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Happy 9th birthday to the website and online forums!

Date: 2013-11-26

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Today marks the day we celebrate our beloved website and online forums’ ninth birthday. 

To commemorate this special occasion, we ask you to join us in a nostalgic glance at the nine years that have passed. Herewith a few memorable moments:

Where it began:

Nine years ago on a Saturday at 4 o'clock in the afternoon ...
“Many months' work came to a time on a quiet Saturday afternoon, when the new website (+-15,000 files) and the new forums were launched.

We stood by to watch if people would start registering on the forums, and voila - the first person "Gerda" came from Belgium... Then it started to roll... One by one - we were getting people to login and post. Some congratulating us on a new site when they were shocked to see it look so different. Some, posting ordinary questions, not knowing that this was a brand new home for SANParks.

A couple of us (Danie, who was based in Kruger at the time, and I) were watching the site day and night.  Then certain people, including international visitors, started to stand out with their knowledge and passion and I approached them to become our first moderators.
And that is how it began..." - Nedret Saidova: Senior Manager: E-Business

The website's home page, nine years ago:

SANParks website home page - old

The first post on the forums:

“You are invited to use this forum as a discussion forum on Kruger National Park. Share your wildlife experiences in Kruger National Park here with other wildlife enthusiasts around the world. Enjoy this forum! “– Danie

The first webcams sightings post:

Topic: Orpen Cam Sightings recorded in November 2004
“Egyptian Goose. Spotted at 14:52 in water.” – Proffie

The work of the Virtual Honorary Rangers (VHRs) on the forums:

Established in February 2010, the VHRs operate on the SANParks online forums, implementing and driving projects that contribute to SANParks through fundraising and support of Environmental Education programmes. At the annual Kudu Awards, held on 1 November 2013, the Virtual Honorary Rangers region was announced as the winner of the Community Contribution to Conservation (Region) Award.

Fast facts:

  • The website started with approx. 15 000 web files. Today it comprises of 59 851 web files.
  • 26 111 forum members
  • 14 371 forum topics
  • 901 641 forum posts
  • 14 968 photos in our online gallery.
  • 19,673,081 total views on the online gallery.
  • We've added features such as our live webcams (Orpen, Addo, Satara), Promotions platform, desktop wallpaper downloads, virtual tours of accommodation and much, much more.

Please join in the birthday celebrations by sharing your most memorable forum moment with us online:
A special prize awaits the most outstanding post.

We would like to sincerely thank our moderators, assistants, forumites, administrators, developers and staff for their assistance and continued support in making and the online forums the success it is today. We look forward to many more wonderful and productive years as the virtual home of SANParks.



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