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Media Release: KNP legendary bird guide Frank Mabasa laid to rest

31 May 2017

Kruger National Park (KNP) Management expressed its heartfelt condolences to the family of one of its own; Frank Mabasa who passed away last month at the age of 49. Frank, an Attendant at Pafuri Picnic Site was affectionately known as the “Bird Guide” due to his knowledge of the birds in the area and for the great service guests received from him at the picnic site.

The public has also expressed its affection for the late Frank Mabasa and condolences have been pouring in on social media platforms such as the SANParks Facebook and Forums since his passing. Of particular interest to conservationists and experienced birders was that although Frank was not a trained and qualified field guide, he impressed guests for being one of the most competent and knowledgeable bird guides they had ever come across. Frank was not only articulate, but also knew the calls of birds and would provide additional and interesting facts of the species to those visiting the site.

“In his 29 years of service in the organization, Frank ranked as one of the most dedicated and conscientious staff members in the history of the KNP. An amazing human being and a legend in his own right, we have not just lost a hard working attendant at the picnic site but an expert who; regardless of his educational background stepped out of his comfort zone to study what he loved - “ His birds”…….we will dearly miss him”, said the KNP Managing Executive, Glenn Phillips.

Frank joined SANParks in 1988 as Hut Attendant in Skukuza Rest Camp. After eight years, he moved on to become Petrol Attendant for two years and later transferred back to the Hut Attendant position at the same camp. In 2000, Frank moved to Pafuri Picnic Spot as Picnic Spot Attendant and worked there until he passed away.

A memorial service in Frank’s honour was held on 27 April and he was laid to rest on 29 April 2017 at Matiyani, a village outside Punda Maria Gate.

Issued by:
South African National Parks: Communications & Marketing Department – Kruger National Park

Media enquiries:
William Mabasa
SANParks Acting Head of Communications
Tel: 013 735 4363/012 426 5170, cell: 082 807 3919

Reynold Thakhuli
GM: Media, PR and Stakeholder Relations - SANParks
Tel: 012 426 5203; Cell: 073 373 4999

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