I thought I would share some childhood memories of growing up in the famous Kruger National Park with you today. Excuse the quality of the pics,they were taken in 1975-1981. Many,many thanks to Jeanne Newby who gave me permission to use them!
This elephant was the well known tusker Letaba,there were seven huge elephant bulls who where all named for their territories in which they reigned. All of their tusks can be viewed today in a museum in the Letaba Camp. This was how all of our fences looked...You didn't just pop out of your yard to go and play with your friends,had to have a good look around for elephants and lion in particular! This particular bull formed such a relationship with Jeanne's mom,Lettie Newby that he would allow her to spray him with a hosepipe as she was watering her baberton daisies in her front yard! Please do not try this when visiting Africa!
This young bull was getting stroppy and mock charged. His ears are flapping,when an elephant pins his ears close to his head and charges...he means business! I had had a few encounters like those with elephants chasing my Dad in his truck and recalls my Dad reversing at speed with a very cross elephant chasing us.
Walking to the bus stop in the early mornings,you never knew what animals you might encounter! We had sightings of leopard,lion,cheetah,Buffalo,kudu,wildebeest,baboon,hyena...you name it! The game rangers would ensure that the way was cleared for us kids if there were any sightings of dangerous animals in the mornings!
Letaba offering a clear view of his magnificent right tusk, the left one was broken off..
My Mom had a hilarious encounter with a lioness one morning when she set off to walk to work(she loved walking to work) and as she walked out of our yard she found herself face to face with a lioness who had just been chased of a kill in front of our yard by the rangers and was trying to escape into our yard! Both the lioness and my mom turned and ran thinking the one was chasing the other...My Dad,who saw the lioness running off ,held our door closed from inside the house as my poor Mom was trying desperately to come in...! Needless to say, I learned some pretty neat swearwords that day.
My Dad had also had one particular incident where he came home from a night out with his buddies and waved the "dog" away from the gate as he was coming home...the footprints of a huge lion told it's own story late the next day when my Dad remembered his encounter with the "dog" and went to investigate...
A tourist who didn't obey the "do not cross" sign at a low water bridge during the floods....
That is his vehicle floating down the river...
I don't know why the quality of these two pics are so bad but the others are ok.
Don't worry the park mechanic,game ranger and other personnel would save your car from the river in no time!
And out they come!
Few people can say they grew up like we did!
We were born in and lived in Kruger Park our whole lives until my Dad retired!
Thank you Mom and Dad.