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Talk:Kruger National Park

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This article was the Collaboration of the week between 12 September 2006 and 18 September 2006.

Has anybody seen templates for National Parks or any other National that is worth having a look at? If yes please leave a note for me.

Thanks. Jens

None exist at the moment but it's a good idea, please follow up on Wikitravel talk:Article templates. Jpatokal 11:15, 17 May 2005 (EDT)

I start to post some pictures in the article and intend to bind them into the text that is going o follow within the next couple of days.

Thanks. Jens

Revert recent changes

Please consider that this page is still growing and I am at the beginning. I reverted back to one of my previous versions, because I was not happy about moving parts from Understand section to the see section, because I intend to write a extensive see section with several subsection as indicated. I hope that I considered all spelling suggestions from Nzpcmad and Jaktobal (Thanks for that) but maybe I missed some out.

The next couple of days I am going to work on the camp sites to get some meat on those and then I can probably work on the fun part: see section. Meanwhile I am still uploading some more pics and I hope somebody can help to arrange them nicely.

Thanks. Jens


KNP Map

I ask SANPark for the right to use their map on Wikitravel and that was their answer. Jens

Hi Jens,

It is not a very useful map, but if it helps you - you may use it.

There is only one condition - you need to acknowledge the source of info and provide a link to www.SANPark.org from the material itself.

Kind regards, Nedret

Nedret Saidova E-Commerce Manager SANParks, South Africa Tel: +27-(0)12-426-5283 Cell: +27-(0)84-446-8581 http://www.sanparks.org/

Comments on KNP map

Unfortunately, I think this means that we cannot use this here. Since we re-license stuff using Wikitravel:Copyleft which does not enforce any such conditions, this is incompatible with Wikitravel. Thanks for trying though!
And if you're wondering why.... our idea here is that we want our guides to be reusable by hotel operators or tourist bureaus or the local library who can just print our stuff our (with an attribution to the original author(s)) and go ahead and photocopy away. We need to have just One Set of rules that these folks need to obey in order to reuse our stuff rather than forcing them to check every page and every image being reproduced to make sure it doesn't have extra conditions. Secondly, it's really hard to link back to sanpark's website from a piece of paper :-).
And again, thanks for trying so hard to both improve Wikitravel and do the Right Thing. I wish more people were as careful as you! -- Colin 15:54, 7 Oct 2004 (EDT)


I think the map is good start, but it needs a lot more work. It does not provide information about gates and the camp listing is not complete. So I will do a better map as soon as I finished with the major work on the KNP.

Jens

Flora and Fauna guide

Instead of concentrating all the (excellent) photos & descriptions here in Kruger National Park, should we create a separate "African flora and fauna" page that could be linked to by any other safari and/or African national park pages? Jpatokal 08:03, 12 Oct 2004 (EDT)


Good suggestion. I could put that on my to do list and incorporate those pic and plants in other national park in Kenya, Tanzania once I get the KNP in a decent shape. Although, there are slight differences in fauna and flora between KNP, the Kalahari, Kenya,Tanzania and other parks. In the KNP you spot Zebras in small numbers and in Kenya you can see 100.000 and more in a herd just to mention one difference.

Jens 13:26, 12 Oct 2004


You could mention that in the article though, something like (terribly rough draft):
You can see a great deal of African flora and fauna at KNP, although you will only see small numbers of zebras.
And then in the Kenya article:
You can see a great deal of African flora and fauna in Kenya, including huge herds of zebra numbering 100 000 or more.
-- Hypatia 08:38, 12 Oct 2004 (EDT)

Article is a bit big

The KNP article, as good as it is, is a bit long with 40kb. I would say that the animal section could be shortened a bit, as there is now the really good African flora and fauna guide. What do you think? If no one rejects, I would clean the article within the nect days. 25/April/2005 - 14h30 GMT Felix

Well I think the article would benefit if one could provide more information about camps and atraction which I have not not covered. The animal and plant section is also quiet short and would benefit from some more pics rather than chopping it off.
Jens
Agree on the camps and attractions. Photos are also good. But why not shorten the description of animals a bit? It would be easy to set a link to African flora and fauna, so that interested people could follow this link. For most people it is more interesting how and where to find animals and how to identify them, than having big explanations about their breeding habits... Felix


Oh yes, we can revert the version again and again, but where is the sense in that??? Felix

Articles for bigger camps

Hi,

what about creating articles for each of the camps? They would be easier to find and the KNP article wouldn't be so crowded... Would make more sense in my opinion to put everything about the Skukuza Camp, like restaurants, accommodation, facilities and good game drives around the camp in one article, than to squezze everything into the KNP article. Opinions?

