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My most memorable moment and first times to Kruger

Discuss and find information on the Kruger National Park
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Unread post by Johann » Thu Apr 28, 2005 1:32 pm

My grandfather has been going to the Park for more than 50 years now. So, my grandparents took me for the first time in 1976, I was only a wee 20 months old. It became every December holiday's destination. Remember the excitement before the trip, getting up at 1 or 2am so that we could get to Kruger Gate as soon as it opened. The excitement of the first sighting. Ah, good old times.
In 1984 they moved to Hazyview. What great luck. It now changed to every school holiday and weekends in between. Just couldn't get enough of the place.
In 1994 I went to university and I, unfortunately was a poor, poor student who only had money for beer. My grandparents then also moved away in 1997. Didn't see my favourite place on earth for a couple of years
So in Feb 2004 I made a return to the Park with my grandfather, with friends in September and again with parents now in March 2005. Will be back there for 2 weeks in a couple of weeks time. Started making plans for this trip after visit with Grandpa last year. CAN'T WAIT!
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Latest lifers from Kruger NP:
Thick-billed Cuckoo Pachycoccyx audeberti Dikbekkoekoek
Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe Europese skaapwagter

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Where was your first night in Kruger spent?

Unread post by Bushmad » Fri May 20, 2005 2:53 pm

Mopani. We had visited the park before but had stayed outside. We booked with very little time to spare in high season, Mopani was the only camp with available accomodation, we then moved to Satara. We stayed there for 3 nights, when we first arrived there was freshly squeezed orange juice in champaigne glasses waiting in reception. It was very exciting for me as a kid, to spend my first NIGHT within the borders of the Park, knowing that I was surrounded by wildlife, I slept very soundly that night. I will never forget it. The Chalet was really nice too, we could hear the Fish Eagles at the Pioneer Dam, the "spell" that had been cast was now unbreakable.
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Unread post by Guinea Pig » Fri May 20, 2005 2:56 pm

Skukuza. Entered camp late, couldn't find a proper camping spot, had to pitch tent right next to the footpath to the ablution blocks closest to the swimming pool/hostel buildings, didn't know about the blue adaptor, etc. etc. What a night!
Satara and Biyamiti booked for May 2018. 8)

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Unread post by DuQues » Fri May 20, 2005 3:03 pm

Lower Sabie. My second night in Africa ever (having slept in Jo'burgh the previous evening). At that time the shop was just opened, when we came back 8 days later it was burned down...

Most memorable about it? I was astonished by the amount of stars one could actually see, me being used to 99.999% complete lightpollution at home.
Not posting much here anymore, but the photo's you can follow here There is plenty there.

Feel free to use any of these additional letters to correct the spelling of words found in the above post: a-e-t-n-d-i-o-s-m-l-u-y-h-c

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Unread post by DinkyBird » Fri May 20, 2005 3:18 pm

I am not going to count the first night I spent in Kruger as a very small child - I did not enjoy it

My passion for Kruger started after a day visit to the Park in 1993 and in 1994 we spent out first night in the Park camping at Lower Sabie (I posted a pic in the Lower Sabie thread of the few 'old' campsites left there). We ended up on a site next to Nigel & Wendy Dennis and she commented to me about how quiet my sons were compared to how noisy other children could be - my first hint that you had to be quiet in Kruger Don't think we made it to the gate before the gate opened in the morning either. Come a long way since then...

The whole experience was just magic tho

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Unread post by Elena » Fri May 20, 2005 3:28 pm

I can't remember where we stayed in the 80's for my first night in the park. But I remember rediscovering it in 96 in Pretoriuskop. We were staying in the guest cottages, my parents and my younger sister stayed in one and I stayed with my other sister in the other one. The cottages are very close to the fence and we heard a "wooooOOp" sound all evening. I was rediscovering African wilderness. We were both very scared, we thought that strange animal making that strange sound was just outside the window (and even if it was, we were safe anyway !).
We stayed one week in the park that year, entering Croc Bridge and going out at Punda. Memorable trip !

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Unread post by madach » Fri May 20, 2005 4:09 pm

My first night was in a hut in Pretoriuskop.

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Unread post by Foxy » Fri May 20, 2005 6:31 pm

Punda Marie in 1966 en route back from Rhodesia (uhm sorry Zimbabwe). Never been back to the camp again, but would love to return - believe it is so lovely around the area.

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Unread post by bert » Fri May 20, 2005 7:58 pm

As 8 year old Pretoriuskop.
Can only remember the thatched roof. Made a impression

As a adult in 1999 in Olifants
Again the thatched roof.
The magical sunset
And at night while awake in bed the grunting of Hippo below
in the river and the faint roar of the river as it flows through
the rocky riverbed.

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Unread post by Toddelelfe » Fri May 20, 2005 9:59 pm

October 1994 in Lower Sabie in a hut. I came with my friend from cullinan. We were om a tour with our own private guide. it was the beginning of a great love. :-)

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Unread post by Toddelelfe » Sat May 21, 2005 1:38 am

An old friend often tells from SA. It was very interestning. But it was not the time. Late 80s early 90s for me. In 1994 he want to go with another friend to SA. In May, we all sit around a fire in cold Germany, with many beer and liquor, the other friend cancel the trip. In my suck brain, i say, then will i go.

