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Kruger National Park

The Father of the Kruger National Park

When the area between the Sabie and Crocodile Rivers was proclaimed a game sanctuary in 1902 the post of chief game warden went to a Dublin-born major named James Stevenson-Hamilton. He was destined to become known as the “father” of the Kruger National Park.
Stevenson-Hamilton was given vague instructions to prevent poaching within the reserve, but no staff to enforce his authority.
Yet by 1903, with only two game wardens, he had so sternly enforced the poaching laws that he was nicknamed siKhukhuza (‘he who scrapes clean’). The European form of the name – Skukuza – was given to the park’s headquarters.
He even prosecuted a party of senior police officers for hunting within the reserve.
Stevenson-Hamilton devoted most of the rest of his working life to keeping the boundaries of the Kruger National Part intact. He retired in 1946.

Bird Life in the Kruger National Park

Of the 900 bird species found in South Africa, 450 may be seen in the Kruger National Park.  The casual visitor is captivated by their beauty and the antics, while the ornithologist is in a paradise.
Every visitor will notice birds such as the glossy, metallic blue starlings, with their yellow button eyes.  Cheeky and hopeless spoilt by visitors, they frequent the camps and picnic places, thriving on hand-outs.
Equally noticeable at such places are the hornbills.  Comical to watch, inquisitive and tame, they are the clowns of the bird world.
Vultures (white-backed and hooded) are repellent but fascinating when they gather to kill. Secretary birds and ground hornbills, grave of demeanor, promenade through the bush in search of food. At the rivers and pools the sacred ibis, along with the hamerkop, sandpiper and numerous aquatic birds such as the knob-billed duck, hunt for frogs and fish.  Ox-pecker tick birds cluster on the game animals, relieving them of parasites; egrets, herons and storks follow the grazing herds in search of grass-hoppers and other insects; at night barn-owls and pearl-spotted owls fly out to hunt as the sun sets. Ostriches are common here, while in the trees a mass of song bird’s cluster.