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Old School vs "New"

Discuss and find information on the Kruger National Park
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Old School vs "New"

Unread post by Bosprediker » Fri Jun 07, 2013 8:08 pm

I'm booked for Kruger 17-22 June: Skukuza (Golf, Morning Walk, Night-Drive)
When Winter arrives it's impossible to resist the Kruger Fever!
It's just in your blood!
Going for the 1st time without wife & kids (school) taking a stolen week..a change of place and a change of pace always leads to a change of perspective!
I'm struggling though with something that's hard for me to accept/ goes:
been going to Kruger for 18 yrs (I'm 39) mostly camping, first wife and I alone, then with 3 small kiddies, sometimes bungalows.
Have always been a hardcore purist: as little human influence as possible, focus on conservation only, serious birding, no electricity, only camp, have done Park from South to North in one Trip, over years visited virtually all camps, done all the "classical" Kruger stuff...only went North to Letaba/Shingwedzi because South was " overpopulated" "busy" full of "plebs" etc.
My problem is because of small kids had to do the South and NOW I LOVE THE SOUTH!!
Skukuza :doh: is a favourite camp now (Shingwedzi still # 1) because of the brilliant variety of roads around there...nice picnic places...easy access to Tshokwane, Afsaal area, Lower Sabie. Shorter drives, nice variety, always Big Five (and Wild Dogs/Cheetahs)
Can't believe :hmz: it but I like the busy vibe now instead of sitting under a tree with nothing to do! I get bored!
I want an Internet connection, Facebook, Twitter, E-Mail, Cell phone reception, Gym etc.
Where I draw the line though is watching "Molly & Wors" on DSTV in the campsite :lol:
I want easy access getting in/ getting out etc.
I read an article where one of Tourism Staff guys said these days people's expectations of Kruger has changed from sitting in a campsite/driving around the whole day in a car, being without modern technology etc (old school) and their expectations have changed to be more like mine: don't wanna sit in car the whole day/need exercise/good food in camp (even Steers/Spur)/need Internet/TV/ Gym and stuff for kids to do etc. (new)
My problem is I used to have an "old school" self-righteous chip on my shoulder, but I had to reluctantly admit I agree...either I have changed / times have changed!
It feels like I've "sold out" :roll:
I want to ask how have you re-invented your Kruger Experiences over the years?
Where do we draw the line between old/new?
Should we judge people who enjoy the Park differently fom us?
Where's the line between exclusive/inclusive?
What is the future??
I don't know many people who love Kruger as much as I do...the love is still there..just different!
Your thoughts are appreciated

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Re: Old School vs "New"

Unread post by Mcook » Fri Jun 07, 2013 8:39 pm

I’m 39, so not from the “old school”, but it’s definitely old school for me!!

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Re: Old School vs "New"

Unread post by saraf » Fri Jun 07, 2013 8:57 pm

Bosprediker welcome to the forum.

I will admit to having a liking for technology - being able to check-in for my flight back to the UK while watching elephants bathing in the Sabie from my stoep in Lower Sabie was one of my most Wow experiences.

However last year we decided because of the high cost of data from the UK to turn off the internet on our phones. 3 weeks with no connection was very liberating.

By the time our Kruger trip comes around I am in desparate need of peace and quiet so we always head north first and then work our way back south, gradually introducing more people and more sightings. We love the north and the peace and having to work for the sightings, but yes I love the south's roads and animals and I have to admit that Eloff Street is one of my favourite roads and one where I've had some memorable sightings.

Kruger is for everyone and everyone is allowed to experience it as they wish without feeling guilty. As long as they don't spoil it for anyone else.
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Re: Old School vs "New"

Unread post by Graham_5000 » Sat Jun 08, 2013 12:41 am

Welcome Bospredikter.

Saraf - cheap data bundles can be added to a Vodacom or Telkom SIM and put in your mobile - that's what I do as email checking once a day is essential what with being self employed. I only write emails if they are essential and only check once a day.