Cheers, Felix - 12/May/2005 15:33 (GMT)

First step-> created Camps in the Kruger National Park; this is only a try to give an overview. If someone got a better idea about how to organize the whole matter, please tell me.

I agree Nic

Hmmm, I'm not sure if I like having an article just for "Camps" -- it would be like having "Hotels in New York" which really goes against our article guidlines. What about treating camps like districts? Even if we do move towards camp aticles, all the general/overview information should go in the mail Kruger National Park article... Majnoona 10:32, 17 May 2005 (EDT)

Agree with Maj here, this division doesn't really make sense and I think the animal stuff should be shunted out into African flora and fauna instead, except maybe for critters that really are unique to KNP. 40k is not that much for an article, Japan is already pushing 100K. Jpatokal 11:12, 17 May 2005 (EDT)
Totally agree on the animals (see discussion above). I actually wanted to treat the camps district like (see link created in the camps article: Kruger National Park/Skukuza). It would make it much easier to find information about a single camp. We could also add more facts, like the best routes to take from there, good animal spots or the nearest waterhole... It think all this would be a bit much for the Kruger article itself. Cheers, Felix - 10:33 (GMT), 19/May/2005

Sabi Sabi, Mala Mala in 'Get Out' ??

As far as I know, the 'Get out' section should contain modes of transport. Currently it contains 2 places to stay which should IMHO move to the 'sleep' section. Not only that, but the list is also very incomplete. E.g. Singita which has been voted the best hotel in the world is not even mentioned.

Feel free to plunge forward and add listings yourself in future! On the subject of get out, the Wikitravel:Park_template#Get_out describes the get out section for having: Nearby places that one may want to visit after leaving the park. Don't replicate information that's up in "Get in", though. If there's really no more extra information than "Turn around and go back the way you came", just leave this section out entirely. -- Tim 13:07, 16 August 2006 (EDT)


Removed huge list of plants/animals/birds/reptiles

I've ripped this out - most of it is already in the African Flora and Fauna page. Tim 12:33, 15 August 2006 (EDT)

This is left here so I can reintegrate parts of it in at next opportunity. Tim 18:58, 15 August 2006 (EDT)

Plants

The KNP is home of 336 tree species of which the Umbrella thorn, Baobab and Mopane are very prominent plants.


Baobab
  • Baobabs (Adansonia digitata) occur in drier areas only. Their trunk is huge in proportion to the branches. It crown looks as if the tree had been turned upside down, because the branches are gnarled and twisted like roots. It has large white flowers from October to November and fruits in April and May. These fruits are often eaten by baboons and monkeys.


  • The Fever-tree Acacia (Acacia xanthophloea) is an easy to recognize tree. It's trunk is slender and the bark has an unique, yellow-green colour, as a result of minerals that are stored in the bark. It is called fever-tree, because in earlier times people believed they would get sick when coming close to this tree. It is heavily browsed by elephants.
  • The Umbrella Acacia (Acacia tortillis) is one of the best known trees of Africa, because of its typical umbrella shape. As its name suggests it is full of thorns and only specialist browsers can reach its leaves without suffering from the thorn defense (see also Giraffe).


Weeping boer bean
  • Weeping boer bean (Schotia brachypetala) is a tree that prefers wet ground and is commonly found on river banks only after years of good rainfall. It has beautiful red flowers between September to October.


For further details see also African flora and fauna.

