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 Post subject: Re: Safari Vehicle Operators
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2008 11:17 am 
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OK, perhaps we should ask Ecojunkie to just clear up a few questions here:

1. What is meant by 'hiring in' a few vehicles?
If the vehicles (and drivers) were from another Company, then why did they have the Thompsons signs on the Safari Vehicles? - OK, Maybe they were magnetic stickers???

2. When a company employs drivers from another company (even if it is on a temporary basis) - shouldn't they brief them on do's and don'ts? Surely if my company name is at stake, I would make sure that I don't employ just any old body to get on with the job and in the process I lose my "Good" Reputation...

Maybe I am too critical - but I think that if the issue of lack of etiquette was of ANY importance to Thompsons, they would have taken measures to prevent occurrences as above...

(I'm climbing off my little soap box right now.)

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I SAY NO TO HOTEL DEVELOPMENTS IN KRUGER NATIONAL PARK!


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 Post subject: Re: Safari Vehicle Operators
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2008 11:47 am 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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'Many thanks for your e-mail. I will most certainly be taking it up with the company whose vehicle it is, we had hired in vehicles from them that day.'

Hope this clears up confusion - it is the exact content of the email response I had from Thompsons. No further information has been received from them, and sadly I somehow feel that they will not bother to contact me again.

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 Post subject: Re: Safari Vehicle Operators
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2008 11:22 am 
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Thanks for obtaining that info for us, ecojunkie!

I am still of the opinion that if this matter was of ANY importance to the company concerned, they would have ensured that the 'hired-in' drivers are well versed with their "high" standards and that breaching those terms and conditions will lead to disciplinary action (whether they are temporary staff or not, makes no difference). Simple!

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"To be playing a part, no matter how small, in the conservation of our dwindling wildlife is an experience I shall always cherish." - Stuart Hilcove

I SAY NO TO HOTEL DEVELOPMENTS IN KRUGER NATIONAL PARK!


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 Post subject: Re: Safari Vehicle Operators
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2008 12:02 pm 
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I fully agree! Wish there was more we could do to resolve the problem, but while the companies continue to make their money they will not care about rules etc. The '3 strikes and you are out' suggestion would work IF applied - and to the company concerned not only the guide. Although looking through all the threads it may result in the Kruger vehicle themselves being banned, so maybe that is why it does not work!!!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Safari Vehicle Operators
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2008 4:59 pm 
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I sent a further email to Thompsons asking for an update - this is their reply:

'The company has spoken to the guide and given him a verbal warning. They showed him the photograph and told him that it was totally unacceptable to park like that across the road. He apologised and said that he would not do it again. He was apparently under pressure from the international tourists to get a photo but realises that it was wrong.'

Guess that is the end of that story.....

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Smiling is contagious. Start an epidemic today!

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 Post subject: Open safari vehicles
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 1:34 pm 
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Good day Forumites,

My first posting so be kind if I step out of line.

The problem:
Conduct of drivers of "Safari" vehicles
1) They tend to occupy the road in a manner that other visitors in smaller vehicles have little chance to share in a sighting
2) They tend to fail in their education of the passengers on the vehicle i t o
2.1 the requirement to be quiet
2.2 the NO FEEDING rule of animals e.g. baboons and monkeys
3) Their habit to stop on the "wrong" side of the road and in doing so, block the on coming traffic and eventually causing chaos so that no vehicle can move forward or backwards
4) Some of them even respond aggresively (hand signals etc) when other visitors try to make them aware of some of above.

I heard that these drivers and their employers, have a code of conduct that is to be
adhered to

My suggestion;

Please publish this code of conduct as wide and as clear as possible in all the SAN Parks and invite other visitors to comment/report on the behavior of these[/color]Regards


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 Post subject: Re: Safari Vehicle Operators
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 6:33 pm 
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Just had some of the guests telling about a run-in (almost literally) they had with T........s guides at a lion sighting. One guide was particularly nasty to them telling them it was time they moved off as they had been there 'all morning'! When they protested they were subjected to abuse from her and her passengers, and she told them they had been 'called in on the radio earlier' so she knew they had been there. Another T.........s vehicle then came and pulled off road to cut between them and the lion sighting!

