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 Post subject: Re: Your Earliest Memories of Kruger
Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2008 8:13 pm 
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Bush Baptist wrote:
Videos :big_eyes: When I went for the first time in 1956 it was just after the silent movies :roll:


:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

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There was a lioness blending into the background about 3 metres away that had a ringside seat, and another a little way into the bush, and AFAIR, a few more.
What one has to do to see lions :wink:

:shock: :shock: thats what you call a ''toilet'' with a view
Thanks anyway for sharing BB :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Your Earliest Memories of Kruger
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 5:28 am 
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Location: perth, australia
I am not as old as the some remembering things from the 50's and 60's, but mine was in the early 80's.
We were in Shingwedzi for a break after a long drive.
I remember the parking area being sandy and the fence had a ladder over it, or some kind of steps for the workers I think.
My mothers' aunty Riya was driving her car and and all of a sudden, instead of reversing she went forward at a hell of a speed.
We all looked backed and right next to the fence was a huge ellie.
Just standing and looking so calm.
I remember how it looked, the ellie was huge in the rear view mirror and I remember how the camped looked. It was cool in the shade and next to the place where we parked was a green lawn.
That is the first memory that I have.

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 Post subject: Re: Your Earliest Memories of Kruger
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 5:53 am 
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What a lovely thread.

I was rather disappointed in my first trip as I was expecting a lion around every corner. I am not sure how old I was, as my father was a very keen angler and my childhood was filled with a brurr of memories from frequent trips all around the country.

I do know that we went in my dad's Studebaker Lark. It was his pride and joy. My father was much more enamoured with the Park than my mother. My mother nearly died from Maleria as a child after a trip to the Park. Needless to say, there was a lot of reluctance from her side to introduce that risk into her children's life.

I remember our school trip very well. I was 12 years old. I have very vivid memories of staying at Pretorius Kop and loving the big trees. We then went onto Skukuza and we were given a talk by one of the rangers at the Hamilton Library. I also remember my disappointment at not being able to afford a gift to take home when visiting the little shop at Skukuza.

I decided that I wanted to be a game ranger. I could think of nothing better. To my horror, I was told that women were not accepted as game rangers, as they were not strong enough.

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 Post subject: Re: Your Earliest Memories of Kruger
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 8:49 am 
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Location: Hopping around greener pastures.
Without giving away my age, it was a long time ago, in my mid teens. Mother was divorced and met someone who baught a game farm somewhere near Phalaborwa (I think).

We went there for a weekend and I ended up in the car with my aunt for the duration. On the saturday, we went into the KNP for a day visit.

I was tasked with being the leopard spotter and told to look up into the trees. Pretty soon Aunt needed to answer a call of nature and was not about to do it next to the car. So she gave uncle the "hurry-up" and he then instructed me to look out for speed traps.

The ensuing should and slapping match was very unpleasant so I never saw a dam thing. :(

I had such high hopes of seeing something important, but all we saw was buck - bucker all. :lol:

My next trip was about 8 years later and was very sucessful, we tripped over everything looking for the big five and only found three of them. The notable missing perpetrators being leopard and Rhino.

I did see a side striped jackal and a Sable on that trip among the other general game and the thing I probably enjoyed most was watchinh two giraffe "necking". Subsequently found out they were involved in a dispute over mating rights.

My real love of KNP started in about 95 or 96 when I heard the lions roaring from our camp site at Lower Sabie. Since then I have camped in Kruger many times and it is truly, the only place I really love to camp. I enjoy camping anrywhere else, but camping in KNP is my BIG thing.

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

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 Post subject: Re: Your Earliest Memories of Kruger
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 9:23 am 
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Location: Daar waar Paul Kruger gebly het...
I can't really remember the first time, because I was still in nappies, but the one trip I can remember like yesterday.

I was in grade 1 (1991), and in those days you were still allowed to bring bicycles to the park.
We were staying in Skukuza and I think also Satara for a few days over December.
As I was still small, I didn’t have the ability to use breaks on a bicycle when it is moving faster than when someone is pushing it.
We stayed at the top of the camping area just by the communal kitchen just before you go through to the staff area (These days there are those permanent tents).
I was riding from the fence to the road that leads to the road that comes from the gate to the staff area (the one coming through the middle of the camp site.
When I approached that road, I realised that I wouldn’t be able to stop the cycle and it is starting to gain speed because there is a slight downhill slope when you pass the communal kitchen.
Obviously I started crying and screaming for someone to help, but they were too late, when my parent came out of the tent, I was lying in the dust!
Yes… I wasn’t able to stop, so I hit those angled bricks that they have on the side of the roads and I was tossed over the steering wheel of the bike!
As we stayed on that corner (on the side of the communal kitchen) help was there quickly, but not quick enough to have stopped my accident!

