every week.

Sometimes my late old man would impulsively pack the binoculars and camera with a couple of drinks and biltong, tell me to jump in and drive through the Phalaborwa gate, even just for an afternoon visit to the Sable dam close by or the Masorini picnic site if we didn't have enough time to go through to Letaba for the day.

We often visited Letaba as it was close by and I loved the view from the restaurant over the river. We would have a Buffalo pie and Cream Soda and then would drive back again. Visiting the camps, I always remembered seeing lots of happy people that made the trips just that more special as well.

My old man was a great bird lover and my mom (still in Phalaborwa) loved the togetherness of the family when in the Kruger. This was truely a happy time for all in our family.
Unfortunately I now stay in Pretoria, but each time I get to visit my mother in Phalaborwa, you would surely be seeing me in the Kruger for at least a weekend as well! After all, the Kruger will remain in my blood for many years to come...

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 Post subject: Re: How did your love for Kruger start?
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2010 11:18 pm 
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Location: Johannesburg
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I was 6 years old when my parents first took me to Kruger, being the youngest of 5 siblings in my Dad's big black Valiant, with a little bobbing head lion on the dash, Eish! :doh:

We stayed at Pretoriuskop and Lower Sabie. I can still remember the awesome sightings we had of lions at a giraffe kill, my first LIT close to the 'Jock' memorial, as the general public were able to drive that road at the time, also the one and only time I ever saw a brown Hyena in Kruger, the elephant bull we named "Roger the dodger" who had a large hole through his left ear, on cue he would wait for cars outside Lower Sabie gate, and have a game with everyone mock charging and blocking the road on a regular basis, ensuring some arrived late at camp.

Needless to say, I have loved and returned to Kruger on a regular basis since that time, many moons ago, and of course, will continue to do so as long as I possibly can.
:dance:

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 Post subject: Re: How did your love for Kruger start?
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 25, 2010 9:47 am 
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I grew up in Newcastle, about a 5 hour drive from the park. My folks took us there every 2 years, mostly in the June holiday, from being a toddler to my early high school days. We always spent most of the trip in Skukuza, but one year, (I think I was about 8 or 9) we ventured up to Letaba and Shingwedzi. This also happened to be the first time we saw Lions, and a Leopard. :dance:

One year in particular I was up all night, with excitement, before we left on our Kruger holiday. It was a freezing night! When 3 o'clock came my dad's alrm clock went off, we were up in a flash, through the bath, kettle on, flasks filled and "padkos ready. My dad came walking into the kitchen with drooping shoulders and told us to look outside. :big_eyes: During the night it started snowing! :big_eyes: About 5 inches of snow fell during the night and we later heard that most roads around Newcastle had been closed. Although there was excitement about seeing snow in Newcastle for the first time, it was hugely disappointing to have lost out. Luckily however, the next morning we set off to Kruger. :dance:

I remember particularly the wildlife movies that they showed at Skukuza at night. Dragging a blanket with us after supper to see the lion and elephant documentaries. :popcorn: Remember, this was before the days of M-Net and DSTV where we see National Geographic movies daily!

My mother's aunt worked in the switchboard in Skukuza at one stage and I remember her showing us how the phone calls came in and how she would switch the cables to transfer the calls. Amazing how times have changed.....


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 Post subject: Re: How did your love for Kruger start?
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:30 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2009 9:14 am
Posts: 2387
Location: Pretoria, South Africa
My love and addiction for Kruger started many years ago. My late father was a State veterinary surgeon and the KNP was one of his areas. We stayed in Pietersburg and my twin brother and I accompanied him to Kruger during numerous school holidays. We mostly stayed in Skukuza camp and that is why Skukuza has a VERY special place in my heart….it brings back many memories of good times and great trips with my father. :thumbs_up:

During working hours, while my father was doing his work, my brother and I used to run wild in Skukuza camp and we knew the museum like the palm of our hands due to approximately 6 visits a day!! We went on drives with my father after he had finished his work each day. We have also stayed in the personnel town a few times.

During those years I have met amazing people at Skukuza, for instance the late Dr Young who was also a vet. He had a tame cheetah and if I can remember correctly the cheetah’s name was Targa or Taga? On one occasion my brother and I accompanied him and his cheetah in his Landy for the cheetah to do a bit of hunting. We had some very strange stares from other visitors with the cheetah sitting upright on the passenger seat!! :shock:

In those days night drives were non-existent and we were fortunate as well to do a few night drives. Later on, when we were a bit older, we were fortunate to tag along on 2 occasions during elephant culling operations where we flew in the Park’s helicopter during the recce process and after that joining the ground team for the actual cull. We have also visited the abattoir at Skukuza while it was still operational.

Thinking back one thought keeps on coming back….”Those were the days my friend!”

Kruger is still great today and we are regular visitors…Last year we had 4 visits to Kruger and this year 1 already!! :thumbs_up:


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 Post subject: Re: How did your love for Kruger start?
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 25, 2010 12:13 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2008 3:00 pm
Posts: 43
Location: Too blerry far from Kruger
My Late uncle introduced our family to the Kruger in the late 50's early 60's, the only problem we had was that accommodation for Indians was limited to a few rondawels in specific camps thus they were almost always fully booked. Whenever my uncle managed to get bookings he would book every available rondawel and offer it to the family, which meant that most of the times when we went to Kruger we went in a large group, but had to stay at different camps.We used to go at least once a year to Kruger, besides the trip we did to the Kruger when I was a baby, I can remember every other trip and in which camps we stayed and some of our highlights.

After I got married my SO was not keen on visiting Kruger so that put an end to my Kruger visits, however in 2002 my SO and I and our 2 kids (both were under 5) did a trip to "Eastern Transvaal" and we spent one night in Kruger and that's when my family got bitten by the Kruger Bug, thereafter we have been visiting Kruger sometimes up to 3 trips a year.

Next Kruger trip - 05/04/2010 - 07/04/2010 - Satara (My favourite camp)
07/04/2010 - 10/04/2010 - Skukuza

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 Post subject: Re: How did your love for Kruger start?
Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 11:29 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 9:08 am
Posts: 164
Location: P-town
I prepared my mother's "memories" as promised earlier, in the form of a word document and inserted some old slides as well. As I don't have access to flicker or any of the other programs I'd tought to copy the whole document into the "post reply". Well it does not seem to work that way!! The text is there but not photos!! Any suggestions?

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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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