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 Post subject: Re: Old Kruger park Stories
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:34 am 
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kameelperd wrote:
Hi,
Is this topic DEAD :cry:
Is there nobody with an old or even not so old story :huh:


Well, not such an old story, but I can give you an exerpt from one of my Kruger Journals of an incident that occured in the '90s to my friend Jess and I. We were on our way from Letab to Satara at the time:

. . . . Eventually we get to the point where the Olifants river comes up against the road. Here, for the first time, we see plenty of game. Vervet monkeys run along the bank, impala and bushbuck step down to drink, and there are giraffe and zebra in the bush. We come to a large parking area under a huge sycamore fig, down from the road, floored in whitish gold sand. I take a wide right hand circle to put Jess on the river side, and because the bank is canted a little here, I can’t see out of the window, so I try to move forward a little, and this is when we discover that we are stuck. Really stuck. Jess sighs with resignation.”Oh well, this is where I do my Kalahari stunt again”
“No, no, you drive, I’ll push” say I. “No, I’ll push” she decides. She goes to the rear of the passenger side and says “Ready? Go!” And I put my foot down whereupon a three metre high wave of sand spins into the air, fans out, and totally obliterates Jess so that for a moment I think she has dived down the bank into the river. However some of the sand hanging in the air takes on a Jess- shape and I realise thankfully that she is still there, albeit heavily disguised. She gestures wildly, spits out mouthfuls, empties it out of her glasses and says “it’s this near side front.” I can only admire her sang froid. I try reverse. No luck. “Try again” she instructs “rev harder.” I comply, and a second wave of sand rears up and engulfs the car, pouring in the window all over me, the camera, the luggage and, once again, Jess who is still attached to the nearside rear. By now we are hysterical with laughter, and I stagger out, cascading sand, to see for myself. Sure enough, the wheel is in so deep that the body of the car is almost on the ground. We start digging the sand away with our hands, but deeper down it is solid and difficult to move. We start to look for sticks, but then Jess hears a car. “I’m going to wave him in” she says.
I don’t look at her, but I want to help so I wave too. “Stop waving like that and beckon” shrieks Jess “he thinks you’re just being friendly!” We both collapse again, laughing uncontrollably, and the stranger hesitates for some time before cautiously driving down to investigate. Only then do I turn round and really look at the car and see what he sees - a blue Citigolf almost entirely obliterated by sand; in fact the roof is totally invisible and sand is stacked half-way up the windscreen. On either side of it are two sand-covered figures, one waving in friendly fashion, the other beckoning frantically in counterpoint. Warily he approaches winding up all his windows except the drivers one. I walk towards him, shedding camouflage at every step. “Did you roll?” he asks with a certain amount of interest. “No” say I, “we are stuck in the sand and wondered if you could call in at Olifants and ask them to come and pull us out?”
“Yes?” he says reflectively “well if our bumpers were the same level, I could push you out” I conceal a shudder and point out that his are much higher. By now the rest of the family have recovered from their trauma and are busy winding down windows and peering with interest at the scene. Jess meanwhile has been busy beckoning, and two more vehicles drive down into the parking area and more men get out. One says “Hmm - just like snow.” I file that remark for later consideration. The other one says “ did you roll?”
“Has anyone got a spade?” I ask. No one has. “Has anyone got a rope?” queries my sandwoman friend. No one has. I start burrowing amongst the tools hoping to find my tow rope. The man who made the remark about the snow now takes over. “We will push” he announces. “You get into second and ride the clutch” so I do and they do, and this is how we are extricated. Our gratitude knows no bounds, but actually I think they all enjoy the diversion and will probably dine out on it! We drive on to Olifants, still giggling, having removed half a ton of sand from the passenger seat so that Jess can sit down. Not that it would make any difference - she says she feels just as if she has been dumped by a big wave and her costume is full of sand. I say that I think she showed true grit throughout . . . .


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 Post subject: Re: Old Kruger park Stories
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 1:04 pm 
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Back in th 80s when I was a little kid enjoying the park for the first time i got a bit to close to the fence at Letaba while eating a boerie roll and the resident hyaena flung itself at the fence and stole said boerie roll from out of my hands!


