Dennis and Anne de Lange come from Uvongo in KwaZulu Natal where they have been living for the past 16 years. They have been visiting the Kruger National Park for the past 30 years. They are currently in Maroela camp where they are booked in for five weeks from where they will go to Berg en Dal for another week before going back home again.
Kruger Park Times met up with this couple who are passionate about the park and especially the trees at their campsite at Maroela. "When you camp in one place for as long as we do at a time, it feels like you are coming home each time you leave the camp for a game drive or to go shopping," says Anne.
They do shop, sometimes driving as far as Hoedspruit to replenish up their supplies. Both Dennis and Anne are satisfied with the services in the park although they feel that more can be done to add to the comfort of caravaners like themselves. Dennis says that people that haven't camped with a caravan before do not always take into consideration the size of a caravan and how hard it is to manoeuvre it on uneven terrain. If accesways to campsites were cut open to allow caravans to pass without being scratched and the camping areas are level, it would make camping much easier.
But they will not complain because they feel that Kruger National Park to them is still one of the best destinations to camp the way they do. Being tree lovers they always make time to travel to Punda Maria and Pafuri to see their favourite trees. Anne hopes that more trees will be marked with nameplates to enable people to recognise them and to create more interest in them. It is not only the trees she says but also small things like a kudu bull bringing his harem to the river for mother's day or a nyala ewe with her baby that add to the overall experience.
Both Dennis and Anne made special mention of the excellent service of Lida Sondane and Citios Hlabane who are the camp attendants at Maroela. It is people like this that James Stevenson Hamilton better known as "Skukuza" (he who sweeps clean) would have been very proud of. "We visit a lot of camps and they can come and learn a lot from these two people says," Dennis.