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Old Kruger park Stories

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Chip
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Re: Old photos of Kruger

Unread post by Chip » Wed Sep 08, 2010 11:44 am

Thanks Glen79 for bringing this great thread to my attention. It certainly brings back fantastic memories to me as I first went to Kruger in 1946. A special year because that was the year Col. James Stevenson-Hamilton and ranger Harry Wolhuter both retired from Kruger.

Apart from the given reasons for the park only being open in the winter, was the threat of malaria during the wet summer months. Only Pretoriuskop, the old Malelane gate camp, Crocodile Bridge and a few huts at Skukuza were open. These huts had flyscreens on the verandahs. I'm referring to the time Noah fell out of the ark. I think that later, the park opened a little further North as well. They used to spray these huts with DDT in the early days.

My dad was a friend of a Mr. van der Veen who was, I think, in charge of purchasing supplies for the camps in Kruger in the early days. Once, during a hasty preparation for lunch when visitors rocked up, my dad nearly severed two of his fingers, cutting open a tin of something with an antiquaited tin opener. We ran to Mr. van der Veen who was able, by looking up the reservations book, to direct us to a visiting doctor, who stitched them up with his wife's needle and thread. To his dying day those fingers never worked properly again.
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Re: Old photos of Kruger

Unread post by Flutterby » Wed Sep 08, 2010 11:49 am

My dad has told us of his first trip to Kruger in the late '50s or early '60s, and staying in rondavels with no windows - there was just a gap between the wall and the roof for air. The beds were steel frames with no mattresses - you had to take your own, which my dad and his friends did not know, so they ended up sleeping on the springs!!

Oh...for the good old days!! :lol:
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alf
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Re: Old photos of Kruger

Unread post by alf » Wed Sep 08, 2010 12:21 pm

Wow that is very interesting. It also says on this old map that you need to hire bedding at 30 cents per person per night. Breakfast at the restaurant cost 40c, lunch at 50c and dinner 60c per person.
Made my booking for Desember 2014!! Whoohoo

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Chip
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Re: Old photos of Kruger

Unread post by Chip » Wed Sep 08, 2010 12:25 pm

Flutterby, your dad must have had some bad luck getting a bed without a mattress. Since 1946, I remember that there was never a problem getting a mattress with the bed. The problem was the mattress itself. All were thin, coir mattresses and extremely uncomfortable, but nobody ever complained (too loudly, anyhow) The beds were those black steel and very high (hospital) beds. My dad, being an AA member (not Alcoholics Anonymous) always used to try and book the AA hut for the family. Malelane, Skukuza and Pretoriuskop were camps that each had an AA hut. It was a large rondavel that had six beds around the circumverence with a pole in the middle of the hut. There was a wash stand next to the door, with a large enamel jug and basin. Each hut was allocated two hurricane lamps and a pottie or two. A green metal foldup table and chairs made up the rest of the furniture in the hut.
The doors to some of the huts had a lookout hole that you had to look through before exiting, to see that you had no friendly four legged visitors outside looking for breakfast. :cam: were in the form of a Kodak 'box' camera and I don't know where to start looking for pics. Those were good days.
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Jungle Junkie
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Re: Old photos of Kruger

Unread post by Jungle Junkie » Tue Sep 14, 2010 6:00 pm

Interesting thoughts? When I was a small girl ('60's) we used to go to a friends farm for the July holidays.. (3 weeks) and there was no electricity. A water tank on top of a cool room which kept the meat and milk etc. cold. We ate venison, impala were shot for the pot and I actually used to help skin them and also make biltong :big_eyes:

Trying to think how our parents had ice in the G&T's?? Maybe they did not have ice, it was winter afterall :D

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TonyP
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Re: Old photos of Kruger

