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Old Kruger park Stories

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gmlsmit
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Re: Old photos of Kruger

Unread post by gmlsmit » Fri Mar 04, 2011 7:48 am

Just a bit more about the costs.

We visited the Wankie National Park in the then Rhodesia during April 1971.

The costs were R $4.50 for a two bedroomed lodge in Main Camp and also R $4.50 for a three bedroomed house in the Sinamatella Camp.

Afterwards we went to the Victoria Falls where we stayed over in the Victoria Falls Hotel - cost R $7.50 per person B/B.

The exchange rate was R.97 = R$1.00.
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No to Hotels in and commercialization of our National Parks.
No to Legalized Rhino and Lion trade.
Done 156 visits to National Parks.
What a wonderful privilege.

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Sheenaugh-Lee
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Re: Old photos of Kruger

Unread post by Sheenaugh-Lee » Sat Apr 02, 2011 1:11 pm

:clap: :clap: My applause goes out to the person that started this topic :clap: :clap:
WOW! This is the first topic that Iv'e sat thru and read all 23 pages of it, somewhere between looking at all these amazing photographs you found, I found silent tears running down my cheeks :cry: remembering my late grandparents,
I remember between them and my mother they practically raised us in the Kruger.
we went on holiday their 6 times a year, most times my gran wouldv'e come and fetched us from school and told the school there was some emergency and whisked us off away to the Kruger for at least a week, her Padkos was the best, sarmies, boiled eggs and meatballs,
My grandfather always had biltong and sparkles with him lol,
my grandfathers fav camp was skukuza and my gran was lower Sabie so every time we went they always had to stay in both those camps,
I remember the one day we were driving on the tar road between lower Sabie and skukuza going to skukuza, my grandfather drove over the bridge just before skukuza and then wanted to drive further, my mom drove after him to find out what he was up to and she asked him where hes going, he told us, Lusaka I'm going to Lusaka, my mom asked him what the ruddy hell he intends on doing in Lusaka when he shouts at my mom and says " I never said I'm going to Lusaka I said im going to Skukuza"
He revved the engine and turned around lol
still today we have no idea what was going on his head that day but it was hysterical at the time to watch him go off like Donald duck throwing a temper tantrum :lol: :lol: :dance:
Im still In LOVE with my Kruger!


Home is where the Heart is and my Heart lies in the Kruger ...FACT!

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Re: Old Kruger park Stories

Unread post by bambazonke » Thu Apr 21, 2011 5:52 pm

Hi all

have been going to the Park since I was a child and remember when the north was closed during the summer, and reservations being like gold dust, gravel roads and being boiled in the car.

My story however, concerns the late 80's, I had managed to get a long weekend (for me) during school holidays only camp available was Shingwedzi, so ES and I were off, SO was working, so couldn't come., and in accordance with family tradition first night meal in restaurant. The restaurant
had animal heads mounted on the walls, not just skulls and horns, and that night buffalo was on the menu. (it would have neem better as biltong) but while we are eating ES in a lound voice asks the manager why he shot the buffalo, not once but several times, and wanted to know why they could not go to a butchery and get meat like everyone else, WHY must they shoort the amimals?
I am by this stage trying to stifle laughter, at the expressions on other diners faces. Mind you never a dull moment with small children around :o
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Re: Old photos of Kruger

Unread post by Eagle Owl » Fri Jul 22, 2011 4:08 pm

I also do not have photos and only started going to Kruger in 2002, 2003. Geez, years wasted... :cry:
But I would like to share this story that is in the book "Prime Origins Guide to Exploring Kruger" by Brett Hilton-Barber & Professor Lee R Berger, which I found humerous when I read it.

Lion Encounter

Being drunk in the bush is an invatation to danger. However, to every rule there is an exception. In Wild Life in South Africa, James Stevenson-Hamilton recounted the experience of a ranger called Sakubona in the early days of Kruger's history. Late one night an inebriated Sakubona returned home from a party at a nearby kraal when he literally walked into a lion along a narrow bushpath.

"According to his own account, he felt indignant, and after inquiring of the lion what it meant by blocking his road in this manner, poked it on the nose with his stick, on which it growled, bit him in the leg , and then ran away." The next morning a ranger examined the footprints and tracks and confirmed there had been some sort of incident involving man and lion.

"Of course no-one, not even Sakubona himself," wrote Stevenson-Hamilton "Knows what exactly did happen but he assuredly did have a single-handed and unarmed encounter with a lion in the dark, and came off best. Personally, I think had he been sober the result might have been unfortunate for him, but he was in just that condition when it is impossible to know fear. He had arrived at just that stage of spiritual elevation when a man feels there is nothing in the world of which he is not capable. Also of course, there are lions and lions!"

When the Park opened to tourism Sakubona supplemented his income as a gate guard by rolling up his trousers and showing his scars to tourists for a small fee.