As the use of radios by these operators is banned in the park I have advised them to report the incident to T...........s. They will give me further details and I will forward them to park management for them.

Once again - if this sort of thing happens, please note company, registration number of vehicle (or vehicle number - some have a separate number on the side or back), time, date, and place. Report to Kruger Emergency services via the number on your permit, and/or to the nearest camp (make sure you speak to the duty manager). That is the only way to sort out this problem.

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Smiling is contagious. Start an epidemic today!

Have you read the gate leaflet? Do you KNOW the regulations?

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If I were normal I wouldn't be me!


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 Post subject: Re: Safari Vehicle Operators
Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 4:09 pm 
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EJ, I kind of doubt that SANParks would ever act aginst T.......S, taking into consideration the size of their turnover with SANParks. I might be sticking my neck out to say that, but they are a major contributor to turnover.

I actually have my own opinion on this. The sooner oversized badly run safari companies can move out, the sooner smaller, more customer orientated owner run companies can be more competitive.

There are some owner run companies that are assets to the park. I have never heard of any of the good companies that had a "reportable incident".

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 Post subject: Re: Safari Vehicle Operators
Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 5:02 pm 
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Let's just wait and see what happens. The guests who told me about it are going to submit a formal complaint via the feedback form on the website too. There was abusive language from the guide and she encouraged her guests to do the same. Also much radio activity on the part of most of the many OSVs which turned up. From what I was told I think I know exactly who they are talking about.......I have had problems with her too.

And unfortunately I know a couple of small operators (one or two vehicles only) who say they 'bring in a lot of business', so 'can do what they like'. Perhaps this area of the park is bad.......!

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Smiling is contagious. Start an epidemic today!

Have you read the gate leaflet? Do you KNOW the regulations?

Completed over 5 years in Kruger in my caravan.

If I were normal I wouldn't be me!


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 Post subject: Re: Safari Vehicle Operators
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 8:09 pm 
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RADIO USE BY COMMERCIAL GAME VIEWING VEHICLES IN KRUGER PARK


At about 10:30 a.m. on the 15th of November my wife and I were in our car parked at the side of the road on the S113, watching a sleeping lion that was near the road. When we first spotted the lion, we were the only vehicle at the scene. Soon a steady stream of commercial vehicles began to arrive. All of these vehicles appeared to have radios and be in communication with each other. In fact, one of the drivers told us that someone had “called in the sighting’s location” earlier in the day. To accommodate additional vehicles, we moved our car twice, eventually finding a spot that had a very small viewing window. Commercial game viewing vehicles continued to arrive and depart when, at about 10:30 a.m., a Thompson’s vehicle arrived and parked virtually next to our car. The vehicle, bearing a number 3, was driven by a woman with blonde hair who was shouting and banging her fist against her vehicle’s door in an attempt to keep her passengers inside the truck, as some of them stood up and stuck their upper bodies out the sides of the vehicle. She then proceeed to instruct us to leave the sighting as “we had been there all morning.” She told us she knew this because it “was on the radio” in her vehicle. She also complained about not being able to see over the height of our vehicle, (our Toyota has a luggage carrier on the roof), totally missing the irony that no private vehicle can possibly see over the height of the typical ten passenger game veiwing vehicles currently in use throughout the park. Not feeling obligated to take orders from a Thompson’s employee, I refused to “shove off.” At this point she became hostile and abusive, with the passengers in her vehicle joining in and showering us with obscenities as the vehicle sped away. At this point a Place of Rock vehicle driver decided to take matters in his own hands and drove off the road (obviously against park regulations) and parked between us and the lion. At this point we decided to leave. An uglier scene is hard to imagine. To my surprise, I later learned that SAN Parks regulations, in place for years, prohibit the use of radios between vehicles.

