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Kruger National Park

My Year in Kruger

Have you ever had a dream or a goal that you thought was out of reach-and then realised that it's closer than you think?

My dream is to spend a year in Kruger! This website outlines the project-I have the support of SANParks and my family, but I still have a way to go...

You can read all about my project on my blog. While there most of the action will take place here for now-once I'm in the park, my blog will be a daily dairy of my life in the park-I'm looking forward to documenting and sharing the experience!!

Project Background

In my opinion, most people go to KNP whenever they can and are satisfied with that, but I cannot seem to get enough! I was very fortunate to grow up in the Lowveld and my father used to take us to KNP for day visits quite often. (Thinking about it now, I don’t think he could ever afford an overnight visit)! We used to leave home at 4 or 5 in the morning and waited outside the gate for it to be opened, usually Numbi Gate. We would drive up to Skukuza, have a picnic lunch, and then drive back again, leaving the Park just before closing time. I still treasure those memories.

Martie enjoying breakfast at Afsaal

Since I left school, got married, and live my own life, I have made a point of visiting the Park at least once or twice a year for a few days. My children’s first trips to the Park were at a very early age. They still love going to KNP and I think the fact that my youngest is studying Wildlife Management is proof of the love we share for the Park.

In 1998, we moved to Qatar (Middle East) and I am only able to visit the Park once a year for a few days. My husband is not always able to get leave at the same time as me, or at all, and therefore I sometimes visit the Park with one or both of my daughters, but have never done it alone.

In 2001, my oldest daughter, and in 2005, my youngest daughter left home to go to university, (both of them are studying in Cape Town), and this made it even more difficult to go to the Park as we now have to take their holidays into consideration as well.

My husband is an aircraft engineer which means he is very often away from home for long periods. I keep myself occupied by working, watching the webcams, read the forums, and planing the next trip to Kruger. Then I though-why not try and live out my dream and start planning a WHOLE YEAR IN THE PARK?

I was reading the trip reports one day and the thought came to mind how wonderful it would be to go to the Park and not leave for one year!

Martie (far right) enjoing a braai
at Olifants with friends

I sat down and thought about it for a few days, thinking and telling my husband that I would like to do this, when I turn 50, (which is in 7 years time). He listened to my idea, my reasoning and then agreed that it would be exciting for me to do this.

Don’t get me wrong, he enjoys going to the Park, but he is not a fanatic like me! I once again thought about it and then decided that I could not wait 7 years and started making my plans to go in 4 years time. My reasoning for deciding on 4 years is: First of all, both my daughters will be finished with their studies in 2 years time. That out of the way, I would have 2 years to save for my trip and make sure that we can manage on only the salary of my husband.

I decided to post a topic to the above on the forum to get advice and opinions about how and when to do it, and was totally surprised with all the views and replies. The few days I have always managed to spend in the Park have never been enough and I can’t wait for my year in the Park to start-and the 4 years has been reduced to one...

How will it work?

There is lots to plan-the idea has turned into a big project-and as the excitement grows-so doe sthe realisation that there's still a lot to do!

My plan (so far) is to

1. Start in the North during winter, or start in the South during summer, and work my way either up or down, covering the whole of the Park.
2. Have a reliable car (just bought one in December, so no problem).
3. Stay in a caravan, rather than a hut (This will be expensive as I don’t have a caravan yet)
4. Stay at least 3 weeks per camp.
5. Make people aware of my trip by getting a website/blog etc.
6. Post online trip reports daily. (I got my children a wireless 3G system, which I tried out during my trip to the Park in July!)
7. Post pictures of all sightings (My husband gave me a camera for our 22nd wedding anniversary, and I have just completed an online photography course which will hopefully enable me to post decent pictures)
8. Discuss my trip in detail, each camp I stay in, what sightings, what are the roads like, what are the facilities, how are the people, etc…
9. Discuss the animals (I have just started a course on wildlife campus and am hoping to know more by the time I go to give people a bit more information on behavior, interesting facts, etc.)
10. Most of all show people all over the world how wonderful the Park is; let them experience the Park through my eyes! A woman alone for one year living her dream!

Sponsorship

Obviously there will be a lot of costs to cover-but this is a great opportunity for sponsors of camping/caravanning equipment etc. The possibilities are endless with SANParks on board, taking my stories to the world and hosting my blog. If you'd be interested in helping me make my dream come true, please mail me at stayinginkruger4-1year@hotmail.com.

I need a campervan, fuel, equipment...it's a long list! All sponsors will be acknowledged on my blog, and in any publicity faciliated by SANParks.

I plan to make my adventure as interactive as possible, with competitions polls, discussions, feedback...that way everyone can virtually share in a year in the park-while I work on making this dream come true!

Contact me:

You can mail me at stayinginkruger4-1year@hotmail.com

I'd love to hear from you! Also keep checking my blog for updates.

Sponsors Land Rover South Africa

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