LEST WE FORGET

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gmlsmit
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Re: LEST WE FORGET

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J A B Sandenbergh Part 3

1951 was again a year of severe drought. Fortunately, the Water for Game project was off the ground and reduced the severity.

He reported in his annual report that in order to prevent the Park from just becoming an exclusive holiday resort, the cost of accommodation and entrance fees should not become out of reach for the average visitor.

Unfortunately, there were members of the Board who made their feelings more obvious that more persons of the correct political affiliations should be employed also possibly with Col Sandenbergh in mind. The de Hoek Commission was ordered and when the final report was tabled – Col Sandenbergh was mentioned as able and competent. Although there was some breakdown in the relationship between the Warden and of his sub ordinates, this was ascribed to troublemakers and not to the ability and style of the Warden.

The Warden experienced many problems with of the more senior staff members, Lou Steyn was one who often went out of his way to make things difficuilt for the Warden as he was of opinion that he had been done out of a job when Col. Sandenbergh was appointed as Warden of the KRUGERNATIONAL PARK.

The Warden recommended that more tourist accommodation be made available in priority order being: SKUKUZA, LETABA, SATARA, PRETORIUSKOP, LOWER-SABI, SHINGWEDZI and CROCODILE BRIDGE.

It was reported that the behaviour of tourists seemed to be improving however speeding, feeding of animals, visitors getting out of their vehicles, poor behaviour towards officials and other visitors were still happening. . . . .

At the “International Conference for the Protection of the Fauna and Flora of Africa”, a National Park was described as:

(a) Placed under public control, the boundaries of which shall not be altered or any portion be capable of alienation except by competent legislative authority;
(b) Set aside for the propagation, protection and preservation of wild animal life and wild vegetation, and for the preservation of objects of aesthetic, geological, pre-historic, historical, archaeological or other scientific interest for the benefit, advantage, and enjoyment of the general public;
(c) In which hunting, killing or capturing of fauna and the destruction or collection of flora is prohibited except by or under the park authorities.

In accordance with the above provisions, facilities shall as far as possible be provided to the public for observing the fauna and flora in National Parks.

He was dismissed from the service of the National Parks Board after a member of his staff had been caught misappropriating Board money – he was thought of “not having sufficient control over his staff.” In more reality, he was not of the correct political standing.

Col Sandenbergh was very bitter after his dismissal and never again visited the KRUGER NATIONAL PARK except when invited by Dr Tol Pienaar the then Warden in 1986 for the sixtieth anniversary of the Park when he visited the Park for two days, an invite which he was well appreciated.

Col Sandenbergh was married five times - during the 1930s, he married Jean Kerr the mother of their sons John and David. He married Lynette a Captain in the WAAF in 1943, they had daughters Lynette and Mervyn and son Peter, wife Lynette died in 1971 after cancer was diagnosed.

Son David later became a Lodge owner and a Wildlife Expert in Botswana, another son Peter also became a Lodge owner and also the owner of Airways in Botswana.

After his retirement from the KRUGER NATIONAL PARK in 1954, the Sandenbergh family settled in the Kiepersol area near Hazyview where they in partnership with George Turner became successful banana growers.

Col; Sandenbergh died during 1994 his ashes remain next to that of wife Lynette in the garden of memorial of the St. Georges Church in White River.

Senior Ranger Lou Steyn was appointed Warden of the Park after the Sandenbergh era.
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Re: LEST WE FORGET

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Johan Sithole.

I have come across this while searching through the SANParks website.

All must remember that there are very many different functions carried out in a Nature Reserve here below is a bit about a man who spent 34 years in the KRUGER NATIONAL PARK.

First appointed to SANParks in February 1973 as a general worker, Johan Sithole began his long and productive career at Crocodile Bridge in the Kruger National Park. In November 1973 Johan was transferred to the north of Kruger to Mooiplaas section.

