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 Post subject: Bats "problem" (or not) in KTP accomodation ?
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 1:36 pm 
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I thought of raising this issue because of the many different takes I got from people visiting the KTP regarding this - and especially Urikaruus, with Kieliekrankie, Bitterpan and TR also in on this, but what I experienced the worst at Urikaruus :)

During our visits to KTP we found the bat "problem" or should I rather say "occurrence" at the said Camps to be ever increasing (or are we the "problem" or "occurance" for the bats ?) I have on an occasion slept with the lights on at TR (then the bats would hide away and not fly all over the room - even at some stage brushing my hair in their fly-by) and on another occasion slept in my vehicle at Urikaruus due to the multiple encounters with them in the room (not excluding the sounds and commotion in the roof/ceiling) and my wife persisting that I must choose between her and the bats - must say the bats only came a close second :twisted: - only a joke, my wife is cool !! The commotion in the room (Urikaruus) is of such a nature that it blocks out the night sounds from outside - even the Camp Supervisors on duty told me that they sometimes sleep with the ceiling fan on just to try and block out the commotion of the bats at night - to be able to get some sleep.

It seems like it doesn't affect the popularity of Urikaruus (and the others) because it is normally fully booked - but it is a definite nuisance and inconvenience to most visitors. According to my knowledge it would be quite easy to "bat proof" the accommodation with minimal expenses - and I pose the question - why not ?


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 Post subject: Re: Bats "problem" (or not) in KTP accomodation ?
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:51 pm 
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We had bat problems in 2000 and again last month - and in between, all at 2R.

It seems that they love the thatch areas above the rafters and breed there. This last time fortunately they were not very active and my son and DIL were only slightly affected. This after my wife had threatened to sleep in the car if there were bats in the unit, and mercifully she didn't encounter any except for an incudent when she stepped into the shower cubicle to get a towel and one flew agains her leg and then out of the window.

In 2011 I made a formal complaint that fizzled out to nothing.

I think that management doesn't have a solution, nor money to investigate one, but in Kruger they have bat houses in various camps and they seem to work.

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 Post subject: Re: Bats "problem" (or not) in KTP accomodation ?
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:54 pm 
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I will soon be visiting Urikaruus for the first time and was disappointed to read various report recently that there was a bat problem.

Let me firstly say, I like bats. I spent many hours last year trying to get a decent photograph of the many bats eating the moths outside our room at Olifants last year. However when we found over 20 bats in our room at Mopani I was less keen. I manage to catch and release most of them but the bats seem to get quite stressed and seem to struggle to fly in the confined space of the room (these were quite big bats). They were constantly flying into things especially the netting in front of the windows.

I know that bats provide a vital role and I am always disappointed when I find no bats when I am sat outside at night. However when they become trapped in a room I don’t think it is a good thing for occupants or the bats.

I remember seeing several ‘bat houses’ at Letaba (I think) that were very well used by the bats just in front of the rooms and there were no bats in the rooms. Are these being used in places like Urikaruus and Twee rivieren in KTP that have bat problems? For my experience this does seem to make a big difference, but maybe KTP gets too hot and cold for these to be effective?

Just my thoughts.
Wayne

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 Post subject: Re: Bats "problem" (or not) in KTP accomodation ?
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:59 pm 
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Agreed Wayne!

Letaba and BnD at least.

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 Post subject: Re: Bats "problem" (or not) in KTP accomodation ?
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:05 pm 
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Bush Baptist only just saw your post!

Giving the bats an alternative option gets my :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Bats "problem" (or not) in KTP accomodation ?
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:16 pm 
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Hi guys,
Wayne I see my visit to Urikaruus will coincide/overlap with yours with 2 days.
BB have all the units got a bat problem, do you know? And do you think a mosquito net would help?

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 Post subject: Re: Bats "problem" (or not) in KTP accomodation ?
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:27 pm 
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Hi Tony,

I don't think they all have, but some do.

I especially asked for a unit sans bats, but I think they fly in the door when you open it.
A bat free unit in the morning could become occupied as you braai. Mosquito nets at the windows would help there.

