James Stevenson Hamilton

In 1888 James Stevenson Hamilton came to South Africa.   In 1902 he was appointed as head ranger for Sabie Game Reserve.  After a brief stay at Crocodile Bridge he moved up to Sabie where he remained for 44 years.

 

In May 1926 the National Parks bill was passed and Hamilton began the immense task of building roads and suitable accommodation.  When the gates where opened to the public a total of 3 tourists entered its gates. By 1929 that number had grown to 850.

 

Skukuza, original called Sabie Bridge, and Pretoriuskop where the first restcamps built.  Today well over 1,000,000 people visit Kruger Park annually.  James Stevenson Hamilton retired  in 1946 after 44 years in charge of Kruger Park.James Stevesons Hamilton

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Kruger withdraw symptoms come to an end…..

 

November has been a month where I least visited the Kruger due to undergoing surgery. Not being able to drive for 2 weeks, was the worst thing I experienced. Thankful for a cousin who drove me for an afternoon into kruger, to enjoy a pride of lions on a buffalo carcass on the H3, Kwaggaspan. What a way to end my 16 day Kruger cravings!! But nearing the Malelane Gate, the sighting I awaited for a while, 2 bateleurs sitting on a tree. (Photo attached)

Last week I felt fit enough to drive, & so I headed to Kruger for the afternoon. It paid off just as I hoped with 3 lions just 7km from the Malelane Gate. I sat with them for 3 hours before they came and sat on the road. With barely any vehicles at the sighting, I enjoyed every little bit I could! (Photos attached)

Kruger is filled with babies all around, they are so entertaining and fun to watch & photograph.

A sighting I wish to share that happened late last month on the S110, near Malelane Gate. A leopard & cub on an impala carcass. I waited over 2 hours just to capture this special photo of mom & cub. This has to be my most special leopard sighting to date. (Photo attached).

Leopard and Cub

Leopard and Cub

& so I found a new hobby, taking selfies with the animals with my GoPro camera. It’s quite fascinating to see how these animals can pose for the camera.

I wish you all a festive December & I hope to see more exciting things that I can share with you this month!Selfies in Kruger

Sharing every kruger memory with you…
Safwanah Guman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mellissa Bushby holiday recipes

Fruit mince pies
Full of flavour and as easy as pie to make, my own homemade mince pies…
60 ml port, or apple juice
75 g molasses sugar
300 g cranberries
1 tsp each cinnamon and ginger
½ tsp nutmeg
100 g raisins
100 g currants
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 orange
1 teaspoon vanilla
30 ml brandy (optional)
1 roll of short crust pastry
Powdered sugar, for dusting
1. Grease and flour 2 miniature muffin or tart tins. Roll out the pastry until it is about ½ cm thick and cut into circles, slightly bigger than each indent, depending on the size of your tins.
2. Cut out stars for each pastry case with a star-shaped cutter.
3. Prick the bottoms of each pastry case with a fork.
4. Depending on the size of your indents, scoop about 1 – 2 tablespoons of filling into the prepared casings.
5. Cover with a pastry star.
6. Bake at 220°C for 10 – 15 minutes.
7. Dust liberally with icing sugar.

Sparkling Rum Fruit Punch

For the Grown-Ups…and the young at heart
125 ml molasses sugar
125 ml water
1 orange, segmented
1 pineapple, cubed
1 cup of strawberries, halved
500 ml fresh orange juice
500 ml pineapple juice
½ cup Bacardi
½ cup rum – white or dark
Pink sparkling wine – J.C le Roux’s Le Chanson is my favourite (if using white rum) otherwise it won’t matter
1. Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan and heat gently. When the sugar has dissolved, take off the heat and leave to cool slightly.
2. Put the remaining ingredients, excepting the champagne, into a 2 litre jug.
3. Pour in the sugar water, and top with sparkling wine.
4. Serve chilled.