In November 1974 Johan returned to Crocodile Bridge was promoted to the position of a field ranger, which meant active patrols in the veld and the chance to learn more about the wildlife of Kruger. In 1976 Johan was offered position as a laboratory assistant in the research section of Skukuza, but he decline the offer as he was enjoying being out and about in the field. Then one day when Johan came back from a patrol he found his thatched hut “doorless” and all his belongings were gone. When he asked Johan Steyn, the then section ranger, what had happened he just told Johan catch a lift to Skukuza and that is how Johan started working in Research and Development in August 1976! In 1980 Johan was promoted to the position of Laboratory Supervisor working in the Scientific Services Department.

Johan didn’t only work in the laboratory but also assisted in game capture operations – that sometimes lasted for up to 3 months in the field. This was challenging and physical work that involved taking samples from captured animals and having to be alert to possible danger at all times. In 2001 Johan stopped helping with the Game Capture team as the Game Capture unit and laboratories were separated from the Scientific Services Offices and relocated to their new offices.

Johan’s responsibilities changed and increased over the years and he was tasked with the supervision of the N’waswitshaka Research Camp staff and the maintenance of the camp. From 2001 Johan has been working in the herbarium/ biological reference collection with Guin Zambatis and his tasks have been varied from assisting on the ground crew for the helicopter and fix-wing aerial census in the Kruger Park to cleaning and preparing specimens for the reference collection. His day to day tasks would vary from the skinning of larger specimens for the collection, cleaning skulls and fumigation to sending water samples away to laboratories for analysis. He helped with fetching and carrying, driving people to various destinations as well as maintaining the research accommodation in Tshokwane and Satara.

Johan’s helping hand was not only seen in the working environment but whenever there was a function Johan was always there to help with the arrangements from fetching tables and chairs to the chef’s role at the braai. He helped with the annual Skukuza Half Marathon and at the cricket club.

“Johan was a wonderful man to work with and he always did more than he was asked to do” says Guin Zambatis, curator of the Skukuza Biological Reference Collection. “Nothing was ever a problem or too much effort for him. He was meticulous and thorough and could always make a plan to solve a problem. As an assistant with the collection he worked with great care and took pride in his work. We wish him a peaceful retirement” says Guin.

“In my 34 years of service in SANParks it has not been child’s play, it was not always easy, but I would like to thank God for giving me the strength that helped me work from 1973 up till now” says Johan.

Just another bit of a man who did much to develop this wonderful place.
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Re: LEST WE FORGET

Unread post by KDJ »

I know that I am a little late in having joined this tour, but I would just like to thank you for all of the obvious effort that you have put in to give us this very enjoyable thread which has kept me busy for this past week :clap:
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Re: LEST WE FORGET

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I managed to compile the following with the assistance of Joep Stevens:


Corporal Nombolo Mdluli

Corporal Nombolo Mdluli served the Kruger National Park during the period from 1919 until his retirement in 1958 (nearly 40 years service).

His exact age was unknown, even to himself. He started working for the Kruger National Park (then still known as the Sabi Game Reserve) at the old Rolle ranger post, which was a railway halt on the old Selati railway line some 55 km north-west of Skukuza. Here he served under Thomas Duke (1860 – March 1934) and served with various of the game rangers of the Kruger National Park, including Stephen Harold Trollope (7 July 1881 to 15 May 1949) and Herbert Ernest Tomlinson.

In 1926 he saved Trollope, who was stationed at Malelane at the time, from serious injury or death by shooting a wounded lion (one of a group of four that Trollope had shot on the banks of the Mhlambanyatsi Spruit) as it was about to charge Trollope. Apparently the lion was so close that it fell dead onto Trollope’s legs and Trollope never forgot this deed of bravery by his ranger corporal and for many years after his departure from the Park, still sent Nombolo an annual gift of £2.0.0.

So too Nombolo also became Tomlinson’s right hand man, who was stationed at Shingwedzi at the time. At Shingwedzi, Tomlinson had a maizefield and some Black children were given the task of keeping the baboons away from it. One morning (circa 1938) at about seven o’clock, while Tomlinson was in hospital at Elim, the children were on their way to the field, when a lion attacked one of the boys, tore off his leg at the groin and started eating it, while the bleeding body of the boy was lying beside the animal.

