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 Post subject: Kruger Park During the early 90's
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 5:19 pm 
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I am curious. What was tourism like in Kruger National Park in the early 90's when the country was experiencing an uptick in violence and so many other countries were in protest of everything South African?
Thanks
Dana


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 Post subject: Re: Kruger Park During the early 90's
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 5:58 pm 
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It was exactly as now.
There were less overseas tourists but the vacuum was filled up by South Africans.
In Kruger, there were no protests or general civil upheaval.
Everything was quiet as today.
As a matter of fact, a lot of people demonstrated against South Africa just to say we don't like what is going on there, but the very next day those same people were on the planes visiting South Africa.

I don't want to go into the political side of things, but whatever violence there was, was only a fraction of what we have seen in Libya, Iraq, Syria etc.

The problem that the old regime had is that their racial policies were made law, whilst other countries practiced it without a law book.

Be it as it may, I am glad that we have moved on from those terrible times where you made a positive decision not to go to a Wimpy bar in fear of being blown up by a bomb.
But Kruger, always as safe a house.

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Last edited by Rooies on Thu Jun 07, 2012 6:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Kruger Park During the early 90's
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 5:59 pm 
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The Kruger was well frequented , accomodation was as hard to come by as is the case today .

_________________
KNP is sacred. I am opposed to the modernisation of Kruger and from the depths of my soul long for the Kruger of yesteryear! 1000+km on foot in KNP incl 56 wild trails.200+ nights in the wildernessndloti-indigenous name for serval.


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 Post subject: Re: Kruger Park During the early 90's
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 6:36 pm 
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I dont think it made any difference, at least to South Africans or any of our family from the UK.
I suspect they only visited South Africa to go to the Kruger,what a pleasure for us, another excuse to go to the Kruger.
Booking accommodation then and even before the 9ties and to this day can still be a great game, get in before the others.
I have always enjoyed meeting foreign and local visitors in our Park over the last 40 years.
Come and visit any time,never had any trouble in or getting to our park.
Everyone is Welcome.

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KRUGERPARKING is good for your health. Keep on KRUGERPARKING.


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 Post subject: Re: Kruger Park During the early 90's
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 6:46 pm 
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Location: VEREENIGING
Visitor statistics:

1928 - 650
1938 - 38014
1948 - 58739
1959/1960 - 134759
1964/1965 - 247969
1969/1970 - 349710
1974/1975 - 363482
1979/1980 - 369653
1984/1985 - 509173
1989/1990 - 669167
1994/1995 - 635044
2010/2011 - 1485000

Day visitors were much less as there were not as many lodges close to the KNP entrance gates as today.

Surveys done by RSA Universities indicated that tourists visited the KNP for a "Nature and spritual" experience and the vast majority were very satisfied with what they experienced and what was on offer.

The Elephant hall at Letaba was sponsored by Goldfields of South Africa and was opened on 28 August 1993.
ESKOM electricity provided Punda Maria in 1992/1193.
Mbiyamiti rest camp was opened in 1992/1192.
Mopani rest camp was opened in 1992.
The Napi trails camp was opened in 1991/1992.
The transformation of the old "Dip camp" in Olifants rest camp into the Nshawu guest house in 119/1192.
The Shimuwini bushveld camp was completed in 1991.
The Sweni trails camp was opened in 1991.
The Sirheni bushveld camp was completed in 1992.
The Talamati bushveld camp was completed in 1991.
Seven family cottages were built in Skukuza during 1991/1992.
Shingwedzi was provided with ESKOM electricity in 1993

The KNP security plan was approved during 1986 and comprised of five major points:
The OC KNP Comdo would be in charge of all operations.
The function of the organization would ensure:
The security of rest camps.
The security of roads and other infrastructure.
The security of tourists.
The tracking and arresting of illegal immigrants.
The tracking and elimination of enemy forces in the KNP.

There was one security incident in the KNP - a vehicle carrying rock close to Babayila south of Pafuri, detonated a landmine, fortunately no one was injured. Track were followed and three days later 2 insurgents were killed in a skirmish near the western entrance to the Shingwedzi Rest Camp.

