What inspires an artist like John Edmond to write and...If you can't see this message, view it in your browser
John Edmond Newsletter
Encore we will tell you more...AUGUST 2019
Dear Friends, Rhodies and Countrymen,
What inspires an artist like John Edmond to write and compose and then sing “SONGS OF KRUGER PARK “? Well there are many reasons and probably many opinions too!
Let’s start by mentioning a few major facts of Kruger Park:- Kruger National Park is one of the largest game reserves in Africa and the size of Wales.
Threats; The park’s ecosystem is subject to several threats, including intensive poaching, urban development at its borders, global warming and droughts, animal overpopulation and mining projects. The KNP was initially created to control hunting and to protect the diminished number of animals in the park after the Boer War.
Yet, there is no other reserve with the same variety and species of game, birds, fauna and flora anywhere on earth! All the big five game animals are found at Kruger National Park, which has more species of large mammals than any other African game reserve at 147 species. Out of the 517 species of birds found at Kruger, 253 are residents, 117 non-breeding migrants, and 147 nomads. – Hence John’s series TALES OF THE BIRD WATCHERS. Kruger supports packs of the endangered African wild dog, of which there are thought to be only about 400 in the whole of South Africa.
The park is part of the Kruger to Canyons Biosphere an area designated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as an International Man and Biosphere Reserve.
The reserve is home to over 12,000 Elephants, 27,000 African Buffalo, 1,000 Leopards and many other wildlife species, not to be seen anywhere else in its natural state. Over 300 recorded archaeological sites in Kruger Park attest to its occupation before modern times.. The reconstructed Thulamela on a hilltop south of the Levuvhu River was occupied from around the 13th -16th centuries, and had links with traders from the African East Coast.
Before the Second Anglo-Boer War, the area now covered by the park was a remote section of the eastern Transvaal's last wild frontier. Paul Kruger, President of the South African Republic at the time, proclaimed the area, a sanctuary for the protection of its wildlife. James Stevenson Hamilton noted many kraals along the Sabi River and the Letaba River although the north was sparsely populated compared to the south. Abel Chapman, one of the hunters who noted that the area was over-hunted by the end of the 19th century, brought this fact to wider attention.
In 1895, Jakob Louis van Wyk introduced in the Volksraad of the old South African Republic a motion to create the game reserve. This resulted in the proclamation by Paul Kruger, president of the Transvaal Republic (South African Republic), on 26 March 1898, of a "Government Wildlife Park." This park would later be known as the Sabi Game Reserve. James Stevenson-Hamilton became the first warden of the reserve in 1902
During 1923, the first groups of tourists started visiting the Sabie Game Reserve, but only as part of the South African Railways' popular "Round in Nine" tours. The tourist trains used the Selati railway line between Komatipoort the Mozambican border and Tzaneen in Limpopo Province. The tour included an overnight stop at Sabie Bridge (now Skukuza) and a short walk, escorted by armed rangers, into the bush. It soon became a highlight of the tour and it gave valuable support for the campaign to proclaim the Sabie Game Reserve as a national park.
The variety of tree species is incredible. Combretums, such as the red bush-willow and Acacia species predominate while there are a great number of Marula trees (Sclerocarya caffra). The Acacias are dominant along the rivers and streams. There are a number of smaller areas in the park which carry distinctive vegetation such as Pretoriuskop where the sickle bush and the silver cluster-leaf (Terminalia sericea) are prominent. The sandveld communities near Punda Maria are equally definitive, with a wide variety of unique species.
The park stopped culling elephants in 1994 and tried re-locating them, unfortunately not very successfully as by 2004 the population had increased to 11,670 elephants, and by 2012 to 16,900. The park's habitats may only be able to sustain about 8,000 elephants, though this is not entirely clear. Elephants do change plant growth and density in the park, and some species, such as wildebeests, clearly benefit from an increase in grasslands. KNP started an attempt at using contraception in 1995, but has stopped that due to problems with delivering the contraceptives and upsetting the herds.
Kruger is inhabited by 114 species of reptile, black mamba, african rock pythons, and about 3,000 crocodiles. Thirty-three species of amphibians are found in the Park, as well as 50 fish species. Invertebrates. 219 species of butterfly and skipper are native to the park. The fastest and most robust of these belong to genus Charaxes, of which 12 species have been recorded.
The park has a high diversity of termites, including the mound-building termites. Even a variety of mosquito occur in the park. Arabiensis is the most prevalent of the 9 or more Anopheles species in the park, and their females transmit malaria.
As of 2018 an estimation of 350 species of arachnids, excluding ticks and mites were known to Kruger. These are mostly true spiders, including 7 species of baboon spider, but also 9 scorpion species, some pseudo scorpion species, sun and roman spiders, 2 species of harvestmen and 1 species of tailless whip scorpion.
So KNP’s wildlife, fauna and flora is vast, interesting and plentiful and more identifications noted weekly. Well we would say that’s enough reasons to sing about!
We mentioned that Kruger Park hosts the big Five, John has written a humorous song called “The Nile Crocodiles Lament” In the song the Nile crocodile is saying that there should be a Big 6 and he should be included – listen to the song for the Crocs valid reasons.
Guess where you will find John and Teresa Edmond in the month of August…. KRUGER NATIONAL PARK doing more research OF COURSE and en-route to a Rhodesian celebration at MARLOTH PARK on 31st August see web site for details.
SONGS OF KRUGER PARK IS AVAILABLE ON LINE See the web site www.johnedmond.co.za or in the shops of Kruger Park.
1. The old Voortrekker Road
Go wild, go birding, go Kruger and keep singing.
Till next time.
Wild greetings from the team.
Father and son this coming satuday