Animals

Birds

Spottedbacked weaver
Saddlebilled stork

The KNP is home of 507 bird species of which some of them shown on pictures. See also African flora and fauna for further details

  • Carmine bee eater (Merops nubicoides)is an insect hunting bird that prays on bees and grasshoppers.
  • Darter (Anhinga melanogaster) can be spotted close to dams, when drying their feathers from a previous dive.
  • Fish eagle (Heliaeetus vocifer) is a fish hunter that can be spotted along the sabie river.
  • Helmeted guineafowl (Numida melagris) can often be spotted in small groups along roads when they are picking insects or seeds.
  • Redbilled oxpecker (Buphaguse rythrorhynchus) give relief to grazing animal, like Kudu, Impala or Rhino by removing ticks from the skin.
  • Spottedbacked weaver is a very colourful yellow bird with characteristic hanging nests. Breeding colonies can often be found along rivers and birds often visit camps for a few scraps of food.
  • Saddlebilled stork (Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis) is easy to spot because of its colourful appearance and its size. It spends the European winter in the KNP.

Mammals

Most visitor will regard mammals as the main attraction and often look out for the Big Five (Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Rhino and Buffallo) and there are another 140 different mammal species to look for as well. The term Big Five stems back from the times when animals were hunted. The Big Five were considered the most dangerous animals to hunt.

  • Burchells zebra (Equus burchellii) can be seen in small groups of less than 10 animals consisting of one stallion several mares and foals. The mare leaves the herd to give birth to the foal and rejoins after birth.
Blue Wildebeest.
  • Blue wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus) form small groups and are seasonal breeders. Offspring arrives from November to February and is born within the herd. Calves may be defended fierce fully against any attacker.
Bufallo
  • Buffalos (Syncerus caffer)are fierce beasts. Males may reach up to 700 kg of weight. Buffalos live in herds and have strong social bonds. They can form groups of up to several thousand members when the environment permits and groups are organized by dominant males and females. Predators are actively attacked to defend calves, injured or old members. Mothers give birth to 40kg calves which are capable of walking shortly after birth. Calves are weaned after seven month, but stay close to their mother for 12 month. Their most preferred habitat are thickets and open savannah with protective properties.
  • Chacma baboons (Papio ursinus) live in social groups guided by a dominant male. Newborn baboons are black and are carried around by their mothers. They later ride on the back of their mother and after three to four month they change their colour to brown-grey like the adults.
  • Cheetahs are the fastest mammals on earth and feared hunters. You will have to be lucky to see them from very close because they tend to be hidden in high grass or you hide in the dense thicket of KNP. Cheetahs are usually singles and smaller groups are mother and offspring. They are active during the daytime and hunt in the cool hours of the day and reach maximum speed of up 100 km/h in a short and explosive burst and have to tackle their prey in a single attack. The preferred prey is Impala, but birds are on the menu as well.
  • Dwarf mongoose (Helogale parvule) live in social groups with one dominant breeding pair and the rest of the group assists with raising the offspring. The mongoose is active during daytime and they run quickly into their tunnels if frightened, but also return quickly and are funny to look at. They live often close to streams, rivers, ponds as well as along open camp sites surrounded by high grass and thicket. The mongoose lives on insects, small birds and eggs.
Elephants
  • Elephants are among the most common sightings in the KNP and you will be able to see them from very close – and for some visitors probably to close and it is definitely nothing for a faint hart visitor. Elephants are the biggest land mammals and a male can weight up to 6000 kg and female can reach up to 3500 kg. They live in large family groups led by the most experienced female. Males are only tolerated till a certain age in the family and have to leave the family and form bachelors groups. Males join the group only when they are in must, but only the strongest bulls are tolerated. Elephants can often be seen around rivers when they have a bath and a good sip of water. Elephants can drink up to 160 litres of water and eat several hundred kilograms of plants per day. They are active at day and night time. Elephants are peaceful creatures and become aggressive only when attacked, wounded or when they want to protect their babies.
  • Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) are the tallest mammals on earth and male reach a height of up to 5.2 metre and females can be 4.7 metres tall and have a maximum weight of 1400 kg. They live in loose family groups and newborn calves join the group after one week. Young giraffes grow fast and reach one meter size within six month. Family groups can range from 4 to 30 members, but the structure is loose and fluctuations are common. Giraffes are browsers and can reach leaves that are not accessible by any other terrestrial mammal. To maintain such an enormous body on a vegetarian diet giraffes are eating up to 20 hours a day and rest only during the hottest hours of the day. Giraffes give birth after 450 days of pregnancy to a single calf of up to 100 kg and the calf can instantly stand on four legs and walks soon after.
Hippos at the Crocodile river
  • Hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibious) can frequently be spotted in the KNP for example in the Crocodile river. You may see them from very close at the Crocodile view point near the Crocodile gate. A ranger accompanies you to the river and you can see the hippos very close. Hippo calves have a birth weight of around 30 kg and are dependent on their mother for 5 month, after that they start to graze.
  • Impala (Aepyceros melampus) live in big herds and newborn lambs join the herd after 1-2 days. They are excellent sprinters and can outrun many predators. Another defense technique is confusing the attacking hunter. All members of the herd will jump around in different directions, so that the predator can not concentrate on a singel individual. Males have impressive horns, but these are mainly used for fights about females rather than a defence weapon.
  • Kudus (Tragelaphus strepsiceros) are big antelopes and very common in the KNP. Calves are born outside of the herd and are kept in a secret location for 1-2 weeks before they join the herd. They are loved in the national park, but farmers hate them, because a 2 meter high fence does not stop them from entering farm premises and eating the crops.
Lion cubs and mum
  • Lions (Panthera leon) are common in the KNP, nevertheless you have to be lucky to see them from very close. Lions hunt early in the morning or in the night and during the day they allow themselves to be lazy. Males often do not contribute to the hunting, but they demand their lion share and everybody has to wait until it is their turn. Their menu consists mainly of bigger mammals and Zebras seem to be their favourite if available. To see them in action you have to get up before crack of dawn or you see them only resting after a big dinner. Lion cubs are dependent on their mother for up to two years and they start to enjoy hunting when they are about 11 month old. Lions are social cats and live in prides of 3-30 lions with consists of 1-4 males, several females and cubs.
Dozy hyena
  • Spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta) has a bad reputation for no good reason. They are good hunters and are not only dependent on the leftovers from lions. Puppies rely on their mothers’s milk for 9-12 month and start to look after themselves with the age of 15 month. They live in packs of 3-4 animals and can form larger groups as well. The leader of the pack is a female and they hunt often during the night, but can be spotted during the daytime as well. They prey on insects, mammals such as zebras and wildebeest and sometimes they bring down a giraffe, or fight off lions from their catch and tend to explore bins in national parks.
  • Silver backed jackals (Canis mesomelas) are dog like animals with big ears and long tails. They live alone or in small groups and are night active in human areas. They can be seen during daytime in animal sanctuaries. Their diet is composed of everything they can tackle ranging from insects, hares to small antelopes, leftovers and in human settlements they sometimes live of sheep and goats.
  • Vervet monkey is a social monkey that lives close to rivers and feeds on leaves, fruits and insects. Family groups are up to 20 members strong. Newborn vervet monkeys are dependent on their mother for three month and from then on become youngsters.
Rhino mother with Calf
  • White Rhinoceros (Ceratoterium simum) were extincted in the KNP and where re-introduced in their natural habitat and have developed very well since then. Calves can stand immediately after birth, but they are very slow at walking. After one month it can follow its mother grazing and stays close to its mother for up to three years.

