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The sad demise of the communal braai

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jeffgordon
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The sad demise of the communal braai

Unread postby jeffgordon » Sat Feb 08, 2014 3:56 pm

To my knowledge, the bungalows at Punda Maria remain the last bastion of the communal braai in Kruger (or are there others that I am not aware of?)

Does anyone know any more about the sad demise of this once-wonderful institution? I appreciate we are all a little more insulated these days, but when I think about it, it seems such a great loss to the overall Kruger experience. When did they first start dying out? Were they replaced wholesale across all the camps, or was the tradition slowly snuffed out, one camp at a time? I am sure that they were still going strong in the eighties when I used to visit as a child, but perhaps my mind is playing tricks on me.

Would be lovely to see some photos of them too, if anyone has any.

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Hugh
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Re: The sad demise of the communal braai

Unread postby Hugh » Sat Feb 08, 2014 4:36 pm

I can remember the one at Letaba in the early .70s .. and all the Tannies sat around chatting and knitting while ooms cooked the meat .. and every one was welcome to join in .I wouoldn't even know where it was now as all that is now knocked down and new
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jeffgordon
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Re: The sad demise of the communal braai

Unread postby jeffgordon » Sat Feb 08, 2014 6:12 pm

Ah yes, Hugh, it would be so good to know where the old communal braais used to be be in each of the camps. In Lower Sabie, I *think* they are still there, in the lawn area near the 'cinema', between the clover-leaf huts and the old stable block huts. Or perhaps I am mistaken.

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Re: The sad demise of the communal braai

Unread postby H. erectus » Sat Feb 08, 2014 7:05 pm

Hey Jeff, good topic in question,..

Did the communal thing not so long ago at Punda!!!

Was quite bowled over by the other users of such facility!!!

Maybe three four years ago, left me pondering whether just
maybe I transgressed their holy site!!! Gees,>>>

Had my meat cooked for me,....!!!
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Re: The sad demise of the communal braai

Unread postby Meandering Mouse » Sat Feb 08, 2014 7:52 pm

I wish we could have it back again, everywhere.

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Re: The sad demise of the communal braai

Unread postby Crested Val » Sun Feb 09, 2014 9:10 am

I think that one thing that puts people off going the communal way, is that they are embarrassed that their braai skills will not stand up to public scrutiny!!! :lol: :lol:

Having said that, I can say from experience that the camaraderie around a communal braai can be wonderful!! :thumbs_up:
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Re: The sad demise of the communal braai

Unread postby jeffgordon » Sun Feb 09, 2014 9:30 am

Ha ha! Good point Val. I imagine our braai skills would all improve immeasurably, Either that, or we'd all get a little fed up of being told what to do by the resident braai-bore!

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Re: The sad demise of the communal braai

Unread postby Grantmissy » Mon Feb 10, 2014 10:35 am

The Punda Maria communal braai in front of the huts is great as people talk a lot with each other when they braai. That and those old paraffin lanterns when the people return to their huts to have their braaivleis dinner on the long one communal stoep provide plenty of old Kruger atmosphere. The other Kruger Camps do not have those communal braai facilities as far as I know.
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Re: The sad demise of the communal braai

Unread postby gmlsmit » Mon Feb 10, 2014 12:33 pm

The communal braai was the place where the experiences were shared/boasted about. It was also a place where the less skilled braaiers could learn from the skilled and soon become experts.


Hundreds of tons of suitable firewood was collected in the veld and transported to the picnic spots, rest camps and staff accommodation/facilities.

For several years concern was expressed regarding the ecological impact of removing the large amounts of firewood required for maintaining fires in rest camps and picnic sites. Supplies of suitable firewood in the proximity of rest camps became depleted and and consequently the cost of collecting firewood escalated. In 1988 the Cadac company approached the Park and offered to provide a variety of gas braais to the Nkuhlu picnic spot on an experimental basis. This offer was accepted

After a trial run proved successful gas braais were provided at the Tshokwane picnic spot.

The wood fires used for cooking in the staff compounds were successfully replaced with gas stoves.

However gas was more expensive than wood, the problem was solved when ESKOM power was supplied to to rest camps in 1993. Electric stoves were installed in all staff accommodation units/facilities by 1994.

At a meeting held June 1990 the KNP Management Committe decided that in order to assist rural communities in Mozambique certain commodities e.g. Msimbiti poles (used as building material) and firewood would be obtained in exchange for food and other essentials.

Msimbiti poles were also sourced from the Venda communities.
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Re: The sad demise of the communal braai

Unread postby badprop_za » Mon Feb 10, 2014 1:36 pm

jeffgordon wrote:Ha ha! Good point Val. I imagine our braai skills would all improve immeasurably, Either that, or we'd all get a little fed up of being told what to do by the resident braai-bore!


Or people are afraid of braaing someone elses meat. :P
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Re: The sad demise of the communal braai

Unread postby jeffgordon » Mon Feb 10, 2014 3:35 pm

Thank you for such interesting input, gmlsmit. I had forgotten that the coals at the communal braais were supplied (by spade-load, if I remember right) from a large central fire, gratis. It is understandable that such a practice could never be sustainable. But, oh what a pity.


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