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My most memorable moment and first times to Kruger

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Re: My most memorable moment

Unread post by mposthumus » Tue Mar 15, 2011 3:34 pm

naomirsa wrote:Something else that is most memorable is the camp Skukuza way back in the 60's. As we always only camped out in the camping area, at night whilst mom is busy with the cooking, my dad would make friends with the other campers and soon we would all be sitting around a fire talking about the day's sightings. Some of these people remained friends for years to come. After supper, us youngsters would then go to the front of the restaurant at Skukuza and whilst the adults sat and had a cup of coffee on the 'stoep' we would play games on the lawn. Today there is no longer grass, but cement. We used to watch many animals come to drink water right in front of the restaurant. I have never since seen any animal there on the opposite bank of the river. Only baboons now and again on the bridge where the old train used to go over. I must admit that this camp has the most memorable memories for me and it is very hard nowadays to go to the camping site and know my parents are no longer here on earth. They loved the park so much! We were too poor to stay in rondawels in those days, but I had the opportonity to still take my mother to stay over once in a guest house at Skukuza and it was the first time she did not have to sleep in a tent. We were after all 5 kids and there just was no income. I so enjoyed spoiling her with another trip again before she too passed on. It is good memories when I go to Skukuza, but it also saddens me a lot when I go there. It is the only place where I still feel close to them or their presence. Oh, and I also remember the 'old' entrance gate to Skukuza - the big clock (which is still there) but in those days the gate was right there where it is now.

Naomirsa, all I can say to this is “Snap” I can visualize and relive precisely every detail that you describe.
:dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance:

As for your mom and dad – I salute them.
:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

I am privilege to still have my mom, and take her with me to Kruger whenever possible.

[b]Unforgettable Adventures and Memories . . . . Metsi Metsi - March 2011[/b]

27.12 - 31.12 (Shingwedzi)
01.01 (Tamboti)
02.01 - 03.01 (L.Sabie)
04.01 - 08.01 (Pretoriuskop)

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Re: My most memorable moment

Unread post by Friedrich von Hörsten » Tue Mar 15, 2011 8:19 pm

Hi DuQues

The Kgalagadi is not as bad as you make it out to be -- you do NOT need to hire a more expensive car -- the cheapest little car can do it. Anybody who is scared of the wilds would feel very safe in Matamata and Nossob camp. I would suggest them for first timers, and perhaps Kgalagadi tented camp...
So winnydp, just come along and enjoy it. Don't choose the hottest months, though!

God bless,

Friedrich von Hörsten
``God, I can push the grass apart and lay my finger on your heart'' -- E. St V Millay

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Re: My most memorable moment

Unread post by Malealea » Thu Mar 17, 2011 5:21 pm

well there are so many events which brands in my mind I can´t actually say which one is the most spectacular one or not. In kruger my highlight were my first Cheetah sithging. Actually i firgott where I saw it :redface: . But we drove for hours we saw nothing not even one Impie. It was round about 9.00 in the morning, we were all grumpy because we hadn´t breakfast and therefor were hungry. After 4 hours drive (it was dec 2002), we decided to make a breakfast break and hope for more luck. Lets say round about 3 Km for the picnic spot I had my Cheetah sighting which will never been toped. This cat was so close to our car it was amazing. And we could watch this cat very very long. Round about 30 minutes + x. The cat strawl around and wasn´t bosthered by us at all. we were the only car. this one was very special. It wasn´t spectacular but it was long and close and on top of it my first Cheetah sighting... . And till now in RSA my only one. I saw Cheetahs in Serengeti but not in Southern Africa.

@ all indeed you all have very intresting Stories I really enjoy reading it.
life is Game, you rather play or flee. I chose to play the Game.

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Unread post by kallis1786 » Mon May 06, 2013 6:11 pm

Hi everyone :hello:

Hope everyone is well and AWESOME. I just created this Topic so people can Share the first ever Drive experiences within Kruger, I was thinking about my first drive which will happen on the 21st of June 2013. I just passed my driving test last year, and after that I came to the UK, to study, so my first ever Kruger Driving experience will be in June. Till today Dad always drove, and I was a passenger, and now it will be vice versa.

If everyone could share their first ever driving experience in Kruger because driving in Kruger is different, the mini loops going closer to rivers. Elephants coming too close. Stopping in time. Lions walking around your car. Anything but the ordinary happens. 1st ever sighting. I want to hear all about it. I think this will be an interesting topic, and hopefully all Forum members can also relive their first ever drive through the Park.

