History of Joao Albasini

History of Joao Albasini

Africa and its magical mysteries

Joao Albasini was an interesting man who did many adventurous things in his life, some of which included the dealing and trading of pearls in the Pacific, a sought-after fur collector and hunter in the North Pole and a Mercenary Soldier in the South. Besides these adventures, Africa’s mysteries, riches and tales of wild animals and everything wild and wonderful, drew his attention like a magnet.

Joao Albasini, who was a Portuguese National but Italian born, ended up in the small rundown coastal town called Lourenco Marques, the capital of Portuguese East Africa of which Portugal saw as its possession but did not have any control over it as of yet.
The Portuguese established the little town in haste, to obtain claim to the area before the British did.

Malaria kills hundreds

This area was a huge health risk to the people, due to the surrounding swamps, tropical storms, and the huge amounts of water from all the nearby rivers. This created a big Malaria epidemic under the local people. The people tried to defuse the outbreak of Malaria by building farmsteads and drowning their sorrows and losses by a copious amount of Brandy.

Joao Albasini

Joao Albasini – The trader and elephant hunter

Albasini was a man with brain and brawn, as was expected from one to survive harsh Africa back in the days. He established himself as a trader and elephant hunter and soon became known as a formidable man in Lourenco Marques. Later on, he played a very important role in the development of the coastal town and the main access road to the sea from the Transvaal Republic. Until today, a big percentage of the import and exports go through this main access route of the harbor.

Albasini and Louis Trichardt

Albasini was in Lourenco Marques in 1838, during which a very famous Voortrekker named Louis Trichardt arrived in the coastal town after a grueling trek from the Transvaal. Louis Trichardt was fortunate to have met Joao Albasini before he and his group of travelers died due to Malaria. The deceased, together with Louis Trichardt was buried in the town. A memorial was later erected to commemorate their lives.

Albasini establish trade routes and trade posts

During the next several years, Albasini established various trade routes from the inland as far as the Lowveld. He also established a trading post near the area that is known as the Pretoriuskop Rest Camp in Kruger National Park. It was also Albasini who buried Mnr. Willem Pretorius as former Afrikaner who was in search of a road leading to the coast. Pretoriuskop Rest Camp was ultimately named after the later Willem Pretorius.

Proceeding forward, Albasini established an agreement with the Voortrekkers to transport their goods from Lourenco Marques to the trading post. This agreement was also strengthened due to the horrible pests – the tsetse flies. The tsetse flies disappeared after the outbreak of the rinderpest in the late nineteenth century. Horses and cattle were severely affected by the rinderpest and many animals lost their lives due to both the tsetse flies and the rinderpest outbreak.

All the goods were transported via cattle, horses and black tribesmen carried the goods from Lourenco Marques, over the Lebombo Mountains to the trading post. After the goods arrived at the trading post, the Transvalers came to collect it with wagons. They had to travel swiftly through the night to avoid the on slaughter of the harsh tsetse flies during day hours.

Joao Albasini sets up shop

The trading post soon established a permanent shop situated on the western shore of the Phabeni-stream just north of the modern-day Pretoriuskop Rest Camp. The shop was built with mud-bricks, and an A-frame roof made with bamboo-reeds and tall yellow thatched grass. The shop had an open oven, doorposts made from wood and a floor made from hard-baked mud and clay.

Albasini soon made him comfortable here. He even built water channels to water his vegetable and fruit garden. He got the right to the land from Magashula, a local Sotho speaking man from the Kutswe tribe. Albasini gave 22 cows as payment and lived there for only two years.

Albasini ruins, historical site in Kruger National Park near Phabeni Gate

The management of the Kruger National Park discovered the retain after several years and declared it as a historical landmark that can be seen when you enter or exit Phabeni gate near Hazyview. The structure fell victim to the age and climate throughout the years and only ruins are visible to tourists visiting the historical site today.

Joan Albasini
Joan Albasini

Joao Albasini – The entrepreneur

Besides his initiative to establish a trade post and trade routes, he was also quite an entrepreneur. He uplifted the community around him and he appointed two black people namely; Manungu & Josikhulu to take care and run his outside posts along the Voortrekker road between Ohrigstad and Lourenco Marques. The post that Manungu looked after is today known as Manungkop and lies just south of Pretoriuskop. Ship Mountain, on the other hand, was under the control of Josikhulu.

Joao Albasini – The first white settler

Albasini is also known as the first white settler in the now known Kruger National Park. He endured hardship but lived in one of the most beautiful places surrounded by wildlife, black tribesman and great adventures.

Joao Albasini travels

He later moved to an alternative area in the Highveld and bought a farm in 1847 near Ohrigstad to start a shop. Three years later, a Malaria epidemic forced people to move to higher ground near Lydenburg. He then set up shop once again and this time married Gertuna Maria Petronella Janse van Rensburg.

During this period, Albasini kept a large number of his black workers. He worked the land and stayed in the area for another three years after which he packed up several wagons and left to an area further north, known as Zoutpansberg town in the North Transvaal and then later he moved to Schoemansdal.

Schoemansdal is situated 13 km west of Louis Trichardt. During that time, the town was often mobbed by the Vendas and was severely influenced by Malaria and was later evacuated.

Albasini stayed in Shoemansdal for four years, after which he moved back to the Lowveld region and stayed on a farm next to the Luvuvhu River that forms part of the border of today’s Kruger National Park, in the north near Punda Maria Rest camp.

He built a sturdy fort-like home for him and his family on his farm Goedewensche.

It is here where he empowered his black workers whilst he still hunted elephants.