Cherry-Coconut Ice-cream

Something for the littlies…
1 x 400 g tin coconut milk
20 ml corn starch
500 ml (2 cups) cherry or berry juice
Stir the corn flour and ¼ cup of the coconut milk together in a medium mixing bowl. In a small saucepan, heat the rest of the coconut milk over a low heat until it just starts to simmer. Whist the corn flour into the heated coconut milk and allow to cook over a low heat until the mixture starts to thicken. This happens quickly so keep an eye on it. Remove from the heat straight away and whisk in the juice. Transfer the mixture into a container and allow it to cool to room temperature. Fold in the coconut cream and then put into the freezer. Remove about 10 minutes before serving to allow time to soften.
~*~To all readers and fabulous people at Kruger Tracks App, may you have a blessed, happy and safe Christmas Season and a prosperous 2015 ~*~

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Summertime delights with Mellissa Bushby

Mellissa BushbySweet Potato Fritters

Turmeric and ginger are botanically related and both have been used for centuries, to cure all sorts of ills. Ginger is excellent in the fight against colds and other respiratory conditions, and is often used to aid stomach problems, such as diarrhoea, nausea and intestinal gas. This is in part due to the compounds curcumene, farnesene and zingiberol, as well as gingerol and shogaol, which ginger contains.
Turmeric contains the active ingredient curcumin, which is a powerful anti-oxidant, and has anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. Turmeric causes the gall bladder to make bile, which assists in the breakdown of dietary fats, and it helps to alleviate the inflammatory conditions of ulcerative colitis and osteoarthritis. It is also now thought to inhibit the growth of several different types of cancer cells, including those of the colon, prostate, skin and breast.
Herbs are, in my opinion, very taste specific. There are some that marry perfectly well, like tomato and basil or rosemary and beetroot for example, but also, I might like origanum with almost everything, and also parsley. So don’t be too worried about the herbs – put whatever you have into these, or whatever you like.

4 Medium sweet potatoes or equivalent size like 6 small
1 x tin kidney beans
1 teaspoon each of ginger and turmeric (see note)
1 teaspoon dried origanum (see note)
1 tablespoon fresh parsley (see note)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar (optional)
1 tablespoon canola or olive oil
½ large or 1 small onion, finely diced
Peel, cube and boil the potatoes.
When soft (a blunt knife must be easy to insert), drain the potatoes and then add the beans and mash the whole together.
Add remaining ingredients and mix well.
Heat a little oil in a hot non-stick pan. Using two small serving spoons, make scoops of the mixture and place them into the hot oil.
Leave to form a golden brown crust and then flip. Squash them a little with the spatula for a flatter fritter J.
Serve with lettuce, sliced tomato and onion, and gherkin or pickled onion on a roll, or in a wrap with diced tomato, onion and green pepper, and a drizzling of mayonnaise or mustard.
Delicious done over the coals! Bear in mind that these are quite soft, so for the fire, add about a cup of breadcrumbs at the end and mix well (if you don’t have shop bought, doesn’t matter – homemade is always better. Just blitz or grate a bread roll or roughly 2 pieces of bread).

Beer Bread
(Recipe from ‘the Vegetarian Kitchen’)
Delicious served alongside a tomato and onion gravy, with an ice cold beer or lemonade, this bread is a quick, easy and flop proof recipe.
2 cups self-raising flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp dried mixed herbs
1 x 400 g tin of corn kernels
1 x 340 ml can of beer of your choice
Preheat oven to 180°C.
Grease and flour a bread tin.
Mix together flour, salt and herbs.
Make a well in the centre and add the corn and beer (or water). Stir until well mixed, the mixture should be sloppy.
Pour into the bread tin and bake for 30 – 40 minutes until brown and crusty on top. Serve warm.

Sunshine Coast Smoothie
Reminiscent of days spent in the surf and sun, this is as easy as pressing a switch on a blender, and the children will ask for them again and again. A few slices of pineapple added to the blender are delicious. Perfect for summer days!
4 bananas, peeled and cubed
1 tin coconut milk
¼ cup water (optional)
1 teaspoon golden syrup
Put all ingredients into a blender and whizz until smooth.
Pour into individual glasses and enjoy.
Serves 4.
Summertime delights

 

 

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Shadowview working in the Greater Kruger area

 

 

 

 

imageBy September 2014, another record had been set. Over 787 rhinos had been killed for their horn in South Africa. Compared with just 13 in 2007, we can all agree the poaching problem is getting completely out of control. With demand for rhino horn rising in China and Vietnam, it won’t be long before the only rhinos you’ll see are in zoos or the stuffed, fluffy kind you find in toy stores around the world.
In collaboration with ShadowView Foundation, Project Dragonfleye will tackle this growing problem of poaching in Kruger Park, South Africa by implementing a Drone Education Program to rangers.

