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SKUKUZA - HIDDEN HISTORIES

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Thu Jul 14, 2011 7:42 am Unread post
Thank you Mr Joep Stevens for sharing very interesting historical information. Do you perhaps know what the hidden history is, if any, behind the Lion Hut? :thumbs_up:
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Re: SKUKUZA - HIDDEN HISTORIES

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Thu Jul 14, 2011 7:30 pm Unread post
Dear Grantmissy,

Thanks for the enquiry about Lion Cottage. It was built in 1969 and donated by Lady Bridget Oppenheimer. After the 7 February 2000 floods severly damaged much of Skukuza's riverview cottages as well as ABSA and Monis Guest Houses, Lion was rebuilt in a new design (like the other riverview chalets) on the same footprint as the original Lion Cottage. I remember it to be a quaint little unit, much liked by the guests.

KInd regards.

JOEP


Re: SKUKUZA - HIDDEN HISTORIES

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Thu Jul 14, 2011 8:30 pm Unread post
All this information is great! A heritage group is looking at trying to bring some of this to 'life' for visitors. I have posted in another thread that we are looking for information on the dog graves at the moment. But I know the Library/Museum is also being revamped, so any information is really appreciated.


Re: SKUKUZA - HIDDEN HISTORIES

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Mon Aug 01, 2011 12:18 pm Unread post
Ecojunkie can you tell us more about this heritage group you mentioned? If possible I would love to get involved in it


Re: SKUKUZA - HIDDEN HISTORIES

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Mon Aug 01, 2011 3:31 pm Unread post
It is set up as a 'project group' of the Lowveld Honorary Rangers together with the relevant folk in Skukuza. So you really need to be an HR or a SANparks staff member to be part of the group...... I am there largely by default....the manager I help is involved, and so I am too!


Re: SKUKUZA - HIDDEN HISTORIES

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Wed Aug 17, 2011 10:03 am Unread post
During the 1947 Royal Tour the royalties visited the Kruger National Park, did they stay over? and if so where? I found film footage of them driving in the park and I thought that they actually went there by train.


Re: SKUKUZA - HIDDEN HISTORIES

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Wed Aug 17, 2011 10:22 am Unread post
From memory I seem to recall that the royal train overnighted at Rolle (or was it Newington ?) siding to the west of the current KNP boundary .

I will have to look it up in Dr Tol Pienars book "Neem Uit Die Verlede" or James Stevenson Hamiltons book "African Eden ."


Re: SKUKUZA - HIDDEN HISTORIES

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Thu Aug 18, 2011 12:27 pm Unread post
I think that you may be right about the fact that they did not sleep in Skukuza, I watched some film footage of the 1947 Royal Tour but no reference to their sleeping arrangments


Re: SKUKUZA - HIDDEN HISTORIES

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Thu Aug 18, 2011 1:14 pm Unread post
I still think this topic is so very interesting :thumbs_up: . I am also not sure but did the royal family not arrive by train in Skukuza during their visit in 1947? Perhaps they dined and slept on the train that they arrived in? It cannot be part of the steam train that is currently seen at the Selati Restaurant as that one was only build in 1949; apparently a fire destroyed some of it 16 years ago. Perhaps someone could enlighten us with the actual events which would be very interesting :)


Re: SKUKUZA - HIDDEN HISTORIES

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Thu Aug 18, 2011 2:03 pm Unread post
I know they traveled throughout South Africa on the White train, and the railways operated to KNP from 1926 if I am not mistaken. I was hoping that they may have slept at Struben Guest Cottage but all indications are that they actually slept on the train - Ndloti thinks at Newington. I found some references to Nelspruit on the films. I am trying to find out which VIP's slept in Struben during the early years as it was built for VIP's at the time.


Re: SKUKUZA - HIDDEN HISTORIES

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Sat Sep 10, 2011 12:08 pm Unread post
Rakesh , look here :

viewtopic.php?f=32&t=36197


Re: SKUKUZA - HIDDEN HISTORIES

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Tue Dec 27, 2011 4:01 pm Unread post
If I may add my 2c-worth:

Stevenson-Hamilton Library was at least largely funded by the Wild Life Society (now WESSA), and is mentioned a few times in African Wild Life. The first mention I found in a very quick scan of my set is in the annual report on co-operation between WESSA and the Parks Board (now SANParks) for 1959 (African Wild Life 13: 181, 1959, which mentions only plans and fundraising. There is a picture of the almost-completed building and an appeal for books at 15: 5, 1961. (As a result of reading this, I placed a copy of my book SAPPI Tree Spotting: What's in a Name? in the Library when I visited Skukuza last, in July 2010, as a very late donation in honour of WESSA, libraries, trees and Our Favourite Place.) There are pictures of the opening ceremony atAfrican Wild Life 15: 269--270, 1961.

