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Kruger Birding Days

History of Event

The Kruger Birding Day 2005 will be the 7th consecutive year such an event has been held in the park. The event is the brainchild of the West Rand Region of Honorary Rangers, who continue to run the event.

Participants gather at designated camps and go out on open vehicles in the company of guides on both day and night drives to prime birding destinations.

In the first year, 1999, only 5 camps were used, namely Letaba, Pretoriuskop, Punda Maria, Orpen and Satara. In 2005 there will be 12 camps used.

In 1999 there were 150 participants (excluding Honorary Rangers and SANParks staff). In 2004 this number had risen to 430. The target for 2005 is 500 participants.

Summary of 2004 totals of species recorded per camp

History of Species recorded per Camp


In 1999 a total of R57 475,00 was raised, while in 2004 this rose to R202 500,00.
Cumulatively over the first 6 years a total of R779 679,00 has been raised. The beneficiaries of these funds have included:

Kruger Infrastructure
  • Funds donated to the erection of the Mopani Bird Hide
  • Thatched umbrellas at Timbavati
  • Don’t feed the animals signs for all camps in the KNP
  • Lawnmowers, radios, digital equipment and reference books to KNP camps
  • A freezer for the Orpen camp site
  • Currently finalising the construction of the Punda Hide and water hole – this is a joint project with SASOL as our sponsor
HR National Projects

The following Honorary Ranger National Projects have been supported:

  • Game Capture and Translocation to other National Parks
  • Funds for repairing the Skukuza bomas,
  • Water pipes
  • And the water tanks for the animals kept in the bomas
  • Donation of a shipping container
  • Alien Plant Eradication in the KNP
  • Counter Poaching and Ranger Support Services
  • Junior Honorary Rangers
  • Trunk Call internal communication
Support for other National Parks and Conservation Projects
  • A solar water pump for Augrabies National Park
  • Mapungubwe National Park vegetation rehabilitation project and assistance with the establishment of the indigenous nursery
  • Donation of a large number of trees for the Marakele National Park and contributions to the fence removal project
  • The Ground Hornbill Project

2005 Breakdown

The cost of the event will be R904,00 per person. This will include 2 nights accommodation in bungalows, 2 dinners, game drives (night and day) in open vehicle accompanied by guides and visits to prime birding sites (some off the regular tourist routes).

12 camps will be used in 2005. These are:

Berg-en-Dal, Crocodile Bridge, Letaba, Lower Sabie, Mopani, Pretoriuskop, Punda Maria, Olifants, Orpen, Satara, Shingwedzi, Talamati Bushveld Camp.

Participants may select the camp of their choice, but allocation will be done on a first come first serve basis.

Several novel additions

The theme bird for the event will be the Saddle-billed Stork.

There are approximately 30 breeding pairs in the park, with an estimated population of between 100 and 120 birds. This makes theme rarer than cheetah (+-250), wild dog (+-350) and leopard (+-1000), however because of their striking black and white plumage, propensity for major water points and prominent habits, they tend to be regularly seen along watercourses throughout the park.

2004 Sponsors

West Rand Honorary Rangers

The West Rand Honorary Rangers are public volunteers based in the western part of the greater Johannesburg. They meet once a month and are involved in many invaluable projects that support the National Parks. Many of their members, both appointed Rangers and HR applicants have been and will be involved with Kruger Birding Big Day 2005. These include: Mike, Jean, Hennie, Wiggie, Corrie, Sakkie, Ian, Dawid, Nina, Rod, Jenny, Kendel, Peter, Cheryl, Gerrie, Tony, Dawn, Ben, Johanna, Willem, Nico, Ella and Applicants - Lesley and Pam.

The current project leader is Allan Vos. He takes over from Snowy Botha who coordinated events during the first 6 years.

Trojan work is also done by Francois Van Rooyen who continues to be the booking agent and public interface.

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