In November 2014 we will send four students from the prestigious Technical University of Delft, The Netherlands to educate rangers in operating small multirotor drones with infrared cameras. The goal of this project is to educate rangers in operating small multirotor drones with infrared cameras. This will make their patrols in wildlife reserves much more efficient and a lot safer. For more information please visit the Project Dragonfleye Facebook page.Black Rhino

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Exploring Satara

My 2 nights spent in Satara on the 9th & 10th October.

Satara has got to be my favourite camp, & having to spend 2 nights with my mother, aunt and cousin, it felt to be even more special. Though the idea of just 4 women together seemed scary, we pretty much pulled through incredibly.

So Thursday the 9th, we started our day early as Satara is a distance to travel. We entered at Crocodile Bridge Gate in Komatipoort by 06:15. Like I mentioned previously, driving to the LubyeLubye bridge on the H4-1 is a must, that morning it paid off once again with 4 young male lions sitting on the rocks. We carried on our journey, taking the H10 to Tshokwane. Sightings were quiet on the drive to Tshokwane but the drive from Tshokwane to Satara Camp on the H1-3, was lion crazy with 4 different lion sightings in a distance of 45km. One memorable sighting was at Mazithi Dam on the H1-3, while everyone was watching 2 lionesses on a wildebeest, we spotted 2 cheetah brothers approaching the dam. Once they realised there were lions around, they moved off. 2 different cats at one dam, definitely one for the books for me.

We then headed onto a sunset drive with Edward who is a guide at Satara. 4 of the Big Five were seen as well as a cheetah. (Photo attached). 2 different lion sightings, one being 2 young males on a buffalo carcass & another male sitting on the road. But the highlight of my sunset drive was servals, 2 different sightings but unfortunately no photographs as my camera was packed away.

Waking up for a morning drive, with what road to drive on playing on my mind since the evening before. The weather was gloomy, no sign of the sun for at least half the day. That morning the S100 was my chosen road & less than just 5km, I had the most special sighting, a sighting I craved for a while, 4 most beautiful male lions sitting on the road. They gave me enough time to admire their beauty & to capture enough photos. (Photos attached) We spent the rest of the day driving around the area with sightings of more lions, a leopard, a civet and loads of other general game.

The next day it was time to head back home, sadly. We drove back down to Skukuza with rain here and there. There is something so precious about the smell of rain in the bush. Our trip ended well, with the LubyeLubye lioness walking on the road near Lower Sabie. The sighting as well as down south was beyond chaotic due to school holidays & I just wanted to get home.

 

This Satara trip was most worth it & I already can’t wait to go back, even if it be a day drive.

 

Sharing Every Kruger Memory With You..

Safwanah Guman

Cheetah sighting

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More Rhinoceros than Rhino By Jaco Louw

The world is loading its guns and sharpening its knives to try and end the rhino poacher. Anti-poaching teams and forces are preparing for full moon and outdoor stores are selling thousands of camo caps. It’s good. It’s heart-warming. But let’s not forget how wonderful these large animals are while they are still here.
In South- Africa we have two species of rhino: The Black rhino (Diceros bicornis), and the white rhino (Ceratotherium simum). One would think, what is this guy’s point? White cat, black cat: same thing different colour. Well, I am delighted to tell you that there is quite a number of interesting differences between the two.
The white rhino’s name derived from the shape of its lips, not its colour. Both are just grey. It should actually be called the wide lipped rhino. These flat wide lips enable the rhino to pluck grass from the soil, as it is exclusively a grazer. The black rhino has a sharp, pointed lip structure as it is a browser and eats leaves from shrubs and bushes. One can identify a rhino by looking at its dung. A white rhino’s dung will have a smoother texture where you will find twigs and stems in a black rhino’s dung.
The white rhino is a bit bigger (between 2000 kg and 3500kg) than the black rhino (between 1000kg and 1500kg). The white rhino walks with her young in front of her where the black rhino walks with her young behind her.
Rhinos are also a little more civilised when it comes to bathroom habits. The Bull has one area, called a midden, that he goes to when nature calls. The cow would defecate in a circle around the bull’s dung.
So next time you are driving around in a game reserve and you see a rather big dung covered area: nobody crashed a waste removal truck, it’s just the magnificent rhino being civilisedBlack Rhino

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Why do people love Kruger so much?

