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 Post subject: Re: Did you know?
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 2:35 pm 
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The first National Park in Africa was the Albert National Park in what is now known as the DRC. A year after Kruger was proclaimed as a National Park followed the Kalahari Gemsbok Park, Bontebok and Addo.

During the late 1920's and earlier 30's, visitors were allowed to take one rifle per vehicle into the park for self protection. The rifles were sealed and when it authorities found the seals to be broken, a good explanation had to be given.

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 Post subject: Re: Did you know?
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 10:56 am 
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Halley ’s Comet was seen by some visitors during April 1986 in the night skies of Kruger.

Punda Maria used to be known as Punda Milia camp. The name Punda Milia is presumably from a Swahili word and the name were given for the camp by the local ranger stationed there during that time. Roughly translated from Swahili it means something like a zebra or striped donkey.

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 Post subject: Re: Did you know?
Unread postPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 9:56 am 
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From Wikipedia - History of the Kruger National Park: 1926–1929

"After the proclamation of the Kruger National Park in 1926, the first three tourist cars entered the park in 1927. No accommodation was provided for visitors. They made their own camps in enclosures of thorn bush. Tourists could come and go at any time, day or night. The bad roads prevented any speeding. Night driving, however, had to be ended as too many animals, dazzled by headlights, were getting killed.

A rapid road construction program was started in 1927, and by the end of 1929 a total of 617 km of tourist roads was completed. The first roads connected the established ranger posts.

The all-year round opening of the Park had to be ended in 1929. Not only was the effects of rain chaotic on the primitive roads, it also caused a public relations disaster in March 1929 when a large group of American tourists arrived by luxury train at Crocodile Bridge. With two big trucks as transport, they went on a game drive and soon got bogged down after a big rainstorm. One truck also overturned on crossing a stream. The drenched tourists had to perch in thorn trees to avoid lions. Local ranger Hector McDonald and his staff eventually came to the rescue. It was one big adventure, but the bad publicity started when several of these visitors went down with malaria. Apart from the Pretoriuskop area, from 1930 the Park was closed down from the end of October until the end of May."

Just imagine, nobody could visit the Park for seven months per year! :shock:

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 Post subject: Re: Did you know?
Unread postPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 11:58 am 
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Hi there all you "Did you know" people.
I have been reading up about Kruger in preparation for my June trip, during which I will also be taking my parents back to the park for the first time in over 30 years. I have been preparing a pre-trip slide show for them with our route, itinerary and some great Kruger history. Although I am sure many of you will be familiar with the information that I have collected, I have found it a fascinating journey of reading and discovery. For instance, DID YOU KNOW:

"There are a number of graves in Skukuza (previously called Sabie Bridge), indicating the final resting place of fortune hunters, traders, prospectors and more. Some of these graves are unnamed and while many face east-west, some face north-south. The north-south facing graves are those of people that were executed (illegally) after being found guilty for crimes that were regarded as heinous, such as the stealing of a horse".

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 Post subject: Re: Did you know?
Unread postPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 6:22 am 
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Makes me think of the "Robber's grave" in Pilgrims Rest. His grave is also North-South facing. :|

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 Post subject: Re: Did you know?
Unread postPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 7:31 pm 
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Indeed, the robber's grave is exceptional and a testament to the times. The belief was that you had to be facing in a certain direction to be buried in consecrated ground. People who commited suicide were given the same treatment. It was still considered murder.

There are more graves in Kruger than anyone can imagine.

For a long time, the Kruger millions were thought to be buried in Kruger. Many fortune hunters went looking.

There is also a Bathoto merchant who is said to have hidden a fortune in Kruger. His story can be followed in Harry Wolhuter's, "memories of a Game Ranger".

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 Post subject: Re: Did you know?
Unread postPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 12:51 pm 
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Two thirds of all Southern African raptor species can be found in the Kgalagadi.

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 Post subject: Re: Did you know?
Unread postPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 12:28 pm 
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There are more than 2000 Dung Beetle species in Africa alone.

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 Post subject: Re: Did you know?
Unread postPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 9:33 am 
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From an interesting book “The lighthouses of South Africa” written by Gerald Hoberman of which one of the light houses discussed in the book is in the Cape Agulhas National Park:

“Examine the map of the world from North to South, from East to West, and you will find that there is not a spot upon the face of God’s earth, where it is for the interest of so many different nations, that a light house should be built, as upon the very spot in question, Cape L’Agulhas: – Extract from the South African Commercial Advertiser dated 18 July 1840.

Some other interesting info regarding this particular light house in the Agulhas National Park as contained in the book:

1 flash every 5 seconds

The light house was declared a national monument in 1973.

Each year in late summer the indigenous March flowers burst into bloom. The plants are also called April fools or “Skeerkwassies” (shaving brushes).

Early Portugese navigators named it Cabo das Agulhas (Cape of the needle) because as vessels rounded the Cape the needles of their compasses swung randomly. It does not say why :D :thumbs_up: .

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 Post subject: Re: Did you know?
Unread postPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 1:24 pm 
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Some of the translations of the place names in the former Transvaal that were done in 1991 by Tom Andrews:

Manzimhahle a spruit north –east from Skukuza means “beautiful water” in Swazi.

The Maqili Hill north-west of Malelane means “wise acres” in Shangaan.

Mativuhlungu south-west of Lower-Sabie means bitter or “brackish water” in Shangaan.

The Kujmana dam is named after a Shangaan person living in the Kruger in the past. (Does anyone know where this dam is, I don’t?)

The Lubyelubye Bridge means

a) Stagnant or sluggish.
b) To walk a great distance for no purpose, i.e. a poacher.

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 Post subject: Re: Did you know?
Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2012 3:31 am 
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Good day everyone! According to "Neem uit die verlede" the Kumana dam was one of the first earth dams that was build in the year 1933 which flooded and was rebuilt several times. Leeupan was also known as Ngwandlopfu or Lily Pond.


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 Post subject: Re: Did you know?
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 7:49 am 
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The biggest animal species in Kruger is the African Elephant. The Dwarf Blue Butterfly may not be the smallest species found in Kruger but its small wingspan makes it the smallest butterfly in Africa. The wingspan of a butterfly is measured from where the wing is attached to the body, to the tip or apex of the wing.

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 Post subject: Re: Sharing something interesting
Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 8:23 am 
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Two Tuskers in Kruger were named after the Letaba River, Letaba One and Letaba Two, - the Letaba River showed its strength during January 2013. It is said that Letaba One was very fond of the Letaba Restcamp and visited the camp often but I am not sure whether he caused a commotion or not during such visits.

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 Post subject: Re: Sharing something interesting
Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 4:49 pm 
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A big tusker that is often seen around Letaba is Tsotsi.

I am told that he is gentle, and leans into staff gardens to help himself to the flowers.

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 Post subject: Re: Share something interesting
Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:47 am 
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In November 1997 six elephants were killed by lightning about 9 km from Lower Sabie. A similar incident recorded in Kruger was near Punda Maria years before this 1997 incident where a group of zebras were apparently killed by lightning while they huddled together in a storm.

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