SKUKUZA - HIDDEN HISTORIES

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BrendaK
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Re: SKUKUZA - HIDDEN HISTORIES

Unread post by BrendaK »

Thanks Joep

You are an encyclopedia on your own!

Is it true that Doispane worked with James Stevenson-Hamilton? Was there a village where Doispane lived? Was he a chief? Is it near where Ali Sharif's grave is?
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Re: SKUKUZA - HIDDEN HISTORIES

Unread post by Joep Stevens »

I tried to trace references to Doispane in Pienaar, Stevenson-Hamilton and Wolhuter works and could not trace much to answer your question.
I will look further and let you know if I find something.
It seems from Wolhuter's Memories of a Game Ranger that Doispane might have still lived there early in the last century as he refers to Doispane's crops and that Doispane had paid a rainmaker by the name of Mpunzane Mhowelela (of Basotho origin) one pound for rain.

No, Doispane is not near where Ali Sharif's grave is.
I recall Jamie (James Stevenson-Hamilton's son) telling me how upset his father was at the death of Ali, who had come from north Africa and that it was at the hands of the railway personnel that he died and that there was some malice involved.

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JOEP
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BrendaK
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Re: SKUKUZA - HIDDEN HISTORIES

Unread post by BrendaK »

The oldest buildings in Skukuza would in my view be (more or less in order of oldest first - but unresearched so there might well be an oversight), would be:
1. Campbell hut museum (and nearby 209, which was modernised a few times since)
2. The original SAPS building
3. Struben Guest Cottage (designed by Hilda Stevenson-Hamilton)
4. Stevenson-Hamilton Library


Joep can you please tell us where the original SAPS building is? I am also curious to know if the Baobab trees that you spoke about earlier is still around?

I saw old photographs of a shop in Skukuza, was it where the current shop and restaurant complex is.

I always thought the Library is a modern buidling - when was it erected?
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Re: SKUKUZA - HIDDEN HISTORIES

Unread post by Joep Stevens »

The current SAPS building is where the original SAP office was and when you visit it you can clearly still see the old part, as there have obviously been some additions.
It is not adjoining the camp boundary fence and can best be visited from the road to the staff village from which you take first turn right (same road as the Conservation Management complex and as you turn off, it is right in front of you.

Regarding the baobabs they are indeed still there and within the footprint designated for the hotel and I have this requested that they receive special prominence in the total layout of the footprint.
They are in the south-western corner of the camp close to the back (south) fence amongst staff houses.
They are close to the technical office of the camp and it would possibly be best to ask directions when in camp.

The shop is currently where previously the post office was and the shop was then where the current cafeteria is (next to the large marula tree). However, that complex was built relatively recently (last 50 years) and the first shop was probably located where currently the linen room was.

Regarding the library, if my memory serves me right that was opened in about 1960 or 1961, so indeed not very old, but regrettably there are very few of the very old buildings left.

This is why I have requested people to send old photos as they really convey so much about the history of camps.

Thanks for the interest from all.

JOEP
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Re: SKUKUZA - HIDDEN HISTORIES

Unread post by Bushmom »

According to an article in "Custos" of March 1972 by Helen Prinsloo, the librarian, the Stevenson-Hamilton library was inaugurated on 14 October 1961.
Thank you for bringing all these old buildings to our attention again!
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Re: SKUKUZA - HIDDEN HISTORIES

Unread post by Joep Stevens »

Dear All,

Let me update my list (in order of age) and include a few structures outside the camp and Papenfus Tower:

1.Sabi Bridge (completed in 1910)
2.Campbell hut museum (and nearby 209, which was modernised a few times since)
3.The original SAPS building
4.Struben Guest Cottage (designed by Hilda Stevenson-Hamilton and donated by Frank EB Struben) completed in 1937
5.Papenfus Clock Tower after board member Herbert Boshoff Papenfus (1865 -1937) erected sometime after his death.
6.Stevenson-Hamilton Library (14/10/1961)

Kind regards.

JOEP
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Re: SKUKUZA - HIDDEN HISTORIES

Unread post by Bennievis »

Hi Joep and all :D
Please inlighten me, I thought the most southern Boabab is the one between Tshoks and Satara? But I'm reading about boababs at Malelane camp and at Skukuza. (I know this is off topic and mods please feel free to remove 8) )

Many thanks
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Re: SKUKUZA - HIDDEN HISTORIES

Unread post by Joep Stevens »

Dear Bennievis & All,

The ones in camps mentioned are all planted since these became ranger stations or camps while the one between Tshokwane & Satara is natural.

Kind regards.

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Re: SKUKUZA - HIDDEN HISTORIES

Unread post by BrendaK »

Does anyone know where the Casa Mia Hut/Guest House is?
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Re: SKUKUZA - HIDDEN HISTORIES

Unread post by Joep Stevens »

Dear BrendaK,

The camp underwent quite a significant upgrade in 1988 when the reception was moved to where the current cafeteria is. There was a few rows of old huts (including CasaMia) where the current carpark just above the fighting kudu statue is. These were all demolished for that upgrade. Thanks for your interest.

Kind regards.

JOEP
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Re: SKUKUZA - HIDDEN HISTORIES

Unread post by Grantmissy »

Thank you Mr Joep Stevens for sharing very interesting historical information. Do you perhaps know what the hidden history is, if any, behind the Lion Hut? :thumbs_up:
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Re: SKUKUZA - HIDDEN HISTORIES

Unread post by Joep Stevens »

Dear Grantmissy,

Thanks for the enquiry about Lion Cottage.
It was built in 1969 and donated by Lady Bridget Oppenheimer.
After the 7 February 2000 floods severely damaged much of Skukuza's river view cottages as well as ABSA and Monis Guest Houses, Lion was rebuilt in a new design (like the other river view chalets) on the same footprint as the original Lion Cottage.
I remember it to be a quaint little unit, much liked by the guests.

KInd regards.

JOEP
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Re: SKUKUZA - HIDDEN HISTORIES

Unread post by Goggo EJ »

All this information is great! A heritage group is looking at trying to bring some of this to 'life' for visitors. I have posted in another thread that we are looking for information on the dog graves at the moment. But I know the Library/Museum is also being revamped, so any information is really appreciated.
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Re: SKUKUZA - HIDDEN HISTORIES

Unread post by TreeQueen »

Ecojunkie can you tell us more about this heritage group you mentioned? If possible I would love to get involved in it
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Re: SKUKUZA - HIDDEN HISTORIES

Unread post by Goggo EJ »

It is set up as a 'project group' of the Lowveld Honorary Rangers together with the relevant folk in Skukuza. So you really need to be an HR or a SANparks staff member to be part of the group...... I am there largely by default....the manager I help is involved, and so I am too!
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