The helpless boy kept screaming for help. The other boys hurriedly set off to fetch Nombolo. When he arrived at the scene of the slaughter, the boy was already dead. The lion had ripped off the boys head and eaten more of the body. The lion was nowhere to be seen.

While they were still standing around the body considering what to do, a lion with blood-smeared paws and jaws came charging out of the bush. The others ran away, but Nombolo stood his ground and managed to use his rifle, shooting the animal in the neck. The lion stumbled and Nombolo came closer to shoot him in the back. The lion collapsed next to the boy’s body. Nombolo sent a messenger by bicycle to Punda Maria to report to Ranger Izak Johannes Botha, who came to investigate and rewarded Nombolo with twelve shillings and six-pence for his bravery.

Colonel James Stevenson-Hamilton, Park Warden at the time, especially came to thank Nombolo and gave him five pounds as a reward and permission to kill any lion that caused trouble – a considerable concession for those days and an expression of confidence in Nombolo.

Mrs Hilda Stevenson-Hamilton gave Nombolo a Singer sewing machine for his brave deed and made him a hat out the man-eaters skin. Nombolo wore this treasured hat for more than 40 years and later (in 1981) donated it to the Stevenson-Hamilton Library in Skukuza where there is a display of the sewing machine, Nombolo’s photograph and a report of the event.

Nombolo tells of another incident involving lions while at Shingwedzi:

“Ranger Tomlinson had two horses named Rome and Rubel. My horse was called Kramity. One afternoon a stable boy reported that a lion had attacked Rubel and that his hindquarters had been mauled.

Tomlinson with eight Black rangers, the stable boy and myself tracked the lion to a Mlala Palm thicket. We stood there arguing. The dogs had not been brought with us and I wanted them to be fetched before we did anything else. While we were arguing, I noticed the lion walking slowly into the bush.

I showed Ranger Tomlinson where he was and said: “He is the culprit, shoot him! Look, he is not even scared of us”. Tomlinson took a quick shot at the lion and hit him in the leg. I told the ranger that we could not go into the thicket without the dogs, but he insisted. I warned him and asked him why he did want to do what I had taught him to do. With all this noise the lion suddenly charged out of the bush, straight at me.

I quickly loaded my rifle, but before I could shoot, the lion leapt at the man next to me. The lion was so close that his tail touched my leg. I quickly turned around, pressed the rifle against his neck and pulled the trigger.

Frans Bambi, the man on whom the lion sprang, also had a rifle, and when he fell, he accidentally shot himself through the hand. Blood was flowing from Frans’ head. Tomlinson angrily accused me of killing Frans. I hurled my rifle aside and pulled the lion off Frans, who stood up and we could see that the blood was coming from wounds caused by the lions bite. Frans’ pants were so soiled, it seemed as though he had taken a large dose of purgatives.”


Nombolo Mdluli retired from Shingwedzi in 1950 while working under WJD Groenewald. He later continued to work at Skukuza until 1958, after which he accompanied the former ranger, Harry Kirkman to the Sabie Sand Game Reserve. He finally retired in 1971 after 52 years of work in the bush – a legend among his people in his own lifetime.



Nombolo’s life philosophy

“In my life, I have had most satisfaction from the fact that I have tried to live up to the job given to me with as much honesty and sincerity as possible. As a reward the people I served took both my hands in theirs and thanked me for the conscientiousness, exactitude, righteousness and courage I had tried to show”
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Horrace
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Re: LEST WE FORGET

Unread post by Horrace »

Just found the direct to this post - amazing! Mods, is this not the kind of post that should have a permanent link like some of the others at the top of the posting board. It really is a historical treasure trove, and the most phenomenal read for anyone with an interest in Kruger. I encourage all mites to give it a squiz, as it provides great background to the people who helped build the place we all love so much.

