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Pretoriuskop Day Visitors Centre/Picnic Spot

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Pretoriuskop Day Visitors Centre/Picnic Spot

Unread postby Richprins » Fri Jun 17, 2011 7:32 pm


Herewith pics of the new PK picnic spot in the making!

About 5 km from camp on the Numbi road! Good idea!




Re: Pretoriuskop New Day visitors Centre/Picnic Spot

Unread postby Richprins » Fri Jun 17, 2011 10:05 pm

Glenn said a while back a picnic spot was required near PK, and so it is!
The existing day visitors facilities in said camp are tiny! :thumbs_up:
Last edited by Richprins on Fri Jun 17, 2011 10:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Pretoriuskop New Day visitors Centre/Picnic Spot

Unread postby Mgoddard » Sat Jun 18, 2011 7:09 am

I think this is an excellent idea!!
From experience I know that after the day visitors facilities were moved out of the camps at Skukuza and Letaba it made the camps so much better.
The day visitors area at P/Kop in my opinion was far too close to the overnight accommodation.
During the hot hours of the day when you want to sit on your "little verandah" and enjoy the sounds of birds and bees and not screaming children running around :evil:

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Re: Pretoriuskop New Day visitors Centre/Picnic Spot

Unread postby BushKrazy » Sat Jun 18, 2011 8:20 am

Being in architecture I am pretty sure this picnic spot could have been approached in a totally different angle. Its seems they have decided to totally clear the entire site to erect a few stalls and some ablutions.
The approach should be to touch the site with a degree of sensitivity which will ultimately increase the enjoyment of using the facilities.
I think decision makers should perhaps utilise more experts in various fields to maximise these opportunities both for visitors and fauna and flora.
June/July TR here

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Re: Pretoriuskop New Day visitors Centre/Picnic Spot

Unread postby K9 Amy » Sat Jun 18, 2011 8:40 am

I am amazed at all the criticism levelled at SANParks, have any of you got an idea what this site was before they decided to change it into a day visitors area.
This site used to be a old rubbish dump for all the Pretoriuskop building material and a variety of scrap.
A proper EIA was done and the decision to at least take all the crap away was made and then the BRILLIANT idea to turn this into a useful area.

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Re: Pretoriuskop New Day visitors Centre/Picnic Spot

Unread postby Weltenman » Sat Jun 18, 2011 12:33 pm

I am going to agree with Richprins 8) , I like this new development. The fact that they are using an area that is not pristine (I am guessing there are many more area like these "dumps" in Kruger away from our tourist eyes) to build a facility that many want to ease the overcrowding is great. This solves a problem many have identified, more picnic spots/day visitor areas, and a site has been chosen not only on the, "this would be nice because the view is nice" building method.
Study the past, if you would divine the future.

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Re: Pretoriuskop New Day visitors Centre/Picnic Spot

Unread postby Riaanf31 » Sat Jun 18, 2011 3:01 pm

KNP management has for many years ensures that this park is maintained in the best possible fashion.
Firstly to protect the wildlife within and also to provide facilities for day and/or overnight visitors.

When visiting in October, I look forward to seeing this and other improvements to KNP either completed or in development.
To see a sunrise in KNP is to see magic.

Skukuza 18-20 April
Lower Sabie 21-24 April
Satara 25-29 April


Re: Pretoriuskop New Day visitors Centre/Picnic Spot

Unread postby Richprins » Fri Aug 12, 2011 4:53 pm

This Monday:


Some progress being made!

Don't recall seeing the board...


Re: Pretoriuskop New Day visitors Centre/Picnic Spot

Unread postby Richprins » Sun Aug 14, 2011 6:21 pm

Still wonder what they're going to do for shade!

And google earth shows a little water point nearby?


Feb 2010

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Re: Pretoriuskop New Day visitors Centre/Picnic Spot

Unread postby tiggercat » Sun Aug 14, 2011 9:01 pm

I like the idea for the simple reason that in the busy summer season the day visitors hopefully wont be using the pool area ...... it was hugely ovewrcrowded and quite unpleasant in dec/jan with all the non camp residents

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Unread postby Friedrich von Hörsten » Thu Jan 05, 2012 3:26 pm

:D :D

Pretoriuskop has been my favourite camp for the past few years, with better predator sightings than at Lower Sabie!
Just before Christmas I went to the trouble to drive into the barren-looking treeless strip of cleaned-up garbage dump that will now be the new Picnic Site for Day Visitors….
From the road it looks VERY uninviting! Who on earth would ever bother to have a picnic in the blazing sun on bare earth and weeds?

First surprise – the barren earth is for parking, but there is an electric fence on the left side, and some shady spots and trees for the actual picnic spots!


Second surprise – very neat ablutions (2 blocks) with a tuck shop on the left. Chairs and tables were already stacked in piles, ready for use!


Third surprise -- a herd of kudu were grazing peacefully behind the tar pole edge of the treeless `parking lot’!


This got me thinking! So I asked at reception to speak to the manager of Pretoriuskop. Margaret Jones surprised me by excusing herself from a meeting just to chat to me!
She was very gracious, and spoke freely of how happy they were to have turned a dump into a `picnic site’ without disturbing the ecology any further…

Phase one is about completed, and will be in use very soon!

Phase two – who knows? Perhaps a swimming pool, some trees planted in the barren parking lot, not too sure about the final outcome yet.

I asked Margaret: ``Would you mind if I asked Forumites to give some input – What would they like to see at Pretoriuskop, to make it an even bigger success?’’

Of course she was delighted – any ideas would be welcome!