Albasini died in 1888 and was buried on his farm Goedenwensche.

Read more here about other Famous Historical Figures that played a part in the History of Kruger National Park

Book your ultimate Kruger National Park safari today!

Book your ultimate Kruger National Park safari today!

YES! We offer affordable Kruger National Park safaris

Our rates include the following:

  • Transfers from a pre-arranged pick-up location to Kruger National Park and back (this can be at your accommodation where you are staying, depending on the location). This includes Nelspruit | Kruger National Park | KMI Airport | Skukuza Airport | White River | Hazyview | Malelane | Komatipoort and Marloth Park

  • Full Day safari with a luxury open safari vehicle

  • An accredited & professional Field Guide doubling as the driver of the vehicle on the day of safari

  • A snack box per person consisting of various treats to munch on during the day of the safari

  • +- 8 Hours of sheer “entertainment” in the world-famous Kruger National Park (excludes travel time outside the park)

  • Assistance with Kruger National Park entrance/conservation fee payments, paperwork and permits

  • The use of high-quality, waterproof ponchos on-board the vehicle when needed

Please note:

Our area of operation covers Nelspruit and surrounding areas, White River | Malelane | Hazyview | Komatipoort | Marloth Park | Kruger National Park | KMI Airport | Skukuza Airport.

Please contact us if your accommodation falls outside of our area of operation.

We also conduct safari tours in the North of Kruger upon request and need. You also have the option to hire the safari vehicle privately, email us to find out more. Additionally, you have the option to add your Kruger entrance/conservation fees when you make your booking so you don’t have to go to the office on the morning of the safari to make payment for entrance fees.


Fantastic experience

We really enjoyed our safari with Liz and the web photographer. They pointed out many sightings which we would never have seen on our own. We saw 3 leopards, many elephants, rhinos, cape buffaloes, giraffes, zebras, hippos and different types of antelopes and birds.
They provided binoculars which helped a lot, especially when observing the leopards in the reed!
The service is top: on time, friendly, very informative and you get a feeling how much they enjoy “going the extra mile” for the customer. They tried to keep ahead of the crowd and do not enter thru Numbi gate which is usually very crowded. Its great the park fee is included in the price because then you do not need to queue at the entrance like in the case of some of the other operators. We will definitely recommend you!

dorischristina2015, TripAdvisor
Emocional experience

When we thought about that trip, my wife, my stepson, our friend and I ,had never imagined how amazing could be , and how deep can touch us. From the first moment when we founded Lizelle, our guide at the Malelane door, the magic begins to happen.She was so unreal in some way, that my wife said ( in Portuguese,) she seems to be a caracter from a movie!, We had very good luck , and in just 2 full days, 20 hours total, we could see the real big five, including black rhino and leopard, and many many other species, of course. Lizelle was so nice, so professional and so dedicated that we are recommended to our friends around the World to do the same program.. .. we will repeat it for sure. There is not words, not video or pictures, that can transmit this experience, .. believe me, after you live it you will understand it .

FellowTraveler507918, TripAdvisor
Great services! Amazing commments

The guide was very friendly and helpful!
She really knew the way around the park and we were able to see a big variety of animals

344hama, TripAdvisor
Super accommodating and informative.
Liz was super patient in making sure we get the morning bush walk and night drive within limited dates. They know lots about every animal we saw. I love that they provide parkas for their guests because it gets super chilly as the truck moves. Their truck is clean and not loud like other trucks which tend to scare the animals away.
Zzame Em, Google Review
Leading Safari Company

Lion Roar Safaris offers safaris in Kruger Park. In an excellent car and with professional equipment we discovered in a small groupe the big 5. The guide was an expert and is very customer oriented.

DutchAdventurer, TripAdvisor
Spectacular day in the Mighty Kruger!

Even if the weather was cold during the day, the spectacular sightings we had made up for it all. Luckily this company is not one of those that rush from one big sighting to another but rather take it at a slower pace and therefore not miss even the small things like some bird species and trees and plants, lizards and much more.
Oh and I am so glad their Photographer was also on board with her very sharp eye sight. She spotted plenty of animals where the rest of us missed them…especially that Cheetah! And she took the most beautiful pictures (and some short videos clips) of all our sightings that day. We were surely one lucky group of people seeing all those magnificent wildlife, especially the Elephant Calves, Wild Dogs as well as Hyena Pups!
Oh and let’s not forget the snack bags that was packed for us!!
The Guide was very informative and interactive with our group. Evidently her kindness and helpfulness is not only restricted to the time a guest is on her vehicle still busy on the Tour but even helping when one of our group members was staying over at a place in the Kruger Park, she assisted him from booking in at the camp to taking him to where he would be staying, to briefly showing him around on what is where and available to him in the camp. And this all took merely a few minutes.
I would definitely be recommending Lion Roar Safaris.

Grifinne, TripAdvisor

Best experience ever!

Lizelle was very informative and made sure we had the best views of all the animals!

Johan , Google Review
Amazing experience

Staff is professional and on time.
We saw a lot of animals like lions cheetah hyenas rhinos elephants hyppos and many others.
Really an amazing day!! Thank you!

valeva2019, TripAdvisor

Some of the services Lion Roar Safaris Offer…

Upmarket Luxury Safaris  I  Tailored Safaris  I  Professional Personal Holiday Photographer   I  Hire a Professional Field Guide  I  Hire a Private Safari Vehicle   I   Accommodation in and around Kruger   I  Photographic Safaris   I   Safari catering – picnic lunches, dinners and BBQ’s and more…

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