There is no difference in colour between Black and White Rhinos.


Warthog
  • Warthogs (Phacochoenerus aethiopicus) are medium sized mammalians having a mixed diet. Warthog babies are born at the beginning of the rain season (December-January) and life for the first 6-7 weeks in their burrow and then start to follow their mother.


Wild dogs
  • Wild dogs (Lycaon pictus)live in packs of 10-15 members with hierarchical structure where only the dominant female has pubs and the rest helps to care for them. The pubs are born in a den and they stay there for up to three weeks before they explore their environment. After five weeks the pubs start eating regurgitated meat and after 8-10 weeks they leave the den forever and follow the pack. Wild dog sightings are always a big event so watch out for them because they are considered to be the rarest predator in Africa! Wild dogs are mainly active during the day and they hunt in the early hours or late afternoon. They prey on small mammals, like Impalas and Duikers and they manage occasionally buffalos, too.

Reptiles

The KNP is home of 114 reptiles such as crocodiles, snakes, geckos and turtles.

  • Crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus) live along rivers and are very successful hunters and eat whatever they can. They control their body temperature by lying in the sun to warm up in winter or to cool down in water in the hot summer.
Leopard tortoise
  • Leopard tortoises (Geocholone pardalis) can be spotted best on tarred roads (they are virtually invisible in the high grass from a car), as they like to drink water from tarred roads.
  • African Rock Pythons (Phyton sebae natalensis) can be found throughout the park, but often in woodlands and near permanent water.

