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 Post subject: Old Kruger park Stories
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 8:52 am 
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Hi All,

I was wondering if there are members out there with some interesting stories or experiences to tell about the Kruger.

I thought i would share this with you.

When I was younger, I would guess around 6 or 7 we were camping in Skukuza with my folks. Now just to make it more clear, this was in the early 70's.

At that time the Skukuza entrance gate was not where it is now but where the big old clock is next to the road on the way to the shop.

To the right hand side where the gardens are now, that used to be camping area. Anyway there is a huge old tree and my dad used to park the caravan under this tree at most visits.

There were always fires going in the evening and in those days the park supplied a lot of the wood that was used for braais. They used half drums and made huge fires in them where tourists could braai.

I think the caravan my dad had was called a Corry John or something like that.

Anyway to make the story short we were kids and with our fatty hands after a great meal touched all over the ropes which held the tent together.

At that time there was no electric fences and there were water drains and pipes through which the hyenas came into camp. During the night some them started licking and biting the ropes of the tent.

Eventualy the rope was bitten through and we had a partial tent collapse. Obviously this scared us kids a bit.

My folks thought it quite funny though. We even watched them through the caravan windows walking around the camp.

Sometimes they would turn over the dustbins to look for some leftovers form the braais.

I doubt this is still happening.

Regards to all.


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Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 11:16 am 
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Hi Silver Spur,

Lovely to hear about a 'good while back' in KNP :D

As far as hyena probably not overturning bins in camps anymore - year before last we saw a hyena in Lower Sabie camping area and could hear him over turn each and every bin in the camp. In the morning we noticed that even the bins in the parking lot had been overturned and the whole area a real mess! So - they're still doing it :D

Anyone else with Old Kruger Park stories?

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 2:17 pm 
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DB I was there last year and saw the hyena in camp! we were sitting there just after we finished our meal. It was late because we were on the Sunset drive and when we came back we had a braai. Shortly after we heard a bid fall somewhere but didnt think it would be a hyena! the next moment the animal was standing not more than 2 meters away from us!!


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Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 6:36 pm 
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LMHO SilverSpur, I have told a bunch of old stories under other threads but 'old timers' prevents me from remembering which ones.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 8:08 am 
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One of my favourite things about"Old Kruger". was the time spent in the communal abblutions in the evenings. Now don't get me wrong I love having my own shower in the chalets, but in the old days while you were in the queue for the showers the camaradie was great. Everyone compared stories of the days sightings and chatted away happily. I've noticed that this is dissapearing even when camping as there are now enough ablution blocks in the camp sites that one rarely has to queue. I know its not great to wait around for that shower, but the chatting was great

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 Post subject: Camp Communicastions
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 8:30 am 
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Morning all,

I really miss the time when the camp communications was via SSB HF radio.

I always loved when booking in, and hearing the camp reception talking to each other with HF radio's. It really created an atmosphere of being in the wild. I vividly remember the guys calling:- "Skukuza Skukuza for Olifants"

Today the system is via telephone and the old radios are no longer used. It is as if a piece of Kruger is gone.

I do however see at some camps the old poles are still there where the HF dipoles used to hang. Maybe this assisted me in becoming a radio ham.....are there any other hams around....ZS6STC calling CQ....

I understand that VHF is still used for other comms in the park.

Maybe with ESKOM's loadshedding we might see a return to HF radio with batteries and solar...............

Regards to all.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 8:42 am 
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When we were kids, one of the reasons my Dad went to KNP was that it was almost impossible to contact a person there. If it was an emergency one had to phone head office in Pretoria who would then radio the camp you were resident in. Then the camp staff would leave a notice on the "message "board in the hope you would see it as you came in from your drive. It meant a holiday was exactly that. A holiday. Your office couldn't contact you and someone else dealt with any and all crises. Now there are phones, cell phone reception and anyone can get hold of you! :twisted: It drives me nuts when my SO's office or clients call him on the cell while we are in a national park or on holiday anywhere for that matter :twisted: :twisted: :wall:

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Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 9:50 am 
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Things certainly have changed.

Nowadays, you can be reached anywhere from KNP camps, the beach and even the toilet, and nobody does your work while you are away on holiday.

I certainly remember talking to all the people at the communal ktichens and having a chat over washing the dishes.

Tried that one last year and the look of suspicion that I got from the others was appalling. Why is this? Are we becoming so unfriendly that we think everyone is out to get us?

One of the reasons I love the Kruger is that friendly "thing" we all had. Respect, friendship and we shared stuff.

You try that now and you get treated like you have some rare contagious disease.

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Conservation is not an option.
It's imperative.

Leave KNP alone. Go build a hotel someplace else. Reserves are for the preservation of wildlife.

Think Pink. ..


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 Post subject: Old Lower Sabie Tsokwane Gravel Road
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 10:03 am 
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I wonder who can remember the old gravel road from Lower Sabie Camp to Tsokwane. It would run through what is now the safari tented section in LS. There was a low water bridge and then you went up the hill. This was a long time ago.

If I remember correctly it the joined the Skukuza/Tsokwane tar road close to Leeu Pan.

I remember the morning and evening chatting between visitors. It was a friendly lot of people. Slightly different today.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 10:21 am 
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Sadly things always change. I have found people to be quite chatty at the communal kitchens. But then again not very many people use the kitchens - most tend to have all the equipment and do the cooking at the camp. With all the fancy camping equipment you get these days, its becoming less and less like camping.

I find it sad that people these days have lost touch with the simple things. Most bring along satellite dishes, TVs and DVD players, microwaves,etc. To me going to Kruger is about getting away from 21st century life. No TV, no radio, for a week does wonders. Sitting around the fire chatting, reading by lamplight, that's what its all about. One tends to appreciate it all so much more when one returns home again. But as they say "different strokes for diifferent folks".

Sadly, I may have to go against my principles and take along the laptop to do some work while I'm in Kruger next week. But even so, what a setting to work in - its better than the office.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 10:30 am 
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I'm with you on that one Senyetse. When I'm in the bush, the fire is my TV by night, the car window doubles as the tv during the day. At night the sounds of nature are my radio.

To take the DSTV and all that other stuff, why bother. Just stay home. I do not want to hear the rugby or anything other than the sound of nature when I go to Kruger.

I will be taking the laptop, but that is just to download my pics and get a summary of my Trip report going.

NO WORK. (Hear that boss?) NO WORK!!!!.

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Conservation is not an option.
It's imperative.

Leave KNP alone. Go build a hotel someplace else. Reserves are for the preservation of wildlife.

Think Pink. ..


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:02 am 
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You are not there yet... go do some WORK :twisted:


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 1:26 pm 
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Oops. Busted. Yes boss, I will immediately return to work.

The body is there, the mind is alreeady in the park.

Looks like I'll have to pull myself together.

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Bunny Hugger

Conservation is not an option.
It's imperative.

Leave KNP alone. Go build a hotel someplace else. Reserves are for the preservation of wildlife.

Think Pink. ..


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 1:37 pm 
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I agree. Kruger is about getting away from it all and these days even there in paradise it isn't always possible.
Now enough lamenting the old days, I'll sit here for a while and try and remember some other fuuny stories about KNP in the 60's & 70's

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(Baba Dioum, Senegalese Ecologist)


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 Post subject: 1976 All Black Rygby Team Visit to Kruger
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 2:00 pm 
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I remember my dad telling us that when the All Blacks visited the park during the 1976 tour of South Africa they stayed in Skukuza.

Aparantly the lions caught an impala between the huts they were staying in.

Is there anybody that remember this or could tell us more about it.

Regards to all.


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