Unread post by TonyP » Thu Sep 16, 2010 5:06 am

My firts trip to KNP was in the early 50's. My folks were farmers (1 farm in Eastern Transvaal - Lothair/Warburton and 1 in Natal - Baynesfield/Richmond). My Dad would take one of the farm 8 ton trucks loaded with all the "luxuries" one being an old parrafin fridge for the ice in G&T's. I know we ate a fair amount of mealie meal for breakfasts and pre-cooked poitjies for supper. Tea & coffee was always with condenced milk or tinned evaporated milk.
Trips into the park were of a shorter duration than they are now days because of the problem of keeping fresh food etc cold. My mom would follow in the car (1954 Buick)with my sisters and the nanny, whilst I rode with the old man in the truck. It was normaly a very early start when leaving the farm and I always remember Dad breaking into song as the sun came up, something that kind of sounded like the old song "Oh what a beautiful morning, Oh what a beautiful day" from the musical "Oklahoma".
By the way, in regards to the clothing, he used to farm waring a pair of Khaki long pants and and an old tweed jacket and his trade mark every single day of his life was a rose in that dusty,sweaty old jacket's lapel which he picked from moms rose garden every morning.
These trips were usually done in conjunction with uncles,aunts and cousins, so it was always a big group. Once the truck was offloaded a tarp was rigged over the back of the truck for all us kids to sleep under on stretchers and often the men slept under the truck or in hammocks tied between the truck and a tree whilst the women slept in the bungaloes or tents. The old buggers probably could only get as far as the truck after the many G&T's around the fire :wink:
By 1958 or there abouts the fridge was replaced with a "Zero" parrafin chest deap freeze that took 4 labourers to load onto the truck and the trips would then be of a 14 day duration. I don't recall him ever taking any pics in those days, so can't help out in that area :cry:

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Re: Old photos of Kruger

Unread post by Meandering Mouse » Tue Dec 28, 2010 10:45 am

I love this thread. 8)

My mother remembers a trip to Kruger before the war. There were 5 children in the back seat, including 3 teenagers. They had to sit with one forward/one backward to all fit in. Then there was the camping gear stacked onto the roof and tied down. Not light nylon, but hard, tough canvas with sturdy wooden tent poles.

It took a couple of days to travel, no doubt on bumpy roads. My grandfather would stop and pitch his tent on farm land on the way down. He would always try to ask the farmer for permission, but on a couple of occasions they would wake up surrounded by bemused farm animals. After the Kruger adventure they would continue onto Mozambique.

Sadly the war stopped all travels.
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Re: Old photos of Kruger

Unread post by gmlsmit » Wed Dec 29, 2010 4:46 pm

I remember driving up the Nwamuriwa Hill March 1970, the beacon seems familiar.

There were indeed much less luxuries and definitely much more appreciation of the area.

However KRUGER is still a wonderful place.
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Re: Old photos of Kruger

Unread post by Spaniel » Thu Feb 17, 2011 11:14 am

Thanks for all the postings Forumites! A great thread and brings back the memories. I remember the old beds and matresses; the enamel wash basin and jug and the enamel chamber pot :whistle: Don't forget the loooong drops :lol: Something to share - my great grandfather was the ranger at Punda Maria in the 1920's. When the first grandchild was born, my grandparents sent a telegram to inform him of his grandson's birth and the telegram was delivered by a messenger on horse back. Obviously a safe journey as the telegram reached its destination. To my knowledge we don't have any photo's :wall: My other grandfather was part of the team that built the railroad line in Kruger and when I visit Skukuza and see the old railroad bridge, it brings back memories as well :D

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Re: Old photos of Kruger

Unread post by onewithnature » Sat Feb 26, 2011 8:36 am

I distinctly remember a three-bedded chalet in Pretoriuskop going for R29 per night. :shock: Does my memory fail me, or was that indeed the prices around then?

