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Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2008 8:26 am 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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Location: Back home in the caravan at Malelane camp, KNP
Sadly my first ever trip to the park was in May 2000 just after the floods. I remember twisted rails on the green bridge between Skukuza and Lower Sabie, and lots of debris still around the place.
We spent just one night at Skukuza then, and I was still to discover the delights that Kruger has to offer....... Now I cannot get enough of it!

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Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2008 9:20 am 
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Makes me think..... I have definitely experienced a drop off of animals on the N1 highway between Skuk & LS in recent years. Maybe it has something to do with the flood and the gnarled wreckage on the river banks between Skuk & the green bridge???

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Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2008 2:57 pm 
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This isn't a old story but...was ay one up near Punda Maria or Shingwedzi in December 2007...there was tons of water all over the place.

It literally looked like a marsh/swamp! i'll see if i have photo's and post them! :D

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Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2008 7:07 pm 
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Wow it is stunning to read all these old time stories. It kind of give me an idea of what it was back then!

Ill join the club that say in 20-30 years Ill give some stories.


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 Post subject: Kruger in 30 years
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2008 7:54 am 
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Location: Secunda
Let's promote conservation as much as we can and ensure the Kruger is still there in 30 years for the people to tell stories about.

I wonder what people like Wolhuter, Stevenson Hamilton, Aderndorff, Orpen and the like would say when they see Kruger today.

Can anyone remember the time in the late 70's when they shot 50 or 60 lions in the Skukuza and LS area?

My father related this to us? Any info on this would be welcome.

Regards to all.


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Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2008 8:05 am 
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I have a very keen interest in history.
I do believe that the spirit of Stevenson-Hamilton lives on at the memorial tablets sites.

Certain roads are particularly significant. When I travel the Old Voortrekker road I try to imagine a time of transport riders and the untamed outback. There is a small memorial to a young German who accidently shot himself in the leg and subsequently died.
Sadly, many plaques in Kruger are unreadable at the moment, so the history is lost to the tourist.

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 Post subject: Kruger
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2008 12:05 pm 
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When we at the Jock birth place i saw the one plaque was removed.

Just imagine having shot yourself with a shotgun. Leg off and blood poisening is setting in. All of this in the middle of the african bush.

There was a book written by Gus Aderndorf about his experiences in the Kruger while being a ranger. Well worth the read if you can find it.

I sometimes wonder how many of us modern people would survive a week in the bush with just the same equipment that the pioneers of old had.

BTW. The tree that Harry Wolhuter crawled up used to be cemented close to the place where it happened. Does someone know if it is still there or has it gone lost in time?


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 Post subject: Re: Kruger
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2008 7:12 pm 
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SilverSpur wrote:
I sometimes wonder how many of us modern people would survive a week in the bush with just the same equipment that the pioneers of old had.
Some people cannot survive 10 minutes without a cellphone, so it is not many. :twisted:

SilverSpur wrote:
BTW. The tree that Harry Wolhuter crawled up used to be cemented close to the place where it happened. Does someone know if it is still there or has it gone lost in time?
Was there a few years (not many) ago. There is a plaque and the treestump. The lions have moved on.....

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 Post subject: Very old Kruger memories
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2008 9:09 pm 
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Hi there all you Kruger lovers. I have just returned from 5 nights Shingwedzi & 5 nights Orpen but this is a story of old times and I will tell you about this trip at a later stage.
I remember in the very old days when my mom would have to book a call to Skakuza to make our booking.
There were no fridges in the camps then so mom would go to a shop in central JHB that sold dry ice and bye 2 blocks on the afternoon before we left. We would either stay at Skakuza or Lower Sabie for 4 nights and believe it or not the meat that we packed in our polystyrene box with the dry ice kept our food frozen.
We would leave at midnight and the hardboiled eggs and coffee would be ready for our stop over at Old Joe. Radio Highveld kept us company all the way to Numbi gate where we would arrive at around 05-45. We would wait with anticipation for those great big gates to open and be so proud of the yet another Kruger stcker to put on the windscreen and the big brown rubbish bag that we bwere given on arrival and then the excitement of seeing our first impala WOW what excitement.
The huts had no showers or toilets so everyone used the communal I can remember my mom being the last one to shower one evening and she wasn’t back in our hut after being gone for an hour so dad went looking for her and found her wondering around lost as the lights had gone out. You see in those days there were generators and they switched them off at 21-00.
Waking up in the morning mom would go to the big old urn next to the kitchen to fill the flask with boiling water for coffee. The sarmies and rusks would be packed and we would be in the queue waiting for the gate to open.
Something else I remember is that in the summer months there was a huge tree trunk put across the road at Letaba. You were not allowed to go further north and I can’t remember the reason why. Maybe someone can help with this.
The cost of a hut in the late 60’s was R 12.50
O.K. so now you are wondering how old I am, well I’m old enough to tell you that I have just arrived back after a long trip back from Orpen gate and it is 20-30 and I am on a high after an awesome 10 days in my wonderful paradise called Kruger which I think is about my 120th visit.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2008 9:32 pm 
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Hi Sue and a very warm welcome to the forum. :D

