Skukuza Camp from 1898
The site that we today refer to as Skukuza Camp was originally known as Sabi Crossing. This point along the river was regarded as the safest place to cross these crocodile infested waters. The first Kruger Park Ranger, a policeman from Barberton Corp. Paul Bester, took up his position here in 1898 and in that year built the very first Rondavel here in that same year. Erected from mud, wooden posts and a thatched grass roof, he didn’t have a front door but was said to have used a old Wildebeest skin that was regularly torn down by Spotted Hyenas.
During the Anglo-Boer war period, Sabi Crossing was occupied by Colonel Ludwig Steinarcker and his party of horsemen. Steinaecker and his men built a small block house for their regiment at Sabi Crossing during this period. This humble dwelling was referred to by late historian TV Bulpin as a “sunbaked little place whose garrison of desperados had gambled and quarrelled their days away whilst officers had kept discipline by a periodic resort to fist fights”. (Lost trails of the Transvaal).
After the Anglo-Boer War had ended, Sabi Bridge as it was now more commonly referred to, became the ill-fated site of the main stop for the Selati Railway route.