Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park General Information

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Re: Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park General Information

Post by Alf » Tue Jan 14, 2020 7:44 am

Mel wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 7:41 am
Richprins wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 7:16 am
What is a KTC, Mello? :o0ps:
Kalahari Tented Camp :-)
But there's no aircons in those tents :-(
Next trip to the bush??

Let me think......................

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Re: Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park General Information

Post by Klipspringer » Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:38 pm

Brief History of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

The Kgalagadi were some of the first people to penetrate the northern Kalahari and lived in comparative peace with the Khoe speaking inhabitants. Although the did not always remain there, the name they gave the area remained. Kalahari is derived from the Kgalagadi word Makgadikgadi, meaning saltpans or the great thirstland. The first english speaking settlers in the area came to trade with the people living in the Kalahari.

In 1884, the Germans occupied South West Africa and it was during these years that Stoffel (Christoffel) le Riche first ventured into the Kalahari. In 1899, he and his wife Martie moved from Rietfontein, just south of the existing Park. In 1899 there first son Johannes and in 1904 their second son Joseph (Later known as Joep) was born.

In 1891, the Park area as well as the area to the southwest, presently known as The Mier, was annexed to what was formerly British Bechuanaland. Approximately ten years later, just across the border, a rebellion against the German colonial rule in former South West Africa led to German troops setting up a station at Groot Kolk, in British territory, to transmit messages to South West Africa. An enormous camel thorn tree served as an ideal lookout post despite this, a daybreak raid killed many of the the Germans as they rose from their beds. Unfortunately, the tree, still bearing horseshoes, which the Germans nailed to the trunk as a ladder, burnt down in a large veldfire in 1976.

With the outbreak of World War 1 in 1914, the (Union of) South Africa's Government drilled a series of boreholes along the Auob to provide their troops with water in case South Africa wanted to use corridor to invade South West Africa. Guards were recruited mainly from the local community and hired to protect and maintain the boreholes. They were permitted to settle next to the holes with their families and livestock. It was expected that they would live of the veld (with dire consequences to the environment). Because of lack of firewood and appropriate clay to make bricks they erected timber frame structures as dwellings and stock shelters. Dwellings that are more permanent were erected with the locally abundant calcrete stone. The only evidence of these times are the calcrete walls of circular cattle kraals, the foundations of square and rectangular huts and some larger multi roomed dwellings.

This corridor was never used to invade South West Africa and the borehole guards stayed on, largely forgotten by the authorities. Instead, the Government appointed a Scottish land surveyor Rodger "Malkop" Duke Jackson to survey the area and divide it into farms. About this time, six farms were purchased by the South African Government, but were not occupied before the Government decided that Coloured people should rather settle the region. The British Government, then already in control of Bechuanaland, had already settled Coulred people on the east bank of the Nossob between Rooiputs and its confluence with the Auob River (the ruins of an old dwelling is still located at Rooiputs).

After World War 1, Scottish born Rodger "Malkop" Jackson surveyed the region and a theoretical subdivision was made into farms of 10 200 and 12 800 hectares. Jackson named many of the farms after landmarks in homeland Scotland, most of which are still in use today as boreholes in the Park. Several farmers settled as borehole caretakers along the Auob River and they lived rent-free as long as the boreholes were kept in good repair.

Additional farms were allocated to more farmers along the Auob and along the Nossob River. However, this is a harsh environment and these farmers struggled to make a comfortable living from their farms, with names like KoKo, Kameelsleep, Kaspers Draai en Kwang. If not for the tsama melons, an essential plant in this semi-arid ecosystem, which in dry times are the principle source of water, many would not have survived. Under very dry conditions, even the tsamas disappear and only animals that are well adapted to the harsh conditions survive.

The settlers therefore took to hunting and they, with the biltong hunters from further a field, gradually denuded the game. Only in the more remote reaches of the upper Nossob River was the balance of nature maintained, for here the Khoe speaking people lived in harmony with animals and plants. One of the last and oldest inhabitants those times was Regopstaan Kruiper, who died in 1996 at the age of 96

If this remarkable eco-system was to survive, a conservation plan of action was needed

Two conservationists invited the then Minister of Lands, Piet Grobler to inspect the region. Grobler piloted the National Parks Act through parliament and played a major role in the proclamation of Kruger National Park in 1926. By 1931, Piet Grobler had decided to proclaim the area between the Nossob River and the Auob River and the SWA Border a national park. Land was purchased south of the Park to resettle so called 'Coloured' people and the borehole structures were abandoned. All but a few farms that had been sold by the Government were brought back and the Park was finally proclaimed in 1931.

Johannes le Riche (the son of a local trader Christoffel, Francois, Albertyn Le Riche), the first warden of the Park (and his family), settled at Gemsbok Plain (later referred to as Gemsbok plein) in a house which had been abandoned by a borehole guard. From this point, onwards Le Riche and his assistant Gert Januarie became involved in the protection of wildlife in the area. For three years, they patrolled the Park on horseback. In 1934, the park experienced an exceptional rainy season and both the Nossob and Auob came down in flood. This was followed by an epidemic of malaria and both Le Riche and Januarie died of this illness. A few days later after their death Le Riche's brother Joep was appointed ranger in his place.

In 1935, a row of farms along the southern bank of the Auob River was purchased by the Union Government to ensure that both banks of the river would be protected. Twee Rivieren was also bought to include the confluence of the rivers into the Park. The resulting jagged boundary was straightened through 'give-and-take' between the Government and neighbouring farmers.

In 1935, a corrugated iron house was built for the Warden at Samevloeiing and shortly afterwards a brick house built at Twee Rivieren. Joep le Riche who was supposed to be appointed temporarily eventually stayed in the post for 36 years. He and his assistant Gert Mouton re-commissioned the old boreholes in the riverbeds in order to 'persuade' the animals to remain in the Park instead of leaving the unfenced boundaries where they were poached and killed.

In 1938 the British Government proclaimed a new game reserve across the Nossob in what is today Botswana. Joep le Riche was put in charge. During World War 11, Poachers were short of bullets and game numbers increased dramatically. After the War, game fences were erected along the Park's western and southern boundaries. The Eastern boundary remained unfenced leaving this border open to animals that needed to migrate from east to west.

The Botswana Gemsbok National Park was proclaimed in 1938 by what was then called Bechuanaland. Mabuasehube Game Reserve was added in 1971 and was incorporated into Gembok National Park in 1992. ... .php#brief

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Re: Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park General Information

Post by Richprins » Tue Jun 02, 2020 10:01 am

Please check Needs Attention pre-booking:

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