You have some lovely memories of a Kruger that I only started visiting in the early 80's, wish it could have been earlier.

We would love to have a little report of your recent trip so please don't keep us waiting too long. :wink:

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Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2008 9:41 pm 
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The northern camps were closed because of the threat of malaria, and the roads to the north closed off in summer, but nowadays they let us risk it. :twisted:

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2008 9:52 pm 
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A warm welcome to the forums Sue!

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Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2008 11:22 pm 
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Welcome to the forums, Sue, and thanks for sharing your memories! :D


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2008 10:50 am 
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Hi Sue and welcome! :D
Old Joe is still there in Schoemanskloof.
I have asked this some time ago, but here goes again - does anybody remember the huge tree in Satara? circa early 60's. There were tables and chairs underneath it (those green wooden fold up type chairs) they served tea and scones there.
I also remember seeing Olifants' restaurant after it burnt down -was it in the 60's or 70's? If Im not mistaken, same happened with Letaba's restaurant. It was like a national distaster has hit us. :(


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Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2008 12:19 pm 
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Welcome Sue from another Kruger lover , your first post about the 1960's is exactly as I remember it too , then a school boy . Amenities were very spartan , but that tangible atmosphere of the "game reserve" remains forever .

If I can add a few comments .
The reservations were very difficult to get . Even applying a year ahead to Pretoria on opening day you would be told " no , already fully booked ". Eventualy my dad made friends with the reservation lady and that helped . And a lot of times you just went and found accomodation at the camp itself or had them radio other camps - more adventurous .

We also used dry ice but some camps (definatly Skukuza and Pretoriuskop) had banks of refrigerated cubicles for hire on longer stays , a boon for the cooldrinks . Orpen still had some of these in the 1970's , probably recycled ones from the bigger camps . A canvass water bag hung on the car but it tasted funny to us kids anyway - just an angle to get a coke . The picnic spots had cokes in parrafin "coke fridges" for 2 and a half cents each .

And I remember lighting was mainly parafin lamps with the Lister generator sometimes on .

All cooking was around the communal camp fire not at the huts , just as it still is at Punda Maria (fire hazard) . And the kitchens stoves were coal fired and also the Falkirk water urns . The only salad was potato salad .

The roads were all gravel and that was why it was best to be early at the gate in the morning . Although we always went in winter I remember the park always being hot and dusty . Melted Easter eggs , but with cool naartjies and oranges instead of air-conditioning .

There were many devils thorns on the bare ground in the camps and porkbush hedges were common between the huts . Lawns and gardens came later .

Satara had a huge spreading Umbrella thorn and pergola with a creeper in front of the pokey little shop . Here you could sit and eat at those green metal chairs and tables . Apparently these were 2nd World war hand me downs , as were the camp radios , from the North African campaign and many of these are still in use at picnic sites .

The plains between Satara and Olifants had huge herds of Zebra , Wildebeest and Buffalo with many lion prides . Never seen that again since then . Letaba was Elephant country they were not numerous elsewhere . Leopard was the road between Skukuza and Lower Sabie still gravel then .

The ablution blocks I always remember as very crowded straight after the gates closed and everyone wanted to shower before supper .

But around the communal fire and in the ablution blocks everyone swopped stories of what they had seen for the day so there was much more comradeship in those days .

Castle , Lion or Brandy and Coke era . Scotch and soda was for back home .


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