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 Post subject: Re: Old Kruger park Stories
Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 12:36 pm 
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During one of my first trips to Kruger way back in 1990, we stayed in Pretorius Kop a few nights. We were on our way to Skukuza and about 500m from the Transport Dam, we noticed a few cars at a sighting and thought this ought to be big!

When we arrived, behind an old ford grenada, we spotted a white rhino and calf next to the road. We sat there for about 10 minutes and most of the cars already left. As we passed the ford slowly, the drivers kindly asked us help him. We said sure what can we do? He softly replied, "Can you please jumpstart me!!!!"

We realised that the calf and her mother were slowly getting irritated with all the car noise and also the ford being so close to them.

My dad suggested that the driver open his trunk from the non facing side of the rhine, and he will connect the jumpers on the battery. Unfortunately the battery was on the side facing the rhino and this meaning someone had to connect the cables facing the already irritated Rhino. The driver did not want to get out of the vehicle and my dad decided to do it on his own!!!

Eventually my dad walked over to the bonnet, connected the plugs and started the car. Got out of his vehicle again, took the jumper cables, closed the bonnets and got back into the car.

Needless to say, people were showing him signs and thinking what on earth has come over this person to walk infront of a Rhino and her calf! But soon after the car started they all realised the situation and with each passing vehicle, visitors complimented him for his brave effort.

Needless to say, if it were lions or buffaloes, i dont think it would have worked out the same way!


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 Post subject: Re: Old Kruger park Stories
Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 1:23 pm 
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My fondest memories most definitley come from the late 70's early 80's, being a young boy at the time.

The early morning fires, going to the gate at closing time to watch the late comers, the evening film show, seeing the staff at Lower Sabie going home using the walkover bridge over the east fence, going to reception to read the visitors book and running back to tell Dad where the sightings were. :dance:

Does anyone remember the CB radio craze in about 1980, you dredded a car that had a long CB radio arial attached to it ariving at a good sighting, because within minutes every other car with a CB was there.

But hey, the bush itself and sitting quietly at a waterhole still feels the same. :whistle:


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 Post subject: Re: Old Kruger park Stories
Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 3:43 pm 
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Reading Glen79's post it brings back very fond memories of my three daughters in Kruger.

They also used to read the vistors book and check the sighting maps and then during the evenings everyone of them had a different route in mind for the following day.

They also used to go around the camp and then return with all the news, they also knew where every squirrel family in camp was nested.

Months before going to Kruger they started saving for the great event and upon arrival used to go and do their shopping and return with something special for Lanette and myself and one another - these always were very special moments and those little gifts even today still are little treasures to the two of us.

Going to the restaurant also was a great occasion for the five of us - they used to dress up and just loved the service and also a small accompanying glass of wine. . . . . . . those really were the days . . . . .

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I participate because I care - CUSTOS NATURAE
No to Hotels in and commercialization of our National Parks.
No to Legalized Rhino and Lion trade.
Done 144 visits to National Parks.
What a wonderful privilege.


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 Post subject: Re: Old Kruger park Stories
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2009 8:26 am 
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krouxsa wrote:
Does anyone remember the Elaphant and Buffalo Pies with Gravy?

When stopping at a camp when the park's catering was still done by themselves, they had the pie and gravy combo. I think it was about R2.99!!!

Those were the days... :D


I remember them very well. You could also buy tinned buffalo stew. I used to use it as the base for a big,rich stew to feed everyone for one of the nights we were in the park.


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 Post subject: Re: Old Kruger park Stories
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2009 10:18 am 
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Another Old Kruger Park Story.

I agree the Elephant and Buffalo pies with gravy with coffee served at Skukuza were just great - quite similar to those served at the old South African Railways restaurants/ tea rooms.

We were in Punda Maria and the daughters were again on their rounds. They came and asked my wife Lanette for some money, "why", "because we feel like something warm" was the reply.They got the money and were off in a flash.

After quite a long absence they returned and told us with great enthusiasm that they each had a BUFFALO BURGER and Chips and a Coke at the restaurant.