For more details see African flora and fauna.


useful research links

These links should be useful for the upcoming CotW. -- Tim 04:42, 16 August 2006 (EDT)

http://www.southafrica.net/

  • http://www.krugerpark.co.za/ private tour operator with helpful information.
  • http://www.kruger2canyons.com/ - the central sector of the Kruger National Park and the Central Lowveld region (extending up to the Blyde River Canyon and Panorama Route) together constitute the Kruger to Canyons Biosphere. This website is a guide to this UN-designated reserve, which recognises the global conservation importance of the Kruger and its environs, and the sometimes conflicting imperatives of stimulating economic development in and around the Park in order to ameliorate local poverty.
  • ecoAfrica's guide to lodges, safaris and rest camps in Kruger

Points needing resolving from discussion over DotM

This is what needs to be done to get the page ready for being a Destination of the Month candidate. -- Tim 13:04, 16 August 2006 (EDT)


Good article that will need a bit of MoSing, as some info is in the wrong sections. The Understand needs to be split up into climate/fauna etc. Having said this, the info is there and a CotW would sort it out. Possible candidate for Feb 07? It is also an African article, and we haven't had an African DotM since September 05. Finally, having this as DotM might also draw a few editors down to South African articles so we can get some more info into them! -- Tim 06:55, 15 August 2006 (EDT)

  • Whoa! This still needs quite a bit of work -- sections are unpopulated, key contact info is missing (and may be hard to get), and so on. Also, there needs to be discussion as to whether it's DotM or OTBP. I'm in favor of getting this into usable shape, for all the reasons you cite above, but it first needs to be improved to where it's ready, then scheduled into the appropriate slot (more likely OTBP than DotM, IMHO). -- Bill-on-the-Hill 08:48, 15 August 2006 (EDT)
  • Agree with Bill contentwise, but I do think this (just) qualifies for DOTM: it's probably Africa's best-known and busiest national park (a quick Googling says over 500,000 visitors yearly), although the huge size does compensate to some extent. Jpatokal 08:59, 15 August 2006 (EDT)
Okay. It's on the list of things to do! Tim 12:06, 15 August 2006 (EDT)

Removed contact details from sleep section

Dumping this here for future reference, but am planning to split each camp off as a district as mentioned above. Contact details will be in sleep sections for each camp page. Tim 17:45, 16 August 2006 (EDT)

Bookings can be made by email Traveltrade@parks-sa.co.za , online SA National Parks link, phone +27 (0)12 428-9111, fax: +27 (0)12 343-0905, by mail South African National Parks, PO Box 787, Pretoria 0001, South Africa
Districts are not appropriate for anything other than huge cities. If you absolutely must, and I'm not at all sure it's necessary (can't we just expand the current nutshell summaries a bit?), you should use the small city template. Jpatokal 22:42, 16 August 2006 (EDT)
If you look at the discussion above, there is plenty of scope for adding a heck of lot of information to each camp. The camps arent merely places to sleep, some have restaurants, shops, bars, and then you've got the fact that each camp has got local waterholes and other places that are great for seeing game.
What do you mean we should use the small city template - do you mean for the whole park, or for each camp? -- Tim 07:53, 17 August 2006 (EDT)
For each camp (or at least the ones that are big enough to warrant separate articles). Jpatokal 08:44, 17 August 2006 (EDT)

Camps in the Kruger National Park

Any reason why that pages exists? It just duplicates in formation already here. --Nick 13:27, 30 November 2006 (EST)

Wow! I didn't even realise that page existed.... Absolutely no point having it, the info just needs to be transferred into the relevant camp articles. -- Tim 15:58, 30 November 2006 (EST)

Intro photo replaced by map

I have replaces JensANDMarian's Kruger_monument_at_the_Kruger_Gate_Kruger_National_Park.JPG photo with a map, but that is a very good photo and should really be reused elsewhere on the page. If anyone can find a good place for it to slot in, please do so. -- Nick 17:56, 30 November 2006 (EST)

Cool map, but I think we should keep the pic at the top of the article, and put the map a bit further down and a bit smaller... Can't find this written out in any guideline or policy but photos tend to be a bit more exciting than maps! -- Tim 18:33, 30 November 2006 (EST)

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