How did your love for Kruger start?

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How did your love for Kruger start?

Unread post by Team Green »

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?
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Re: How did your love for Kruger start?

Unread post by Bushmom »

I have always been a bushbaby. My first visit was at age one and a half and thereafter at least once a year, mostly three to four times a year. Introduced my SO to Kruger and converted him too. My children were even younger at their respective first visits and if I had grandchildren they would not have stood a chance: they would have had to love the bush!
Just for interest sake, my mother was one of the first women to be admitted as an honarary ranger. When she first applied, she was told it was a "men only" organisation!
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Re: How did your love for Kruger start?

Unread post by Delene D »

Caravaning friends organised a trip to Eastern Transvaal in 1986 and we were invited. When discussions around where we would camp, Kruger Park came up. We persuaded the leader that 3 nights was enough! Got there and didn't want to leave. How wrong we were to say 3 nights would be enough. We went back for 10 nights in 1994 and 12 nights in 2001 and 6 weeks in 2009. Thought 6 weeks would get KNP out of my system, but wrong again. Yearning to get back. How lucky forumites are who live close to KNP. And I envy Ecojunkie her life.
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Re: How did your love for Kruger start?

Unread post by Kamadejo »

Hey Team Green :lol: My love began when SO took me and my daughter to SA. :mrgreen: Unfortunately we only had two nights, but came back a year later. It is a magic place for me and if I could I would go there every year. Unfortunately it took 7 years to see KNP the third time. Now I don't know when I will see, feel and hear it again, maybe next year :cry:

But I got this forum, with all the wonderful TRs, photos and webcams :dance: :dance: and KNP is in my mind :thumbs_up:
Last edited by Kamadejo on Tue Mar 09, 2010 9:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How did your love for Kruger start?

Unread post by H. erectus »

All cuddled on the backseat between pillows and blankets in the middle of the night. There was a grunt and the convoy of Ford Prefects and Anglias, together with a Borghward automobile and other famous namebrands, came to a halt.
At the T, junction a rusty pole, bent over, in the darkness of night, a black plate, white lettering, two white stripes pointing right:- Lydenburg.
I reassured my parents that to be the route to follow for I had done my homework.
Don't ask how did you know, that is simply something you do know.
Later in the day all the pillows and blankets proved to be quite akward in the heat.
Memorable experience.
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Re: How did your love for Kruger start?

Unread post by Chip »

My first visit to Kruger coincided with the retirement of Col. Stevenson-Hamilton and the famous Harry Wolhuter in 1946. My family consisted of 6 members, me being no. 6. Friends of my parents took us on a visit to the park in an old Plymouth. The problem was that the elderly couple sat in the front and my parents, brother, 2 sisters and I had to sit in the back. The cars in those days did however have more room that today. Most of the time, I am told, I was put on the back windowshelf and looked out as rear gunner.
Those were good days, only 20 years after the park was opened to visitors.
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Re: How did your love for Kruger start?

Unread post by Quickie »

Hi Team Green :yaya:
I grew up in the Eastern Cape in a town called Kirkwood, close to Addo NP. We loved to visit Addo over weekends, but KNP was only a place that we learned about in Geography class. That all changed when my brother got married in Skukuza, Nov. 1987. His parents-in-law worked and stayed in Skukuza. I have been hooked ever since. Fortunately I moved to Pretoria in April 1988 and I dash off to KNP whenever possible. I've been there in January and the withdrawal symptoms are starting already! I think I have to go and test my new spectacles. :D Pity my bank manager doesn't understand... :evil:
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Re: How did your love for Kruger start?

Unread post by fee »

My first taste of Kruger was a short 3 day trip in Std 5 with the primary school. Did anyone else do those tours. That was back in 1967! Even had to an assignment on our KP visit. Loved it then, but my parents weren't KP people, so I only managed to return when my kids were babies. Have been visiting ever since - my sons are now 29 and 26. The last few years we've managed three trips a year.
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Re: How did your love for Kruger start?

Unread post by Goggo EJ »

I grew up in Durban, and visiting Kruger in school holidays was out because we had no car at first, and then my dad was ill - also it was booked up anyway! It was a distant place, with only a distant dream of ever visiting.

My first visit was in 2000 just after the floods. My sister and I did a tour around SA, and my niece joined us for the last few days which included 2 nights at Skukuza. I was immediately hooked! We did a night drive, and I remember little about it, other than the rest of the guests being upset with me because I did not wear a sweat shirt or coat (it was early June!) - but as I was visiting from the UK I did not feel cold!

Visited again in September 2004 but only a drive through from CB to Numbi. Then in November that year I brought my mom out to SA and we stayed at Marloth and visited a couple of times as day visitors (her first visits). Bought a house at Marloth during that week......and the rest, as they say, is history!
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Re: How did your love for Kruger start?

Unread post by Thalie »

SO and I travelled to SA for the first time in 1995, and our tour included three nights at Kruger, two at Olifants and one at Lower Sabie. We didn't really know what to expect but were very excited.

