How did your love for Kruger start?

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Re: How did your love for Kruger start?

Unread post by JustNature »

:hmz: Started way back, as kids our folks took us on a month long holiday each year to see our country, would do between 6000 and 7000Km in that month :shock: , see the big towns as well as the small ones. Did the hole of SA that way as well as Namibia and other countries. When we did Eastern TV :tongue: back then we did the trip through Kruger and I must say that is where my love for it started.
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Re: How did your love for Kruger start?

Unread post by jungle jenny »

My dad has always loved the park. His first visit was to Lower Sabie camp when he was 11 yrs old. He is now in his late 80's. He and my mother took my brother and I up to the park from a young age and we went almost every week-end. We camped in every camp from top to bottom, always next to the fence and had a wonderful time. I love the park and spend 2 weeks in the area twice a year. My dad now lives in the Sabie Sands Game reserve. We go in for day trips and try to spend a few nights in the huts. My next trip is from 7_ 21 May 2010. I can't wait!!!!
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Re: How did your love for Kruger start?

Unread post by Fanta »

I'm a born and bred Nelsparta (Nelspruit) and have been visiting the park since I was a tiny little peek squeak and a twinkle in my dad eye :wink:

I remember getting up early then eating cheese sandwiches on the way to park and eating lots and lots of sunrise toffees while in the park. One of my dad many hobbies is photographing so we spent lots of time with different animals. My earliest camp memory is that of Pretoriuskop (the swimming pool) and Skukuza (the vervet monkeys that chased us).

During my school years I only got to go with the school or friends/family. Then staying in LS one night with my mom we saw the hyena's patrolling the fence and being dead scared of them (I was probably 10). Also on a day trip with my aunt and cousins we saw a herd of Roan antelope but don't ask me where it was.

The love for Kruger has made my brother a game ranger for many years in Limpopo and me studying wild life management and game ranging...
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Re: How did your love for Kruger start?

Unread post by mposthumus »

My love for Kruger began with my father and mother already "addicts" since 1 May 1950 (my eldest sister was only 1 year old at the time).

Being the youngest of 5 children my father use to say that we all got fed mother's milk and love for Kruger at the same time. Meaning that we were all very small when first “introduced”. I can't remember when I first realised that we were actually only "visiting". It was such a part of our lives and in a sense part of growing up and a definite sense of belonging.

When we grew older my father wanted to broaden our horizons and introduced us to Rhodesia, South West Africa, Lorenzo Marks, Natal etc. etc. but none of us wanted to miss out on "our Kruger" holidays. It became our yearly (sometimes twice a year) holiday destination.

Memories are numerous (more about that later) and the love .... endless.

Our beloved father passed away 8 years ago at the age of 79 (visiting Kruger 3 weeks prior to his death). The love for and knowledge of Kruger that he instilled in all his children’s lives, lifes on in his grand- and great-grandchildren.

My mother (85 years), my eldest sister (60 years) and myself (50 years) will be in Kruger for our yearly visit from 13 to 35 June 2010. JIPPIEEEEEEEE!!!

My mother (not being computer literate) knows all about the forum (I print her trip reports etc) and after a little encouragement, is now busy writing her memories (with slides that I've scanned). Will post it soon.


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Re: How did your love for Kruger start?

Unread post by Spaniel »

Hmm I see we are quite a few Nelspruiters responding to this question. I also grew up in the area hence I understand the language spoken and it is very interesting how you are being discussed thinking that you don't understand the language :o Those days there were no tv and the best thing to do on a weekend was visit the KNP. Someone would say we are going to the KNP for the day and the car is loaded or we even went in groups. Malelane was an hour away and still had those old round rondavels :D The old photo postings are great because that is exactly how it was. Then came sanctions and we couldn't get petrol on weekends. Welll I still made it to the park - travelled with a full tank and one jerry can that you were allowed to have in your vehicle. We stopped at one inter section deciding which route to take and here comes madam lioness walking along to help us decide. Not happened since :( I have not visited the park for many years and then had a quick breeze through the park (no speeding) for a day and then last year I was blessed with a long weekend in November and I am sure those shongololos at Mopani bit me because since then I have become a forumite and heading back next week. Can't wait :dance: Just think - one man had the vision to keep this piece of nature in tact as our heritage!
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Re: How did your love for Kruger start?