Thanks to all those who helped put it together

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gmlsmit
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Re: LEST WE FORGET

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Dr. Roy Bengis.

Many old timers will remember Dr. Dudley Gradwell who was the State Veterinarian TUKS and the then Northern Transvaal Rugby team. Gradwell resigned in 1978 and was succeeded by Dr. Roy Bengis.

The State Veterinary staff is not in the employ of SANParks but of the State Veterinary Department.

Dr. Roy Bengis graduated at the University of Pretoria Onderstepoort in 1971 with na B.VSc. degree. He then studied at the University of Pennsylvania during 1972-1973. He holds an M.Sc. in physiology and pharmacology from the University of Mississippi (1975) and a Ph.D. also from the University of Mississippi attained in 1978, while consulting for the Jackson zoo in Mississippi.

Dr. Bengis is still employed at Skukuza in the Kruger National park as Chief State Veterinarian.

This friendly man authored or co-authored >70 scientific publications and is Africa’s representative on the World Organization for Animal Health’s “Working Group on Wildlife Diseases”.

Dr. Bengis is an external examiner in Wildlife Medicine at the Pretoria University and also Chairperson of the Wildlife Diseases Advisory Group and the Buffalo Committee of the national Directorate of Veterinary Services.

His fields of interest are wildlife disease epidemiology, infectious disease risk assessment related to translocation and chemical immobilization of free-ranging animals. One of his great successes is the development of a system for the translocation of Elephant, Buffalo, *** and Hippo. He also played a major role in the planning and development of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier National Park. He also played a major role in the breeding of disease free Buffalo.

He has been honoured as a fellow of “The Royal Society of South Africa” in recognition for his contribution to life sciences and the fields of veterinary science.

Dr. Bengis has time for everybody, he is married to charming Bibi who also soon after their marriage settled in the Lowveld, daughter Lara studied at Grahamstown and would love to become an Environmental Educator, no wonder being the daughter of a man who loves the outdoors and whose childhood dream was to become a Game Ranger.

Wife Bibi was appointed technical assistant in the research centre at Skukuza in 1982.

Young Roy and his three brothers were regularly taken out into the veld by their medical practitioner father where they were taught about the birds, birding is still one of his passions, especially the raptors, the other is fly-fishing – also taught him by his father.

He loves shooting – clay pigeon and wing-shooting.

He is still often called upon a neighbour to remove a snake from their house at Skukuza.

He discovered bovine tuberculoses in the Park in a buffalo herd between Lower Sabia and Crocodile Bridge Rest Camps during 1991. Initially thinking it was an isolated case but soon realised that it was a major disease.

Bovine tuberculoses “Mycobacterium tuberculoses” spread thru most of the KNP as far north as the Gonarezhou National Park in Zimbabwe and affected Buffalo, Kudu, Impala and Warthogs then Lions, Leopards, Genets, Badgers and Cheetahs which had fed from diseased carcasses, were affected. Bovine tuberculoses was even discovered in a troop of Baboons. A vaccine against this dreaded disease is available but vaccinating the animals in the KNP is a near impossible task. It currently appears that the bovines are developing a natural resistance to this killer disease as the incidence has reduced drastically.

Dr. Bengis and his team are also regularly involved in the combating of the dreaded anthrax in the KNP especially after a dry spell.

Roy Bengis is known to look at the broader picture and approaches it in a practical way.

He is a great rugby fan and a keen supporter of the Sharks.

Dr. Steve Ofsofsky of the Wildlife Conservation Society of New York describes this man as “a living legend” and Dr. Harry Biggs says that “He’s an enormously good human being all round”.

Should a reader of this perhaps see a white vehicle with a red Buffalo head emblem on the door travelling in the KNP, stop it and have a chat it may be At Dekker or Dr. Roy Bengis and you will remember this informative chat for quite a long time.

