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Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 10:07 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Hi Arks, I respect your different view on this. Just a few comments in response to your post.
arks wrote:
I have to disagree with those who say that we, as park visitors, should not be trying to help SANParks in recognising and dealing with the offenders in a non-confrontational way.
I've never even hinted that we should not be trying to help Sanparks. In fact, I previously agreed with you on this, although I am advocating stronger action on Sanpark's side.
arks wrote:
It takes little (more) away from a spoilt sighting to try to get a pic of the offending party, or at least to write down details such as the plate number and/or name on safari vehicle.
Sorry, but here I disagree. Our hearts were still thumping with excitement (literally) over witnessing a leopard stalking impalas, and then walking over the road right in front of our lone vehicle, when one of these touring guides raced to the scene and started driving into the field off the road (disappearing after about fifty metres into the bush). Believe me, the last thing I want to do after such a sighting is to dive for the camera to try and get a shot of their green vehicle disappearing into the bushes.
arks wrote:
Just how do you expect SANParks to pay for the extra vigilance that you advocate if they also don't raise their fees?And if you expect greater vigilance, meaning more personnel on the ground, then you can expect higher prices to cover those costs.
I believe banning radios would not result in extra costs. Initially maybe, when some touring companies show some protest to this strong signal sent out by Sanparks. However, do Sanparks really want the ones protesting against such a step in the parks in the first place? In the end, I believe there will be no change in the number of touring companies operating in the park (be it with or without radios). I stick to my view, unless Sanparks can give a good explanation as to why radios on these vehicles are necessary, I think they're failing to use an easy and cheap way of addressing at least the speeding problem appropriately.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 10:21 am 
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Bushcamp wrote:
The old hands rarely uses radios or cellphones, they rely on their knowledge of the particular area, built up over years of guiding, and also intimate knowledge of the fauna and flora to get them that great sighting.

Bushcamp, my personal experience tells me this is not the case. I can think of many examples of Guides we encountered at special sightings who were experienced Guides and not 'rookies'. The Guides sometimes (if not always) park their vehicles on top of you so they are within talking distance. :? I have often asked them how long they've been in the business and I get a range of answers. One guy said he had been taking tourists in for over 20 years now.

I believe they all rely on their radio's to get inside information on sightings. I actually wonder if the 'old hands' don't depend on them more sometimes while the 'rookies' are still out to prove they can conquer the world on their own.

I think the use of radio's should be banned and the Guides should find the animals like the rest of us have to. After all, isn't that what they were taught to do?

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Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2006 1:49 pm 
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Radio's is a touchy subject. No ethics course is going to work. These guys have guests to please and the Big 5 do please. My brother was a field guide with FAGASA 3 qualification, I went on many drives with him and when the bush is quiet they all get on their radios to find what others have seen. Sorry bushcamp I hope you are different but to me these guys are exactly like tow truck drivers.
One way of stopping radio talk is what my brother did - All radios were locked onto one frequency (which is probably the case in Kruger) There is one person who mans the central operations radio and he can hear everything that is said. This guy has to be the ethical guy and anyone abusing to radio (i.e. reporting sighting to other operators) is fined. Simple as that.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2006 3:36 pm 
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Snoobab wrote:
All radios were locked onto one frequency (which is probably the case in Kruger) There is one person who mans the central operations radio and he can hear everything that is said. This guy has to be the ethical guy and anyone abusing to radio (i.e. reporting sighting to other operators) is fined. Simple as that.
Snoobab, this is definitely a thought in the right direction, although I still think banning them altogether will achieve the best results.

Gwendolen wrote:
When you drive in your own car you are responsible for yourself and your own family. However, when you do a tour or a walk with a company, they become responsible for your safety and well being. If they fail to do so, they will be accountable for all damage/costs.
Sorry Gwen, but on this one I disagree. I can't see why they should be in a better position than us only because they carry tourists and we carry our family. If they are not allowed to carry radios, no tourist can hold them resonsible if something goes wrong only because of that. There will be a duty on them to care for the tourists within the set parametres. If radios are excluded, the tourists will know that and like me and you will know that they could be in for some trouble if something goes wrong on the vehicle.

