How was Kruger in the 50s-60s ?

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RobbieB83
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I miss the African Drums at dusk!

Unread post by RobbieB83 »

I really miss having the sound of the african drums playing in the background whilst sitting around a camp fire.

The camp staff used to play their drums every evening as the darkness set in. It was always a very sentimental echo that made my Kruger experiences that much more special.

My favourite was shingwedzi, drums vs the local male leopard vs lion in the background. Nothing will ever beat that for me.

I wish that I could go back to my childhood to hear that again.
RobbieB83
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Re: I miss the African Drums at dusk!

Unread post by RobbieB83 »

The most awesome sound in the bushveld, it would be for 10 to 15 minutes. If not mistaken it was a end of the day call that they played before the restaurants would open.

Did you ever experience that? I am 28 now and the last time I heard that was when I was 11 I think.
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Re: I miss the African Drums at dusk!

Unread post by Crested Val »

I have edited my post, as I had initially misunderstood what Rob was referring to...........though I think as others have mentioned, the dinner drums were much shorter than 15 minutes, more like 30 seconds!!

I needed Rob's post to remind me of these dinner drums.....they were definitely played at Lower Sabie in the mid 70s, and do indeed bring back very happy memories.

Tribal dancing and drumming performances, I am not so comfortable with in the park. (Just my opinion!!) :)
Last edited by Crested Val on Fri Jul 15, 2011 2:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Rooies
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Re: I miss the African Drums at dusk!

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The drums used to announce that dinner, or the fire, were ready. I can clearly remember that in the good old days, there were communal fires, and when the coals were ready, the drums announced that it was braai time. Almost everybody pitched up with their food and drinks. Sightings were discussed, politics sorted out etc. etc. Wonderful friends were made during those times.
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Re: I miss the African Drums at dusk!

Unread post by moggiedog »

Loved the African drums and the days of the huge fires....
Would love to experience them once more but time moves on and the past can never be recaptured.
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Re: I miss the African Drums at dusk!

Unread post by bigbuf »

How times have changed !!! And if only we could take our Park back 30 years.

I remember exploring the camps with no concept of time at all, and as soon as you heard the drums you knew it was dinner time, that ment you and your new friends had to head back to your bungalow's as you knew the braai was almost ready.

If I'm correct, the drums were played for all restaurant meal times, I think this still happens in certain camps today.
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Re: I miss the African Drums at dusk!

Unread post by winnydpu »

I was in Skukuza on October of last year, and they played them for about five minutes or so at twilight. It was a friend of mine's first night in the park, and I felt that the drums, the sunset and a small herd of elephants right at the fence created a magical moment.
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Re: I miss the African Drums at dusk!

Unread post by o-dog »

Such a good point Robbie...I was also a kid back then and those memories were great. I specifically remember the drums being played at Punda Maria and sprinting up the hill in excitement to go and watch and then get to the shop before it closed.

I think if they aren't played any more (which is the case every time I've been to Kruger in the last 15 years) that they should be started again even if only 2 or 3 times a week.

Fact is its also part of the local culture in and around the park and SANParks is always looking for ways to include the outside community - why not this way? It can be a great way to start to educate so many people who don't know about the communities outside.

If camp staff are not used for this maybe for example part of the new proposed 1% levy can go to paying groups to play every now and then?

I forget their name but there is a Shangaan group which has about 10 members who are fantastic on the drums and have made it quite big now. I've seen them in the greater KNP.

Anyway those are just some thoughts but either way 2 people banging on drums at sunset the way it used to be would be fantastic and will hardly cause any noise to those who are completely adverse to this great African tradition :thumbs_up:
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Re: I miss the African Drums at dusk!

Unread post by spargish »

The drums were one of my favourite things in KNP as a Kid, a close 2nd to the movies shown in the evening :mrgreen:

I recently heard them being played a Skukuza in June
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Re: I miss the African Drums at dusk!

Unread post by bigbuf »

Wildlife movies on the old projector at Satara and a ranger giving a talk afterwards, now thats brought back quite a few magical memories.

Thanks for that spargish :thumbs_up:
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Re: I miss the African Drums at dusk!

Unread post by annalie »

I enjoyed listening to the drums in the Letaba camp - my memories are of one person only playing the drums in Letaba to announce dinner time. Amazing sound with the sun setting :dance:
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Re: I miss the African Drums at dusk!

Unread post by Bush Baptist »

Me too. When camping at Skuk, we heard them announce that dinner was served at the restaurant. We often went to see the brief performance.

Also then Rooies, we would go to where the cheerful attendant had built a big bonfire and spade hot coals into a wheelbarrow to plonk in our braai place for an instant braai.

Those were the days things were done in style!
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Re: I miss the African Drums at dusk!

Unread post by ndloti »

Those dinner drums brought atmosphere , as did the smell of mopani logs burning , back in the days when restaurants did not have a take away outlet appearance .
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Re: I miss the African Drums at dusk!

Unread post by okie »

I remember drumsannouncing dinner time at Lower Sabie , way back , more than 40 years ago , and then I also have a vague recollection of a Marimba being played :hmz: .
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Re: I miss the African Drums at dusk!

Unread post by Crested Val »

Grantmissy wrote:The drums at dusk meant dinner time in the restaurant with our parents – soup, fish, main meal, dessert, coffee, cheese and biscuits. I wonder if people today will still be interested in this kind of fixed menu Kruger style dinner :D ?


Those meals were very good value for money, and really quite tasty!! :thumbs_up:
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