Our country is indeed privileged to have a man like Dr. Roy Bengis heading this Department in our KRUGER NATIONAL PARK.
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Re: LEST WE FORGET

Unread post by hfglen »

Many thanks for that! I worked in the same building as Bibi before she was married, when she was still Birgit Drews -- a very bright and special young lady!

So it's great catching up on (ex-)colleagues from days of memory.
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Re: LEST WE FORGET

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The Selati Railway line Part 1:


I have recently dug up something that may interest someone:

BACKGROUND History

[Origin of name"Selati": As in the Selati Line, the Selati Gold Fields and the Selati Club. Named after Shalati, the female Chief of the Tebula people.

The history of the Selati railway line forms an important part of the history of the Transvaal Lowveld.

The discovery of gold, in the North-eastern Transvaal, was the economic factor which led to the establishment of the Selati railway line, from Komatipoort in the Eastern Transvaal. Concerns with shares in the land in this area, made strong representations for a railway line, to be constructed, to this gold-bearing area.

The quantity of gold recovered in this region would not have been of much use to a modern mining company.

Nevertheless it proved enough to launch one of the great railway scandals of the day. Baron Oppenheim, and his brother, floated the Selati Railway Company, in Brussels, to build a railway line, from Komatipoort, to the "new Transvaal gold field" near the Selati River.

The Transvaal government, of that time, immediately agreed, and the construction of the railway line began in feverish haste in 1892.

The most important contractor was Westwood & Winby. Workers from all over the Transvaal Lowveld were attracted to the new line.

Only the hardiest of men were able to survive in this inhospitable region, and most of them fell prey to fever. In his history of the Lowveld, Stevenson-Hamilton wrote, that many Europeans, and Non-Europeans, died during the construction.

It has often been said, that for every sleeper that was laid, a man died, and some contemporary writings seem to bear out this opinion.

During the construction of the first 112 km of railway line, which took two years and stretched up to "Reserve" (Skukuza), whole truck-loads of alcohol were consumed, and tens of thousands of antelope were shot, as rations, for the workers.

Within two years of the start of the construction, West-wood & Winby experienced financial problems, and work on the line immediately ceased.

Thousands of workers simply downed tools, and departed. Stevenson-Hamilton wrote that material and equipment were left lying around, and that anyone could go, and help himself.

Just how inhospitable the area was, is demonstrated by the fact, that when, (16 years later, at the end of 1909), it was decided to resume work on the line, some of the equipment, such as picks, wheelbarrows and shovels, was still lying beside the uncompleted railway line.

Work on the line began in earnest. The contractor responsible for the completion thereof, was the firm Pauling & Co. The work proceeded so well, that the connection to Tzaneen, was opened in 1912.

The line between the Portuguese border and Komatipoort had been opened on July 1st 1891, though the first train from Delagoa Bay did not reach Pretoria until October 1894.

The next step was to build a bridge across the Sabie River. But that was the end of the line, and of the company, which crashed, owing its creditors R800,000. This 80 kilometre line was one of the most expensive railways ever built.

Work on the bridge recommenced 15 years later in 1909, and by end of December, of that year, about half the structure was in place. So the centenary of the bridge completion was the year 2010.

The bridge was officially opened on 25 October 1912.

During the following thirteen years, one train per week was all that was needed to cope with the traffic along this line. However, just before 1925, conditions had deteriorated so badly, that the authorities considered replacing the service with one mixed train (goods and passengers) every fourteen days.
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Re: LEST WE FORGET

Unread post by JenB »

Nice dig up, gmlsmit! :clap: :clap:
Definitely of interest to me. :D
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Re: LEST WE FORGET

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The Selati Railway line Part 2.

During the Anglo-Boer war (1899 to 1902), the Steinacker's Horse corps, were stationed at Sabi Bridge. The abandoned Selati line had proved useful to Steinacker's Horse, and a weekly train, carrying supplies, ran from Komatipoort to their large post at Sabi Bridge, 50 miles to the north and situated on the river of that name.