I know that because of that accident bicycles was never allowed in the park ever again!

We went to the park 3 to 4 times a year until my I got into high school.
Then it got more expensive to go on holiday so it became once a year.
When my father passed away, we were there once and now I’m going there with my wife at the end of the month.
I can’t wait! My best holidays were in the Kruger!


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 Post subject: Re: Your Earliest Memories of Kruger
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 9:31 am 
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I just remembered another funny story!

We were staying in one of those big hut/house things back in 1995 I think it was.
I was only 7 years old at the time and the wild facinated me!
We were staying at Shingwedzi.
My brother, AGAIN, told me he wanted to show me something.
It was dark and the olds were braaing and talking and they kind of bored me, so, I followed by brother.
He told me to carry the torch which was half my size!!!
He had to carry the video camera, I had no idea why....

We walked to the fence, he told me to turn of the light and turn around, away from the fence.
Then, he told me to turn back around, facing the fence and stand very close without touching it and turn the light on.
There was this hyena, the size of me, staring me in the eye!!!
My legs have never ran that fast and I screamed at the top of my lungs while crying!!
Everyone in the camp started running towards me as they didn't know what was going on!!
Needless to say, I kept looking back to see where this animal was while running at the speed of light, straight into a tree!!
I fell about 2m backwards and the torch was shattered, my head hurt like hell the next day!!

It was all caught on camera, as well as how my brother got the beating of his life by dad.... hehehehehehe!! Such good times....

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 Post subject: Re: Your Earliest Memories of Kruger
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 10:08 am 
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I only had one trip to Kruger as a child - in those days the trip from the Cape was very long!!

I was knee high to a grasshopper at the time, it was in the '50's, and my Dad's old Pontiac broke down about 10 times before we got to Kruger - and we were 3 days late :shock:
We stayed in tented accommodation in Pretoriuskop - all I can remember was that my mom was terrified that we may see elephants - all we saw was elephant dung :D Did remember seeing a lion and a leopard tho :D

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 Post subject: Re: Your Earliest Memories of Kruger
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 10:14 am 
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My first memory of Kruger is bit of a sad one so I won't go into it too much but I was around 9 years old when my mother passed away and her best friend took me too Satara for a couple of days. (Hence my love for the place)

All I can remember was a massive buff herd and an Ellie charge. :) Oh yes and monkey's that stole our vienna's :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Your Earliest Memories of Kruger
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 10:17 am 
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Location: Back in the city of Golden mine dumps!
My earliest memories are from around 1992. I remember having breakfast at Lower Sabie, when the old restaurant and Cafeteria were still there near that little ramp and to the left of the Original 'Onder-sabie/Lower Sabie sign'. You used to have to walk under all those weaver nests and the sounds were fantastic :D .

In any case after having breakfast we went down to the rolling lawns in the older section of the camp and witnessed a whole pride of lions chasing a waterbuck into the little bit of water that was present near the low water bridge (this was around the time of the big drought in the early 90's and there was literally just a 'pan' of water left) The waterbuck was subsequently chased out of the water by a hippo and the lions got it!

I was around 5 years old at the time and remember writing about the incident in the old Lower sabie sightings book which was situated in a cubicle of some sorts... looked like a voting booth :lol: Had to stand on a wooden box to reach the book but was very excited to be the first one to write down the sighting :D !

I still enjoy writing in the various camps sighting books and the same thrill remains. I am a little surprised that some camps do not have sightings books anymore, lots of boards but no retention of past sightings and descriptions which is always nice to read. Skukuza still has a good one and have found some of our previous scribblings in the book which always brings back memories!!

Enjoy. Great thread :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: Your Earliest Memories of Kruger
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 11:31 am 
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very nice thread indeed!


in 1993 we visited our grandmother in Durban for the first time - well first time for me (except as a baby)...

we spent 3 days in the KNP right at the beginning - and i was hooked! :D

i didn`t expect anything, had no idea about the park and absolutely loved it right from the start!


when my dad needed a short break from driving i immediately started nagging to get out on the roads again... :whistle:


after leaving the park i cried so much (even my older brother was sad) that we booked another 2 nights in hluhluwe during our 3 weeks stay.


since then i try to come back to the bush (especially KNP) as often as possible :pray:

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KNP-trip No. 8: 2014!
30 November: Pretoriuskop
1-2 December: Lower Sabie
3-4 December: Satara
5-6 December: Balule
7-8 December: Letaba
9-10 December: Tamboti

1993, 1995, 1998, 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2013. Next trip coming up!


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 Post subject: Re: Your Earliest Memories of Kruger
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2008 2:47 am 
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Hallo BB

Why was there so little ellies in those days?