Later the afternoon I asked whether they would like another BB each the enthusiastic reply was "YES PLEASE".

I gave them the cash and that evening we each had a BUFFALO BURGER and Chips,Coke and an Ice Cream as a takeaway ex Punda Maria restaurant.

Needless to say after that it was repeated quite e few times during later visits untill it was no longer available.

I agree the Elephant and Buffalo pies with gravy with coffee served at Skukuza were just great - quite similar to those served at the old South African Railways restaurants/ tea rooms.

No wonder some of us reminiscent about those days - and bore others with our stories.

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I participate because I care - CUSTOS NATURAE
No to Hotels in and commercialization of our National Parks.
No to Legalized Rhino and Lion trade.
Done 144 visits to National Parks.
What a wonderful privilege.


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 Post subject: Re: Old Kruger park Stories
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2009 1:26 pm 
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ndloti wrote:
I loved the good old days


It's nice to read the stories of the experienced guys :tongue: But for me: I'm currently 'writing' my chapter on my 'good old days' for when I'm old one day, if I might live by then. So too, I will once love my 'good old days'

That's why I decided to "Throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade & adventure winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

We should take all the oppurtunities we can!

Keep it coming :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Old Kruger park Stories
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2009 1:46 pm 
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Good old days in Kruger ..ah yes!!
I can remember the days when there were no tarred roads. Pretoriuskop was the only camp open is the heat of summer that the Northern part of the park only opened in May for the cooler season.
In Letaba there was a row of rooms and only one bathroom ( no Men or Ladies) and the matresses were coir . It was extra if you wanted a fancy mattress.We all gathered around one communal fire at night
We slept in the Wolhuter hut in Pretorius Kop as it was still open for visitors then. The shop in those days had Bully beef, condensed milk Bottled sterilised milk, mixed pickles , tinned beans,pilchards Marie Biscuits and sardines and not much else.
And we often saw the train going through Kruger ..you can still see where the rails went long since removed.
Its great to remember the good old days but its still great to be able to see the Park as it is today. What would we do without fridges and aircon!!!!!
Elizabeth

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 Post subject: Re: Old Kruger park Stories
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 1:37 pm 
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I can remember the days when not all the main camps had swimming pools. And there was also no day visitor camps with swimming pools.So mom and dad always planned a route where we can stop over and then catch a quick swim, have something to eat and then still have enough time to go back to where we camped. Funny how things changes over the years :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Old Kruger park Stories
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 2:40 pm 
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I remember clearly (or did I dream ?) in around 1966 when I was about 6 yers old at Lower Sabie shop , my father paid R1,01 cents for a bag of groceries .
Another clear memory is of a lioness with bloodied mouth in the grass alongside the car , a pack of hunting dogs not far from the Kruger tablets , elephant trumpeting very close to Tshokwane .

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KNP is sacred. I am opposed to the modernisation of Kruger and from the depths of my soul long for the Kruger of yesteryear! 1000+km on foot in KNP incl 56 wild trails.200+ nights in the wildernessndloti-indigenous name for serval.


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 Post subject: Re: Old Kruger park Stories
Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2009 8:26 am 
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Morning All,

For gr8 stories about the Kruger I suggest you read Bruce Bryden's - A game ranger remembers, and for a view from a game rangers wife's perspective read Kobie Krugers - Mahlengeni. I am not an avid reader by nature, but cannot put these books down. Great escapism from every day life.

Regards

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 Post subject: Re: Old Kruger park Stories
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 12:33 pm 
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This story goes back to the early 1920's.

The end of a once proud Sable bull.

As far as the eye could see up and down the Crocodile River were masses of tall green reeds with feathery crests that swayed in the slight breeze.

The river was flowing peacefully in between sand banks and black rock. High in the hot blue sky a pair of Fish Eagles were doing their courtship dance and making their call of AFRICA : " I am, I am, from AFRICA.

Some Impala were daintily coming down to the river for their second drink of the day, carefully on the lookout for the herd Lions known to be in the area as well as the lurking reptiles that gave the River it's name.

