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 Post subject: Re: What is Kruger?
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 8:06 am 
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johanrebel wrote:
There would be venison on the dinner menu night after night, and little did the unsuspecting tourists know that the very next morning they would be out viewing the bereaved relatives of the antelope or warthog they had just eaten.

Where do you get your information?

I ask, because I have to doubt the above statement, considering that hunting outside of hunting season (winter) is illegal. Where do you suppose the warthog they serve in December comes from? Are you accusing them of illegal hunting, or do they shoot so much during the hunting season that they can feed their guests for the rest of the year?

I also find it funny, considering the large-scale hunting that you allege is going on in Sabi Sands, that when I was there, the animals were so tame and comfortable around vehicles/people. Usually, when there is hunting going on in an area, the animals are extremely skittish and it is near impossible to photograph anything other than the backsides of animals...

I'm not saying there is no hunting in the adjacent private reserves. I just question your statement that there is regular hunting in ALL the adjacent reserves.


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 Post subject: Re: What is Kruger?
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 8:08 am 
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johanrebel wrote:
Sabi Sand have been known to chuck in 600-odd blue wildebeest every now and then to feed the lions.

This is also strange, since we were told that one of the reasons why Sabi Sand have such a high leopard population, is because there is no resident lion pride. So which lions are they feeding, exactly?


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 Post subject: Re: What is Kruger?
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 8:14 am 
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johanrebel wrote:
Tinga used to be an independent private game reserve, albeit located on a concession within the KNP. At some point they made the commercially sensible decision to join hands with their neighbors directly across the river and market their lodges together. Tinga Narina and Tinga Legends thus became Lion Sands Tinga Narina and Lion Sands Tinga Legends. The result is that Lion Sands now offers its guests five lodges, of which three are located on private land in a private game reserve, and the remaining two within the boundaries of the KNP, but in an exclusive concession.


So it appears that "Lion Sands Tinga" IS inside Kruger, which would explain why you can book a stay there through the SANParks website.

I guess someone owes the OP on the original thread an appology :naughty:


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 Post subject: Re: What is Kruger?
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:46 am 
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squirrel_asc wrote:
johanrebel wrote:
Tinga used to be an independent private game reserve, albeit located on a concession within the KNP. At some point they made the commercially sensible decision to join hands with their neighbors directly across the river and market their lodges together. Tinga Narina and Tinga Legends thus became Lion Sands Tinga Narina and Lion Sands Tinga Legends. The result is that Lion Sands now offers its guests five lodges, of which three are located on private land in a private game reserve, and the remaining two within the boundaries of the KNP, but in an exclusive concession.


So it appears that "Lion Sands Tinga" IS inside Kruger, which would explain why you can book a stay there through the SANParks website.

I guess someone owes the OP on the original thread an appology :naughty:


According to my google, as was suggested to me, Lion Sands is not inside Kruger. But the whole issue seems confusing.

Does anyone have a map proving or disproving it for once and for all? Then we know for next time.

"greater Kruger".....done to obfuscate. Successful!

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 Post subject: Re: What is Kruger?
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 10:24 am 
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Bush Baptist wrote:
According to my google, as was suggested to me, Lion Sands is not inside Kruger. But the whole issue seems confusing.

Does anyone have a map proving or disproving it for once and for all? Then we know for next time.

"greater Kruger".....done to obfuscate. Successful!

Lion Sands Nature reserve is not inside Kruger.

However,
According to Lion Sands' website, "Lion Sands Tinga" and "Lion Sands Narina" lodge is the Tinga and Narina lodges, inside KNP near Skukuza. They just stuck "Lion Sands" onto the name. I can remember driving past the signs showing where to turn off to reach them, and they are also marked on Andy and Lorraine Tinker's map of KNP.

Narina Lodge - 24°57’43.41” S / 31°33’46.51” E
Tinga Lodge - 24°58’16.94” S / 31°35’0.54” E

They're roughly between Skukuza camp and Skukuza airport. INSIDE Kruger. Including "Lion Sands" in their name confused me too, at first, but it appears johanrebel and johnnyboyjf07 is correct here.