Exercise and important sports matches are the only things I miss when I am in SA (I normally spend the whole time in cut off areas). One thing I don't miss is general tv!

I guess the park needs to preserve mainly but also cater for the odd "new school" activity etc.

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Re: Old School vs "New"

Unread post by threedogs » Sat Jun 08, 2013 4:08 am

Most definitely 'old school'. :thumbs_up:

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Re: Old School vs "New"

Unread post by Grantmissy » Sat Jun 08, 2013 6:23 am

Technology of the virtual kind is good as it is invincible and not intrusive as a person has a choice.
But to me the character peace and quiet of Kruger and that rarity to visit an unspoilt area in nature is unique and special.
I am surrounded by modern world facilities and entertainment joints every day that a person find on every street corner.
Kruger is therefore very unique - so I say hear! Hear!!
To 3Dogs when it comes to Kruger.
Why pay such a lot of money to visit a Kruger with spa's, fast food joints etc if you can go to those places every day where you stay and watch nature programmes with 3D in digital surround sound?
It will be a sad day when Kruger lost its character.
“Whether it's the best of times or the worst of times, it's the only time we've got.”

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Re: Old School vs "New"

Unread post by JDW » Sat Jun 08, 2013 12:43 pm

Change is inevitable.
Nature re-engineers itself constantly and we are part of that.
We have to accept change, it is up to us how we manage it or it will manage us.
Its is right to look at the past, learn the lessons and manage the future wisely for us to enjoy now and those that come after we have gone.
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Re: Old School vs "New"

Unread post by Weltenman » Sat Jun 08, 2013 1:11 pm

I think the biggest change we are dealing with is the instant access to information.
If you need a phone number or need to find out where to go you use your laptop or smartphone.
The days of reaching for the map or telephone book does seem like it is in the past.
You see something interesting on TV and you want to find out more, check Google or Wikipedia.

It is only natural that we would want this on our holidays as well eventually.

Kruger has always been "slow" to catch up to the real world.
This has been what made it great, the fact that it is not like going to a reserve in the city, but like travelling back in time.
There was no power in Kruger when you had power at home.
No communications to home from KNP.
Then cellphones were everywhere but not in the KNP.
Now you have cellphone coverage.
Next thing would probably be Wifi in certain accommodations.
But how nice would it be to look up information on animals and their behaviour at your bungalow?
Or be able to share your sightings over a network on a map for everyone else to see at night?

Times are changing quickly these days, our GPS's have to be updated 4 times a year because roads are forever changing.
This is why change is happening quicker to the KNP as well, because change is happening very quickly in the outside world.
Study the past, if you would divine the future.

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Re: Old School vs "New"

Unread post by Crested Val » Sat Jun 08, 2013 1:35 pm

I would say that I have the best of both worlds. :thumbs_up:

As some of you know, we are privileged to stay in Phalaborwa for 4-5 months each year, and do day visits around the Mopani-Letaba-Olifants area, but always enter and leave the park via Malelane or Croc Bridge, and stay in the south for a few days, to see what it has to offer!!!
We also have at least one brief stay in the park at Shingwedzi and Punda.
So the majority of the time is spent in the "quieter central and northern parts" which we prefer, but we spend a few days in the "hectic south".

During our day visits, we have no technology with us, but of course we keep in touch with the world when we return to our cottage, because to be out of touch for that long would be a no no for us!!

During the overnight stays in the park, all technical stuff is turned of, until the braai is going and I spend 30 mins downloading my photos onto my laptop (if I didn't I would get in a muddle, believe me!!!)
At the same time I usually say a quick hello to Forums friends on the GGGG thread, and check my emails.
I also then check my cell for messages, in case one of my kids wants us.

So basically our Kruger visits have not changed in the last 38 years, other than a 30 minute "lapse"!!!!

Long may it last. :thumbs_up:

Having said that, although this is what suits us, I say "Each to their own" and those that leave technology at home, and those that stay in contact with the outside world 24/7, should be allowed to "do their own thing" as long as it does not disturb anyone else.