Don't know about anybody else, but I love re-reading these old 8vo-size magazines; to me they are a valuable archive of the history of conservation in Africa. Sadly, I regret to say that the more recent A4 ones aren't nearly as worthwhile to me, and this explains why although the small ones are all bound and treasured, I gave up binding the large-size ones after the first 2 volumes (and now seldom bother even to read them).

No doubt this is all old news to Joep, but it may be interesting to lesser lights like me.


Re: SKUKUZA - HIDDEN HISTORIES

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Wed Dec 28, 2011 9:51 am Unread post
Royal family visits to the Kruger National Park.

The members of the Greek Royal family visited the Kruger National Park for three days during July 1941. The peaceful scenes were balm to their souls as they had escaped from Crete only six weeks earlier after occupation by the German Forces.

Their first day in the Park at Pretoriuskop was all but peaceful as a large crowd of tourists mobbed the party, taking photographs and collecting autographs, the king George of the Hellenes remarked that he felt like a bear in zoo, the only difference was that he was not offered a bun.

The following day a large group awaited the party at Skukuza, King George appeared in a pair of khaki shorts and a brown pullover – resulting in not much notice being taken of him – this was in contrast to Col. Baston the head of the Transvaal SAP whose imposing figure was in full dress uniform . . .

The 74 year old Warden of the Park, Col. Stevenson-Hamilton accompanied the King of Greece on the last day of their visit after they had “lost” the rest of their entourage and spent a very enjoyable day on the dusty roads. Upon their return to Skukuza they were met by a very uneasy and concerned Col. Baston.

The party slept in the White train, much time4 was spent around the camp fires singing songs. Eventually when the party had to depart under the singing of “Auld Lang Syne” and the sounding of the engines whistle the Greek monarch parted requesting the Warden to capture and hide him behind some bushes until the train was gone.

The British Royal family consisting of King George IV, the Queen Elizabeth and the two princess Elizabeth and Margaret spent two months in South Africa as guests of Genl. Jan Smuts the then Prime Minister, who invited them invited to come and relax in our country after the stress of WWII.

They arrived in Cape Town on 17 February 1947 on the HMS Vanguard. They travelled 16000 kms during their visit which lasted until 29 April 1947. Most of their travelling was done in the White Train.

The Prime Minister was the host for most of the time. Due to poor health Mrs. Issy Smuts could not accompany the group. The then Administrator of the Transvaal Genl. JJ Pienaar was responsible for much planning of their visit in the Transvaal, which included a visit to the KNP and the Transvaal Lowveld.

The party visited the Kruger National Park end March 1947, travelling and staying in the White Train which was parked at the Huhla halt (one km. north of Skukuza) just north of Sabie Bridge.

Huhla – corruption of the Tsonga word “nhutlwa” - (giraffe). This halt became redundant with the building of the new line between Newington and Kaapmuiden during the 1970s.

The Royal Family stayed in the train while other members of the group were accommodated in six new guesthouses on the southern banks of the Sabie River.

Col. JHB Sandenbergh the newly appointed Warden of the Park thought it better if his predecessor, the now retired Col. James Stevenson-Hamilton would be their guide.

Col. Stevenson-Hamilton returned to Skukuza for the few days of the duration of the Royal visit, needless to say, it was a very enjoyable and informative time for the Royal Family.


Re: SKUKUZA - HIDDEN HISTORIES

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Thu Feb 28, 2013 11:58 am Unread post
I was told that the Struben Historical Cottage has been renovated and that it is available for booking again by visitors going to Kruger – thanks Sanparks for the effort to preserve Kruger’s history :thumbs_up: .

Does anyone know whether this Cottage has been renovated from a historical perspective or is it a new (modern) cottage altogether? This question is because I find the Kruger history very interesting.


Proclamation of the Sabi Game reserve.

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Thu Mar 27, 2014 8:41 am Unread post
Today marks the 116 th anniversary of the Proclamation of the Sabi Game Reserve Proclaimed by President SJP Kruger on 26 March 1898.

Here below is a copy of the actual Proclamation no R8748/95 signed by President Kruger and the Secretary of State Dr WJ Leyds.

Image

As well as a copy of the Government gazette no 900 dated 13 April 1898 of the Transvaalsche Republic publishing proclamation no 8748/95.

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