:lol: :lol: :lol:

Quite an encounter, ain't it..? :D

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Albert
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Re: Your Earliest Memories of Kruger

Unread post by Albert » Thu Mar 29, 2012 12:12 pm

I guess my first memory of Kruger was when I was about 4 or 5 years old (that would have been in 1961/62).
I recall us (the entire family, mom, dad, four kids) in the family Kombi.
It was a day trip, think we went in at Numbi (we used to travel from the Cape to visit family in Pretoria, then went on to stay on smallholding on the Nelspruit-Sabie road).
Anyhow, it was a slightly rainy day, but in a single day trip we saw not only the big 5, but Cheetah as well! Memorable day, also remember getting smacked late in the afternoon when I had a fight with one of my brothers.
Then another memory, shortly thereafter (I think it was the same June/July period).
My dad checked in at Skukuza and found us accommodation in the park!
Three whole nights in Lower Sabie.
This was going to be the greatest event ever!
We arrived at Lower Sabie, then discovered that they had basically ploughed up a section of bush to the upriver area of the camp as it was then.
They had pitched tents for folks to use, in neat rows (but on a ploughed slope)
We had two tents for the family, I shared the tent with my parents, while my brothers and sister shared the other tent.
This was magic for a young kid.
Then the thunderstorms started, and the rain.
And it rained....at about 9 pm the water started flowing through the tent.
Shortly thereafter the central tent pole started falling over...By this time my siblings' tent had collapsed, and we were all in one tent, with all our luggage piled onto the bed, us sitting on the camp beds with 10 cm of water flowing through the tent.
The next few hours were spent like that, with my father and brothers sporadically rushing out into the rain to hammer in the tent pegs, to stop the tent from falling over.
For some or other reason, m parents decided to pack up the next morning....could not understand why, the sun was shining!
Searching for a Cape Eagle Owl....

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Rooies
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Re: Your Earliest Memories of Kruger

Unread post by Rooies » Thu Mar 29, 2012 4:21 pm

The first trip that can remember was July 1966.
On a specific day we travelled from Skukuza to Nwanedzi to have a picnic there.
(The S100 did not exist, so we took the S37)
At that stage we lived on a farm and I took my 'kettie' with me wherever I went and thought that my trusted 'kettie' would be adequate protection if a lion decided to attack.

On the way my father stopped to look at something in the distance.
It is then that I looked the to my right and saw this Francolin standing no more that 5 yards away from the car.
I aimed at him and he looked at me as if he was saying "you can't shoot me because this a game reserve"
I decided, bugger you and let loose with the 'kettie'

Frankie was no more but then all hell broke loose.
Dad took a swipe at me, got out of the vehicle and gave me the hiding of my life.
Back at Skukuza, my sister continued mocking me by saying "daddy hit you today-hay, daddy hit you today-hay"
So I grabbed one of her shoes and threw it into the Sabie river. Guess what happened next?........

On a serious note, some of the best memories were when we approached camp at dusk and smelled all the camp fires, the communal braais, the last minute shopping and the night sounds.
In some way, I wish I could relive those days. "Beam me back Scotty"
Give thanks for unknown blessings already on its way---African saying
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In loving memory, Mary aged 3 years

Unread post by Meandering Mouse » Thu Aug 09, 2012 7:04 am

The pet cemetry got me thinking to the role that dogs and other animals have played in the development of the Park. As I write a group of specialy trained Fox hounds are being prepared to take on poachers. I would like this to be a testament to all those brave and loyal little creatures who have given their lives to protecting, or servicing the Park.

James Stevenson Hamilton realised in his very earliest days that dogs were needed to protect livestock, horses and donkeys from the many predators. Aquiring a good pack of dogs was an essential part of being a ranger.

On my favourite, though poignant stories concerns the first justice of the peace in the Park. Tim Healy was a very likable young Irishman who took up the position with gusto. His favourite dog was Mary. She suffered from heat stroke on a patrol one day. Healy carried her back 10kms to camp, but despite his best efforts she died.

Healy was besides himself with grief. Stevenson Hamilton reports that he made his black rangers stay up all night for a proper Irish wake and she was buried with all the suitable wailing to go with the loss of a loved one. (I can only imagine what his rangers must have thought).

He then placed a "tombstone" incribing her name and date of death. "In loving memory" it stated. Later this was taken by some visitors to be the grave of a child.

Sadly, Healy himself died young in the first world war. He left a very young widow and a son, "John".
The bird doesn't sing because it has answers, it sings because it has a song.

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Re: In loving memory, Mary aged 3 years

Unread post by anabel1 » Thu Aug 09, 2012 11:50 am

What a sad story! Indeed a dog can be like a child to a person

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Re: In loving memory, Mary aged 3 years

Unread post by Meandering Mouse » Fri Aug 10, 2012 6:58 am

Anabel, indeed.

The rangers needed to keep many dogs in the early days. Many were lost to snakes, crocs and of course sickness.

One of the most eccentric early rangers was Alexander Frazer, a crusty Scot.. I know a few crusty Scots :hmz: . I come from a line of crusty Scots :whistle: I strongly suspect that he was dyslexic. He refused to write anything and when once left in charge, left a legacy of chaos.

