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 Post subject: Re: Plea to preserve Kruger's character
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:29 am 
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An old but meaningful and beautiful topic that I would like to bump up again.
Love reading it.

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 Post subject: Re: Plea to preserve Kruger's character
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:47 am 
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I didn't read the date on this.

But the comments especially by Ifubesi and charbel are right on the money today.

It IS an enormous privilege & ressponsibility to work and live in Kruger.

If you don't subscribe totally to these values, then please don't work there.

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 Post subject: Re: Plea to preserve Kruger's character
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 12:14 pm 
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Stevenson Hamilton wrote:
“May her success, and the gifts increasingly showered upon her, not at last permanently affect her character, and transform her into a dame so bedecked by human art that her natural loveliness would be hidden, and her simple nature spoilt.
May those holding her future in their hands realize the true nature of their trust, and not, by estimating her worth at artificial values only, cause her to languish and ultimately perhaps perish.”


Beautifully said :clap: :clap: :clap:

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 Post subject: Re: Plea to preserve Kruger's character
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 1:14 pm 
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Elsa wrote:
An old but meaningful and beautiful topic that I would like to bump up again.
Love reading it.


Cannot remember ever coming across this topic before - the sentiments expressed are so true. The poem that you quoted Elsa, is beautiful. Once Africa and Kruger have got under your skin - you cannot escape, you will return. The sense of wilderness is still there in Kruger but, unfortunately, the area is smaller and getting smaller each year. Let us all hope that some of those who "do" Kruger because it is the "in-thing" become converts and not only, return again and again but also spread the importance of keeping it as much as possible - a wilderness for all to enjoy.

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 Post subject: Re: Plea to preserve Kruger's character
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 2:02 pm 
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:thumbs_up: :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:


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 Post subject: Re: Plea to preserve Kruger's character
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2014 5:37 am 
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I just read a sentence from James Stevenson-Hamilton today that reminded me of this topic in the forums. Skukuza worried that Kruger would become “a glorified zoo and botanical garden, dotted with scientific experimental stations of every kind, hotels and public recreation grounds, which are all preliminaries to the liquidation of the last vestige of wildlife”. Would he be happy to see how is the park developing nowadays?

Cheers
Charbel


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 Post subject: Re: Plea to preserve Kruger's character
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2014 10:40 am 
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Charbel, interesting question you pose.

40 odd years ago, Kruger was a place that very few people visited. I remember as a child going on holiday to camp in kruger. Many people asked, where is that?? What on earth would you want to go to kruger for??
There is nothing there!!

Back in those days, South Africa had sanctions imposed upon us. The rand dollar exchange rate was almost one to one. Petrol in SA was the cheapest in the world. Caravanning in SA had not taken off yet, although this began to boom into the 80's.

Back then, the hotel era was booming. Durban beachfront hotels were doing most of the annual holiday trade. It was all the rage to go on holiday and stay in fancy hotels. Mind you, it was affordable, so people did it. People flocked to the suncities, durban beach front.
Back then, Kruger had very little, just a few shops, a few thatched rondavels, dirt roads. There was no fancy stuff going on. No fancy hotels. And not many visitors. It was a glorious time!!

Soon, people realised that the hotel holidays were becoming overcrowded. They began to look for more secluded destinations, fewer people, less hussle and bustle.
So, many adopted the next best thing. A caravan. A luxury accomodation on wheels. This new concept would allow them to drag their accomodation anywhete they wanted. Petrol was very cheap. Big engined cars were all the rage. Made sense then to hook up a van and drive off into the wilderness. Kruger started to become a more common destination for many. And caravanning opened up new destinations for many.

At this stage, SA was still isolated from the rest of the world. International tourism was not high on our agenda. Most local holiday destinations were geared up for local tourism. And most SA holiday makers wanted luxury. Except those privelidged few who visited Kruger. We wanted non of this stuff. To us, Kruger was just perfect. Wild, rustic, and away from maddening crowds. And, for many, an ideal destination to drag your caravan to.

Then, something else changed. Politically. Sanctions imposed against SA were lifted. For the first time in many years, SA was again part of the international community.

International visitors slowly began to recognise South Africa as a possible holiday destination, this strange, much heard about but never visited country on the tip of Africa. With its unique diverse cultures, people, and extensive beauty. And it was relatively cheap, the rand was not worth much against other currencies.
Back here, the price of petrol began to rocket upwards. So too did the price of hotels. Caravaning no longer became a viable solution. It was expensive to tow a van. Hotels were becoming more unaffordable. So people turned to camping. They could still have the feeling of caravanning, but just without the added expense of dragging a van behind. So, the locals turned to camping. The international guests and visitors started arriving. And both were looking for the same fix...a unique destination. Kruger.

Away from the madening crowds, no hotels, a unique destination indeed.

The fact is, the world is changing. Some may say for the better. Some may say we are on a downward spiral for the worse. Controlled by the human need (greed) to make money. One thing is certain though. It is changing. And sadly, where there is change, in many instances, its the pressure to change with the world that clouds our vision.

Is Kruger still the same place I knew it as a child? No.
Is there a future for Kruger? Yes, definately.

But only if we are VERY VERY careful not to lose its early founders vision. And what it stands for. Because once that happens, Kruger will be no more.


