One year of Our Life in Kruger

Happy Birthday! One year of Our Life in Kruger

During my time in Letaba as a stay at home mother of two young buys, I felt the need to somehow document these extraordinary and very special early years of their lives. A blog came to mind, so on May 24 last year, I wrote this post on the Facebook Group KNP Best Place On Earth:

 

“Hi everyone… I live in Kruger… my husband is a trails ranger here. I am thinking of stating a blog about what it is like to live here and raise two small boys. Is that something you think people would want to read about?? Your opinion is appreciated! Xx”

 

That post received over 1800 likes and 889 comments of support and encouragement. And it was exactly the nudge in the right direction I needed! And I am very proud to say that today marks the first birthday of Our Life in Kruger!!!

 

What an adventure it has been. I knew nothing about domain names, WordPress, blogging in general and apart from the odd essay in high school, I had never written anything story-like. But with help from my dear friend and former colleague Richard, I managed to get my website live and publish my first article exactly a year ago! (I am my by no means an expert now, a year on, but maybe just a bit more ‘comfortable’ in the online world.;-))

 

In one year of Our Life in Kruger, we published 88 blog posts with a total of 71025 words! And we received 1359 lovely comments from readers and 761 email subscriptions! And that is just the website! Our Life in Kruger Facebook page has got 5672 likes too. We feel extremely blessed and humbled by all the positive feedback! Thank you all so much for reading our stories and for taking the time to comment. I might not be able to respond to them all, but we read each and every one of them!

 

Some of our posts were extra special for me this year. Here are my personal highlights in no particular order:

 

  1. Our Life in Kruger Presents: ‘Home Alone.’ Starring: me!
Home Alone in Kruger
Our Life in Kruger presents: Home Alone

What a fun blog to write this was! And I loved trying to copy the actual movie poster by Photo-shopping a picture of myself in there. At that time it really felt like our animal neighbours would only come and visit while Steven was on trail.

 

  1. Dear Monkeys in the Garden – We Need to Talk.
Vervet Monkey in our garden in Kruger National Park
Dear Monkeys in the garden….

A post born out of frustration with the monkey poo everywhere turned into a back and forth conversation between the monkeys (written by long time follower Sal Davies) and myself. Sal’s first response as the monkeys was a lovely surprise and they had me in stitches the whole day! Thanks Sal!

 

  1. Toughen up Cupcake – From Citygirl to Bushveld Mom.
Sundowner Letaba
last family photo on the river

Because I needed to remind myself how far I had come: Moving countries and continents to the bush with a four-week old baby and getting used to motherhood and all critters big and small at the same time.

 

  1. The Fine Art of Making Marula Jelly.
Our Life in Kruger Marula Jelly
Three young bulls checking our my jelly!

We had so much fruit from our two Marula trees at the beginning of the year! I don’t like throwing away food, so I had to give making jelly a go. What a fabulous experiment! I had a great time photographing the process. My two years at photography school really came in handy here. And when it was time to take pictures of the finished product, three elephants came to pose with the jars! I could not have arranged it better myself!

 

  1. Dear Elephants of Marula Region – We need to Talk.
Dear Linda Two-Legged
Guilty as charged??

Another blog post I wrote out of frustration after the elephants broke down our gate and destroyed all my vegetables. Another conversation in writing followed. Between the “Elephantoms” (Sal Davies again) and myself. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined a year ago to have such interaction with people that read our blog! What a blessing!

 

  1. The Ranger and the Flight Attendant.
The Ranger and the Flight Attendant
Steven and I both in our uniforms

The first ever blog I posted and still my most popular one with more than 37000 hits!! Writing this one was a fantastic walk down memory lane and good for the soul!

 

  1. Farewell Letaba – The Move.
House at the gate
Our new home!

This one was kind of therapeutic for me to write. I am and always have been horrible at saying goodbye. I would cry snot en trane leaving our campsite in France after our family holidays. And the same years later driving out of the gates of Lower Sabie after a 2 week stay in the park. So writing about it on this post kind of gave me closure! Who would have thought!

 

  1. Elephant on the driveway – A Story of the Kruger Drought.
Elephant in the Letaba staff village of Kruger National Park
There is an elephant on the driveweay!

The story of Naughty Boy; the elephant that kept walking up and down the driveway next door to get to the fig tree at the back of her house. I loved writing this story. It is the epitome of living where we do: Kruger National Park! I have some great videos of Naughty Boy that I also posted in the blog. I still watch it myself from time to time!

 

 

Another big highlight in the past year was being chosen as Runner up in the SA Blog Awards! I entered my young blog just to see how far I could get in the Lifestyle and Travel Blog categories. And I was extremely proud to have made it this far!! I had lots of help from readers and followers, voting and sharing the competition. I could not have done it without any of you! Xxx

 

So what are the plans for the second year of Our Life in Kruger? Well, I have a few wishes and a few goals…;-)

 

I definitely would love to get a few more Trail cameras and get some more footage of our beloved Kruger – Footage of the animals in their natural behaviour with no human presence. The Top Four animals I still wish I would capture on Tales of the Trailcam are: Pangolin, Aardvark, Aardwolf and Black Rhino. You must set your goals high, right?;-)

 

I have not been on trail with Steven since Alex was 1 year old, so doing a Wolhuter Trail is definitely very high on the wish list! To experience Kruger on Foot is a fantastic experience that I can highly recommend. To be able to do so with my husband is just phenomenal!