I still remember entering the park at Phalaborwa. SO was driving - a bit too fast for my liking (must admit that my criticism wasn't really justified, though...). I told him to slow down, and he said "So you think a zebra or something will be waiting here for us right behind the entrance gate?" And guess what, a mere 50 metres further on there was - a zebra kind of waiting for us!

We instantly fell in love with the park. I think it is the most wonderful place on earth, it makes you feel humble and gives you peace of mind. The only downturn being that it is so far away from where we live and going there as often as we'd like is not an option money-wise :cry: . We did go back in 2002, together with our kids (3 and 5 at the time) and my mother. The boys loved every minute in the park. Again, we stayed for three nights only, thinking that being in the car for most of the day would be too much for them. How wrong we were.

If all goes well, we'll be back next year in July. If we go, we'll stay for six or seven nights this time, and the boys are now old enough to be taken on drives and walks. I just can't wait to get back there.

Re: How did your love for Kruger start?

Unread post by Jumbo »

As a kid, and with us living in Nelspruit for a few years, I visit Kruger often with my parent. I have to be honest tho….I did not enjoy it then. My parent did not have the money to stay over, so we went in for daytrips…to make the most of these visits, my dad drove around the entire day (he loves nature 8) )…from gate opening to gate closing. For a active kid on the back seat, this was sometimes just too much …especially in summer. :?

Many years later as newlywed, my hubby and I, wanted to go on a holiday. We did not have 2 cents to rub together :lol: …was renting a 1 bedroom flat in Arcadia, PTA….the cheapest option we had was to go and camp in Kruger….and we did so with a flimsy tent that leaked like sift when it rained. :roll: We camped in Pretoriuskop for a week. During this week, we had a pride of lions right next to the fence at our camping site (and this was before electrical fences). The male actually charged us…turning around only right next to the fence where we were standing. The adrenaline rush of this caught us hook, line and sinker :dance:

About a year later, I changed jobs, and no longer had to work Saturdays. 8) One Friday we, completely compulsively, decided to visit Kruger for just the weekend…camped in Lower Sabie the Saturday evening. The Sunday morning we had 5 different lions sightings on the S25 between Croc Bridge and Malelane (never had this again)….that sealed the deal. :lol:

After this we visited Kruger one weekend a month (camping)…driving from Pretoria on a Friday after work…. pitching our tent somewhere outside the park that night….staying inside the park on the Saturday evening. We did trips like these even right up to Punda Maria, on a normal weekend. The monthly Kruger trip because a line item on our budget…and to fund this, we gave up on the things our other friends did for entertainment, like movies, restaurants etc…. we did this for about 7 (?) years before we moved to Moz…

That single night in Pretoriuskop, looking into the eyes of that male lion, completely changed the course of our lives…all our priorities changed…for example, when our other friends where looking to buy luxury sedan vehicles…we looked at a cheap bakkie ….had it not been for our desire to be in Kruger, we probably would have also not excepted the offer to move to Mozambique. Amazing that just one incident like that, can change ones whole life :lol:
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Re: How did your love for Kruger start?

Unread post by Hugh »

Fee also did one of those tours Boys stayed at Skukuza and us girls at Malelane.Loved it. This was in the 50's Again my folks were not knp peeps my mother needed a shoe horn to get to her go on holiday .Thank goodness i married a KNP fanatic in 1970 and have been going ever since. not only KNP but all the others too.
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Re: How did your love for Kruger start?

Unread post by ndloti »

I grew in Swaziland - close to KNP - I remember being there as a toddler and looking up from below at the green walls of the newly completed Olifants camp and being too small to climb a step - the love was implanted from then .
KNP is sacred. I am opposed to the modernisation of Kruger and from the depths of my soul long for the Kruger of yesteryear! 1000+km on foot in KNP incl 56 wild trails.200+ nights in the wildernessndloti-indigenous name for serval.
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Re: How did your love for Kruger start?

Unread post by terryc »

Went on a regular basis as a small kid, and the bug bit almost immediately. Although I have memories of us 3 kids squabbling on the back seat, I also remember the fun we had, and the excitement at each sighting.

My son was taken to the park at least 4 times a year since he was not even 1 year old, and has the same love for the park. He is 11 now, and we will be doing Sweni next year when he is 12.
Last edited by terryc on Thu Mar 25, 2010 3:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How did your love for Kruger start?

Unread post by Bennievis »

Growing up right next to Kruger and as a little boy hearing lions at night whilst lying in my bed, ellies almost in our back yard sealed my fate.
Then the spur of the moment Sunday lunches at Letaba were a regular treat from my dad.
In those days wild dogs were a regular sighting near Phalaborwa gate, as well as sable and don't forget to look out for klipspringers in the koppies.
In primary school, it happened from time to time that a game ranger would arrive with a pangolin in his car's boot to show us kids, we were allowed to touch it. Sometimes it would be leopard or lion on the back of a bakkie (dead unfortunately) It was magic to touch it, pull the tail.. touch the teeth..