The James Stevenson-Hamilton reports on from the different warden sections.
One of the most fascinating things you’ll find when travelling around the Kruger is the immense history of the park as well as the fact that this history is so well preserved. With the parks various museums, guests can read snippets from ranger notes. These are taken from the Wardens Notes of January 1936.
The drought continued until the middle of January and then the rain set in. The roads in the north and south east were impassable as the rivers swell. The condition of the game in the area improved with the coming of the rain. On the Lower Sabie the impala had a bad lambing season. Very few young animals. There have been no more buffalo deaths since the rain, but the buffalo have moved away since the rain. 100 yards from the causeway, a leopard reared her cub in the reeds and bush. She was often seen in full view.
Lion kill – 1 kudu, 1 zebra
Leopard kill – 6 impala, 1 duiker
Cheetah kill – 2 impala
Wild dogs kill – 2 impala
After the 17 January had heavy rain. Several arrests made for poaching, one poaching party killed a wildebeest. One poacher was a 5th time offender. The ring leader was arrested along with his hunting party by the field ranger. Other arrests were made for killing a waterbuck and other small animals. A case was made against the owner of cattle who allowed his cattle to graze in the park. Dogs found hunting in the park were killed.
A ranger inspecting the Entumene Dam, walked in 21 lion on the 9th January. The lion were sleeping and jumped up around him, the ranger was unarmed but when he saw them he stood still and thankfully they did not attack him. The young animals are in a poor condition. A grave was found between Pretorius Kop and Hippo Pool. No headstone. Wildebeest calves less than most years. Section lorry traded for 2 ton V8 Ford. No locusts.
From the 17th January, heavy rain making rivers impassable, even by pontoon. Crossing washed out and roads severely damaged. Making of bricks to complete building at Malelane stopped due to heavy rains. Some unbaked bricked damaged by rain. Still awaiting parts to fix grader, worked stopped for six weeks due to broken grader. Made use of tractor and trailer to bring necessary materials to rest camp.
Young lion attacked a ranger’s bull, but the bull escaped, all in the daytime while the animals were grazing. Ranger now making lion proof kraal. While the buffalo moved away from the river after the rains, zebra and wildebeest have moved in to Malelane area. No locusts. Veld conditions improved since rain, animals improving.
After the 13th heavy rains, storms continued till month end. Crocodile River in flood. Drifts and roads damaged. Rangers office and outbuildings thatched. On the 7th, two poaches and 7 dogs were captured. Rangers helped a trespasser that was tossed by a buffalo. Headman Ntambo died, old age. Small swarm of locusts.
Regulatory Kills – 2 Wildebeest
Lion Kills – 4 Buffalo, 4 Wildebeest, 1 Kudu
Poachers Kill – 1 Cane Rat
Train Kill – 4 Impala (Herd ran into it)
When enjoying a Kruger Park safari, be sure to visit the museums when stopping at any of the main camps.