What a great mistake. Its like a virus. It was one of my best decisions.

Our Hosts in Cullinan booked for us a Guide to Kruger. Wonderful.

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Re: Introducing my lady

Unread post by Toddelelfe » Sat May 21, 2005 1:56 am

bert wrote:...
I had to persuade my lady to come with me to Kruger.
It took 2 years and then a confronted her with the booking
She had the same idea. Animals can be watched in zoos and other gameparks.
But, after entering Phalab in 1999 she was hooked. The
great spaces and all different eco systems. She never
expected that.
And the first Ellie. I still remember well. She was filming and when taking her eye of the lens..." They are huge".
All animals in Kruger look larger then in any Zoo.
... And that for a
fair price.


I know this.
When i learned to know my Exwife, i often tell her from Kruger. Sometimes she was very borred of.
But in 2000 we take our Honeymoontrip to SA. Later she told me, that she could realise the trip at first, when she took her first steps on Joburg Airport.
At the third day, we go to Kruger by Phalaborwa. When we cross the gate, she was very nervous. I remembered my first time.
But nothing happened. Borring landscape, no animals. I could see her thoughts: Boah, is this boring. Why the hell took my husband me to this place!
About 15 Minutes, she was very excitedly. A normal Zebra cross the Road. We saw also Elephants, Baboons, Hippos and more.
When we go to bed, we decided to stay up in the morning at 5 O'Clock. What happened? She normally sleeped till 12 or later, waked me up 10 before 5 with the words: Thostili stay up, the animals waiting. (What a lovely remember).

And so we go for the next two years also to SA.

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Unread post by Loams » Sat May 21, 2005 11:08 am

I love it when other people come to SA and realise that the media is the enemy. I actually get quite emotional when people of other nationalities get excited about SA.

My story goes like this:

I was 9 or so and we were caravan holiday people. One day my folks decided to go to Kruger in October. All I remember was that we saw animals from the word go, I don't remember being bored once, I also don't remember going around a corner once and not seeing anything. It probably happened, but I only remember seeing everything. We camped on the boundary fence in Pretoriuskop and on our first night we heard Lions and Hyena's. it was UNREAL!!! hooked on wildlife ever since.

At the risk of this post getting irritatingly long I would love to tell you a funny story....

Some people came camping a few stands from us and all they did was play cards and drink all day. Each to his own and that didn't bother me at all. After a long day of driving we came back and made supper ('n lekker braai as usual). After washing dishes and cleaning up it was about 9 or 10 o'clock. I decided it was time for a shower. On my return, I walked past the card players tent and someone snored, really really loudly! Of course it was dark and I was alone and I got a massive fright. The things that go through your mind is amazing *Lions, Hyena's Jackals* *They gonna eat me...*. So I walked a bit faster, quite a bit in fact....................

Got to the caravan and my dad asks me, Sooooo what's the rush. So I told him about the person snoring (By then I figured out what it was) and he packs up laughing at me, and goes for a shower himself. I decided to sit outside and just have time with me and the bush. After about 20 mins I hear these fast footsteps........ It's my dad. I notice he's a bit paler than usual. "And now??" I ask him. His reply? "I am sorry I laughed at you for getting a fright at the tent. I now know why you got a fright"

It's a regular story we reminisce about at home....

In my next episode, I will tell you about my bunny story

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Unread post by Oumie » Fri Aug 05, 2005 9:26 am

The first week in 1968 was the first time I went to Kruger Park. Went with my steady (now hubby) his mother and father and 2 other friends of his (I was the only young lady). We started in the eastern tranvaal first, visited Sudwala caves.. well there us "jongies" slept in the car and the oldies had a tent Then the next morning we went to the Kruger. Some of the camp up north was closed during the summer We drove on sand roads all the way. Steady (Hubby) and friends WERE drinking beer in the car, but the beer was sooo hot that they drank it like water. Well we stayed over at Olifants and the guys ran to the shop to buy a very cold beer they were motherless after that one ice cold beer Went to sleep very early
THe next day we drove down to Skakuza. The camp was small and the camping site was right were the entrance gate is now. Well every body went to bed- Oldies in the tent and the boys decided that they were going to sleep outside on the grass in their sleeping bags - I slept in the car. It was sooo hot but you could not open the window of the car because the mosquitoes were aplenty those days
Well steady and the other boys kept on drinking beer and chatting when steady saw something on his left. He thought it was a hyena and shouted to the guys to run well have you ever seen 3 guys run in zipped up sleeping bags Well they ran with sleeping bags and all around the car when I shouted to them to stop it is only a Impala.
That is how we - steady and myself - got hooked on Kruger
Reservation for 2018 made :dance:

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Unread post by Meandering Mouse » Fri Aug 05, 2005 3:22 pm

My first memory of the Kruger has more to do with impressions. I remember the smell and hiss of the parafin lamps at night.
Now when I smell or hear anything like a parafin lamp, I am filled with the feeling of excitement and wonder. It takes me back to that childhood awe of all things new and adventure.
The bird doesn't sing because it has answers, it sings because it has a song.

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