I am very busy this upcoming week so have decided to post a number of "words of the week" now to satisfy the craving for the week ahead
This week I'm going to be focusing on some of the major rivers in the Southern section of the park [up to Tshokwane]
This river was a very attractive one to the First Tsonga settlers, who moved here from the East, as it was and still is the largest seasonal river in the Park. This meant that the area supported a large game population and thus a viable area for a small community. Game numbers continue to be high in this region of the Park
Biyamiti is a Tsonga word which means "Where barricades had to be erected around dwellings". A mixture of Ku Biya meaning "to make a barricade" and Miti "huts or dwellings". The name came about due to the fact that the Tsonga people had to protect themselves from the aggressive local people who often raided there villages.
Interestingly early Afrikaner's in the region named the river "Veldkraalspruit" which means "Dwelling in the bush"...
The largest Perennial river in this area of the Park and a tributary of the Komati river outside the Park.
The name Sabie is derived from the SiSwati word Sabisa, "to be careful". The reason's given for the name are varied, however it is believed that the name refers to the slippery nature of the rocks in this river. The name Sabie is very old and was given to the river as far back as July 1725 by Francois De Kuiper, the river on his map being called "Sabe"
The now well-known spelling of Sabie came about in 1869.
The Northern boundary of the original Sabie game reserve, the fore-runner to today's Kruger National Park was boarded by the Sabie river and "Sabi bridge" was the original name given to Skukuza rest camp. Lower Sabie is also a large restcamp in the park today.
The river contains 49 different species of fish and is widely regarded as one of the richest rivers, in terms of biodiversity, in the world
Incidentally the riverine bush along the banks of Sabie supports the highest density of Leopards in the world, along with the shingwedzi river in the North of the Park.
This is generally a dry river traversing almost 100km through the park. It's Tsonga name which comes from the ideophone "Ntonto" means "to drip intermittently" or a river which flows underground and is only visible in certain areas! The name Nwaswitsontso is also old appearing on 18th century maps.
These intermittent pools attract large amounts of game and thus the larger predators.
A bird in the hand should be in the Bush!!