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Kruger Rituals

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Wild@Heart
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Kruger Rituals

Unread postby Wild@Heart » Fri Jan 14, 2005 7:10 am

My wife and I enjoy to go through our books on animals and on birds after every days drive and tick off what we saw that day.

Nice time just to sit back and take it all in and reflect on a the day..with a nice glass of Amarula (with lots of ICE).

Also, on your way to Tshokwane, before you get to the viewpoint, there are a few large boulders and rocks on the left hand side. We are not allowed to go over the hill until we have spotted a Klipspringer.

Well as you can see, I'm here typing, so we've managed to see one every time.

What is your ritual. If you have any.

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Unread postby Guinea Pig » Fri Jan 14, 2005 7:30 am

I've got 2 books resembling something played with by my dog!
Ian Sinclair's Field Guide to Birds of SA and the faithful MapStudio Official Visitor's Guide to KNP. We tick off what we saw and actually mark on the map WHERE we saw it with a date. This is done in the evenings over a cup of coffee before we roam around the camp. Nice way of getting to know people and finding bushbabies etc. :D

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Unread postby Meg » Fri Jan 14, 2005 9:43 am

We have a couple of things we always do, but I'm not sure I'd really call them rituals. Firstly, when my brother and I were kids my Dad would always say "First one to see an animal gets an icecream", which would wake us up immediately :D. This has now come over to my husband and I, who always say that the first one to see an animal doesn't buy the first round of icecreams... Also, we tend to fill up a thermos with Wimpy coffee in Nelspruit the night before going into the Park, then stop at the first waterhole we get to (depending on which gate we've used) and have coffee and rusks while listening to the sounds of early morning birdlife - heaven!
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Unread postby BIGBOB » Thu Jan 20, 2005 7:59 am

I have laminated a KNP map and when we are in the Park my daughter marks off the animals spotted on the map and then writes them in her book. At 8 years old she can relate to a special sighting as if she has just seen the animal. My son who is 4 is also catching on to this game fast and he always wants to go back to the pecial sighting even if it was a year ago that we saw it.
Another ritual is that my wife does not do any cooking in the park. She does wonderful things at home and it is my pleasure of repaying the debt.( a ice cold beer with breakfast always goes down well).

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Kruger Rituals

Unread postby Penny » Fri Apr 15, 2005 8:03 pm

Many years ago (co-incidentally) after quaffing a good bottle of red wine in the park - we always saw leopard the next day. Now it is a mandatory part of the holiday - a bottle of "gooses blood" (good red wine) is guaranteed to bring out the spotted cat the next day and there have been very few occasions where the theory has been mis-proven. Of course it does not take much persuasion for the bottle to be drunk - all in the interests, naturally, of seeing a leopard the next day!!!!!!!
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Unread postby Oumie » Thu Dec 15, 2005 8:17 pm

Elsa wrote:Oh yes, I know exactly what you are talking about, once you have the smell of that thatch in your system, no matter where you are in Kruger, its in your blood forever. :D never to beforgotten.


Even if I am not in Kruger, the minute I walk into a building or house with thatch I long for Kruger :D
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Unread postby Nkulu » Thu Jul 13, 2006 12:22 pm

Love the rituals!

We stick to the following religiously:

1. Sniffing the restrooms at the gates as soon as we arrive.
2. Having a pie with gravy and chips at least once during the
trip
3. Keeping a record of all animals we see and daily experiences.
4. Each member of the family must nominate an animal he thinks we are going to see first. Winner gets rewarded with ice cream
5. Trying to get out of the gates as soon as it opens, we once sit for 10 minutes with a leopard sleeping on the tar road between Satara and Thsokwane


1. Ditto !
2. Having a toasted chicken mayo sandwich at least once during the trip.
3. Keeping a journal of each trip.
4. Wondering when we will encounter a grumpy ellie - it always happens.
5. Trying to be the first to arrive at the park gates on arrival - we arrive about an hour earlier, open the flask of hot chocalate, bring out the egg mayo sandwiches, sit in the dark just revelling in the sounds and knowing we have come "home"
6. Amarula on ice while the braai fire is "getting ready"
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Freda
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Unread postby Freda » Thu Jul 20, 2006 9:12 pm

pardus wrote:We are all so different and yet so the same...

Our ritual
1. Pancakes at Harry's in Dullstroom
2. Fruit at the vendors in Hazyview (love the haggling)
3. Fresh bread at Checkers in Hazyview
4. As we approach Kruger Gate, we listen to our "song" - "Give me peace" and stop on the bridge. We kiss the bridge, cry, wait for the Fish Eagle to call and then call the statue of Oom Paul a few choice Dutch words :shock:
5. We get the gear and equipment ready, open windows and sniff the air.
6. Sniff the THATCH in Skukuza's toilets with or without a p.
7. The first night we have boerewors and pap and Amarula with ice
8. All the nights afterwards, we still do the Amarula thing...
9. Every morning our route starts with rusks and tea at a favourite waterhole
10. We down a box of Smarties and talk with our mouths full of candy after a good sighting
11. In case of LIT sightings, we down our sunset drink in the cooler, at any given time....
12 We cry for 30km's after we left the Park.

