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Observations over 50 years ....

garrow
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Kruger in the early 80's

Unread postby garrow » Tue Dec 22, 2009 7:50 pm

It's amazing how things have changed over the last 25 years. One never battled to get a reservation for the kruger in those years. In december 1984 it cost R36 per night for a 3 bedded chalet with shower and toilet for 2 adults and a child. A 7 course meal and a full breakfast in the restuarant was affordable for the family. We ate in the restuarants daily except when braaing or cooking breakfast at a picnic spot. I cannot remember all the prices from those years but i think a full breakfast cost R6. If you wanted to cook breakfast or lunch at a picnic spot like tshokwane you did not need to hire a gas braai. They always had a fire going where you would scoop yourself a shovel full of hot coals and then place these coals on the braais to cook breakfast or have a lunch time braai. Crocodile bridge in those years had small rectanglular huts without showers,toilets and electricity. You had a peepot if you did not feel like walking to the toilet at night. There was also a large fire burning in camp where one could get red hot coals for cooking or braaing. I have been to numerous game parks in africa and kruger is still my favourite in terms of facilities, roads and game diversity.

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Timepilot
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Re: Kruger in the early 80's

Unread postby Timepilot » Thu Dec 24, 2009 1:18 am

Yes, & I still use my '82 Prozesky bird book, even if a lot of the names changed.


In '82 I took my Aunt to Satara for a week and for two of us in seperate chalets, fuel, food etc etc the whole trip cost me just over R550 :big_eyes: . In '83 and '84 I was living in Nelspruit while working at Ngodwana and we often did day trips in the southern sections. Loved that elephant biltong. And Scips, I'm still using my 1st edition Sinclair!

<As an aside, my SO's dad was seriously involved in birding when living in SA and he did a lot of work with Sinclair to publish the book - I did'nt know this until I pulled it out to show him one day!>
“ Every year elephants were becoming scarcer and wilder south of the Zambezi, so that it had become impossible to make a living by hunting at all. ” FC Selous 1881

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Meandering Mouse
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Re: Kruger in the early 80's

Unread postby Meandering Mouse » Thu Dec 24, 2009 5:12 am

That's wonderful Timepilot 8)

I do remember my first trip back to Kruger in the eighties. Our children were very, very young. We stayed in this contraversial camp that had caused so much outrage with the traditionalists. It had completely broken with the usual Kruger style of building and many people had thrown their hands up in dismay.

What is Kruger coming to :evil: :evil: :evil: they shouted.

The name of the camp :wink: Berg n Dal.
The bird doesn't sing because it has answers, it sings because it has a song.

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Bush Baptist
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Re: Kruger in the early 80's

Unread postby Bush Baptist » Thu Dec 24, 2009 1:08 pm

We paid R13 for a basic unit at Olifants
Whatever (according to BB): "You are correct but I don't want to admit it".

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Re: Kruger in the early 80's

Unread postby Meandering Mouse » Thu Dec 24, 2009 1:46 pm

I also remember how we had to make our request for accomodation in writing. We then had the long wait to see if our request was approved. There was also a limit to the number of days we were allowed to stay.
The bird doesn't sing because it has answers, it sings because it has a song.

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Re: Kruger in the early 80's

Unread postby WildThing » Thu Dec 24, 2009 5:19 pm

MM I remember that - in July holidays you were not allowed more than 10 days. Also if you were not one of the lucky ones to get exactly what you wanted, you had to make do with what the Parks Board (in those days) offered you.
How times have changed with the booking system now available.

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Re: Kruger in the early 80's

Unread postby WildThing » Thu Dec 24, 2009 5:25 pm

Also in the early 80's the main entrance gates to the Park were all closed for lunch time - I think it was from 12.30 till 2pm (can anyone confirm). So you had to plan your trip to arrive either before lunch or after.

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Re: Kruger in the early 80's

Unread postby chirinda » Sun Dec 27, 2009 8:47 pm

I remember arriving at Punda one day just after 1 o'clock and we had to sit and wait until 2 for the reception to open so we could check in. That must have been in the late '80s.