The first time it went up, so thickly had the bush grown over the line in eight years of disuse, that a gang of natives had to go in front of the engine, cutting down saplings, which were sprouting thickly on the permanent way!

When James Stevenson-Hamilton, first warden of the Kruger National Park (then known as the "Sabi Game Reserve") arrived at this place in 1902, then known as "Sabi Bridge", the "bridge was represented only by the foundations of its piers, which the river covered when it rose in flood. (The proper bridge was only completed around 1910).

It became Stevenson-Hamilton's private line after Steinacker's Horse left. If he wanted to get to Komatipoort he mounted a trolley and, propelled by manpower, made a leisurely journey through the wild country he was shaping into a reserve. At first the trolley was confined to a mere platform on wheels, pushed by a dozen natives working in relays.

Later the old trolley which Stevenson-Hamilton used, was supplemented by a more up to-date contrivance (somewhat like the modern version shown above), which boasted a pumping lever manipulated by men standing on the trolley itself. Stevenson-Hamilton called this the "passenger" and the old one the "goods" train.

Stevenson-Hamilton wrote: "To make the former more comfortable for the traveller, I rigged up on its front part a bench with a back to it like an ordinary garden seat, and thus travelled in state up and down the line, taking no more than five hours to do the fifty miles down to Komatipoort, though twice as long to return. With the goods train the itinerary was a matter of days, how many depending partly on the weight of the load, and partly on how eager or otherwise the propelling natives were to finish the journey."

In Komatipoort Stevenson-Hamilton would catch the train to Pretoria.

This was the only use to which the Selati line was ever put, until 1909, when the Transvaal Government initiated some projects ahead of unification, completed the Sabi Bridge, and extended the line first to Tzaneen, and later to Soekmekaar (1912), on the main line to Rhodesia.

This was one of the most picturesque routes in South Africa through big game country. A railway line made a great difference to an area that had always been regarded as the back of beyond.

The steam locomotives took water at Huhla siding just north of the Sabi Bridge. The small siding south of the bridge, at the place known as "Sabi Bridge" (named "Skukuza" in 1936), was known as "Reserve".

James Stevenson-Hamilton had first-hand experience of the conditions during this period after 1912:

"The line was now taken over by the South African Railways, and Sabi Bridge found itself served by one train a week each way, the hour on both occasions being about 2 a.m. For some inscrutable official reason, the siding and water tank for the engine had been placed on the other side of the river, amid uninhabited bush; while our side - the inhabited one - was not a scheduled stopping place.

Thus, for some years we were dependent for the delivery of supplies, and the taking up, and setting down of passengers on the good nature of the guard of the train. If he did not happen to be in an amiable mood, he could, for instance, 'deliver' fifty bags of mealie meal in the bush a mile away across the Sabie, whence our only means of getting possession of it - unless the river was very low at the time - would be to bribe the ganger to bring it over on his trolley, an act on his part liable to get him into serious trouble if found out. Of course, as soon as the railway construction began, I had been obliged to hand over both my trusty trolleys, and now, with only one connection a week with Komatipoort (and that involving sitting up at the siding until 2 a.m. over a campfire) I felt that the coming of civilization had altered my lot for the worse."

"The railway had also been responsible for the death of my faithful cook and body servant, Ali Sharif, a Swahili who had been with me since 1903 and had accompanied me in all my travels to different parts of Africa since that date.

His wife and child resided at a village across the Sabie River, and hearing that the child was sick, he essayed one night when his work was over to walk the three miles to visit it.

He was crossing the railway bridge over the river, which he considered a safe proceeding since only one train per week ran, but unfortunately for him, two employees of Pauling & Co. were returning - it being Sunday night - from a jollification in Komatipoort, and, travelling at a great pace on their motor trolley, cut him down and killed him. (Encumbered by his long white robe, he had been unable to get out of the way.) One of our police 'boys', Jase, who was with him, escaped by swinging himself on to a girder of the bridge."

The Selati Railway line played a part in the Royal family's visit to the Union of South Africa after WWII, when the white train which was used for their transportation, was parked at the Huhla siding.

