Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2006 1:45 pm
Location: Thankfully not in a city
There was a report by a reader in Weg! / Go! magazine a month or two ago about a night time robbery - not an attack as such .
KNP is sacred.I am opposed to the modernisation of Kruger and from the depths of my soul long for the Kruger of yesteryear! 1000+km on foot in KNP incl 56 wild trails.200+ nights in the wildernessndloti-indigenous name for serval.
I googled this article in Hello Plett. The incident apparently was during the night of 20/7/11 - my wife and I were in the same hut, the night of 22/7/11. This hut (Andrè No 2) now has 2 sliding "locks" in the inside - upper and lower doors. The only hut on the trail to have this - good idea - and should be placed in all huts. The article reads as follows: "the Editor Theft on Otter Trail On Saturday 16th July2011, a group of 11 Western Province Mountain Club hikers set off on the Otter Hiking Trail. In the early hours of the morning on Day 5 (Wednesday 20 July) we discovered that we had been burgled while we were sleeping in Andre Hut No 2. Three of our bags were removed from the hut and ransacked during the night. Items that were removed included cellphones (Smartphones), sunglasses, gloves, trainpants and a Nikon D90 camera. This was never expected to happen on the World renowned Otter hiking Trail. We were later informed by the South African National Parks (SANParks) rangers that there had been five(5) previous incidents at the same hut. The question begs to why SANParks did not find it necessary to inform hikers of the possibility of theft on the hike. The permit for the hike indicates that a briefing was to take place prior to the commencement of the hike. This never took place. Instead an outdated video of approx 30mins is plays repeatedly in the visitors centre at Storms River Nature Reserve. It later materialised that the person responsible for the briefing had retired and had not been replaced. According to the Law Enforce-ment Division rangers of SANParks, they have continuously communicated the incidents to the Hospitality Division but to no avail. It would seem that the previous robberies at Andre Hut No2 were never reported on. It has to be said that the Otter Trail was an incredible experience that was marred by this incident. SANParks has to step up their awareness with regards to safety and security of hikers. Warning notices should accompany the permits and maps. Notices can also be posted inside the huts. Credit goes to the SANParks ranger Marco and his team that responded speedily and also organised transport for the hikers from Nature's Valley to collect the vehicles at Storms River. I hope that this will be brought to the attention of fellow hikers and outdoor enthusiast. Brian Savel WPMC Hiking Convenor"
I hope this helps and that this incident does not mar or deter hikers to do this magnificent trail. Andrè
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