In the "old days" people greeted when you met another car. Mind you, that was even done on the open road. You didn't know the people but it was a courtesy.

Do you remember that curtain and bedspread fabric with the impala lilies?

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fee
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Re: Kruger in the early 80's

Unread postby fee » Sun Dec 27, 2009 10:04 pm

Do you remember when you didn't ever get a key for your bungalow? Merely closed the door and EVERYTHING was still in place when you returned to camp.
:thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:
How times have changed!!!

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Frederik
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Re: Kruger in the early 80's

Unread postby Frederik » Tue Dec 29, 2009 10:28 pm

Wonderful how one only remembers the good of the old days and then remembers it being even better than it really was.
As far as I can remember getting a bungalow reservation during the school holidays was always a problem, even in the early 60's. You were only too glad to get something, we often stayed in military style tents in Lower Sabie and Shingwedzi, with "klapperhaar" mattresses and a paraffin lamp. I can still see my father sitting at his desk, writing his request for accomodation.
Can you remember the days when you could get morning coffee or tea in you bungalow at Skukuza, just like in a hotel?
The experiments to get an alternative to tar for the roads? They tried mixing some sort of oil with the gravel but that didn't work. And the outcry when KNP started tarring some of the roads!
My first trip to the KNP with my family with a caravan was in '78. If my memory serves me right we had to pay something like R3.20 per night in Skukuza! We thought it expensive but worth the money because everything was so clean.
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greenertina
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Re: Kruger in the early 80's

Unread postby greenertina » Tue Dec 29, 2009 10:59 pm

This is the dinner menu from Berg & Dal Restaurant on 12/12/84:

R8.00 a head for all 7 courses:

    Minestrone Soup
    Cape Salmon Meuniere
    Stuffed Cabbage
    Roast Leg of Pork & Apple Sauce, Roast Potatoes, Vegetables
    Coconut tart
    Cheese & Biscuits
    Tea & Coffee

And it was wonderful :D

This was our first trip to Kruger and we were amazed (coming from the UK) that there were no locks on the doors and that we could leave everything safely all day while we were out driving.

We didn't have any problems with baboons raiding the fridges either. I also remember the picnic sites when there was a big fire for wood to start the braai, and hot water for tea. Also having to queue up for the tickey box - long before mobile phones!
We do not own the world, and its riches are not ours to dispose of at will. Show a loving consideration for all creatures, and seek to maintain the beauty and variety of the world. Rejoice in the splendour of God's continuing creation.

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Re: Kruger in the early 80's

Unread postby GlenD » Wed Dec 30, 2009 12:22 am

I remember my dad always writing to the National Parks Board requesting our accomodation, and the agonising wait to see of the request was available or not. I used to wait for the mail every day until that white envelope with the red parks board postage stamp print arrived, then of course the wait till he got home from work to know what the answer was.

I remember those black water furnaces they used to have near the kitchens, and the fires they used to have at the picnic spots in the early winter mornings.

As far as irritations goes, some have just changed form........who remembers the CB radio craze, we used to cringe when we saw a car with a long CB antenna because it meant that in a few minutes every car in the vacinity with a CB would be there at the sighting.

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ndloti
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Re: Kruger in the early 80's

Unread postby ndloti » Thu Dec 31, 2009 12:46 pm

Shops were closed around lunchtime , reopened 2 hrs (?) before gates closed .
3 day Wilderness trails were R 130 , the road from Klaserie to Orpen was gravel through southern Timbavati , one had to fill in a register on traversing it .
Orpen had six 2 bedded huts , communal refrigeration , paraffin lamps , very few vehicles entered the KNP at this gate .

Then in August 1985 I was dismayed to see the road constuction crew start preparing the new road from reception towards the new entrance gate ...
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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gmlsmit
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Re: Kruger Park During the early 90's

Unread postby gmlsmit » Thu Jun 07, 2012 6:46 pm

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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Travelstory
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Re: Kruger Park During the early 90's

Unread postby Travelstory » Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:16 pm

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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