So here are the dreams of Friedrich and Michelle von Hörsten for Pretoriuskop:

1. Could forumites/local Honorary Rangers not arrange a TREE PLANTING DAY to get those little trees planted SOON – it is going to take a LONG time till there is welcome shade for parking…
2. Of course a swimming pool would be welcome for Day Visitors in the hot summer months, but what about the animals? I wonder where on earth they drink water around Pretoriuskop (little vlei on each side of camp is usually dry all winter; only that small stream on the Fayi loop)? So why not CREATE A WETLAND/WATERHOLE in that ugly hollow where the kudus are grazing in the pic – all the water from taps/basins/pool overflow could be directed into such a hollow for the benefit of birds and animals. Imagine having a picnic, surrounded by birds and the occasional warthog/kudu/sable coming down for a drink? This has been done in Etosha (Okaukuejo waterhole)!

On a larger scale:

Quoting Margaret Jones, ``Pretoriuskop has nothing to seriously attract tourists, except the lovely swimming pool in the rocks, and the rare animals like sable and hartebeest, and the lovely trees and cool climate. No Sabi River or Lake Panic…’’

Which got me thinking…

1. What about creating a BIRD HIDE FOR PRETORIUSKOP– as good as Lake Panic! Surely there must be a corner of one of the big dams like Mtshawudam (just off the S3 – look at it from Shabeni hill) or Mestel dam (far right hand corner), where there is permanent water, plenty of birdlife, hippos, crocs… But PLEASE, the hide must be CLOSE to the animals, not like the ``useless’’ ones at Shingwedzi and Letaba where you are not in touch with wildlife. Lake Panic is so pupoluar because you are SURROUNDED by wildlife! Margaret, find us a Lake Panic at Pretoriuskop – surely it can be done with minimal change to the environment!
2. What about creating a ``MATHEKENYANE/GRANOKOP LOOKOUT AT PRETORIUSKOP – it has the most stunning rocky outcrops, and surely one would be suitable for tourists to ride onto and GET OUT OF THEIR VEHICLES to watch the sunset or have breakfast in the bush! There is already a little `road’ turning off Shabeni loop to a little `cement dam’ full of water for who knows what. Why not extend the road a bit further, so people can stop on the rocky outcrop for sunset.?

Before you shoot me down –
• there was NO Lake Panic before somebody was brave enough to just do it!
• There was NO Granokop lookout before somebody was brave enough to do it!
• There will be NOTHING SPECIAL for Pretoriuskop before we are brave enough to do it!
• Don’t say it will interfere too much with the ecology! Hotels are being built, facilities upgraded all the time – this is low-key stuff that can have high-key benefits, especially for Day Visitors!

Maybe you have better ideas for Pretoriuskop! Let us know about them. Let Margaret Jones, Manageress of Pretoriuskop know about them! Perhaps we can help Pretoriuskop to get that extra edge it needs,


without losing its peaceful, rural character or cheaper S2 huts that are affordable to all South Africans. Perhaps we can fill them up all year, and keep the prices down!

Just dreaming…

Friedrich and Michelle von Hörsten
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Re: Dreams for Pretoriuskop...

Unread postby flying cheetah » Thu Jan 05, 2012 6:51 pm

I also like Pretoriuskop a lot the way it is but your suggestions (especially the bird hide) sound very interesting! I'm curious to hear what other forumites think about it :whistle:
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Re: Dreams for Pretoriuskop...

Unread postby Friedrich von Hörsten » Thu Jan 05, 2012 7:26 pm

MM and FC
:D :D
Thanks for your quick replies!

I am not aware that there is much at Pretoriuskop to remember what Wolhuter did -- did see the lion skin etc. in the Skukuza museum a long time ago... perhaps they do have some things stashed away that could be put on display at PK?

My dream for Pk is NOT to turn it into a Skukuza -- I would not bother to visit it then!
Rather to have one or two `Special Places'' that would just enhance the time at Pk more.

Currently my favourite PK activities (apart from game viewing) are:
* swimming in the pool when it is hot (plenty of shade)
* having breakfast at Afsaal (33 km away) before the crowds arrive
* bird watching at Biyamiti Weir (another 15 km further)
* having supper or lunch at Phabeni Gate (Albasini Ruins) where you can get OUT of your car
* bird photography at Lake Panic/breakfast at nursery, where you can get OUT of your car
* sunset at the top of the smallest koppie, where you CAN'T get out of your car...

from this it is obvious that MOST special activities are NOT near Pretoriuskop itself!
Mestel dam, Shitlave dam and Nyamundwa dam (S1) are usually not very exciting for game viewing, so you stay at PK and travel a lot. Why should this be? Somewhere close to PK you need at least 2 places where you can alight from your vehicle to stretch the legs -- on top of a rock koppie would be fantastic, and what better than a small, intimate bird hide close to trees, a small island, or rock wher birds can nest/perch!

Keen to hear from the rest!

God bless and a very happy New Year,

Friedrich von Hörsten
``God, I can push the grass apart and lay my finger on your heart'' -- E. St V Millay

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Re: Dreams for Pretoriuskop...

Unread postby DinkyBird » Tue Jan 10, 2012 9:46 am

Love your post and this topic Friedrich. Thanks for the report on the progress of the picnic area and the pics. It is looking really good!

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Re: Dreams for Pretoriuskop...

Unread postby hilda » Thu Jan 12, 2012 2:39 pm

Great ideas Friedrich von Hörsten! I have been to Pretoriuskop many moons ago, and we have booked there for September 2012 - my SO's first time at PK. The new picnic spot will surely be to great benefit of many people. If only half of all the amazing things you mentioned could realise, it will definitely put PK back on the map. :thumbs_up:
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