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Unread post by ruud » Mon May 06, 2013 7:50 pm

Hi, my first Kruger drive was very different than your first Kruger drive will be, because my first Kruger Drive was also my first Kruger visit...
So I think it was September 1998 that we visited SA and Kruger for the first time.
And as we come from the Netherlands, we had seen wildlife only 'behind bars' a zoo.
We entered Kruger near Pretoriuskop and like we still do nowadays, we took the first 'dirt road' but we had no map.....
And the roads around PK are really a little difficult if you have no map..we found out.
So after a while we were back in PK and the first thing we bought was a good map 8) .
But now, some 15 years later and driving almost 100.000kilo's through the park... we don't need the map anymore. :D
But of course we were in Kruger for the wildlife.
And I still know what we saw first....impala, impala, impala and every time we saw another herd of impala we stopped, took pics and so on.
But what we couldn't understand was that all the other visitors of Kruger didn't stop but just drove on.
It really surprised us, I mean you come for wildlife and when you can see a lot of impala's nobody stopped.... :hmz:
OK 2 hours later we understood that in Kruger there are very very very many impalas and yes you're right, we also drove on.
But anyway, since our first Kruger drive, we were 'in love' with Kruger so since September 1998 we come back 2 times each year.
And now we are just back in Holland from 16 days of course again in Kruger!

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Unread post by lemonbalm » Mon May 06, 2013 10:12 pm

My first drive was from Malelane Gate in 2009 - and surprisingly our first animals were not Impi's but rather Giraffes and Ellies - thankfully far away as my mom is very wary of them, and with me driving for the first time (in the park) there was a fair amount of tension! A later encounter with an Ellie up at Tsendze was even more comical as my mom shouted forward and dad reverse - I stalled the car... :redface: (I had had my licence 8 years by then). It must be said I was not that close to the Ellie and he was munching happily probably laughing his head off!
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Unread post by Joubie » Tue May 07, 2013 10:50 am

Our first drive as a family was 18 years ago while staying at a timeshare in White River. We had done all the touristy routes in the area and the weather was lousy, so to entertain our 3 year old we decided to take a "quick" drive through Kruger. We entered through Paul Kruger Gate and exited at Numbi Gate. We saw elephants, impala, giraffe and a pack of wild dog run behind our car for about a km. :dance:

This was the start of what has now become our yearly pilgrimage to either Kruger or KTP, and needless to say we have never had another wild dog sighting.

Dreaming of our June holiday in Kruger.

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Unread post by kallis1786 » Tue May 07, 2013 12:27 pm

WOW Joubie, :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes: Wild Dogs in your first ever trip. That must be AWESOME. I have been visiting the Park for 17 years and yet still not had a Wild Dog Sighting. I will be in the Drivers seat for the first time this June and praying :pray: that I will get to see Wild Dogs, by the way which camp will you be staying at and what dates because I will be in the Park from the 21st to 23rd of June.

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Unread post by Yoda » Wed May 08, 2013 9:21 am

I was taken to Kruger for the first time when I was 2 years old. So can't remember first drive :tongue:

Though shortly after I got married, took the SO to Kruger for her first trip.
I really built it up about how brilliant it is, a wonderfull place, yadda yadda yadda.

We enter Numbi to travel to Skukuza for our first night. A few minutes after entering we saw our first Impala, and then km after km of nothing. The SO falls asleep! (She claims it was because of the early start). Thought I was in for a rough few days if it was going to be a slow trip, especially after all the hype that I had built up.
Anyhows, not far from Skukuza we go around a corner and there is a massive Elephant bull in the road. So I shake the SO awake and she is duly impressed.
Saw a few other animals on the rest of the drive, and she was happy.

SO enjoyed that holiday and loves going to Kruger, probably not as hardcore as I am, but I have converted her.

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Unread post by Kameleon » Wed May 08, 2013 12:15 pm

My first drive was actually just last year (yeah i'm a kruger-rookie).
Before that all we had was zoo-experience :roll:

We had planned to stay the night in Phalaborwa before entering Kruger, but we arrived early in Phalaborwa and couldn't resist going into the park for the afternoon..