 

As for my goals? It might be a bit ambitious, but by this time next year, I would love to have reached at least 10000 Facebook Followers, 1000 email subscriptions as well as 1000 YouTube subscriptions. Icing on the cake would be to win the SA Blog awards at the end of the year! Lol. Like I said, a bit ambitious, but nothing ventured, nothing gained, right? And then there is my extremely ambitious goal of an Our Life in Kruger book… or at least starting to write one… One that has both Steven’s and my stories in it. A his and hers so to say… That just seems like a Mount Kilimanjaro task right now… Word for word I suppose. Rome was not built in one day!

 

But first, I am going to take a little two-week break from my bi-weekly writing. The boys are going to school now and I feel like I need to spend some more quality time with them and Steven and less behind the computer! But before I go, I just want to say: Thanks everyone! I have had such a jol and I appreciate each and everyone of you!! I will chat again soon! xxx, Linda

 

22 thoughts on “Happy Birthday! One year of Our Life in Kruger

  1. Happy birthday!! Thanks for all the stories, the giggles, the gasps and of course NOT forgetting the yummy Marula Jelly. Keep doing what you do so well ❤❤❤

  2. Happy Happy Birthday. Thank you for sharing your stories with us. May your blog go from strenght to strenght. Onwards and upwards ❤❤❤

  3. Happy birthday! I really enjoy reading your blog – takes me away from the hustle and bustle of life in Johannesburg and transports me to the quiet activity of the Kruger! Here’s to many more adventures shared with your avid readers!

  4. Happy birthday, Our Life in Kruger. I love reading your stories, Linda and Steven. Best part of my day. They always make me wish so much that I could be there. I am unfailingly envious of my friends who go there regularly and for longer stays than I can manage. Keep writing.

  5. Happy Birthday and well done for an excellent blog! Even though I’m blessed to live near the Kruger, I still love to read what it’s like to live there.

  6. Congratulation on your blogs first birthday Linda, its been fantastic reading about all your epic adventures, and of course the videos and snap shots from your trailcam. I find myself waiting in anticipation for your posts. I so envy your and Stevens life style, and bringing two young boys up in the bush must surely be the best up-bringing that any child could ever ask for. I cant wait for your book to hit the shelves, so although as a mother of two young boys, and a wife, i’m sure that time is a scarce commodity, and if need be, put the book on hold for a bit, but please dont shelve the idea for good.
    Thanks again for all your wonderful blogs.

  7. Happy Birthday!! Thank you for all the delightful stories and pictures that you share with us as well as the time and effort you put into writing this blog . Our family love the bush and I so look forward to your posts. Enjoy the break and we look forward to the next one. xx

  8. Enjoy your break Linda! I am so thankful for your blog, because if it wasn’t for it, we never would have met and have had the friendship and everything that followed. Your book will be in my bookshelve for sure as soon as it’s available! I am sure you are going to meet your goals and exceed your own expectations. Xxxx

  9. Happy Birthday! Love, love, love your stories (and Steven’s) they make my week.
    I have been an avid fan since the start. Meeting you and Steven was the highlight of our last trip to the Park. The Marula Jelly was the icing on the cake. Your boys are growing up in the Best Place on Earth. I wish you and yours only the Best for the future and may your Blog go from Strength to Strength.

  10. A well deserved rest.
    As Krugerholics we devour everything you write. It’s brilliant hearing about Kruger from someone living there.
    Thanks

  11. Congratulations with your first bush writing anniversary. What you have achieved the past year is very impressive. You are indeed blessed to be able to live out there, while most us spend their time working in an office in a city (in my case: in The Netherlands). Wish I could go over there and enjoy some bush as well.
    Going through your top ten I realised that I only missed one of them.
    Keep going as you are just doing a fantastic job! I am also sure that your goals for the next are achievable!!

    Met vriendelijke groet,

  12. Thank you so much Linda ! I’m very impressed with your descriptions of your life there. Well done , Happy Birthday , and keep it up please !
    Best wishes,
    Ron (86 ! )

  13. Hartelijk Gefeliciteerd met je ,nee jullie want Steven draagt ook zijn steentje bij nietwaar, 1 jarig jubileum. Ik hoop dat er nog vele mogen volgen. Geniet van je break, ik kijk uit naar je volgende blog en dat boek is een geweldig idee,
    Bij deze bestel ik vast een paar gesigneerde exemplaren😊
    Groetjes uit Marloth Park

  14. Linda I always look forward to reading your stories, but everyone needs a break so enjoy yours. A book would be fantastic!!!😀

  15. Hello. I love the days that start with your blog popping up in my mailbox. Keep them coming please.
    Love
    Gaynor.

  16. Gefeliciteerd! Ik geniet elke keer weer van je verhalen. Als je het boek dat je wilt schrijven net zo leuk wordt als dat van Koby Kruger’s “In de Wildernis”, dan wordt het een topboek. Succes.

  17. Happy blogs birthday. Please don’t stop I am sure we are going to miss you for two whole weeks. Keep it up:-)

  18. Congratulations and happy first birthday! This is a little late, but I have only just returned from Kruger . . . . Your blog is always a joy to read and I’m so delighted that it has done so well and that you have all these exciting further plans and aspirations. Enjoy the break! xx

  19. Hi Linda,

    Thank you for allowing me (all of us) into you interesting lives. I read every story with a smile on my face and cannot wait for the next one to arrive. What a privilege is to be part of it all.

    I wish you all the success you deserve.

    Kind regards,
    Marcia

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