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 Post subject: Re: Plea to preserve Kruger's character
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2014 11:43 am 
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I've just come back from 7 nights in KNP. What a wonderful time of getting back to nature and getting back to an inner sense of peace. Just to slow down and to get back to the rhythm of nature.

There were a couple of times when I wondered what certain visitors were doing in the park because of their obvious lack of interest to experience the extraordinary wonders that can only be found in the wilderness. I've grown up going to KNP every year with my family and it was so great to share memories of decades ago with my children. I still remember the feeling of being safe and untouchable/unreachable by the "outside world" as soon as we entered the park gates.

My plea would also be that the true spirit of KNP and every other nature reserve in SA be preserved unspoilt by greed for many more generations to enjoy.

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 Post subject: Re: Plea to preserve Kruger's character
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2014 12:05 pm 
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Col. J. Stevenson - Hamilton soon after arrival realised that the Sabi Game Reserve could not be a burden to the State, he envisaged that the area be:

1. A Game Sanctuary where animals could live and multiply in peace in a place similiar to what it like was before being touched by man.

2. A place where paying tourists could come to and enjoy nature in a place similiar to what it was like before being touched by man.

He once quoted the following extract from an American periodical:

My boy! you are an American of which you should be proud. I bequeth to you our great land, which we love so well. I hand the heritage to you, as my father passed it to me; but altered and developed a bit. Our forests of course have been cut to the last tree; the last head of game had been shot from the hillside; the last bird from the fields and the streams no longer furnish fish and fur. Our large vast public domain has been fed to the gravel, and is swiftly becoming a desert. The National Parks are shot out. So stay in town my son, and don't stray beyond the pavements; but if you do venture out, remember this - Don't go near the water- our once crystal streams are leprous now. Should you go to the old swimming hole, your feet will mire in bottomless slime and sewage, while the poisonous fumes assail your nostrils. All this is yours my son- your heritage- the great outdoors of America.

He saw the bright side of the picture for South Africa, people were becoming more appreciative of nature.

Provided this appreciation grew and was maintained, the quote may one day alter to:

My son ! you are a South African of which you should be proud. I bequeth to you our great land, which we love so well. I hand the heritage to you, as my father passed it to me; but altered and developed a bit. Our forests of course have been cut to the last tree; the last head of game had been shot from the hillside; the last bird from the fields and the streams no longer furnish fish and fur. Our large vast public domain has been fed to the gravel, and is swiftly becoming a desert. The National Parks are shot out. So stay in town my son, and don't stray beyond the pavements; but if you do venture out, remember this - Don't go near the water- our once crystal streams are leprous now. Should you go to the old swimming hole, your feet will mire in bottomless slime and sewage, while the poisonous fumes assail your nostrils. All this is yours my son- your heritage- the great outdoors of our dear land - South Africa.

Upon his retirement in 1946 he pleaded:


Keep it simple – Keep it wild.

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 Post subject: Re: Plea to preserve Kruger's character
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2014 1:01 pm 
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Very true gmlsmit.

I honestly hope, trust and believe that Kruger will stay as much as possible the same as Col. J. Stevenson - Hamilton envisioned.

I feel that even though the world is changing, places like Kruger should not change, seeing that there will always be enough people who would prefer Kruger as it is. IMHO if you want more go to a holiday resort. :tongue:

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 Post subject: Re: Plea to preserve Kruger's character
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2014 1:33 pm 
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Dear friends
I am very glad that my message stirred some nice discussion, and a comeback to this important thread here in the forum. It was great to read 404-504 perspective on the changing world within and outside South Africa. I live in a country which is in the same crossroads: needing to change to adjust to a changing world where it is playing a more central role, just as SA, but then developmentalist perspectives prevail and this means nature destruction. But we are not so developed here when it comes to nature tourism as SA is. And this is for me a big difference: it is true that conservation needs the funds from tourism, I do believe that people will not conserve nature due to biocentric or ecocentric reasons. Represented as they are in the world, these are not environmental ethics that move crowds. Most people can at most be moderately anthropocentric. So, from an ethical point of view, I think the way to combine conservation and tourism development is to debate with people values, and try to influence them to move from radically anthropocentric (we need the next big hotel to attract the crowds!) to moderately anthropocentric (let's do the hotel but let's think about harmful consequences carefully and perhaps tone down the investment, not so many people, less people, so that long-term people can keep coming...). I am glad people see future in Kruger. I do see. I am even more glad that people here worry about some issues that might hamper Kruger's future. As much as I am so pleased that there is wilderness to go basically everywhere in Kruger, I worry about the big hotel in Skukuza, I was deeply concerned when I answered a questionnaire sent by Sanparks that asked if I'd like to see 7 eleven in KNP (7 eleven? Come'on, go to a shopping center instead, it is so much easier, it is there in the corner for you to eat the next combo), I am concerned when I read visitors writing in Trip Advisor about the accommodations basically complaining that they were not the same standard as a fancy hotel (bats in the room? well, you are in the wild, bats were there before you, try to live with them...), and, finally, I am very concerned with visitors I saw in the park that sincerely had no idea of where they were, stepping out of the car, feeding animals, making one hall of shame thing after the other....

Perhaps some people might feel this is not adequate to discuss here... but exactly because this is a forum kept by Sanparks and loved by people who love the SA parks, it seems adequate... I would love if we have something similar to Sanparks in Brazil....

Cheers
Charbel


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