_________________
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: Re: Kruger Park During the early 90's
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:16 pm 
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I greatly appreciate the information. I am from the US and have spent extended periods of time in South Africa and have been to Kruger over the last ten years a minimum of seven times - love Kruger - love South Africa.

My inquiry is in resesarch for my third book which partly take place in the early ninety's in South Africa. I am compiling as much information as I can about what life was like in SA at that time. It dawned on my this forum, of which I visit often, would be a good place to get insight.

Thank you,
Dana


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 Post subject: Re: Kruger Park During the early 90's
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 6:42 am 
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A few of my memories:

The lack of enthusiasm by many about Berg n Dal.
It was a camp that broke the rules in terms of architecture.
It was the first camp to be considered thoroughly modern.

There were often protests at Bushbuckridge.
Many is the time we had to take a longer route.
Cars were often stoned and police were out in full force.
In those day we would often stay at :Sabie Sands" and we would have to check on the safety of roads before travelling.

The area around Kruger was really poor, shanty town at its worst.
The AIDS epidemic was becoming a reality and funeral parlours were springing up all over the place.
It was not unusual to see signs like: Special: Two tombstones for the price of one".
Another was, "Fresh meat sold here and underneath, funeral parlour".

We would have to write months before a trip requesting nights accommodation.
We would then be given written confirmation or refusal.
There was also a strict allowance on the number of nights we were allowed to stay.

There were very few foreign voices.
Those that came were usually on tours.

Far fewer sightings of elephant, rhinos and wilddog.
The hyenas were still being fed by tourists.

The larger camps would have wildlife movies at night and talk by a ranger.

Poaching was a problem, but more focused on ellies.

There were very active army bases on the Mozambique border.
Kobie's Krugers books give a bit of a sense of the army presence during that time.
It is also worth reading Bruce Brydon.

I never saw a black, coloured or Indian tourist. :( Anyone with a darker face was considered to be a servant.

_________________
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 Post subject: Re: Kruger Park During the early 90's
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 7:24 am 
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A lot of the bungalows had no locks and keys. 95 % of people you met on road greeted or acknowledged your presence.
Lion beer was as popular as a castle. :lol: :lol:
Fires at picnic sites for a quick braai.
Hum of generators in camp.

And no wife so my problems hadn't started yet. :lol: :lol: :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Kruger Park During the early 90's
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 9:35 am 
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There was meticulous upkeep & neatness of camps & facilities.

Grantmissy wrote:
... the mid-90’s in Kruger was a good example when adult elephants were culled as a method to control the elephant population. As the orphaned elephants matured they became apparently very aggressive towards tourists and even the poor Rhino’s.


Family groups were isolated and all those were culled - possibly the odd elephant from a group was not isolated and lived .
My observations and experiences of elephant behaviour is much the same since culling was stopped.

_________________
KNP is sacred. I am opposed to the modernisation of Kruger and from the depths of my soul long for the Kruger of yesteryear! 1000+km on foot in KNP incl 56 wild trails.200+ nights in the wildernessndloti-indigenous name for serval.


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 Post subject: Re: Kruger Park During the early 90's
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 11:10 am 
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Grantmissy wrote:
What I remember form the '90's is the set menu's in the restaurants - fish, soup, main course and pudding.
Ja, and the food was dirt cheap, at least by the standards of overseas visitors like I. Although rather unimaginative, you would get a solid and hearty meal of consistent quality. Not exactly haute cuisine, but good enough.

Another feature was the large number of waiters, and the dinner was served at lunchtime on Sundays. I'm not sure it the latter was the case in all rest camps.

Johan


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 Post subject: Re: Kruger Park During the early 90's
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 11:24 am 
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Meandering Mouse wrote:
There were very few foreign voices.
Those that came were usually on tours.

There were not many tours either. Atlas Springbok and Welcome Tours offered 4 day / three night trips out of Johannesburg, including the Panorama route on the way down, and Comair flew guests into Skukuza airport. They had exclusive use of a few units around a little courtyard just east of the Skukuza gas station, and drove their guests around in VW Combis.
This operation later became Expressions of Africa,, and they switched to open game viewers.