That turned out to be a very good choice!
the first km from phalaborwa gate we saw nothing.. but next were impalas! great first sighting :lol:
Next we saw some cars had stopped :hmz: hurray: an ellie family was passing the road, with some cute small ones running across the road :D

On the road to Sable dam we spotted some giraffes :)
After that we decided to drive the H14 up to the S131 and the S131 back to the gate. We came past the Ngwenhyeni(?) waterhole where we had an amazing view of 2 big tuskers drinking and fooling around. :cam:

After that we had to go do some shopping for the days to come, but it sure was good way to start our Kruger adventures :thumbs_up:

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Unread post by jacquiandphil » Wed May 08, 2013 3:01 pm

First drive in through Malane Gate, 26 years ago, on our way to Lower Sabie. A vvery excited lady in a uniform flagged us down and told us to turn right at the fork as there were wild dog in the road, she'd just had to leave them as she was on her way to a dentist appointment. We, knowing nothing didn't turn right but went left following huge piles of elephant dung. We weren't disappointed we saw close up a lovely herd which our 3 year old son loved. A year or so later we realised what we'd missed.
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Re: My most memorable moment and first times to Kruger

Unread post by Grantmissy » Mon May 20, 2013 7:57 am

My first memory of Kruger was the Letaba Camp and the river in front of the restaurant as a child with my parents. I remember the restaurant was a very special place and the atmosphere was good - in a very Kruger kind of way. I am glad that I can still return to the Letaba camp and find it almost the same that it was in my childhood days.
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Re: My most memorable moment and first times to Kruger

Unread post by Gilbertr14 » Mon May 20, 2013 6:51 pm

Playing under the sprinklers at lower sabie under the trees

Sitting at Orpen dam at night watching the stars and Satellites.

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Re: My most memorable moment and first times to Kruger

Unread post by Koen » Mon Oct 23, 2017 11:16 am

I was just telling my wife this last week.

My most exciting and memorable moment ever in the Kruger that also happened during my first ever visit to the Kruger. I remember it to this day, many many years later.

All good stories should start with a tree, and so does this one. I think its good but others might disagree, such is life.

In the North there is a large Kigelia africana or sausage tree (still amazingly there today) on the side of the road, down a gentle grassy hollow beside a deep dry river bed. The big spreading branches were full of noisy baboons that day. The weather at just after noon, extremely hot, it felt like even our tyres could melt. We hadn't seen any game for a long stretch besides some lazy buffalo in a ditch so we stopped to watch and amaze at the big beautiful green cloud of a tree with it's sheltering troop of baboon. However even the baboons were too hot to play and it was getting unbearable with our windows open so we drove on and away. We wanted to get to our camp, tired and needing some air-conditioning. It truly was brutally hot, the car recorded 40%C that day.

Suddenly just as I was resigned not to see anything much in our first day and visit to the Kruger there they were, around the bend in the road! Seven of them just to the side, perfect, unmistakable, glorious and utterly beautiful.

Skidding in the gravel I stopped the car to an abrupt halt, threw open the windows to sniff deeply the dry hot air, taking in deeply their scent, eyes wide with excitement. My wife who hadn't seen that I had spotted them thought I had stopped for lion. "Where where" she asked urgently. I never told her then or for many years until just yesterday why we had stopped right there. I thought it would give the game away. I wanted her first sighting to be a surprise, so she could have the thrill to be one to tell me.

Yes, it was Elephant dung! Glorious elephant dung.

It didn't smell very different to the Rhino dung I was so used to but these I had never seen before! So after ten minutes or so pretending to scour the landscape for game, expecting to see an elephant somewhere any moment we drove slowly off, me with a sneaky smile wrapped around my face, eyes alive with just half expectation. The dung wasn't very fresh but still pristine, not a tyre mark on them, they were dry just a small slick of dark liquid still oozing out the base. I reckoned with that heat just maybe half a day or at most possibly the night before. Anything was possible but even after half an hour driving, no elephant.

We did only come across a real live elephant the next day, early morning as we set off. However just that first concrete evidence that there were elephants, that dung was one of the most unbelievably enthralling moments in my life. The proof that we were going to see wild elephant. It was the most special moment. There weren't elephants in the parks in the parts of Southern Natal which I knew growing up, though they have now of course and long ago already been introduced, lion too. However this introduction happened only very soon after I had left South Africa for University in the UK.

So my first ever sighting of an elephant wild or otherwise was in the Kruger which is what made that ding so remarkable to me. It turned out to be an old magnificent bull eating grass close to the side of the road. We spent a good two hours with that elephant, our first elephant, listening and marvelling, taking pictures of his every move. I often look out for him but haven't seen him since on our very many return visits to the Kruger. He had pretty notches out of his ear like the frills on the petals of an exotic orchid, strong thick healthy tusks. Little did he know just how excited I had been to see his dung the day before!