I believe it is critical that SAN Parks enforce its no-radio policy. With the recent advent of large tented lodges either just outside or inside park boundaries (the Nkambeni Lodge inside the park near the Numbi gate has 300 beds alone and is fielding approximately 30 vehicles in the park daily) SAN Parks must realize that, with the unrestricted use of radios, these vehicles can dramatically and negatively alter the park experience for all visitors. I would encourage appropriate Kruger staff to simply tune into the used frequencies by way of a scanning radio and join the radioed sightings in an unmarked vehicle to experience the matter first hand.


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 Post subject: Re: Safari Vehicle Operators
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 5:40 am 
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Location: Numbi Gate, Kruger National Park
Hi Quannah, i actually agree with you, as the group general manager (Nkambeni and other operations), I made an management decision some 3 years ago to remove all the 2 way radios in our fleet. My main motivating reason was to ensure the guides will find their own sightings and also ensure less digestion at sightings. Our SLA with the Park also stipulate we are not allowed to use radios to call in sightings yet the majority of the OSV's in the Park do use the radios to register / call in sightings. We must also not forget the sms service the public use to register sightings and this can lead to an over crowding of a sighting. The issue with our "commercial" ventures have been a long standing one - which is the lesser of the two evils? - 30 osv's or 12 large luxury busses? As mentioned in earlier postings, if ever you find any of our guides behaving badly, please record the date, the time and the fleet number (in big bold on driver side of the vehicle) and mail me on management@nkambeni.com and I can assure you that action will be taken.


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 Post subject: Re: Safari Vehicle Operators
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 9:15 am 
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How about Sanparks taking responsibility and addressing this longstanding issue of safari vehicle operators using radios in KNP .
It is relatively easy to police .

I would help restore a degree of enjoyment to the average tourists rare animal sightings .

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 Post subject: Re: Safari Vehicle Operators
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 10:14 am 
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Do remember that guides also have a sense of humour and sometimes joke with their guests! I have used the warthog story myself.....it is an old one! Some guests are very gullible and easy to tease. I always correct the story though!

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Smiling is contagious. Start an epidemic today!

Have you read the gate leaflet? Do you KNOW the regulations?

Completed over 5 years in Kruger in my caravan.

If I were normal I wouldn't be me!


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 Post subject: Re: Safari Vehicle Operators
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 4:08 pm 
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Location: NOT where I want to be!!
Afternoon everybody...

I also actually had a run in or 2 with that lady of T.......s. What worries me is that uninformed tourists actually sometimes think of them as SANPARKS staff. I'll explain. We parked at Skukuza in April at the restaurant area. Two other vehicles parked next to me. Here comes madam flying around the corner, and finding no parking, went on to tell the people that parked last, that in no uncertain terms and a very load voice, this area was only for safari vehicles and that they have to move their car. The guy actually was starting to oblige thinking she was a Sanparks member because of the kaki uniform, and started to climb back in his car. I told her that unfortunately I've been visiting Kruger for close to forty years, and knows where to park with my eyes closed, and that she can go look for her own parking. :naughty: She did so, after leaving with screeching tires and a mass of swear words.

The 2nd, was also at a lion sighting. We also waited our turn patiently, and were there almost 7 minutes when she came from behind and almost parked on top of me. She then also proceeded to tell me that we've been there long enough and that we can "chuff off" now. I'm driving a passenger car with a very low wheelbase, even she could see over my roof. I calmly opened my beer, looked her in the eye, gave her my best smile, and told her where to go and park her SV. :sniper: :wink: And it was not on the other side of the river. Once again she showed her driving expertise by spinning away like not even Sarel v.d. Merwe can do....E.J., she's got collar length blonde hair and is a short, stocky lady by the looks of it when sitting in the bakkie...Rings a bell...?? :huh:

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Skukuza 27/06/2011
Olifants 28/06/2011
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 Post subject: Re: Safari Vehicle Operators
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 8:43 pm 
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I always thought the guides used the "african" names for the special sightings, i.e. lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo, elephant, wild dog, cheetah, as not to get the guests over-excited on the back of the vehicle. You can imagine having an extremely demanding overseas visitor and then hearing about a leopard km's away and demanding to go to the sighting, even though it has moved on already. The guide will then need to drive on to a non-existing sighting and will have to speed in all probability to try and appease his guest.

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