In the shade of a big mjoma tree, nearby was a black and white shape with thick strong ringed curved horns - a lone Sable bull - old and scarred, the once strong muscular shiny body was now gaunt and scraggy, the teeth most probably worn down. Yet the proud old bull still stood as he used to in the days in which he was the protector and leader of his herd, days long gone by since he had been evicted by a new younger challenger. There had been many challenges before some to the death of the defeated in which he was the triumphant victor, but the last one was the sad one.

The old bull now spent his time alone, no one to share the lookout or to alert when danger was approaching. His head still held high displaying the magnificient horns now not so shiny but still proud, they had been his pride in chasing off predators after his harem and their calves. He was once the feared and respected monarch of the proud herd.

Maybe he was also thinking of days gone by, of seasons of plenty and seasons of drought. Of new calves frolicking in the herd, of young sons growing up and also destined to one day be the Masters of their herds.
Maybe of . . . . . . . .

There was a movement in the thicket, the Impala spooked and ran off, a surveyor and his assistant were making their way through the grass doing their job. They saw the old bull and the surveyor decided to take a few photographs. His equipment was of the day and therefore decided to build a hide at a likley spot where the old bull would come for a drink in the clear cool waters of the Crocodile.

They walked along the flowing river and soon found the spoor of the old bull made during his many visits to the same spot. They decided to construct the hide at the likely spot.

The following morning there was a new bush at the selected spot and inside the two surveyors awaiting the great moment - the old bull drinking at his favourite spot. The old bull did not come.

The surveyor did some work in the area, and they still for a few days saw the old bull in the same area as sighted the first time.

A day or two later, while working the two saw circling vultures drop from the sky - the sure sign of the leftovers of a Lion kill. The two carefully approached the area to where the vultures were heading. There they found the remains of a Lion kill, bones, ribs and a skull with a proud set of thickly ringed of majestically back swept horns . . . . . Hlala Gahle Mala Mala.

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I participate because I care - CUSTOS NATURAE
No to Hotels in and commercialization of our National Parks.
No to Legalized Rhino and Lion trade.
Done 144 visits to National Parks.
What a wonderful privilege.


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 Post subject: Re: Old Kruger park Stories
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 10:09 pm 
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Lifted from another thread I did 3 years ago.

Some memories of the 1950s. The facts might be a little off, but I was only in single digit years and it is a long time ago.

There were no tar roads, no rhino, no jeep jockeys, no hides, no walking trails, no day walks, night rides or bush braais.

No consessions, bush camps or private camps.

Some camps came later, only Skukuza, Lower Sabie, Pkop, Satara, Letaba, Shingwedzi & Punda for white people, Balule for blacks I think.

I don't recall Pafuri gate or picnic site.

North of Tshokwane or thereabouts was closed for summer owing to malaria.

People always stopped cars in the other direction to discuss sightings.

Nobody knew what a bird was.

Hardly any eles down south, just the occasional bull, breeding herds were north of Letaba.

Only Pkop & Shing had swimming pools.

At night a worker made a huge bonfire in Skukuza and delivered coals to your campsite for an instant braai. Now they sell charcoal.

Skukuza reception was where the shop is now.

Entrance & nature of LS completely changed.

Tents were army style, circular and lit by hurricane lamps.

No excellent map books, just a fold out map for less than a rand.

AA had a garage in Skukuza that did repairs (to our car).

Old double barrelled hand pump style petrol pumps.

Rondavels at Olifants 25 (1981) years ago cost R13 per night.

Black rangers on bicycles with rifles slung over their shoulders.

Thank you for sharing this memorable trip with us. I hope we can carry on for a lot of the next 50 years.

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 Post subject: Re: Old Kruger park Stories
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2009 3:02 pm 
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Bush Baptist wrote:
One 'ranger' on a bike was riding from Tshok to Orpen Dam and we came the opposite way. We had seen lions and told him so. His reply, 'Don't warry, they don't eat the wekkaz'. Howzat!


I guess they know all the bicycle 4 x 4 routes, that no Lion can reach :lol:

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