And if that tourist then wants to take on Sanparks because of their rules on radios in the safari vehicles, good luck to him/her because IMHO there is no chance of such a claim succeeding simply for the fact that that will open the floodgates for claims, which the courts won't allow (e.g. it will be followed by claims against Sanparks for their failure to give us cell phone reception in the park, thus endangering our lives. Who knows where it will end)

Bert wrote:
Agreed with Gwen. When guiding, either on wheels or on foot the basics to carry along is a knife, compas, first aidkit and a radio. Lives can depend on the lack of abovementioned
Sure Bert, but once again I can't see what difference it makes whether you're in a safari vehicle or just a normal tourist in his own car. (Aren't we all guiding when in the park? :wink: ) From a safety point of view, cell phone reception all over the park would have been great, but we as tourist's don't have that. Why should they have the privilege of radios?


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Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2006 4:19 pm 
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Obelix wrote:
... From a safety point of view, cell phone reception all over the park would have been great, but we as tourist's don't have that. Why should they have the privilege of radios?

I agree, Obelix. With regards to the safety of any person visiting the Park, I also do not see the difference between a safari vehicle with tourists or our own private vehicle with family members and/or friends. We can run into as much danger/trouble as the safari vehicle, but do not have access to a radio to call for help. :?

I would also like to see radio's banned, but if that won't happen, I support the idea of having only one frequency and someone monitoring the conversations. The radio's should only be used in case of emergency situations (medical/mechanical problems).

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Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2006 5:32 pm 
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LittleLeopard wrote:
The radio's should only be used in case of emergency situations (medical/mechanical problems).


My point as well. See it a a first aid kit

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 Post subject: OSV Radios
Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2006 7:45 am 
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Penny wrote:
I believe that the only safari vehicles who are entitled to a radio is the official Sanparks safarii vehicles who are conducting drives after dark when it is absolutely essential that they be able to summon help.

It is the old adage that there will always be people who spoil things for others. In this case years of abuse of radios to speed to sightings has now got everyone's dander up. As I have said previously when the safari vehicles outnumber those of the public at a sighting then you know you have a problem.

If I have guests in my microbus in KNP then surely I am just as responsible for their safety as a safari vehicle driver is for his guests. That is why we inform guests in our vehicle that they may not alight from the vehicle other than designated areas etc. If we were not responsibly minded then there would be a lot more incidents.

I think the use of the radio needs to be put into perspective as it is NOT being used to summon help but to allow drivers to speed from one sighting to another.

What I also find quite interesting is that Sanparks is mum on this topic right now and it would be really super to know that they are taking on board what the public are saying and that something constructive is going to be done about a worsening situation.


Dear Penny

Many thanks for your inputs, as always.
We have certainly been monitoring the public's opinion on all matters and I always forward these to the relevant authorities (largely thanks to the tireless efforts of the Moderators!).
The issue of radios for the OSVs has been an issue of contention ever since OSVs were first allowed into the KNP during the mid-1990s (long before my time, I must point out).
There are many SANParks officials that believe they should be banned outright but then (technically speaking) all communication tools (including cell phones and small 2-way radios) would in effect be banned.
It would then be a case of where to draw the line and the OSV industry has often pleaded their case for radios in the KNP OSV forum.
These regulations are stipulated in the Service Level Agreement between the KNP and each operator and we can certainly tackle the OSV operator on this if necessary.
Like ANY KNP regulation, if you see an OSV guide using his radio in a disturbing manner, you are more welcome to report this to us (remember, the more incidents we can quote at the OSV forum, the more power we have ...).

Penny, I certainly apologise if I have been "mum" on this (or any other issue for that matter) and if you think there is some issue that needs my attention, you are more than welcome to PM me and I will look into it for you.

Kind regards
KNP Spokesman

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