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 Post subject: Re: What is Kruger?
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 10:26 am 
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Just a little information regarding the release of wildebeest by Sabie Sands. I know that Blue Wildebeest are particularly prone to worms that enter their nostrils from larvae and these worms then make their way to the brain causing death.

There is however a full account of the introduction of Blue Wildebeest into SS as well as the reasons therefore given here: I will cut and paste for ease of reference as it is most informative.


By Melissa Wray
In Greater Kruger National Park




Every October for the last three years the Sabi-Sand Wildtuin (SSW) has released about 600 wildebeest into their 65,000ha reserve, but despite the re-introduction of almost 1,800 animals the last estimate of wildebeest numbers on the reserve showed a mere 400 animals.

What is happening with the wildebeest? This question has been asked numerous times over the last few decades, not only by the Sabi-Sand’s management, but also by the Kruger National Park (KNP). During the 20th century, wildebeest numbers have fluctuated a lot in the Sabi-Sand and the adjoining western section of Kruger, but when the numbers of wildebeest in the SSW reached an all-time low of 75 animals in 2003 management stepped in and started reintroducing wildebeest in big numbers.

Looking back in time, the Sabi-Sand’s wildebeest population was once joined with that of the Kruger Park. Research conducted by Dr Ian Whyte showed that in the central region of Kruger, there were three main wildebeest sub-populations.

One of these groups of wildebeest used to conduct an annual trek between Kruger and adjoining private conservation areas, including the Sabi-Sand. The wildebeest used to move north and west in summer to take advantage of good grazing in the privately owned land, having calves there before moving back into Kruger in winter to be near more permanent natural water sources.

When foot and mouth outbreaks caused Kruger to be fenced off in the 1960s, these wildebeest were hard hit as they could no longer make their annual migration. Despite the addition of artificial waterpoints to try and open up new grazing areas in Kruger the wildebeest numbers in this section of the park dropped by almost 90 percent, and never really picked up again.

The remainder of the once-migratory population ended up staying in the areas of the veld that best suited their grazing needs, and although their numbers stabilised there were never as many wildebeest in the subpopulation as before. The numbers of animals in the other two sub-populations also rose and fell, but this was more in line with natural fluctuations caused by cyclical changes in rainfall patterns. On the other side of the fence in the Sabi-Sand, one of the landowners, …………….

Varty, remembers that there were about 3,000 wildebeest in the reserve at the time the Kruger fence went up. These numbers also crashed in the aftermath of the fencing, with not enough grazing and lions having an easy time finding a meal with such high wildebeest densities trapped by fences.

Eventually numbers stabilised, and for several decades the Sabi-Sand wildebeest numbers hovered around 600-800 animals depending on the rainfall. Several researchers have shown that wildebeest (and to some extent zebra) numbers suffer in years of above-average rainfall, but that they are more successful in drier years.

After decades of having a relatively stable wildebeest population, warning signs started flickering in the 1990s for the Sabi-Sand’s management. Every year the annual census showed a decline in wildebeest numbers, with numbers dropping from 571 in 1993 to only 75 in 2003. Interestingly, the fence between Kruger and the Sabi-Sand was taken down in 1993, and there has been some speculation that this is linked to the dwindling wildebeest numbers.

Wildebeest are also one of the meals of choice for lions. With a population of only 75 animals, it was almost inevitable that the lions would polish off the remaining wildebeest in the Sabi-Sand in practically no time, as the wildebeest could not produce enough babies to keep the population going.

With no migration of wildebeest from Kruger, this would have resulted in wildebeest becoming locally extinct in the Sabi-Sand Wildtuin. Having kept their eye on the numbers for several years, the management of the reserve then stepped in with their strategy to save the wildebeest.

In a good example of sustainable utilisation, the reserve exchanged rhino for wildebeest with reserves in Swaziland. The reserve has a thriving rhino population which has bred so well that there is almost an over-population of rhino on the reserve. With rhino fights breaking out over territory and rhino breaking fences in search of greener pastures, the removal of a few animals in exchange for wildebeest was a win-win situation.