Why do people love Kruger Park so much? Is it the wildlife and the enjoyment of sitting watching them? Is it the excitement of seeing the big 5? Is it the pleasure of marking off sightings of the birdlife? The ever changing landscape and diversity of history therein? Or is it the open wilderness that takes them away from the city life.

Personally I think it is all of the above. Wether you enjoy the animals, birds or the quiet open spaces – Kruger park has something for everyone.

Wildlife is abundant throughout the park. Often sitting at a waterhole you will see most of the wildlife come down to drink at some point during the day. Be sure to notice the larger and smaller species – too often we spend our time chasing the big 5 when there is so much more to see.

Down south you will enjoy the excitement of the seeing lion, leopard, elephant and buffalo. They are up north too but not seen as often. Birdlife is abundant throughout the park.

Up North is the place to be for unusual birdlife and especially durning migrant season. Pafuri picnic site is a great spot to watch and learn about birds. The assistant Albert is on hand to point out birds, their calls and anything else of interest in the area.

For some it is the fever forest up north where they find inner peace. Other sit staring a the larger rivers carrying life through the park. The history lures many to explore the various locations throughout the park.

For many of us the peace and quiet is a big attraction. Sitting staring into the bush, with a drink in hand appreciating the silence. The bush noises being welcomed and a nice change to the hustle and bustling cities.

So remember next time you are enjoying the call of the fish eagle, hearing the distant bark of a baboon or smelling the potatoe bush at dusk, how privileged we are to have a little piece of wildlife sanctuary that we can call our Kruger Park.

Kruger Park life

Kruger Park life

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Summertime delight for your skin and your table

Vegetarian Bush Kitchen

Vegetarian Bush Kitchen

Something nice and summery for the warmer months

Kidney Bean & Parsley Salad

250ml prepared kidney beans (or 1 x 410g can kidney beans, drained)
1 Red onion, peeled and diced
2 Medium carrots, peeled and sliced
About 1/3 to 1/2 of a cucumber, chopped
125ml or half a cup chopped fresh parsley
30ml lemon juice
30ml cider vinegar
45ml olive oil
Salt and black pepper to taste

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and allow to stand in the fridge for about
an hour before serving. This is excellent eaten with fresh, crusty homemade
bread, or used as a bruschetta topping.

Serves 4

Lemon-fresh Oily Skin Mask

1/2 Cucumber, diced
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 teaspoons fresh mint leaves

Blend all ingredients together until well mixed, in a blender or processor.
Refrigerate for 10 minutes.
Apply to your face and leave on for about 15 – 20 minutes.
Rinse well with tepid water, and finish off with a splash of cool.

Strawberry and Citrus Popsicles

1 Cup Strawberries, rinsed
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1 banana, chopped
1/2 cup soy milk
8 popsicle moulds, or clean yoghurt cups

Blend all the above in a processor or blender until smooth and creamy.
Pour into moulds and freeze.
Remove from freezer just before serving to soften and serve.

Makes about 8, depending on size of moulds.

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History of Pafuri Picnic Site

Pafuri picnic site in Kruger

Pafuri picnic site in Kruger

Pafuri picnic site

In 1939 Ranger Bill Lamont was instructed to build a tented camp for tourist somewhere along the Luvuvhu River. The site of Pafuri picnic site is the location he chose.

A few poles from its construction can still be seen within the picnic site to this day. The camp closed in 1948 due to an outbreak of maleria and continued flood damage from the river. Ranger Lamont one day stopped to examine a Jackelberry tree and to his surprise he discovered and old tabacco pouch. And within the pouch was several gold coins. To this day the origin was never known.

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