It also played a major part in promoting the Game Reserve as a tourist destination for those who felt the need to experience the wild of Africa.

Around September 1973, the Selati railway line, which ran through the Kruger National Park, was used for the last time.

This section of line, which entered the Park just north of Skukuza, and left it near Crocodile Bridge, used to carry several trains every day. The trains not only disturbed the Park's characteristic atmosphere of peace and quiet, but also affected its plant and animal life.

The National Parks Board, and other Government Departments, had decided that the protection of nature is more important than this historic railway line. The new route from Kaapmuiden to Phalaborwa and Tzaneen, winds along the western boundary of the southern part of the Park, and completely bypasses the reserve

A postcard of the Skukuza "Train Restaurant", with photos taken by B.K. Bjornson, shows the Selati restaurant in operation in the mid-1980's.

The caption on the postcard reads: "The steam engine used on the Selati Railway (1920-1972) together with galley, dining car, and bar-lounge is positioned at a reconstructed railway station in close proximity to Col. Stephenson-Hamilton's house on the then Sabi Game Reserve (1902)." Some of the coaches were destroyed in a subsequent fire, and today the scene is somewhat different to what is seen on the postcard.
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gmlsmit
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Re: LEST WE FORGET

Unread post by gmlsmit »

Some old photographs, the quality may not be too good but the memories - excellent:

the trolley:

Image

Image


the bridge:

Image

the postcard:

Image
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Re: LEST WE FORGET

Unread post by Sparks »

This is brilliant :clap: :clap: That old bridge is one of my favorites ( I do have a bit of a passion for old bridges) and can not go to the Skuks area without shooting a few pics :twisted:

MORE :whistle:
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Re: LEST WE FORGET

Unread post by gmlsmit »

The Selati Railway line Part 3.


Steam Engine for Skukuza"

Custos Magazine December 1978

MORE than five years have elapsed since (in 1973) the last steam engine hissed, smoked and whistled piercingly as it busily puffed up and down the railway line that for more than 60 years carried traffic through the Kruger National Park on its way from Komatipoort to Tzaneen.

Soon there will be few traces of the line left, as the track is to be lifted, and the bridge across the Sabie River, is to be modified for use by motorised traffic. However, steps have been taken to ensure, that memories of the steam-engine era in the park, will remain forever green, and not be allowed to sink into oblivion.

A nostalgic gesture was made recently by the General Manager of the South African Railways, Dr Kobus Loubser.

He prevented this historic link with the past from being broken, by making a gift of a handsome Class 24 locomotive - at present on display at the disused Skukuza station - to the National Parks Board.

Like all "puffing billy" enthusiasts, he knew that, in railways, the beloved steam locomotive remained dominant well into the 20th century. However, in most parts of the world it has been almost totally replaced by diesel and electric locomotives.

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The Class 24 steam locomotive "Number 3638" was handed over by Dr Loubser to the Chief Director of the National Parks, Dr Rocco Knobel, at Skukuza on Monday, October 23, 1978.

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Henceforth, the steam engine will be a permanent reminder of the times, when the Selati railway line ran from Crocodile Bridge, in the south, to Skukuza in the north.

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Last edited by gmlsmit on Fri Apr 06, 2012 2:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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gmlsmit
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Re: LEST WE FORGET

Unread post by gmlsmit »

The Selati restaurant at the "Reserve" station:

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Next time you visit the Selati Restaurant you may also experience what makes me enjoy the history of this wonderful place.
I participate because I care - CUSTOS NATURAE
No to Hotels in and commercialization of our National Parks.
No to Legalized *** and Lion trade.
Done 159 visits to National Parks.
What a wonderful privilege.
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Hugh
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Re: LEST WE FORGET

Unread post by Hugh »

Thank you Very enjoyable I can remember in about 1970 while travelling in the south a train travelling parallel to us Just before Croc bridge ... the line can still be seen or at least the raised ground can
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