The first load of almost 600 wildebeest was released in September 2003, followed by similar releases in 2004 and 2005. Since 2004, reserve ecologist Jonathan Swart has been monitoring wildebeest numbers with the help of annual aerial censuses and monthly reports from the many lodges in the Sabi-Sand. All the lodges in the reserve are contributing to keeping statistics on the wildebeest. They report sightings of both wildebeest and lion kills to Jonathan.

By looking at these two things, Jonathan can see where the wildebeest are moving around, and also how many of the wildebeest the lions are eating. With the addition of about 1,800 wildebeest over three years, one might think that the reserve’s wildebeest population would be back on its feet, especially as only about 450 wildebeest have been recorded as being lion lunch, mostly during the few months after the releases. However, the last estimate showed about 400 wildebeest, leaving a bit of a mystery as to where all the other animals went.

Some movement of animals between the Sabi-Sand and Kruger and other adjoining conservation areas has been recorded, with a bit of a migration pattern possibly starting to emerge in the northern parts of the reserve.

Despite the difference between the numbers of introduced animals and those seen on the ground, the Sabi-Sand has seen a definite upward trend in wildebeest numbers. The reserve is hopeful when the annual census is conducted this September, there will be signs that the wildebeest are starting to breed well enough to keep pace with the lions’ appetite.

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 Post subject: Re: What is Kruger?
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 10:30 am 
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Thank you all for the debate, it's illuminating. Just one little plea, please stay away from the hunting issue, it isn't relevant to SANParks.

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 Post subject: Re: What is Kruger?
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 10:34 am 
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We have often been on the road (H4-1) just past the first loop and we have clearly been able to see the open landies across the river parked under the Sycamore figs having their morning drinks. I understood that one of the rules of the concessions aside from the strict number of roads they were allowed to make on their concessions was that at no time should either their road or their vehicles be visible from a KNP road. This is categorically not the case as I have seen it personally!

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NO BAIL - JAIL AND NO TRADE IN RHINO HORN EVER!
NO TO BUILDING OF HOTELS IN THE KRUGER NATIONAL PARK
26.09.14 - 03.10.14 Burchells Bush Lodge
03.10.14 - 10.10.14 Ngwenya Lodge
The addiction is fed once again


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 Post subject: Re: What is Kruger?
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:10 pm 
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Penny wrote:
This is categorically not the case as I have seen it personally!
So have I. What baffles me is that there are people willing to pay a small fortune to stay at a luxury private lodge which then treats these guests to drinks in full view of a public road. Not only can the guests see cars driving around (so much for the wilderness experience!), but the also get stared at from across the river.

Johan


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 Post subject: Re: What is Kruger?
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:12 pm 
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saraf wrote:
Thank you all for the debate, it's illuminating. Just one little plea, please stay away from the hunting issue, it isn't relevant to SANParks.
I must disagree with you here. To the extent that animals can move out of the SANParks-run KNP and into the adjacent private reserves, where they can then get shot, the issue is most definitely very relevant to SANParks.

Johan (edited to correct typos. Multitasking is not my strongest skill)


Last edited by johanrebel on Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: What is Kruger?
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:16 pm 
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squirrel_asc wrote:
According to Lion Sands' website, "Lion Sands Tinga" and "Lion Sands Narina" lodge is the Tinga and Narina lodges, inside KNP near Skukuza. They just stuck "Lion Sands" onto the name.
Exactly.

As this thread keeps on proving, it is indeed all very confusing. I thought I had managed to explain it pretty clearly, but apparently not. Let my try again:

Lions Sands operates and markets five lodges. Three of these are located on the farm Kingston, which is part of the Sabi Sand reserve. The other two are located in the Jakkalsbessie concession, which is in the Kruger National Park. The Sabi River form the boundary between Kingston and Jakkalsbessie.

I honestly can't think of a better way to explain this.

Johan


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 Post subject: Re: What is Kruger?
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:27 pm 
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squirrel_asc wrote:
This is also strange, since we were told that one of the reasons why Sabi Sand have such a high leopard population, is because there is no resident lion pride.
Somebody has been telling you porkies.

