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Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2005 11:06 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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I think it is okay to highlight problems guides/companies, as long as it does not become a witch hunt.There is also a problem of being judge and jury at the same time. We may think that a guide is behaving unethically or irresponsibly, but I believe we should post this only if we have documented evidence (photos for example) or if we have witnesses who can back the accusations up.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2005 8:31 pm 
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Senior Virtual Ranger
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You are all probably going to accuse me of wearing blinkers, but the last three trips to Kruger I only had positive experiences with private tour companies, from stopping me to tell me about game up ahead, to aproaching me at breakfast to say where to look out for a resident leopard. On the other hand poeple in their motor cars behaved shockingly on more than one occasion. This is not the place to expand on that though.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2005 8:35 pm 
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I have been quiet on this topic and been following with interest, but I agree with Jay, I have been very fortunate with my experiences with them so far.

We need to be careful to not paint all of them with the same brush, and not turn this into a witch hunt. Critisize when needed, but pass compliments when earned as well

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Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2005 6:00 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Perhaps, complaints need to be more specific (company, license plate, date, time) so that everyone can see which companies are at fault and maybe they can remedy the situation.

Haven't read the whole of the thread, maybe this is already being done.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2005 11:53 am 
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Distinguished Virtual Ranger
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Wild@Heart wrote:
I agree with lam ...

Get their Company name ... vehicle Reg nr ... date of offence and if possible a photo ... put it in Gallery of Shame and we can post companies NOT to use in here ... free market ... get some of them to improve their service and think about other people.


Again i must point out that these "crimes" imo must first be brought to the attention of the company and KNP. Might be that the guide has instructions to be back time etc. Might work on a very tight schedule to fit in a morning and afternoon drive. etc.etc. Please remember that these guys arnt tourists but must earn their visit in the park. The gallery of shame could cost somebody his or her job :!:

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 Post subject: Private Tour Operators.. What Rules
Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2005 4:27 pm 
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Location: On the Congo River estuary...
Please can someone tell me what rules apply to these operators ...open, canvas roof - vehicles??? when they are in the park KNP!?

I believe, being a true South African cynic, that they casually ignored and excused their transgressions, due to the income and extended revenue streams they bring into the park. I dare anyone in the forum to actually tell a positive story about their experiences with these operators in the Park?
Dare i mention:Excessive speeding, outrageous noise levels from the clients and the GUIDES!, and manners a MiniBus taxi driver would aspire to!

I really enjoy summer time as the camp gate are open earlier than access gates into the Park.. so you have about one hours hassle free game viewing...

I challenge the Park Authorities to catch these guys, like the Traffic Police do the Tow Truckers... give a 'false sighting report from say Croc Bridge Gate, at point X on WXYZ road. Calculate how long it will take at reasonable, lawful speeds, then sit at point X and set the stopwatch... I reckon we will be shocked(but not surprised) at how fast these guys get there! And you will hear their clients voices and the radio jabbering at top volume, long before the engine noise is evident.
My suggestion: Ban these guys from the Dirt Roads... please!.

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KNP: 03 Jan to 12 Jan 14 (Berg n Dal, PKop, Croc Bridge)
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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2005 6:17 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Herein lies the crunch Alex - take their radios away and you solve 80% of the problem as they will then have to find their own game. It is magnified more so as the wavelength that they obviously use is accessed by other tour operators and hence the melee and any significant sighting. I for one do not want to embark on any witch hunt as mentioned earlier but something clearly has to be done about these jeep jockeys before there is another incident like the one at Nsemani Dam. I have written to a company whose staff were disobeying every rule in the book and they never had the decency to even reply to my communication - they just do not care!