We do almost the same :D
But start with brekkies at Milly's, fruit at Hall's gateway to the lowveld, kissing a different bridge and tomorrow I shall be smelling the thatch, can't wait :D

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Unread postby JenB » Thu May 01, 2008 9:42 am

Hi rusky, :D

Amarula's always a great ritual! You can go 50/50 on some Bacardi if you wish, but preferably not in the same glass... 8)

I found that spotting games kept my kids well occupied. Just make sure they have books and let them identify what they see.
Also make sure you have a "Spot of the day" competition going with a little prize for the best spot at the end of the day. In your case, think it will be a good idea to have a prize for second best spot of the day as well! :lol:

Enjoy your trip..... and about the thatch, you will have to whiff the smell for yourself. It just can't be explained and I have no intention even trying 'cause it will give me the blues! :wink:
"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." ~ Anatole France

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Unread postby Pjw » Fri May 02, 2008 12:25 pm

We always just stop at the gate and breathe in the KNp perfume. The smell of the bush and listen to the silence. We all undo our seatbelts and open the windows wide. Once in the gate its a competition to see who sees the first animal as they get an icecream at the 1st stop. We always plan a brunch at one of the picnic sites. Theres nothing better than bacon, egg sausage, mushrooms onion .....etc cooked on a skottle in the middle of nowhere. Most often we do that everyday we are in the park. And of course, the braai at night. What is KNP without the braai?
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Re: Kruger Rituals

Unread postby Albert » Mon Feb 22, 2010 12:36 pm

Thanks for resurrecting this topic db; :clap: reread some of the stuff, cannot believe it is almost 4 years since I posted on this thread! We are looking to carry on the rituals during March of this year; but it will be a totally new experience for myself and the better half. First time in the past 20-odd years we will be going to Kruger by ourselves. It will be kind of weird not to have the kids with us this time. :roll:

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Re: Kruger Rituals

Unread postby Hippotragus » Mon Feb 22, 2010 1:47 pm

Our family ritual is the "KNP champagne brunch".

We leave camp shortly after gate-opening time (let the rush go) and drive until between 11 a.m. and noon. We work out which picnic site we will get to (favourites are Mlondozi and N'wanetsi).

On arrival at the picnic spot, one of us goes off to hire a skottle and gas from the attendant. The other starts slicing an onion, pre-cooked potato, mushrooms and tomato and opening the packets of bacon and sausages. Having lit the gas, we put slices of brown bread around the edge of the skottle to toast, and fry the other ingredients in a little oil. Last to go on the skottle are the eggs in those rather clever "moulds".

A table cloth is put on the table and plates, cutlery and condiments are set out. Just as it is all coming together, a bottle of bubbly (S African) is opened.

We have been rather amused, on several occasions, to see people looking at our spread with great envy (or disgust??). It is often our one and only meal of the day!!

Last July it was too cold, windy and wet most days and my daughter and I were suffering withdrawal symptoms as we couldn't have our brunch. Eventually we did manage it when the weather improved a bit - what joy!!

Other rituals - radio off, windows open, binoculars on, bird books on hand, coffee and rusks at first stop of morning (preferably a bird hide).
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Re: Kruger Rituals

Unread postby jungle jenny » Fri Feb 26, 2010 9:27 pm

My Dad and I make a loaf of "snackwiches" with corned beef and grated cheese as filling. We fill +-8 bottles with colddrink and pop it all in a cooler box the morning of our visit. We also stop at Tshokwane for a slice of milktart. :mrgreen: :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:

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Re: Kruger Rituals

Unread postby Bushbaby30 » Fri Apr 09, 2010 5:54 pm

Both my grandparents' ashes are scattered in the Park and everytime we pass Tshokwane we make a quick detour to go and say hello. The day after every "visit" we see either Leopard or Cheetah without fail...
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Re: Kruger Rituals

Unread postby naomi » Sun Apr 11, 2010 8:03 pm

Rituals? Never thought of it like that. Anyway, a 'ritual' in my car is as follows:- after entering gate at Kruger, report at reception, get back into car, open all windows, take off seat belts and smell the air - oh and definately NO MORE RADIO until you leave the Park again. At camp, after reporting to reception, and getting to your bungalow or tent, unpack and then have a drink on the verandah/stoep. Get back into car (if still early in the day) and just drive. We hardly use a map. It's usually where my instinct tells me to go. After dark, make fire and braai. I used to have a ritual of getting up early to be first out the gate, but, found that nonsense. It's all a case of luck. Sometimes I used to see more upon rising early and sometimes not. Can't think of any other rituals. Nice subject though.


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