There are plenty of lion prides in Sabi Sand. Some of those prides have territories that extend into Kruger, to whit the Jakkalsbessie concession in the south, and the Muthlumuvi concession (Rhino Post and Plains Camp) in the east.

Are you perhaps confusing Sabi Sand and Sabi Sabi?

The former is the reserve which, amongst others, comprises of Mala Mala, Londolozi, Singita, Lion Sands and Sabi Sabi.

Sabi Sabi is a company that operates a number of lodges on the farms Lisbon and Shaw's in the Sabi Sand Reserve. For all sorts of reasons I won't go into for the sake of brevity, these two farms suffer from low lion densities. They are part of the territory of one or more prides, but not of the core territory, and may thus be devoid of lions at times. The Sabi Sabi lodges therefore tend to focus on leopard viewing. I do not think the leopard population in Sabi Sand, including Lisbon and Shaw's is necessarily higher than elsewhere, but the leopards are extremely habituated and therefore easy to find and view.

Johan


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 Post subject: Re: What is Kruger?
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:40 pm 
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[
Penny wrote:
There is however a full account of the introduction of Blue Wildebeest into SS as well as the reasons therefore given here
Yep, I know the story, nice spin doctoring! I've even found my e-mail exchanges from a few years ago with a wildlife expert about these press releases.

A couple of observations:

- the blue wildebeest they introduced all came from farms/reserves lacking major predators. They were therefore inexperienced, clueless and dumped in unfamiliar territory. No wonder numbers dwindled so quickly. Anyone wondering where they went should take a look in the local lions' bellies!

- private lodges in general, and those in Sabi Sand in particular, have a vested interest in providing consistent, high quality predator viewing. It is in their interest to keep predator numbers as high as possible, which may mean higher than the natural carrying capacity. I quote from an e-mail I found in my archives: "When I worked at Sabi Sabi I could tell you within 20 minutes of starting a morning drive what we would see."

- A number of the private lodges are only glorified zoos. All the talk about preserving the pristine wilderness is just a facade and a charade.

Johan (edited for yet more typos)


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 Post subject: Re: What is Kruger?
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:51 pm 
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squirrel_asc wrote:
ask, because I have to doubt the above statement, considering that hunting outside of hunting season (winter) is illegal.
Having been asked to leave the hunting issue alone, I shall just respond very briefly.

1 Hunting, in one way or another, occurs in all the major contiguous reserves: Sabi Sand, the Klaserie, the Timbavati, Balule. Take it from me.

2. Hunting for the pot (to feed both guests and staff), used to be very common. I believe it is less so now, many lodges buy venison from game farms instead. In the early days, shooting animals to bait lions and other predators so they could be viewed directly from the lodges was also common.

3. No, the animals do not become skittish because they are hunted. You go out at night with a spotlight and a .22, then you just drop a whole herd, one by one. They have no idea what's going on until the bullet strikes home. Then you chuck them all in a trailer and drive back to camp, hoping no lions jump on board en route (yes, that's been known to happen).

4. Hunting season? Illegal? Oh boy, the stuff that goes on in the bush, on private land and far from prying eyes. I could write a long exposé. It would be very interesting, but way outside the scope of this forum.

So, there you have it. You don't have to believe me. I can't make you, and I do not care either way. The choice is yours.

Johan


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 Post subject: Re: What is Kruger?
Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 1:34 am 
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johanrebel wrote:
saraf wrote:
Thank you all for the debate, it's illuminating. Just one little plea, please stay away from the hunting issue, it isn't relevant to SANParks.
I must disagree with you here. To the extent that animals can move out of the SANParks-run KNP and into the adjacent private reserves, where they can then get shot, the issue is most definitely very relevant to SANParks.

Johan


I am distressed; when the mods attempt to stifle debate on general issues that directly affect SANPARKS and many, many other wildlife areas within and outside the country, then I question what other issues are not being spoken about. This may be a forum for SANPARKS, but if general wildlife issues are not able to be openly discussed and debated here, then the SANPARKS forum will be the only loser.

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