book reviews, exploring

Extraordinary Kruger Tales

book_largeI was recently on a local flight back from Cape Town and whilst reading the airline magazine to pass some time I came across a write up on a book called 101 Kruger Tales which is a compilation of 101 extraordinary stories from ordinary visitors to the Kruger National Park. I instantly knew this was going to be my next book to read and as soon as I arrived at the airport I went straight to Exclusive Books to get a copy.

I had a big smile on my face when I read the dedication page, which reads as per below:

Kruger-tales-dedication

This sums up Warrick and me when we visit the Kruger so I am pleased to say it goes without saying that I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

The book has been well structured into three parts; Tales from Southern Kruger region, Central Kruger region and finally the Northern Kruger region. As is expected a large majority of the tales that have been compiled come from Southern Kruger which is the more popular region due to the high population of Big Five Game sightings in the area. There is also a useful “Guide to understanding Kruger” upfront for people that may not be familiar with the ways of Kruger making this book even suitable for people who have not yet had the chance to visit this incredible Park.

The stories that have been compiled in this book are all extraordinary in their own way. Some of the stories will make you envious of the luck some people have had in the Park to witness astonishing sightings. Some of the stories may frighten you (I even threw the book down whilst reading chapter 12: The Biyamiti Stowaway – when you read it you will understand) other stories may even make you sad at the cruelty of nature. But what is a common theme in all these stories is that you never know what will be around the next corner in Kruger.

Kruger holds a special place in my heart and is definitely one of my favorite holiday destinations. I have many fond memories growing up and visiting the Kruger and always look forward to booking my next trip to this amazingly, wild, unpredictable place.

I too have my own Kruger tale to tell where my family and I went out for a “quick” morning drive from Olifants Camp before we needed to head off on a long journey down south to Berg-en-Dal Camp. We were driving down a dirt road and came to a muddy dip in the road and my father unthinkingly drove straight into it and yes you guessed it we got stuck in the mud. We attempted to get the car out of the mud by piling rocks under the wheel but had no luck so we decided to wait for another car to hopefully come down the road. Little did we know that we had actually driven down a “no entry” road because of this muddy section in the road. After waiting for a few hours with no cars in sight my mother and brother decided to start walking to the intersection where we turned into this dirt road. In hindsight, it was very irresponsible of my mom and brother to just walk unarmed with predators, buffalo and elephants in the area; however, thankfully the story ends well as they did manage to wave down a vehicle at the intersection that took them back to Olifants Camp so they could arrange a ranger to come and rescue us out of the mud. My dad was given a few words by the ranger for taking a “no entry” road and not checking the muddy crossing before driving into it but at least we came out of this alive and well.

Most visitors to the Kruger have a story or two to tell and you can now submit these on the Kruger Tales website and you never know it may even make it into the second edition of 101 Kruger Tales.

So to sum up this book, I would recommend it as a “must read” to any Kruger fan out there – you will probably be booking your next trip to Kruger after the first chapter.

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