Harry Wolhuter

One of Kruger Park's most famous stories is the 1904 saga of Harry Wolhuter, one of the Park's first rangers.Wolhuter was riding on horseback along what is today the Lindanda Road (S35), when two lions attacked him shortly after nightfall.

Toppled from his horse, one of lions seized him by the shoulder, and dragged him almost 100 metres, into the bush. At this point, the semi-conscious ranger managed to retrieve his sheath knife from his belt and stabbed the lion.

The mortally wounded lion then dropped Wolhuter who managed to climb into a tree before the second lion came after him. Wolhuter believes he was saved by his dog, Bull, whose persistent barking at the second lion distracted it. Wolhuter's assistants then arrived, and carried him back to camp.

After resting a day, he was carried in a litter, to get medical assistance. The party arrived at Komatipoort four days later. Wolhuter was patched up by a doctor and then sent by train to Barberton hospital where he stayed for several weeks.

Wolhuter's knife and the skin of the lion he killed are on display in the Stevenson-Hamilton Library at Skukuza. Wolhuter was known by his Swazi name, Lindanda. The name is derived from 'lihiya', a type of loincloth worn by the Swazi people, and which Wolhuter himself was fond of wearing.

Wolhuter is further remembered in the park by his "Camp", which was originally known as Wolhuter's Hut was, in fact, the first tourist accommodation in the Park. Today, Pretoriuskop (the nearest Restcamp to Wolhuter's Camp), is the park's fifth largest rest camp accommodating nearly 350 guests in 145 huts.

An interesting feature of Pretoriuskop is that it is the only camp allowed to break the park's rigid 'indigenous-trees-only' rule. In the days before Kruger's complex set of rules and regulations were established, Pretoriuskop was part of the local ranger's garden. The red flamboyants and purple bougainvilleas he introduced bloomed so proudly that modern-day rangers believe they should remain in place for the sake of history and nostalgia.

Kruger National Park - South African Safari