I always remember the time my grandmother passed away and only me, my dad, my sister and grandfather went to BnB. Mum could not go with cause she had to work. My grandfather was in a wheel chair and he really enjoyed the Kruger... I remember he was always sad after grandma passed away and that week he was another person. It made him feel good and it made him happy and it made my father happy too. It was as if they connected in a special way again...

My grandparents lived in Swartruggens near Groot Marico. They drove at least once a month to the Kruger, so this was a gift to him from mom and dad, sadly it was his last visit, but one very special one. Every night he sat with me and my sister recalling what we did during our day and what animals we saw.

When I think of the Kruger I remember holidays with ouma and oupa. This was 24 years ago.

I still see the food my father made. Bullybeef and mixed veggies and rice. I hated it... but never told him :twisted: My father took such good care of us all now that I think about it, something I thought only mum was able to do... I have to tell him that...

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 Post subject: Re: Your Earliest Memories of Kruger
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2008 12:43 pm 
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Being woken in the dark, early hours of morning by mom, stumbling off in my pj’s with a coffee mug, up to the big black kettle for some boiling water.
Also getting back to camp in the late afternoon and watching the parkguy bring over a huge shovel or two, full of coals for the evening braai.
These guys I, even as a child, admired and held in high esteem for their friendliness dedication and travelling to the camp on a bicycle at an unholy hour to make fire in the kettle for us. How awesome that was.

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 Post subject: Re: Your Earliest Memories of Kruger
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 8:39 am 
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I have many memories of Kruger, My first memory , but probably not the 1st trip- Along the lower sabie road, it was still sand then , we spottes a troop of vervet monkeys. We did the wind up the window thing as in those days the monkeys and baboons regularly hitched rides on the car. But we had no aircon so we left a tiny gap to keep some circulation going in the heat. My brother was eating a biscuit and as quick as a flash this little hnad stretcehd in the window and grabbed the biscuit out of his hand. He was only about a year old and screamed so loud the monkeys fled into the neares tree :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Your Earliest Memories of Kruger
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 8:51 am 
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One December afternoon I hitched a ride with the Talamati game viewing vehicle from Orpen back to Talamati .The Nwatwitsontso river was in flood and I had arrived at Orpen as a guest of the Talamati camp manager .
Stopping for a leg stretch at dusk , I was walking back to the vehicle and saw a maned lion walking parallel and slightly ahead of me in the direction of the vehicle . I continued walking , now very silently , of course wanting to close the distance to the vehicle , fortunately the lion continued without hearing me .

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 Post subject: Re: Old Kruger park Stories
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 8:19 am 
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How I earned a six pack and a bottle of wine.

The time December 1982.

We entered Phalaborwa gate early the morning - just after opening time.
Drove to Letaba, had breakfast and then off to Shingwedzi. WE drove up the H1-6 and at the S106 turnoff I got the feeling to turnoff - so we did, hoping to see some good Elephant at the Nshawus ( we always do ). After a debate at Nshawu 5 , I decided to keep on the S106.

A few kilometres on I noticed a vehicle in the distance. As we got closer I noticed people outside the vehicle. I then drove a 108" Landy (which we all loved ). Getting closer, the people all got into the vehicle.

As we approached there was a lot of frantic waving us down. It was an ivory coloured Mercedes with a Rustenburg registration number. We drove closer and stopped next to the Mercedes and saw that it had a punctured rear right wheel and also noticed that the rim was all buckled with long tell tale marks on the dirt road of rim drag markings.

The driver told us that he had a puncture, I then replied that I have noticed, and that he should change the wheel.

I was then told that he cannot find the jack to do so - we looked in the designated places but it was nowhere. We then used the Landy jack and changed the wheel.

While we were changing the wheel the lady told Lanette my wife how pleased they were to see us as they left Shingwedzi early the morning and drove down the dirt road ( she was driving ) and then they got the puncture.They could not find the jack so they waited - no one passed. They then decided to drive on slowly with the punctured wheel, still no one else in sight. It was getting hotter and hotter outside ( being December) and also inside the Mercedes, as were the tempers of the occupants and still no one else in sight.

After many hours they saw our vehicle in the distance ( a prayer came true ).

After the wheel had been changed the man asked what it cost - the reply: nothing , just drive safely, and get a new wheel and tyre at Phalaborwa as soon as possible.

We greeted and drove off.

Getting to Shingwedzi we unpacked and lit the fire for our braai.

While getting the fire settled my wife came out with a Castle ( I do not drink Castle when Black Lable or Windhoek is available), I asked where this came from , the reply: from a very relieved lady who lives in Rustenburg.

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Done 144 visits to National Parks.
What a wonderful privilege.


Last edited by gmlsmit on Thu Mar 05, 2009 2:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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