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Car troubles in the Kruger National Park are not ideal… but an elderly couple on a quick getaway learned first hand the kindness of fellow wildlife lovers.


Kruger National Park (03 September 2020) – The Kruger National Park holds a magic you can only understand if you have been before. Once it grabs hold of you, it never lets go! An elderly couple with a deep love of the Kruger set off for a quick getaway and had some scary car trouble while there.

Muhammed Vawda reached out to various leaders involved in the Kruger National Park to share the story of his parents’ ordeal and their encounter with kindness and compassion. He tells a tale of the true Ubuntu spirit, alive and well in South Africa!

Mohammed’s father (72) and mother (67) had set off early, leaving the Tamboti tented camp and heading towards Satara. They were about 5km from the main camp, in the middle of famous lion country when their car started to have problems. Something had snapped and come loose, scrapping along the road as they drove. Mohammed’s father wanted to stop but the car veered off the tarred road and as hard as they both tried, the steering had locked up.

The went crashing through the bush, thankfully at only 40km/h before coming to a standstill. Both parents sat shocked at what had just happened. Mohammed’s father paused, trying to decide if he should get out the car or stay safely locked inside.

He decided to quickly get out and check what had happened. The elderly couple called their son Muhammed to tell him they had been in an accident. Thankfully, the park was busy so it was hardly a minute when the first car stopped.

“A camper with two elderly Afrikaner couples stopped at the scene and offered to take them to Satara. Mr Pieter Erasmus was the one gentleman’s name…

At this stage bear in mind that my elderly mother; is a victim of three whip-lashes, physiotherapy patient for plantar fasciitis and an old neuro-surgery patient. A camper is a high vehicle which mom could not climb into; so one of the Afrikaner gentlemen fetched the mini-ladder in order for her to get into their camper.

Noteworthy at this point is that within minutes from the break-down mishap; more than 40 fellow-guests of Kruger Park (from different race groups and ages) stopped with concern and offered help (from different vehicles).
They headed off to Satara in the camper, while the car stayed where it accidentally stopped.”

While this was happening Mohammed had been trying to reach Satara camp to speak with the manager to get help for his parents. When he got through he was greeted by a very helpful manager who quickly got to work getting help sent out to the elderly couple.

While they travelled with their rescuers to Satara, Mohammed’s mother started to panic and the trauma of the accident started taking its toll. As soon as they arrived, Section Ranger Wilson worked to calm Mohammed’s mother and spent the next three-hours sitting with her.

“Ranger Wilson took my pension-aged parents with him in his bakkie to the scene; then with his own hands loaded their entire luggage from the broken down car into his bakkie. In that process he was courteous enough to do all this without my mom so much as needing to lift her hands in that respect.

While waiting for Satara manager to arrange an emergency booking, Ranger Wilson did not abandon my mother; and sacrificed his own lunch in the process.

He then took my stranded pension-aged parents to their Bungalow and offloaded with his own hands all by himself, all of their luggage and belongings and further packed it for them.

Both parents were very impressed by the compassionate and welcoming hospitable spirit of the Satara office staff; and mom sings praises of the unique spirit of Ranger Wilson.”

Mohammed shared the message from his parents too and was so grateful they were taken care of so gently and so compassionately.

“Mr and Mrs Vawda (senior) hereby convey their heartfelt gratitude to each person involved in assisting them so preciously, during their experience of being stranded due to vehicle break-down in KNP’s Satara vicinity.

In this rescue and thereafter the Kruger National Park guests, Satara office staff, Satara Rangers and particularly Section Ranger Wilson personified the African humanist philosophical ethical value of Ubuntu; loosely translated as “I am because we are”, or “humanity towards others” defined in Xhosa as “umntu ngumntu ngabantu”. It is a sharing that connects all humanity.”

Sources: SANParks – Kruger National Park Group
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About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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