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NO BAIL - JAIL AND NO TRADE IN RHINO HORN EVER!
NO TO BUILDING OF HOTELS IN THE KRUGER NATIONAL PARK
26.09.14 - 03.10.14 Burchells Bush Lodge
03.10.14 - 10.10.14 Ngwenya Lodge
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Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2006 4:11 pm 
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Must mention a couple of incidents with tour operators during our recent visit.
We were stopped on the tar about 5km north of Afsaal watching a juvenile Gabar Goshawk which was being dive bombed by a drongo. A tour operator stopped alongside to check it out. After a few seconds he said to his passengers,"It's not an eagle, lets rush for breakfast". Didn't get the operator name, but doesn't say much for their service.
On the second occasion we were with a pack of wild dogs at the crossroads on the S1 S3 S104 at about 5.45am. There were only a few vehicles at first, but as time passed, and the closeness to the new Phibini gate, more arrvied. ( wild dogs after 4 km in the park!). Eventually a tourist vehicle arrived and not content to wait, overtook all the other waiting vehicles to get close to the pack. Another two or three arived after this and they were all over the place. They were like Joburg taxi drivers! AT this point we left as my wife was getting more and more annoyed at their behaviour. It was all the more a problem as the dogs had been running all over the road chasing and playing.
Feel better for that rant! Soured a great experience.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2006 4:22 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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I have just finished reading Obelisk's report of their trip to the Park also soured by jeep jockeys who do not know how to behave.

I believe that it is not for us visitors to the Park to have to deal with these transgressors directly - the time has now come for the Parks authorities to take cognisance of the continual stream of criticism levelled at these safari operators. There are FAR TOO MANY OF THEM. Something has got to be done and be done quickly - the first step as far as I am concerned would be to ban their radios!!! I think the time has come for some action on the part of the powers that be and they can no longer cop out by telling us the paying public who are not transgressing the law to write to the tour operators concerned!!!

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NO BAIL - JAIL AND NO TRADE IN RHINO HORN EVER!
NO TO BUILDING OF HOTELS IN THE KRUGER NATIONAL PARK
26.09.14 - 03.10.14 Burchells Bush Lodge
03.10.14 - 10.10.14 Ngwenya Lodge
The addiction is fed once again


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2006 5:56 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Location: Durban, Kwa Zulu Natal, SA
The problem with the tour operators started years ago and is merely proliferating and becoming worse by the year. Unless something constructive is done and soon many of us will have to give up on visiting the Southern end of the Park! The bottom line is money - the tour operators are paying Sanparks for the privelege of being there and they in turn are having to pull out every storm or they will not get the big tips from the overseas tourists. Somewhere the buck has to stop. Who decides on the quotas for these tour operators - if we have to have quotas put on us at the gates how come they are allowed into the park more and more. Their numbers have grown in the last few years to the point where they outnumber the public's vehicles at sightings.

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NO BAIL - JAIL AND NO TRADE IN RHINO HORN EVER!
NO TO BUILDING OF HOTELS IN THE KRUGER NATIONAL PARK
26.09.14 - 03.10.14 Burchells Bush Lodge
03.10.14 - 10.10.14 Ngwenya Lodge
The addiction is fed once again


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2006 1:04 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2005 3:54 pm
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Location: A little village in Gaul
I've been following this threat with interest and I totally agree with Penny on this one. One simple (and easy) way for Sanparks to send out a positive signal that they are serious about addressing the problem, is to start off by banning all radios from these vehicles.

Arks, your comments about our obligations to report the incidents are valid, but the last thing you want to worry about when you're at a special sighting (cause that's normally where these people cause all the trouble) is to get a good photo of the perpetrators, instead of a good photo of the sighting, with the hope of getting some positive reaction in the end (positive maybe being a warning to the specific touring company?).

I honestly believe the ONLY reason for their speeding antics are the radios. Take away their radios and you take away their prior knowledge of some special sighting and therefore also their need to speed. Then they will realise that they will have to travel slowly and do their own spotting if they want to impress their clients! Simple as that. O, and maybe they will then also realise that it pays to be friendly and considerate to the normal visitors (us) who could still give them information about special sightings the good old way (if they behave, that is).

I'm sorry, but unless Sanparks can come up with a special reason why they should be allowed to carry radios, I'm with Penny and inclined to think that Sanparks is not doing what they should be doing - i.e. addressing the problem appropriately.


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