A better solution might be to give them a better 'home' like in Letaba & BnD, but maybe they prefer chlets to bat houses. I am not too familiar with bat species of their behaviour, but it seems like KTP could benefit from expert advice.

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 Post subject: Re: Bats "problem" (or not) in KTP accomodation ?
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:27 pm 
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I stayed in Urikaruus unit 1 from the 24h to the 29th. I had been forewarned about bats in unit 1 by RichardJ & Rusty who had stayed in that unit the night before. But what I got was basically half a nightmare come true... After I had taken a shower at around 4pm my SO went to go to the loo about 1.5 hours later only to find the shower black - it was full of bats. At least 10 more were taking flying lessons in the bedroom. I was shocked - to say the least. Even too shocked to remember getting the camera and taking a photo of that sight... Then I grabbed a towel, stepped into the shower and started the evacuation process. SO took charge of the bedroom. When we were finished we had expelled at least 40 bats.

The next morning it looked like there were only 2 or 3 left, but when I checked back again later, there were about 10 still clingling between the wooden poles in the ceiling. In the afternoon SO counted 9 bats that he set free and we accidentially killed three that were sitting in the door frame and we hadn't seen them.

By day three we didn't have a single bat left in unit 1. Dunno if we managed to get rid of them, but I suspect that the rain that started to move in and the lower temps might have added a bit to our success.

Either way - the place reeked of bat urine as we had to keep the windows closed due to the rain.

While we were there, I know that unit 4 had a very few bats in there as well. About 4 in total.

No. 2 supposingly has even less bat in there, but no. 3 seems to have a big problem as well.

All I can say is: Keep your doors and windows shut at all times once the bats are gone. :twisted:



As for Kieliekrankie: We heard rumours about bats in unit 1. Definitely not. Not a single one. We stayed there from the 16th to the 19th and again on the 29th March and there was no bat whatsoever.


Dunno anything about TR as I haven't stayed there, but heard there are still bats in the chalets.

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 Post subject: Re: Bats "problem" (or not) in KTP accomodation ?
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:33 pm 
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I was told bats don't like chlorine. We took 4 small tablets with us, 5 cm in diameter. I don't think they were effective, but maybe we didn't put them in the right place.

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 Post subject: Re: Bats "problem" (or not) in KTP accomodation ?
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:36 pm 
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During our visit last year in April we had bats in 2R, MM and Nossob.......
If bat houses could be a solution perhaps some money raising, what does a bat house cost?
I see there are how to build a bat house sites on the internet?
nice project perhaps for students at a school or university???
Any one
I have never had problems with bats in the cold winter months and will stick to these months for now


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 Post subject: Re: Bats "problem" (or not) in KTP accomodation ?
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:38 pm 
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Bush Baptist wrote:
I was told bats don't like chlorine. We took 4 small tablets with us, 5 cm in diameter. I don't think they were effective, but maybe we didn't put them in the right place.


You might want to dissolve them in water and spray it around the bats. :hmz:

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 Post subject: Re: Bats "problem" (or not) in KTP accomodation ?
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:54 pm 
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Tony T we will see you on the 25th then! Hopefully you will be able to give us an update on sightings and the bat situation!

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 Post subject: Re: Bats "problem" (or not) in KTP accomodation ?
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 4:13 pm 
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Bats were still a problem at TR in December 2012, rescued one stuck in the sink.

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 Post subject: Re: Bats "problem" (or not) in KTP accomodation ?
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 5:49 pm 
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Lionspoon your post suggest that they were attracted to the shower? Any idea why? Were they after water? Or did they just get trapped?

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 Post subject: Re: Bats "problem" (or not) in KTP accomodation ?
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 5:58 pm 
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My SO got a couple out of the bathroom sink as well, so I guess they kinda liked the water.
Not in spades though, just the remainders from showering and washing hands respectively.
But I wouldn't know for sure. They might have been trapped as well in some sort of way as
the shower door was closed, but they could have gotten out by flying over it. There is a gap
between the shower and the ceiling. Big enough for them to get through easily.

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