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It should never have happened. The miracle of Kruger.

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Meandering Mouse
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It should never have happened. The miracle of Kruger.

Unread post by Meandering Mouse » Wed Apr 26, 2017 10:26 am

I was profoundly touched by James Stevenson Hamilton's book, 'South African Eden'. What struck me was the amount of obstacles, the difficulties, the seeminhly insurmountable barriers that he faced when he was appointed to Sabi and Shigwetzi Reserve.

Animals were almost completely decimated. He faced hostility from farmers, hunters and the local residents. The concept of conservation was completely unheard of. Governments were unwilling to support anything thing that might lose them votes and power.

Yet today, Kruger stands as a beacon to the world.

My daughter has been involved in research that has made it essential that she delve into the Skukuza archives. She has very kindly left me a number of annual reports, mainly compiled by James Stevenson Hamilton, following the extra ordinary growth of Kruger.

I will start with one of the later entrants from 1930. Some of it could be written today. :wink:

Tourist traffic

Tourist traffic began in June and reached its peak in the following month continuing in a steady stream to mid August when it began to abate. There were a good many visitorsin September, but relatively few in October and after the 1st November only a few cars were registered until closing on the 15th. The great majority, probably 90% of the visitors were well behaved and expressed satisfaction, both with what they saw and facilities and accommodation, provided for them. and did nothing to harm the amenities of the Park.

Unfortunately there was an ill behaved miority, who in various ways, ranging from chasing and disturbing the game, lighting grass fires, defacing trees, tearing down notice boards, to disturbing other visitors with drunken and noisy behavior in the camps. This has rendered necessary the issue of special regulations by the Board, creating a list of offences which are punishable.

The practice of 'joy riding at night' has been rather common and is one in the interests of both the Park and individuals themselves must be rigidly suppressed. A certain number of persons undoubtedly succeeded in getting through the Park without paying interest fees, others managed to avoid paying pontoon and rest camp ....


The Park might have changed, human behavior has not. :wink:
The bird doesn't sing because it has answers, it sings because it has a song.

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Grantmissy
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Re: It should never have happened. The miracle of Kruger.

Unread post by Grantmissy » Wed Apr 26, 2017 11:07 am

Meandering Mouse this historical information regarding the Kruger National Park is very interesting and appreciated. Thank you.

There will always be a minority of visitors who behave badly. Human behaviour is not always good and some visitors in 1930 did not hesitate to transgress the rules or cause a big molest and some visitors in 2017 still continue with similar bad behaviour. The issues that James Stevenson Hamilton recorded approximately 90 years ago could indeed have been written today as you have indicated, as similar unacceptable behaviour that were recorded by him back then are still happening today. I think that modern technology to a large extend made it possible to keep people instantly informed of the bad behaviour that occur in the Kruger National Park.

Please continue providing historical information pertaining to the Kruger National Park here on the forum to the benefit of those who are interested in history.
“Whether it's the best of times or the worst of times, it's the only time we've got.”

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Mischief
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Re: It should never have happened. The miracle of Kruger

Unread post by Mischief » Wed Apr 26, 2017 11:57 am

MM this is really most interesting and please continue to update us regularly with more information.Some of the visitors to the Park have indeed no idea of the hardships that pioneers like James Stevenson-Hamilton went through in those very early formative years.What an uphill battle it must of been for those dedicated people.
Today's accommodation and amenities actually is really quite fantastic considering the very basic and oh so rustic amenities 30-40 years ago that I clearly remember.Interesting to note even back then 90 years ago the unruly "rotten core of the Apple"type visitors who had no respect or consideration of the absolute marvel of the Kruger and the splendour of this incredible wildlife paradise.I for one will be most interested in more historical facts being posted.Thanks MM for sharing :thumbs_up:
"Nature is not a place to visit. It is home."- G.Snyder
Mischief :P

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Meandering Mouse
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Re: It should never have happened. The miracle of Kruger.

Unread post by Meandering Mouse » Thu Apr 27, 2017 7:56 am

Grantmissy wrote:Meandering Mouse this historical information regarding the Kruger National Park is very interesting and appreciated. Thank you.

There will always be a minority of visitors who behave badly. Human behaviour is not always good and some visitors in 1930 did not hesitate to transgress the rules or cause a big molest and some visitors in 2017 still continue with similar bad behaviour. The issues that James Stevenson Hamilton recorded approximately 90 years ago could indeed have been written today as you have indicated, as similar unacceptable behaviour that were recorded by him back then are still happening today. I think that modern technology to a large extend made it possible to keep people instantly informed of the bad behaviour that occur in the Kruger National Park.

Please continue providing historical information pertaining to the Kruger National Park here on the forum to the benefit of those who are interested in history.


Indeed, GM, one of the biggest problems facing Kruger remains human behavior, be it delinquent acting out, or criminal poaching.

Mischief wrote:MM this is really most interesting and please continue to update us regularly with more information.Some of the visitors to the Park have indeed no idea of the hardships that pioneers like James Stevenson-Hamilton went through in those very early formative years.What an uphill battle it must of been for those dedicated people.
Today's accommodation and amenities actually is really quite fantastic considering the very basic and oh so rustic amenities 30-40 years ago that I clearly remember.Interesting to note even back then 90 years ago the unruly "rotten core of the Apple"type visitors who had no respect or consideration of the absolute marvel of the Kruger and the splendour of this incredible wildlife paradise.I for one will be most interested in more historical facts being posted.Thanks MM for sharing :thumbs_up:


Mischief, you are so right. I do believe that before pointing fingers, we need to look at what has been achieved, sometimes at great personal sacrifice.
The bird doesn't sing because it has answers, it sings because it has a song.

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Meandering Mouse
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Re: It should never have happened. The miracle of Kruger.

Unread post by Meandering Mouse » Thu Apr 27, 2017 8:14 am

We are in a poaching crisis. Really we are facing a war in regards to poaching.

There are some changes in the Park are of great concern to me. The more recent one has been the use of Apps, which have lead to animal road kill and horrible congestion at Big Five sites.

Do I once more hear James Stevenson Hamilton's voice from 1930?

The first and most important thing is to relieve the rangers in connection to all work in rest camps and selling of petrol ect In section 5 for instance the rangers whole time for about four months was spent attending the wants of visitors so that he was utterly unable to attend to his large section. The same was the case in section 6 where the ranger is with an area of 20 00 square miles. Much of this is subject to serious poaching and the ranger was unable to get away from his station on the main road in case cars should be along.

With camp personal and camp managers, much of the work has shifted off the ranger's shoulders. I do however note that a lot of criticism towards Sanparks comes from a sense of entitlement from some visitors. Kruger is first and foremost a nature reserve, one that caters for conservation at every level. It is a plce where our human 'wants' take second place.

Poaching remains a problem. The only difference is bigger guns and more money. We need to understand and support those out on the field for the sake of our animals.
The bird doesn't sing because it has answers, it sings because it has a song.

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Grantmissy
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Re: It should never have happened. The miracle of Kruger.

Unread post by Grantmissy » Fri Apr 28, 2017 7:27 am

Poaching is a serious problem facing the Kruger National Park and it is one of the many issues facing the Kruger Park. Something must have been done correctly as there are many positive results too. According to an estimated wildlife population for 1918 there were 65 elephants, 6 Black Rhinoceros and no White Rhinoceros in the Kruger National Park that we know today. Many many of the animals were ruthlessly poached or hunted down. At least today there are considerably more of those animals due to protection efforts over the years for us to see in the Kruger National Park.
“Whether it's the best of times or the worst of times, it's the only time we've got.”


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