Kimby, Lower Sabie is "the" camp of choice for most Krugernites. It's a regular camp with a restaurant and chalets. We always request a "perimeter fence" chalet otherwise decline to stay there. I must have my lawn, trees with birds, and the wide Sabie river flowing gently past my door
Thanks Tod, a great suggestion, I will look up the park on the internet, I am sure I will read alot of information on there to form a budget idea. Do car rental companies charge extra when you tell them your intention of vacationing in the Park? Enjoy! Mich
No, not extra for bringing a car into the park. But, you can hire a vehicle inside the park also. I saw AVIS with their sign boards in what looked like a carpark. I have one piece of advice to anyone wishing to take good photos and be able to see well. Don't hire a small low=slung little car. If you want to view game then you need to be as high up in a car seat as possible - the way to go is hire a SUV /Jeep or micro-minibus. This way you won't feel intimidated by elephants or rhino and have great views.
For the interested in visiting Kruger one fine day, you may like to see some statistics - these are taken directly out of a brilliant book called "Peter's Guide" and was published in 2008 so there may be slight variations but I don't think too much has changed.
KRUGER IN NUMBERS
110 years old 1.3million visitors during 2007/8 3,300 employees 19 Main Bush Camps 2 m ha in size 320km long 65km wide 400-700mm rainfall 200-400m above sea-level 1190 plant species 53 fish species 35 Amphibian species 114 reptile species 505 Bird species 148 mammal species 23 Herbivore species 5 Carnivore species 3-4 Billion year old rocks 7373km of roads (1994) 881km tar roads 1618km gravel roads 4216km firebreak roads 658km other roads
If you want to know how this incredible wildlife reserve - one of perhaps 14 of the greatest reserves in the world - came into being and the people responsible, here they are:
The park is named after Paul Kruger who became president in 1883. He earnestly endeavored to instigate legislation to conserve wildlife as by the end of the first century, hunting animals had wiped out the Lowveld's huge herds of game. In 1898 he proclaimed the area between the Crocodile and Sabie Rivers as the Sabie Reserve. For the next 4 years the Anglo-Boer War raged - Politicians, hunters and fortune-seekers were too busy fighting to care about conservation so this was fortunate timing. After the war the British victors re proclaimed the Reserve and set about clearing the way for the protected area. This involved the forced removal of local inhabitants and in 1903 between 2,000-3,000 people were moved out of the Sabie Reserve. Similar removals were conducted throughout Kruger's history. Land claims today continue the dispute between the need to conserve a natural heritage, and the people's need for both land and work. If Paul Kruger had spoken the first word regarding the protection of the Lowveld's wildlife, and James Stevenson-Hamilton had been the first to physically protect it, then Piet Grobler, Minister of Lands in 1926 takes the credit for legalising the reserve as a National Park by passing a Bill on National Parks and named the area, The Kruger National Park. Private landowners like Eileen Orpen , with a love of wildlife, donated land to the park increasing its size ( 7 farms in all). At his point in time The Kruger National Park, which measures a whopping two million hectares, is approximately the size of the whole of Wales. ...
Major James Stevenson-Hamilton, a Scot born in 1867, Laird of Fairholm in Lanarkshire, and officer of the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoon Guards, met Sir Godfrey Lagden in Johannesburg. Lagden, a keen naturalist who had been given the responsibility of the Sabie Game Reserve, appointed Stevenson-Hamilton as the Park's first Warden in July 1902, and told to manage a piece of land the size of the Netherlands. The short statured, short tempered Scotsman achieved this and earned himself the name "Skukuza" - meaning 'He who turns things upside down'. Stevenson waged war on poaching and managed to persuade the government to expand the reserve to include the whole area between the Crocodile and Luvuvhu rivers.
Note: The park's daily tax on visitors R48 for locals and R180 for tourists from abroad, is paid to the inhabitants of land claims.
Starting with the Sunday special offer of a SPITBRAAI. That is a whole carcass of Springbok, Impala, Wild Pig or maybe a part of a larger buck, speared onto a rotisserie above glowing coals and turned slowly until roasted. To be honest I have never seen it at Tshokwane picnic spot but then again I may not have been there on a Sunday between 10.00 & 15.00 hrs. Usually you can come back as many times as you like to get more meat but I'm not sure in this case. I should imagine the restaurant there has roped in a few other private operators doing game drives and bringing their tourists here for lunch.