Anyone remember?
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Hugh
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Re: Old photos of Kruger

Unread post by Hugh » Sat Feb 26, 2011 3:42 pm

Cant read the above so I will type it
What it costs
Entrance fees
Adults .....................................R1
Children(aged 1to 16) ... 25c
Cars.........................................R1 plus 50c a day
Caravans .................................50c plus 50 c an day
Sleeping vans............................R1 plus R1 a day
Luggage trailers..........................25c
Minimum entrance fee...............R3

Restuarant meals

Breakfast .....50c
Lunch....60c
Dinner ......70c

Accommodation
Balule ( nonwhites only) adult 95c child 75c
Crocodile Bridge ,Malelane,Punda milia,,R1adult and 80c for a child
Orpen R1.30 aand
Letaba,olifants, Pretoriuskop,lowerSabie and Skukuza R1.30 for an Adult and 85c for a child
Petrol
Premium petrol costs 37 c to 39 c a GALLON
regular 33and a half to 35 c

Camping 20c per night per person
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Re: Old photos of Kruger

Unread post by gmlsmit » Sun Feb 27, 2011 4:31 pm

The salaries of Game Rangers in the mid 60s were starting R150.00 per month and upon retiring in the early 1990s the salary was R4400.00 per month.
I participate because I care - CUSTOS NATURAE
No to Hotels in and commercialization of our National Parks.
No to Legalized Rhino and Lion trade.
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What a wonderful privilege.

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Re: Old photos of Kruger

Unread post by gmlsmit » Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:15 am

I recall our August 1967 visit to Kruger Park:

Travelling from Vereeniging to Skukuza where we spent two nights in two rondawels, then to Olifants for a further two nights, dinner at the Olifants restaurant where we were fascinated by the enlargements of Dick Wolfe's elephants and Clem Haagner's I think nine Lion cubs which adorned the entrance foyer. and one evening at the Graskop Hotel and back home, cost less than R85.00.

The bill was made up as follows:

R 3.60 - 35 mm slide film
R 20.01 - 34 - Fuel for 1073 miles - 1717 km.
R 3.70 - Entrance fee Numbi Gate.
R 0.25 - Map at Numbi Gate.map.
R 2.00 - 20 glasses of Golden Flo at the restaurant verandah @R0.10 per glass.
R 11.70 - Accommodation SKUKUZA.
R 11.70 - Accomodation OLIFANTS.
R 1.30 - Kupferberger Auslese - Restaurant.
R 7.20 - Dinner Olifants Restaurant .
R 2.90 - Memories of a Game Ranger Skukuza shop.
R .75 - Brass dinner bell for mom.
R 18.00 - Graskop Hotel
I participate because I care - CUSTOS NATURAE
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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Hugh
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Re: Old photos of Kruger

Unread post by Hugh » Mon Feb 28, 2011 2:40 pm

I found these prices in a 1949 booklet.
(R2 =1pound for the young mites!!!
20 shillings to a pound 12 pennies to a shilling)
They mention how many beds in the various camps
I think of forum interest there are the following
Gorge 23 beds
Malopene 15 beds
Rabeleis 20 beds

Admission to KNP
10/- and 2/6 for children 16 and under
Minimum 1 pound

Accommodation
huts are 5/- and 3/-
innerspring mattress 6/-
camping 2/- and 1/- for cjhildren
Nwanetsi the whole camp sleeping 8 is 4 pounds
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Re: Old photos of Kruger

Unread post by onewithnature » Fri Mar 04, 2011 6:12 am

GML, that is mind-boggling. :huh: What is interesting is that the fuel costs and four-night accommodation costs are about the same: these days, accommodation is much more, despite a rising fuel price. Also, dinner then was relatively expensive. (Or, fuel and accommodation were relatively low.)
From these, I gather that it has been the accommodation costs that have risen beyond all recognition - although, compared to many other destinations in Southern Africa, Kruger is still reasonable these days. :hmz:
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TR: A NEW DAY IS S-OWN
TR: NECTAREAN NICETIES OF THE NORTH
TR: PRIMEVAL PLEASURE

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