Paul Kruger - History of the Kruger National Park

Paul Kruger - founder of the Kruger National Park in South Africa and President of Transval. He also played an active part in the South African Boerwar.


Paul Kruger - Founder of the Kruger National Park - South Africa History

Paul Kruger was born on 10/10/1825 in the South African town of Vaalbank at Colesberg. He was the son of a German immigrant named Jacob Krueger.

His father served as a soldier for the Dutch - East India Company. He got to know the hard life in South Africa. As a child had to follow the "Great Trek" to Natal in the year 1834.

As a young man, he earned awards at the Battle of Vegkop as a Ndebele tribe attacked a camp of the Vortreeker.

Paul Kruger Gate at the Kruger National Park
Paul Kruger Gate
Paul Kruger - Father and Founder of the Kruger National Park
President of Transvaal - South Africa History

In 1864, he was a general for the Boer republic in Transvaal. He formed a partnership with the Orange Free State Boers.

Through their combined strength, they gained independence against the British. In the year 1883, Paul Kruger was elected president of Transval.

The British were not comfortable with the independence of the Boer states and wanted to limit their power. Paul Kruger was a strong personality and fought against the British intentions successfully.

His greatest political opponent was C. Rodhe. C. Rodhe had problems with the many foreigners who immigrated to South Africa because of the gold rush.

He wanted the Transvaal States under the British rule, since he hoped that would gain him more influence by the British.

His friend and commander Mr. Dr. Jameson was waiting at the borders of the Transvaal area for the order to attack the Boers.

In December 1895, the attack was carried out with about 660 soldiers, but the Boers were able to defend their region successfully.

Gold Miners at Pilgrim's Rest in the Kruger National Park
Gold Miners at Pilgrim's Rest in the Kruger National Park

Because of the failed attack, the British moved their troops along the borders. Paul Kruger gave the British several opportunities to negotiate, as he became aware of the strength of the British troops.

As the negotiations brought no results, he presented the British with an ultimatum to resolve the siege. The British held their current position at the border lines. When the British made no sign to resolve the siege, Paul Kruger officially declared war against the the British government. The war began in 1899. In 1902, Paul Kruger saw that the Boer army will lose the war, he handed his duties to the vice president. On the advice of some friends, he traveled to the German Emperor and asked for help, but the emporer did not endorse the war against the British. Due to the British occupation, he could not travel back to South Africa. On 7/14/1904 he died in Switzerland. His remains were brought to South Africa (Pretoria).