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Re: My most memorable moment and first times to Kruger

Unread post by EElse » Mon Oct 23, 2017 5:45 pm

My most memorable moment was definitely this weekend (Saturday and Sunday).

We arrived at Kruger on Friday morning (about 06:30) and had a very good morning with a Rhino sighting within the first half hour (I won't say where). We had elephant sightings galore with a few of them crossing the road and lots of impala and kudu sightings. Finding a bit of a 'traffic jam', we found a hyena laying under a bush and just as we were about to leave it stood up and walked in front of us.


As we neared our camp we even had a rare sable sighting. We booked in for our first night at about 14:00, left my husband at the 'hut' (my sister was travelling with us) and the two of us set off again. We had our first leopard sighting as we returned to camp (not very clear and it had its back to us in a tree). Still, even though the sighting wasn't good, we could tick off 4 of the Big 5 on our very first day. We were delighted.

Saturday morning we again left my husband to his sleep and set off at gate opening time. Not even 30 minutes into our drive we saw something far off in the distance in the middle of the road (s7, close to Pretoriuskop). As we neared we were surprised but very excited to realise that it was a pair of male lions and there was no one else on the road - just us. We took some great pictures and waited to see what they did. They were VERY lazy and just moved to the small drinking pool next to the road and back into the road again.

The photo isn't too clear as it was taken through the window:

this one was taken with my phone:

We were soon joined by 2 other vehicles (one in front and one behind) and decided that we would leave them to it. I turned around (didn't want to scare them into moving off) and we decided on a different route for the rest of the morning where we saw elephants (lots and lots of elephants), buffalo, giraffe, hyena (a family of 2 cubs, mother and father) and zebras.


We also saw quite a few eagles. We returned to camp and booked out to move to our next destination - I'll probably try to stick to one place next time I book, but this is how you learn... :lol:

Later that afternoon, the three of us (my husband didn't want to miss out on anything exciting), took off on another trip after booking in at Skukuza. We didn't see much - a few eagles and antelope but nothing major. As we returned to Skukuza on the H3, we saw a car in the oncoming lane standing still and as we got closer we could see an animal under the car - or that is the way it looked! We got close enough to realise that it was a leopard and as we stopped, it stopped playing with the mudflap of the car (I breathed out in relief that it hadn't been an accidental roadkill) and walked right towards our car where it rubbed itself against my husband's side of the car - he was the driver - before moving on behind us. We were astounded at our luck!


As we drove on, not even a kilometre further, there was a 'traffic jam' and we realised that there were two male lions about 30 meters in, in the tall grass. Another lion sighting!

We couldn't get any good pictures but after our good fortune that morning, we really didn't mind. Once again, we could tick off 4 of the Big 5 in one day - no rhinos this time but we didn't mind.

Sunday morning we took an early drive around Skukuza where we saw plenty of antelope and eagles. We booked out again and set off for the day. On the road to Tshokwane (the h1-2) my sister's eagle eyes saw movement down by the sand river and we stopped to get a better look through all the trees and brush - three lionesses!!! We drove forward along with them (they were moving along the river) until we saw a little lookout point and waited there for them to pass - luckily our camera had a good lens and we could get them even from that distance.


Everyone else just drove by, nobody even stopped to see what we were looking at but as we exited the little lookout point we hailed down the first car we saw and told them where to look - hopefully they also saw them. We didn't think our weekend could get any better! Of course, nature just had to prove us wrong as just after leeupan I saw movement in the tall grass on the left and told my husband to stop. Another leopard! It came out of the grass and crossed the road in front of us.


A vehicle came in behind us and saw what we were looking at so of course, it stopped with the best possible view to take photos, blocking the view of any other vehicle behind the two of us. I told my husband to just take a few nice photos and then move on so that everyone else can also have a chance at the sighting.

To top off that very amazing day, on our way back from Tshokwane we found another 'traffic jam' and saw two lionesses relaxing in the shade of a big rock on one of the 'koppies'. For the third day in a row, we could tick off 4 of the Big 5.


On our last day (today), we had another rare sighting of the Sable antelope, the Rhino, elephants and buffalos - along with an abundance of other antelope of course!

So yes, indeed, this will probably be my most memorable weekend in the Kruger ever!

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