You’ve probably heard that they want to introduce all sorts of stuff into Kruger like Casinos and other market and profit related ideas. Well, to get it off my back – I’m against that sort of innovation in this part of the woods as there are so darn little areas left of real wilderness and we do need that kind of escape and places unharmed by development and so-called human progress. It’s something about balance, harmony and leaving at least some spaces unpolluted by our silly attempts to change and even improve everything. It’s a practice in humility and also in contentment really. Somethings we should not do – even if we can. And more than not it would probably have been better if we had not done this or that, than just follow that stupid mantra: “Just do it!” (Just ask O.J.Simpson, Tiger Woods or even Oscar Pistorius!)
Now don’t get me wrong. I like it that the roads in KNP are in good condition – there are no potholes and even the dirt roads have been kept in good shape this last season. Kudos do the responsible people. I even applaud the assignment of Lower Sabi’s catering service to Mugg & Bean. They’re by far better at providing varied, healthy and tasty menus than were the old guard, who’re much better at conservation than at cooking! Finally I also do like the good upgrades of accommodation in most camps. It’s good, efficient and comfortable even. However that does not mean that you need a filling station every 50km or a new hotel on every rise or shopping mall inside the park. That’s just not what KNP is about. Rather its about getting into the wild and enjoying the unspoiled nature as it was 100 years and even centuries ago. I think it’s one of those very special things in South Africa and should receive World Heritage Site status sooner than later. I really do hope that our children will still be able to enjoy this wilderness – and the rhinos, ground horn bills, wild dogs and other endangered species with it.
Obviously it’s not just about Rhinos nor the Sable antelope for that matter. It’s also about not having DSTV for once – although you can go watch the Rugby at the reception in emergencies or the latest film by Beverly and Dereck Joubert about the Blood Brothers (Cheetahs of the Linyanti). We love the bird hides and look-outs throughout the park. It might even be worthwhile considering more walks and hides, but then on 2nd thought and because crazy tourists come to mind, who actually want to not only stroke elephants, but also have close-ups with lions for their latest selfie to post – it would seem counterproductive. It just remains dangerous meeting the wildest animals at such close quarters. Remember the leopard jumping into the safari vehicle or the elephant loosing its cool and bashing that small rental vehicle? It’s no zoo, but remains one of the last real sanctuaries of the African wilderness, that has not fallen victim to poaching and destruction of the natural habitat totally yet. They’re still putting up a fight – and may their efforts be blessed with success and ongoing victory!
The honorary rangers are putting up a good show as are the regular guards and authorities in the park. Seems lately that they’re backed by something more like a military operation really and close to low scale warfare. Trying to match those mercenaries from Mozambique with equal force, expertise and firing power. It’s not about a few fire snares anymore, but rather about mobile units coming in with helicopters, 4×4 and heavy weaponry to slaughter rhinos and elephants. Crazy really – but even the conservation people are hitting back with squadrons of 5-8 helicopters at a time, platoons of fighting-fit soldiers and hopeful lots of good help from cooperative members of society and the population on the ground.
Here are some photos from our last stay in Kruger, which show some of the other delights making this so memorable and just the best fun you can imagine.