In the photos of the big round thatch area with a tree growing through the middle and the shelter with the waitress serving up a plate of Kuduwors and pap with shieba, this is where one goes to obtain the menu items listed from Kuduwors roll to boerewors ,pap & shieba.
Kuduwors is a sausage made with the buck called a kudu and served like a hotdog in a roll. Kuduwors, pap & shieba is the sausage and a thick blob of mielie-meal(corn meal) cooked exactly like polenta. Shieba is the gravy or sauce they spoon over the pap. From what I saw at a distance it looked like simple gravy but I think can be made with tomatoes & onion & maybe chillies, into a sloppy sauce.
Boerewors is the 'farmers' sausage and is made with beef and pork fat. With the correct spices especially coriander, can be delicious.
Milktert or Milktart depending whether you are Afrikaans or English speaking, is a pie crust filled with a blancmange type filling made with eggs, milk and sugar, thickened with cornflour, and maybe a drop or two of vanilla or almond extract, then when cool dusted with cinnamon or nutmeg. It can be made all in one go with a single mixture. I will get a recipe for you from a tart maker I know does it well!!
Tons of food is cooked over fires and in restaurants throughout the park but at picnic spots (with or without a restaurant) only the birds flutter down for crumbs but one is prohibited from feeding them. That's why I accidentally drop a piece of bread In any case people get up from the tables leaving fries or a piece of sandwich behind on the plate and before you know it...it's pecked and gone!
At night when braaing I have seen (only once) hyaena's patrolling up and down the electrified fence smelling the cooking meat. At one camp we had to turn the outdoor refrigerator around so the door could not be opened - we did this on the second night as were not warned on arrival about the badgers that prowl at night. When I walked out on the patio to make morning coffee I found the fridge door wide open with all the cold cuts and cheese eaten and a million bugs inside !! The next evening I did make a "mistake" by putting a large chunk of Xmas cake drizzled with honey in the barbecue dish which is also a short distance from the patio. We sat in the dark and soon enough, here came Mr. Honey Badger! He climbed up and gobbled the lot while we got some great shots.
The animals like lions, cheetah etc. do not come wandering into the restaurant areas where there is food. Once an enormous male elephant came strolling in and frightened everyone to death. All he wanted was the marulas on a tree growing next to the kitchen area! There are great photos of the happening posted on a door of the restaurant. Unfortunately they had to cut the tree down to prevent this happening again and maybe someone getting hurt.
Those are great shots. He's really into the cake! Gad, those claws.
Ahhh -- there is an electrified fence. That makes sense. Without it, it seems there could be problems. Shame about the marula tree, but probably even a very polite elephant could accidentally do a good bit of damage.
Wow! The nails on that badger, my goodness! I can understand how he could get into a fridge. Great photos Tod!
I cannot wait until my husband comes home to show him these photos. One summer we had a racoon that was in our garage and one morning he was wedged up against the window and shocked us as they normally are not seen during the day. As the days progessed we would see him more frequently and it was becoming obvious that he was ill or old? not sure (sad). Anyway, my point is, my husband used to call him the "drunken badger". Mich
I have almost no connection which is why I am not writing anything these days, but I am constantly amazed at how many different kinds of animals know how to open a refrigerator -- and why. I guess the little rubber seal is no match for their olfactory abilities.
Hi Tod ~~ just came back to admire your pictures some more and saw that you added the pic of the kudu to #97 above. What a magnificent animal! It is differently made, though, isn't it? With those tall front legs and sloping backside, does it leap as it runs?
You soooo deserve the compliments, Tod. It's true that your photographs are of outstanding professional quality, but your "from the field" reporting, your humor, your thoughtful anticipation of what we'd like to know, and your straightforward organization all contributed to a stellar and profoundly enjoyable presentation.
I just stumbled on this wonderful thread. Amazing, amazing photos! They really make me feel as if I were there and they'll be my consolation until I can make a trip there myself. Thank you so much for making the effort to share them.
All of the photos are gorgeous, but I especially love the ones with the baby elephants. The sight of them is just heartwarming.
I really wish I could see "forbidden" ones, too. I bet they're stunners.