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Your Earliest Memories of Kruger

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Virtual Ranger
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 4:57 pm
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Location: Randburg, SA
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Sun Nov 02, 2008 10:49 am Unread post
Yesterday my mom was sorting out some of her cupboards and came across a few videos from some of our kruger holidays when i was still a baby and a few years old. We all had great fun watching them and it got me thinking about what my earliest memories of kruger are , and also thinking about what has changed in Kruger during my short life.

So i decided to start this topic, as a place where all forumites can share their earliest memories of kruger , or relive some of their most cherished memories from their childhood :D

I have many, many memories from my childhood in kruger because we visited atleast two or three times a year, a week at a time. During those days we mainly went to central and north kruger and my earliest memories of the park mostly come from shingwedzi :dance: and letaba. I can remember running around the ''desert'' area inbetween the rondawels at shingwedzi for hours in the afternoon, watching squirrels and chasing them :redface: :naughty: I remember it feeling soooo big as if it never ended, which when i go there nowadays seems so small.

I have lots of very special memories especially from sightings as well.

Looking forward to reading other forumites earliest memories :wink:
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Re: Your Earliest Memories of Kruger

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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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Sun Nov 02, 2008 2:14 pm Unread post
My earliest memories were in the 50's It was my first trip away from the folks and it was a school trip. Girls in one bus and boys in the other. Apart from a puncture where the bus landed up in a ditch and Myself putting my pinkie into the fan on the bus ceiling ( just a bit of blood and a large plaster ) the trip to Kruger was uneventful. We,the girls stayed in tents at Malelane and the boys at Skukuza.
It was magic.. That bushveld smell , the night noises and the glow and smell of the lamps. I was hooked. First sighting of a lion was in the river bed and I still to this day look in every river bed for that lion.
The food , Well those days the "shop" had very limited supplies. so I spent my pocket money on a large bottle of mixed pickles, marie biscuits, sardines and condensed milk. This was defiinately mid night feast stuff....It was a good thing the normal meals were the best I have ever tasted.
The trip lasted a whole week and it wasn't until my honeymoon that I could visit again.NOW I need a fix at least once a year.

Elizabeth , The SO is Hugh
Booked August 2009


Re: Your Earliest Memories of Kruger

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Virtual Ranger
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Sun Nov 02, 2008 2:27 pm Unread post
Thanks Elizabeth :clap: :clap: i really enjoy hearing these kind of stories , especially becasue they are from the early days of kruger. I think i would have loved to be in kruger in those times. :thumbs_up:


Re: Your Earliest Memories of Kruger

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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Sun Nov 02, 2008 6:54 pm Unread post
Wow thats going back alomg time! I had just turned 3 (1960) and my parents and their close friends did a 10 day trip from Punda to Skukuza and the to the then LM for a week at the sea. I can remember one night at Punda crying in bed because we could hear a lion roaring. I was terrified and sure that he was going to eat me.
At Shinwedzi I ran away from my mom and took refuge in the mens showers to avoid being bathed - my mom stood helpless outside for some time, calling and promissing me all sorts of nice things. Everyone thought it was funny but I couldnt understand why. At one camp we stayed in tents (but cant remember its name). After that we went to Kruger every year during the winter holidays. Now with the kids grown up my husband and I go to Kruger about 5 or 6 times a year.


Re: Your Earliest Memories of Kruger

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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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Sun Nov 02, 2008 7:56 pm Unread post
Videos :big_eyes: When I went for the first time in 1956 it was just after the silent movies :roll:
I have shared this before, but what the heck....
Sometime in the 50s we had driven around for a while not seeing much and my mother needed to go. My dad stopped the car, and she opened the door and squatted as my dad told my brother & I to look the other way. He almost immediately shouted GET BACK IN THE CAR, and she swiftly obeyed and shut the door. 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:


Re: Your Earliest Memories of Kruger

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Sun Nov 02, 2008 8:13 pm Unread post
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:

Quote
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:


Re: Your Earliest Memories of Kruger

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Mon Nov 03, 2008 5:03 am Unread post
It was around the age of 5 and I can still remeber it like it was yesterday. My older brother and I used to argue a lot, like all siblings do at one time or the other. We started a massive fight in the Combi and my parents, after a short while, couldn't handle it anymore! Dad said that if we didn't stop it right away he'd drop us off with all the lions and we can walk home. Petrified, I started crying and my brother, being older and smarter, carried on and on! Eventually, dad stopped the car and told us to get out. I REFUSED! Lucky for me I didn't coz there was a Leopard staring at the chaos about 1m from the road! My brother and I sttled down after that, realising that the folks were agry ass, believing they were going to feed us to the leopard. :cry:


Re: Your Earliest Memories of Kruger

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Mon Nov 03, 2008 5:28 am Unread post
These are wonderful stories.

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 there 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 veiw 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.


Re: Your Earliest Memories of Kruger

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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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Mon Nov 03, 2008 5:53 am Unread post
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.


Re: Your Earliest Memories of Kruger

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Mon Nov 03, 2008 6:56 am Unread post
Thanks maddie , matthews and MM for sharing your memories !! :thumbs_up: :popcorn: your memory sounds very familiar maddie , i can remember similar situations with my own brother :roll: :lol: keep them coming mites :dance:


Re: Your Earliest Memories of Kruger

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Mon Nov 03, 2008 8:49 am Unread post
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.


Re: Your Earliest Memories of Kruger

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Mon Nov 03, 2008 9:23 am Unread post
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!


Re: Your Earliest Memories of Kruger

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Mon Nov 03, 2008 9:31 am Unread post
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 stande 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, aswell as how my brother got the beating of his life by dad.... hehehehehehe!! Such good times....


Re: Your Earliest Memories of Kruger

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Senior Virtual Ranger
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Mon Nov 03, 2008 10:08 am Unread post
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


Re: Your Earliest Memories of Kruger

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Mon Nov 03, 2008 10:14 am Unread post
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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