Unread post by Tony Park »

My second night in Africa (after my first, at an airport hotel at Joburg), on my first trip in 1995, was in Pretoriuskop. My second was in Satara.

I've been back to Kruger every year since, excpet for 2002, when I was in Afghanistan with the army. The wall behind my bed in Afghanistan was covered with pictures of my wife, my Land Rover, and of Kruger. The three things I missed most.

'Nuff said?

tp (hopeless addicted to all three).
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Re: How did your love for Kruger start?

Unread post by BunnyHugger »

Team Green wrote:Im curious to know - How did your love for the Kruger start?

Were you always a bush baby, Did your parents introduce you to the game experience from a young age? What keeps you going back to Kruger?

I fell in love with Kruger when I started visiting as a young girl together with my family & was completely hooked since my first visit - I always told my Mom that I would one day work in Kruger as a shop cashier just as long as I could live there!

I came close and worked in the sister reserve - The Timbavati - but nothing compares to The how did your love for Kruger begin?

I guesstimate that it's one of those things that is either "in you", or it's not. As a youngster, I used to enjoy documentaries on wildlife. (I once asked my dad why we never went to the Kruger Park. His answer was one of those that suggested that any further questions about the Kruger or anything to do with wildlife, bugs, or anything not in and of the city, might be bad for my health, so it was not from my parents.) I digress, so I leanred a lot about wildlife from TV documentaries.

At some stage, my mom met a guy who took us to a game farm up near Sprockyland for a weekend. (Phalaborwa.) I loved this experience of walking alone in the bush and almost got run over by a herd of buck. I have no idea what they were. One day, we took a drive into the KNP as day visitors. I cannot recall anything I saw back then. :roll:

When I did national service, one year, we ended up doing a quick tour of the Etosha Pan up in Namibia. Although we saw very little game, I loved the experience. :D

Then I got married and my outlaws invited us to go to KNP with them. We both jumped at the chance and I found I was rather good at spotting game. I remember seeing many Lilac Breasted Rollers and was facinated by them. The Starlings too. During that trip we stayed at Lower Sabie, Satara, and Letaba. It was awesome to lie in bed at night and listen to the sound of nature. The gentle murmur of conversations around the fires at night and chatting to everyone about what they saw, where, while doing the dishes in the comunal kitchens at night. The ambience was AMA-ZZZZZZZZZing.

Getting pointers from people at picnic spots about where the lions were was also something I loved. Everyone was friendly, we all waved at one another and stopped to tell peple of interesting sightings or got stopped by people who told us what to find and where.

I recall very well stopping somewhere to watch two giraffe "necking" They were knocking their necks together. Subsequently I found out that this was an exercise undertaken by two males over mating rights.

This was a proper introduction to KNP and I could not help but fall in love with it in so many ways. :thumbs_up:

Since then, I have been many times with and without outlaws and introduced my current wife to the wonders of nature as well as my step son. Both of them love the reserve.

What's not to love about KNP? :dance:

(Besides the mad crowds of hooglians that seem to be drawn there lately. People just don't seem to be as friendly anymore. Not many people still wave at each other and very few share important or interesting sightings. :(

Also can't like the behaviour of peole speeding and getting out of their cars and crowding cat sightings.) :evil:

During my last trip there, we got stopped by none other than Jerome Mansfield (a popular morning show radio host) who told us about a breeding herd of Ellies. That's so cool, "Thanks Jerome," I said. "If you follow this road for about three km and turn left, you will find a group of cars beneath a large tree filled with Vultures. If you hang around long enough, you might even see the wild dogs moving in and out of the dense bush beneath that same tree." (Sensorship rules prevent me from quoting his reply.) Needless to say, he was quite "surprised". :whistle:

*Sigh.* Paradise is so special in so many ways.

Now I love animal documentaries so much more. Still a distant second to being in the wild but I'll take whatever connection to wildlife that I can make.
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It's imperative.

Leave KNP alone. Go build a hotel someplace else. Reserves are for the preservation of wildlife.

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Re: How did your love for Kruger start?

Unread post by GlenD »

My Dad has shown me old movies (the old reel and projector type) of me as a baby sitting in the car on my moms lap in Kruger, so I guess that I was first introduced to KNP in about 1972/3 (somewhere around there) and my love for Kruger developed at a very early age.

