Additions to the Park 1946 to 1960 Part 3.
Mrs. Orpen’s donation of farms to the KRUGER PARK had resulted in Hartebeesfontein being the only privately owned land within the Park.
The Dept of Lands approached the owner Dr. JNW Laubscher in 1951 with the intention of purchasing his farm. Dr. Laubscher initially refused to sell, saying that he was already in his 70s and derived a lot of pleasure and benefit from his farm.
The Board was keen to straighten the western boundary, before the planned fencing of the Park’s perimeter took place. As a result the Board was prepared to forfeit certain farms, including Knaboomkop, Zeekoegat, and portions of Middelin, Batavia, Diepkloof, Klaserie-mond and Vereeniging, in order to acquire Swartkop, Peru and Hartebeesfontein. Knaboomkop, Zeekoegat and a portion of Vereeniging were exchanged for Swartkop in 1959.
Dr. Laubscher offered to sell Hartebeesfontein in 1959 to Government and it was then added to the Park.
Subsequently the western half of Batavia was exchanged for the eastern wedge of the farm Addger, between Sikkelhoutkloof and Red Gorten.
Initially the KRUGER PARK authorities to this exchange because they wanted to retain Batavia intact for the sake of the last herd of Roan Antelope remaining in the area. However the only other land suitable for possible exchange, the elongated section of Middelin, could not be considered as it no longer be suitable for exchange if the farm Albatross belonging to Mr. O Pirow and Dr. A Schoch were to be added to the Park in the near future, and the available portions of the farms Diepkloof and Klaserie-mond had to be kept in reserve for exchange for the farm Peru.
Here below is a copy of the map of the farms mentioned above as well as those donated by Mrs. Eileen Orpen.
As well as a copy of a map indicating how many farms there were in the area during in 1918.