He hated people, in particular women and loved his dogs and whiskey... in no particular order. He was known to have as many as 28 dogs at a time.

There is the story told by Harry Wolhuter and Stevenson Hamilton of his strange habits. Harry Wolhuter once had to stay over at his camp for the night. It was winter and rather cold. Frazer gave Wolhuter one of his blankets and his bed. As the temperature dropped, Wolhuter felt that he needed a more substantial cover than one blanket.

He went to ask Frazer for another blanket and found Frazer covered by all his dogs and sleeping on the floor. It seems that he had given his only blanket to Wolhuter. It was not unusual for him to sleep covered and kept warm by his many dogs.

There is a lovely picture of Frazer in James Stevenson Hamilton's "South African Eden", where he is indeed surrounded by many, many dogs.
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Re: In loving memory, Mary aged 3 years

Unread post by Meandering Mouse » Sun Aug 12, 2012 7:05 am

Poachers used dogs as well as the rangers. Harry Wolhuter would often have to shoot their packs as they were too often starved and covered with mange. Every so often he would spare a dog's life if he felt the dog had potential and could be an asset to his own pack.

One dog in particular took his fancy. He was intelligent, fearless and an asset to the pack. This dog would however continually break away and find his way home to his original owner. This was despite the conditions close to starvation and lack of any comforts.

Such is the loyalty of dogs.
The bird doesn't sing because it has answers, it sings because it has a song.

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Re: Old photos of Kruger

Unread post by okie » Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:16 pm

Came across this whilst surfing the internet . An extract from : Memoirs of Jan de Veer . A description when they visited KNP in 1935 :

At Crocodile drift we went onto the Pont and came safely to the other side in the game reserve and drove to Skukuza where we booked two rondavels.
In that big camp fires were made on which we could cook food and there was always hot water.
There was also bathing facilities so that we could refresh ourselves.
In the rondavels were beds with mattresses and pillows, a table a few benches and a storm lantern which could be taken outside in the evenings.
The rest the campers had to bring themselves.
There was a shop where all sorts of things were available and the rent for the rondavels was not high.
We stayed there for a few days and drove around the area during the day and saw lots of game in their natural surroundings and grazing.
After that we went to other rest camps where we saw lions , giraffe and elephants.
Everywhere there were monkeys.
We also saw crocodiles and hippos in the rivers which we had to cross by Pont and the most beautiful coloured birds.
The nicest camp was Sabie.
This lay high on the bank of a river.
We had a nice rondavel there again.
We asked the black who made the fire if elephants ever came there.
He came later to tell us there were four elephants.
They walked about 300 paces from the camp down in the river below.
To see them clearly we had brought our binoculars and could easily ........
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7 - 10 Sept 2013 -Shingwedzi .
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Kruger Nostalgia

Unread post by Oryx » Fri Mar 29, 2013 6:04 pm


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Re: Old Kruger park Stories

Unread post by Grantmissy » Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:52 pm

Livingstone wrote:Tshokwane was similar but the tree was enclosed and it was a tearoom.
The water at Satara and Tshokwane was brackish and undrinkable
I remember Steravieta milk that was sold in the shops.


bambazonke wrote:why they could not go to a butchery and get meat like everyone else, WHY must they shoort the amimals?


Some funny/great/brilliant old Kruger stories here :clap: :clap: :clap:. The restaurants in Kruger were indeed a highlight of the trip and at least one meal in the Restaurants was Kruger tradition :D whether it was breakfast, lunch or dinner. I also remember the set menu’s in the restaurants they had in the 1980’s. We could not wait for the drumming to start – dinner time :P ! The Letaba Restaurant was our favorite – I guess the view has had something to do with it. Luckily that view is still the same today :thumbs_up:
“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: Your Earliest Memories of Kruger

Unread post by Grantmissy » Wed Oct 16, 2013 3:09 pm

As a child I remember the smell of the Kruger veldt especially the grass after baking in the hot sun whilst eagerly waiting for the lions and hyenas to show themselves, the family braaivleis evenings, the openness and friendliness of the other Kruger goers and the light of the oil lamps from nightfall onwards. Those are my earliest memories.

Oh, also the Brasso copper fire hose fittings and the shiny Brasso taps in the camps - it reminded me of the brightest and most sparkling clean fire engine. I remember asking my grandfather why they kept the brasso so clean and he proudly told me: Because this is the Kruger. Just that and I knew he was right.
“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: Your Earliest Memories of Kruger

Unread post by JeanniR » Wed Oct 16, 2013 3:24 pm

Grantmissy wrote:Oh, also the Brasso copper fire hose fittings and the shiny Brasso taps in the camps - it reminded me of the brightest and most sparkling clean fire engine. I remember asking my grandfather why they kept the brasso so clean and he proudly told me: Because this is the Kruger. Just that and I knew he was right.


I remember the shiny Brasso taps :clap:
Really was a proudly Kruger thing!
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