One thing that is not acceptable in my opinion is music in the accommodation areas, or noisy sport commentaries, or drunken jolity :naughty: :rtm:
When we return to our park accommodation, we want to relax and be quiet (my 30 mins online causes no noise) and I don't want to share other people's noise!!! :wall: :wall:

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Re: Old School vs "New"

Unread post by Meandering Mouse » Sun Jun 09, 2013 6:55 am

Interesting topic.

I try to keep new school away when I am in Kruger, but I do appreciate its value.

I do like that I can be contacted in times of emergencies. I also like that I can do my banking by lifting a finger. 8)

I do not like the noise though. :evil: I have on occasion had to listen to Mr High Roller making deals while I am trying to enjoy a quiet moment.

As JDW said, change is with us. It is our best friend in the poaching fight. I try to chose where I want to use change and technology, rather than letting it rule me.
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Re: Old School vs "New"

Unread post by Stark » Sun Jun 09, 2013 3:46 pm

Well out MM, agreed.

For me I am half way around the world when I visit KNP. Having a cell phone for local logistics (like when I texted JenB to help sort out the laundry and new/old rand situation or for coordinating a visit with some other friends) and a laptop to check in at home is very important to me. I wven used the native gps in my phone to make my way outside the park a few times. No radio or tv, but to each their own if it doesn't overwhelm others. KNP is big enough for all.
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Re: Old School vs "New"

Unread post by Bush Baptist » Mon Jun 10, 2013 5:46 pm

I love Kruger as it was in the 50s, only dirt roads, not a lot of visitors, everyone was friendly, no speeding staff or suppliers, BUT, since then I have discovered gems like Tamboti, bush camps, and watch my beloved Man United in the Champions League on telly in Letaba, and seen other cats than lions........
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Re: Old School vs "New"

Unread post by Sylvi » Tue Jun 11, 2013 7:22 am

I was 30 when I first went to Kruger, my parents had a love for the sea,
I even wondered what are my neighbours doing in KNP every bloody year, don't they get tired of the same place.
Now, oh my goodness, I must say I am sad for the lost time, I wish I could have experienced KNP before it started changing,
I have never felt so happy to go on holiday as when I know I'm going to KNP.
So due to the above I must say, I don't have a problem with people doing it the "new" way, as long as we are there for the right reasons.
Enjoying nature and respecting each other and the whole park.
Most people I think will always yearn for the old times as we are creatures of our past and "like" to carry our baggage with us.

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Re: Old School vs "New"

Unread post by cheetah2111 » Tue Jun 11, 2013 8:42 am

Some people hold the only reason one would go to Kruger, is to unplug from the outside world and just be absorbed in the Park 8)
Sounds fair enough 8)
However, as for myself, I still like to stay connected and share my Kruger joys with people at the end of a day :D
I need to tell my folks, my lass, and facebook friends about my sightings I have had :D
If the people closest to me were in Kruger with me however, there would not be much need for that :wink:
But I would not have loud phone notifications going off and spoiling the bush atmosphere for others :thumbs_up:

I still like to be able to watch the Proteas dominating some test cricket at the restaurant during the hottest hours of the day with a black label 8)
I would not however subject fellow campers to my viewing by bringing a satellite dish into my campsite :naughty:

I think Sylvi summed it up well ... each to their own, as long as there is respect shown for everyone there :clap:
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Re: Old School vs "New"

Unread post by Frenchie » Tue Jun 11, 2013 9:03 am

Hi Bosprediker

My answer to your question "where do we draw the line"? I suggest we go for a real, geographical line/boundary running from west to east just north of Satara (i.e. somewhere half way between Balule and Satara). Allow the proposed, much disputed Hotel(s) and a few chicken and steak joints in/near the southern camps and leave the northern camps the way they have been over the decades. Then the old school die hards (like myself) can visit Letaba/Schingwedzi/Punda etc. every year knowing I won't have to put up with city slickers and all their needs in the southern camps . I agree that different sections of society have different ideas about Kruger - so let's have the best of both worlds, hey?

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