The great thing about the '90s was that there were far fewer visitors, and far less traffic.
No speeding taxis, no open game viewing vehicles racing up and down the roads, no staff vehicles flying to the private lodges, not as many delivery vehicles, far fewer staff driving around in private cars, no Mozambique border travel etc.
You get the picture.

Johan


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 Post subject: Re: Kruger Park During the early 90's
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 11:55 am 
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I have a book called Kruger National Park - Questions & Answers, which I see I bought in Skukuza on November 17th, 1992. It is in parts a really amusing read, because it shows how times have changed.

Some examples:

Q: Young people would sometimes like to have some sort of entertainment. Is this possible?

A: The KNP was never meant to be a pleasure resort. One could well imagine what the effect would be if dancing and discotheques were allowed.

Q: Are certain people taken out at night?

A: This is rarely done, and such trips are restricted to scientists and radio or televions teams if they are able to convince the authorities of their bona fides. If such a service were offered to the public, everyone would want to go out, causing considerable disturbance to game.


Well, that was until somebody realized that offering such a service was a money spinner, from then on it was perfectly all right for everybody to go out and cause consideralbe disturbance to game!

Q: How much accommodation is available in the KNP?

A: It is limited to 3,250 beds and 1,500 day visitors


An interesting figure, as the theoretical maximum capacity thus was 3,250 + 1,500 x 365 = 1,773,750 visitors per annum. That figure is substantially higher than the actual number of visitors last season, and much higher than the 669,167 who visited in the '89/'90 season. On an annual basis, only 37% of capacity was utilized. Makes you wonder why guests had to book 12 months ahead, were limited in the lenght of stay, etc. The latter restrictions admittedly only did apply in the March/April and June/July school vacations.

Q: Why are staff at the huts often reluctant to help visitors with the washing of dishes or grilling of meat?

A. It is not part of their official duties. However, they can perform these tasks in their spare time if it does not interfere with their official duties.


Johan


Last edited by johanrebel on Fri Jun 08, 2012 7:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Kruger Park During the early 90's
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 12:36 pm 
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The 2010/2011 SANParks annual report, reports as follows:

2009/2010 - 1429904 visitors 83.9% occupancy rate.
2010/2011 - 1386287 visitors 76.0% occupancy rate.

My experience was never that one had to book twelve months ahead, some visitors did but not because the had to, they did so immediately after returning home from a wonderful nature and spiritual experience.

I can speak of experience as I have been visiting the KNP since 1967.

Quite often one had to change your planned itinerary during school holidays or during the Easter week-end but we usually got accommodation up to six months ahead during the mentioned periods and this was not because we had a contact. Outside the mentioned periods accommodation was available even at the "drop of a hat" opportunity. Even if we had make a visit to or phone the old National parks Board Head Office in the SANLAM Building situated in I think on the corner of Andries and Pretorius Street, Pretoria. It was just wonderful leaving with a blue hand written reservation in your hand and then preparations would start . . . .

_________________
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: Re: Kruger Park During the early 90's
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 2:57 pm 
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This was definately pre-90's so please forigve me, but if I don't ask now I will forget. Seeing that we have people with a wealth of information posting here: :thumbs_up:
I think my dad had some sort of a season ticket, as we used to go to the game reserve just about every weekend!! :big_eyes: This was in the late 60's and 70's. Did season tickets exist, or was it a form of a Wild Card.
Many thanks


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 Post subject: Re: Kruger Park During the early 90's
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 3:21 pm 
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I knew you guys would be filled with wonderful information and I appreciate every bit of it.
I was asked about my books.
The first is "Domestic Departures - A Midlife Crisis Safari".
The second is "Traveling Africa - A Women's Guide".
The first is in print on Amazon as well as on all e-readers and apps.
The second is only on e-readers and apps.
The one I am working on is my first fiction; working title Serenity.
And as I mentioned, much of it takes place in South Africa including Knysna and Kruger but also Botswana. So I am researching Botswana in the early 90's as well.
Should anyone have any information to share on that please private message me and I will give you my email address.

I also have a ton of stories of Africa posted on my blog site which is travelingafrica.blogspot.com

I can't wait to continue reading all of the great posts.

Thank you tons!
Dana


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