Our family holiday every year consisted of a trip to KNP, originally staying in bungalows and then migrating off to the campsites in 1985 (which to this day is still my accommodation preference). My first camping experience was at Lower Sabie (before its campsites were downsized due to the Mongolian recession :tongue: , or was it the camps preference for day visitors, I cant recall, anyway :whistle: ).
My earliest memories include Pretoriuskop, Lower Sabie (wanting to go a few rounds with a baboon that grabbed my packet of sweets out my hand at Nkuhlu :evil: ), Satara, Orpen...mainly south of Olifants. Then I was introduced to Shingwedzi in the December of 1986 (that year when the earth was billions and billions of miles closer to the sun 8) ). We used to pop in to reception just to get 1 minute of air-conditioned air. It was quite nice having a late night swim with a few hyena's patrolling the fence, wishing they could either join us or eat us :huh: .
My National service basic training was done at Phalaborwa and our base camp basicaly bordered the KNP, a few hundred meters south of Phalaborwa gate, so thoughts of awol regularly entered my mind :roll: .
From then my visits became far and few between, for some stupid reason :doh: .
But alas.... these days im making every opportunity to get back to my other home. Not as often as I would like but at least im getting there, again in 14 days time :dance:
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Re: How did your love for Kruger start?

Unread post by Bush Baptist »

In 1956, my dad took up a job in Joburg.
We came from Manchester.
His customers included the saw mills in the (then) Eastern Transvaal.
One introduced him to Kruger and we visited on Friday/weekends.
I was terrified on my first visit, staying in the army tents.
It did not take long to start enjoying it. I still do.
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Re: How did your love for Kruger start?

Unread post by judik »

Many of you have been so very lucky to have the opportunity to visit Kruger over a number of years!
I first heard about KNP in the late 80's from some friends who were expat South Africans.
Financially it was out of the question then.We got older,our financial situation improved and we decided to visit Africa in 1998.Unfortunately it was not SA it was Kenya and Tanzania and frankly didn't want to go back there
Then in 2008 started planning a big anniversary trip focusing on visiting a series of private reserves and a car trip from Cape town.We had a 3 days to fill between reservations so decided to rent a car and see KNP.We stayed a nighteach in Satara and Letaba and were hooked!
The following year my husband was invited to a scientific conference at Skukuza.I felt it would be too expensive to go so soon after our first trip but the fates smiled on us when we were able to get ff seats at such short notice and we were off!
Two weeks there and the first 5 of them i was on my own driving around while my husband went to lectures
Pure bliss
This year it is really a big anniversary (30) so again we are going back.
The world is so uncertain now I don't know if we will ever come back after this
I hope so though
Aug 18-21 Lower Sabie
Aug21-24 Skukuza
Aug 24-26 Satara
Aug 26-29 BED
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Re: How did your love for Kruger start?

Unread post by Leanawel »

:clap: what a nice topic :clap:
In 1967 our whole family took the LONG trip from the Karoo to Kruger. In those years one had to fill in a form a year before with the dates that you prefered and they let you know when and at what camps you could stay. No website availability or special requests then :wink: LS, Letaba and Malelane were our destinations, only "names" for me then. From the moment that we crossed Croc Bridge, I was addicted. LS was fantastic, there were a big fire at night where everybody gathered for a braai, comparing stories and sightings of the day...say no more :D But I spent all my time at the fence, could not get enough. :big_eyes:

They were busy building Satara and Malelane was a small camp, big bungalows with all the beds in a circle, lantern hanging from the middle of the roof, outside bathroom, no lights and lots of spiders.

Although a small girl then, I just knew I shall be back. At the moment busy counting the days till 11 July for my 15th visit - 6 blissful nights at LS. :thumbs_up:
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Re: How did your love for Kruger start?

Unread post by annevdw »

In 1988 we were taken on a 'business' trip to see the mills in Sabie and Graskop- and thereafter spent 2 nights in the Park. First night was at Lower Sabie, and en route we stopped at Nkhuhlu for a drink... there was clearly a party starting... it was apparently an awards evening for rangers who had served for 25 years... and my husband and our host were offered a beer by none other than the late Bruce Bryden!! Well... one turned into two :naughty: ... and it was getting late, and Bruce said if we were late for the Lower Sabie gate... to tell them it was his fault!!
That was my introduction to the Park... and the rest is history. We lived in Nelspruit for 3 years and spent many Sundays doing day drives. Now we are in Gauteng and go as often as possible. Booked Tamboti in April, and Lower Sabie in November.
There is nothiing like the bush to restore the soul- such peace and tranquility- my favoutire place :thumbs_up:
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Re: How did your love for Kruger start?

