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African drums at Sunset and Traditional dancing inside KNP?

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African drums at Sunset and Traditional dancing inside KNP?

Unread postby dannyb » Mon Nov 23, 2009 2:04 pm

Hello all

Me and the wife will be arriving at the park on wednesday for a week. Can anyone here advise me where we can watch some good traditional dancing inside the park. We are spending nights at Skukuza, letaba and sable hide. Any advice is welcome


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Re: Traditional dancing inside KNP

Unread postby Scipio » Mon Nov 23, 2009 2:46 pm

None inside the park as far as I know, in the surrounding areas there are various places though. :whistle:

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Re: Traditional dancing inside KNP

Unread postby Sprocky » Mon Nov 23, 2009 6:54 pm

Sorry Danny, I don't know of any inside the park either. There are private concessions that do offer this entertainment but they are not part of SANParks.

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Re: Traditional dancing inside KNP

Unread postby Stark » Mon Nov 23, 2009 7:12 pm

From the Skukuza Activities page:

Through prior arrangement with the camp, catered traditional dances can be arranged.

My advice would be to contact the camp directly. Though, if you have time, my suggestion would be to search the web. Culture as a SANParks offering isn't a well-represented topic of discussion on the board.
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I miss the African Drums at dusk!

Unread postby RobbieB83 » Thu Jul 14, 2011 6:24 pm

I really miss having the sound of the african drums playing in the background whilst sitting around a camp fire.

The camp staff used to play their drums every evening as the darkness set in. It was always a very sentimental echo that made my Kruger experiences that much more special.

My favourite was shingwedzi, drums vs the local male leopard vs lion in the background. Nothing will ever beat that for me.

I wish that I could go back to my childhood to hear that again.

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Re: I miss the African Drums at dusk!

Unread postby RobbieB83 » Thu Jul 14, 2011 7:21 pm

The most awesome sound in the bushveld, it would be for 10 to 15 minutes. If not mistaken it was a end of the day call that they played before the restaurants would open.

Did you ever experience that? I am 28 now and the last time I heard that was when I was 11 I think.

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Re: I miss the African Drums at dusk!

Unread postby Crested Val » Thu Jul 14, 2011 7:29 pm

I have edited my post, as I had initially misunderstood what Rob was referring to...........though I think as others have mentioned, the dinner drums were much shorter than 15 minutes, more like 30 seconds!!

I needed Rob's post to remind me of these dinner drums.....they were definitely played at Lower Sabie in the mid 70s, and do indeed bring back very happy memories.

Tribal dancing and drumming performances, I am not so comfortable with in the park. (Just my opinion!!) :)
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Re: I miss the African Drums at dusk!

Unread postby Rooies » Thu Jul 14, 2011 7:57 pm

The drums used to announce that dinner, or the fire, were ready. I can clearly remember that in the good old days, there were communal fires, and when the coals were ready, the drums announced that it was braai time. Almost everybody pitched up with their food and drinks. Sightings were discussed, politics sorted out etc. etc. Wonderful friends were made during those times.
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Re: I miss the African Drums at dusk!

Unread postby moggiedog » Thu Jul 14, 2011 9:27 pm

Loved the African drums and the days of the huge fires....
Would love to experience them once more but time moves on and the past can never be recaptured.
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Re: I miss the African Drums at dusk!

Unread postby bigbuf » Thu Jul 14, 2011 10:49 pm

How times have changed !!! And if only we could take our Park back 30 years.

I remember exploring the camps with no concept of time at all, and as soon as you heard the drums you knew it was dinner time, that ment you and your new friends had to head back to your bungalow's as you knew the braai was almost ready.

If I'm correct, the drums were played for all restaurant meal times, I think this still happens in certain camps today.
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Re: I miss the African Drums at dusk!

Unread postby winnydpu » Thu Jul 14, 2011 11:12 pm

I was in Skukuza on October of last year, and they played them for about five minutes or so at twilight. It was a friend of mine's first night in the park, and I felt that the drums, the sunset and a small herd of elephants right at the fence created a magical moment.

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Re: I miss the African Drums at dusk!

Unread postby hilda » Fri Jul 15, 2011 4:31 am

I am sure that we still heard the drums at dusk in Satara and Lower Sabie in February 2011. It is not disturbing to me at all, since it doesn't last long. I do, however, agree 100% with Crested Val that all TV and music should be banned in KNP!
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Re: I miss the African Drums at dusk!

Unread postby Meandering Mouse » Fri Jul 15, 2011 8:26 am

I have never actually heard drums in Kruger. I grew up in a semi rural area and I would often go to sleep with the sound of drums in the distance. It was so much part of my childhood. I always knew that something significant was happening.

I do feel it is very much the sound of Africa.
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Re: I miss the African Drums at dusk!

Unread postby o-dog » Fri Jul 15, 2011 10:26 am

Such a good point Robbie...I was also a kid back then and those memories were great. I specifically remember the drums being played at Punda Maria and sprinting up the hill in excitement to go and watch and then get to the shop before it closed.

I think if they aren't played any more (which is the case every time I've been to Kruger in the last 15 years) that they should be started again even if only 2 or 3 times a week.

Fact is its also part of the local culture in and around the park and SANParks is always looking for ways to include the outside community - why not this way? It can be a great way to start to educate so many people who don't know about the communities outside.

If camp staff are not used for this maybe for example part of the new proposed 1% levy can go to paying groups to play every now and then?

I forget their name but there is a Shangaan group which has about 10 members who are fantastic on the drums and have made it quite big now. I've seen them in the greater KNP.

Anyway those are just some thoughts but either way 2 people banging on drums at sunset the way it used to be would be fantastic and will hardly cause any noise to those who are completely adverse to this great African tradition :thumbs_up:
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Re: I miss the African Drums at dusk!

Unread postby spargish » Fri Jul 15, 2011 10:32 am

The drums were one of my favourite things in KNP as a Kid, a close 2nd to the movies shown in the evening :mrgreen:

I recently heard them being played a Skukuza in June
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