Unread post by blommietjie »

I agree leanawel, what a topic :clap:

It was in 1959 when we first visit the KNP. And yes, also remeber the big fire at night where everybody was gathered to prepair food and talk about the day`s experience. Do remeber the big black ketles?? with fire underneath for boiling water. In some of the camps like Letaba we`e stay in tents (like old army tents) and in other camps, i think it was Skukuza and Pretoriuskop we`ve stay in those round bungalows that leanawel had mentioned. Does anyone remember the salt water of Lower Sabie in that years.

The best part of all the memories was the times when we get to Numbi gate on a Fridaynight. To late to enter the park we then sleep in front of the gate, making bed on the tarred road.

Ja, all that one can say is 'those were the days'.
I`m back home but my heart stays in Kruger!
Next trip...when ever possable!!!

Perhaps in July 2012
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Re: How did your love for Kruger start?

Unread post by Drake »

found the perfect subject to start off my Kruger forum life :P

now lets see .... back in 2004 . i was 17 , we decided to join my uncle and his wife together with his brothers and sisters , and my cousins (who were all Kruger "veterans" and honorary rangers).... we were total around 16 people ! it was my very first Kruger experience .. back then we had the corsa sport , with a trailer . . .

the first morning to leave from Durban towards Swaziland ... the alarm going off at 3am... leaving early to get to the swaziland border posts....stopping at the ultra city , it looked like a undercover military operation , drilling to the shops , and to the bathrooms and off we go again !

i remember while we were driving in between two wildlife reservations in swaziland, my uncle stopped and my dad followed. excitedly i rolled down the window popping out the binoculars. i got to see my very first wild lion in a tree , even though it was behind a fence ! we drove on past some animals and i thought about what i had seen on our way there....

a lion , zebras , 2 giraffe , and im not even in the park yet and its in real life, not the zoo specials !

i remember waiting in line at the crocodile bridge gate, the 2 condors, one with a huge caravan and one with a trailer, Nissan hilux with a trailer , and the ritzy corsa right at the back... yes , my family was ready to infiltrate the Kruger !

it was the normal winter rush ... 5am and we waited at the gate was so bitterly cold, the fresh air piercing my face but i couldn't get enough, it was unexplored territory ... i wanted more ... 2005> 2006> 2007> 2008 ... :mrgreen:

crocodile bridge
lower sabie
berg en dal
transfrontier mozambique gate! (i think its called that)
excluding the picnic areas with shops !

i remember the pie and gravy .... and the milk tart ... the endless amounts of biltong consumed mmm the liters of juices , the kilograms of chips ... and my very first wild life picture taken with my mobile phone... 2 excellent megapixels of power haha :big_eyes: !
i have seen most of the animals, the only elusive one is the wild dog ... after all these years ... its the one photo i must have ... i still have my album with pictures that i took with the mobile , if you guys want to see them ill post it up !

This year i will be giving the Kruger bug to my fiance , She likes camping and the outdoors, but nothing compares to the
:thumbs_up: Wild Kruger national park. :thumbs_up:
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Re: How did your love for Kruger start?

Unread post by Flutterby »

I was born in Empangeni in KZN, and my father was a wildlife fanatic, so we used to go to Hluhluwe quite often. My dad even got to help out with the capturing of *** in Hluhluwe that were then moved to Kruger. We moved to Johannesburg when I was about 6 and a year later we made our first trip to Kruger. After that we would go at least twice a year until I finished school in 1986. After that there was university, partying, marriage, a kid....and I didn't return to Kruger until 2008 with my dad and my son (my SO is not a Kruger fan).

As a child I can remember going out when the gates opened, coming back to camp for a late breakfast, and then going out again for an afternoon drive, and often falling asleep during those long, hot drives. My son, on the other hand, wants to stay out all day, and never falls asleep...he absolutely loves it!
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