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Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2006 7:49 am 
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That makes a lot of sense KNP Spokesman ... if they bann 2 way radios then they might as well bann cellphones etc ...

And as mentioned previously the best thing to do would be to report any bad behaviour by the "Jockey's" AND other tourists to the Park ..

Thank you for the feedback KNPSM .. :thumbs_up:

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Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2006 8:13 am 
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W@H, I tend to disagree. There's a huge difference between banning two way radios and banning cell phones. Banning the first would put a stop to speeding by the safari vehicles, banning the second would make no difference.

As far as I know, cell phone reception in KNP is limited largely to the areas around some (all?) of the camps. A safari vehicle operator is not going to hang around camp, with his cellphone in his hand (I can just imagine how impressed his clients are going to be), waiting for a potential call from another safari vehicle who is hanging around close to another camp, with news of a special sighting.

Same applies to the small hand-held two way radios KNP Spokesman referred to. Those radios are not strong enough to be abused in this way. In any event, IMHO it is not the public but the safari vehicle operators that abuse the radios.

In the end the question is simple: Would the banning of two-way radios put an end (or at least leads to a dramatic decline) in speeding by the safari vehicles? The answer IMHO is simply yes. Banning cell phones / small two-way radios is different.

In any event, thanks for the response KNP Spokesman.


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Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2006 6:05 pm 
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I agree Obelix and Little Leopard, although KNP spokesman's reply was welcome as opposed to keeping mum it is still ambivalent enough to make me realise that they will never ban the radios on these safari vehicles as the kick back in whatever form it is that they receive it is too great. I am sure they must have had to enter into a very lucrative contract with all of these people but what they need to know is that the very ethics of these contracts are being challenged blatently on a daily basis. Quite frankly I for one am so tired of them - give me back the Kruger Park we used to know.

Somehow KNP spokesman has very neatly sidestepped the issue and although his postin is interesting in its response it does not come anywhere near tackling the grave issues that we the loyal Kruger Park goers are relating. We have supported KNP for donkeys years through thick and thin - we have made our own beds and swept our own huts when there was a strike on and at the end of the day I do not see why someone who is in the Country and in KNP for a day or so should receive preferential treatment on a safari vehicle. We are just as much at risk in the Park and if they are allowed radios then I feel that due cognisance must be given to a greater range of cell phone coverage.

Above all ban the radios they are the catalyst for the speeding that is so abhorrent to all of us. It would also mean that they would have to spread out on all the roads looking for their own sightings as we have to do so we would not find them concentrated at one sighting and hogging the best spots and show their unwillingness to allow everyone a chance.

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NO TO BUILDING OF HOTELS IN THE KRUGER NATIONAL PARK
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03.10.14 - 10.10.14 Ngwenya Lodge
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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2006 8:39 pm 
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Penny wrote:
.... Somehow KNP spokesman has very neatly sidestepped the issue and although his postin is interesting in its response it does not come anywhere near tackling the grave issues that we the loyal Kruger Park goers are relating.....


I Totally agree with LL, Obelix and Penny.

The radio issue is what in terms of the OSVs?
A tool to find more sightings, increase their revenues,
and more revenue for SANPS.
It would be easy to just make it to use in an emergency only?
Never going to happen though - Why? Because More MONEY to the KNP.
I agree that there seems to be bigger economic issues at play here, and perhaps we will never get the "real reason" why open radios on OSV cannot be be banned.
To try to equate Radios with Cell Phones is simplistic. We are not morons! But as usual, we "Joe Public" are treated as such by the Powers that be! To say if we ban the Radios we must Ban Cell Phones... HELLO, who makes the Rules in the Park? SANPS or the OSV operators. Come on!

When OSVs were first allowed into the park, they did not have "open channel"radios, if i remember correctly, but only to use in an emergency.They and their passengers survived, and i dont recall anyone getting lost or eaten in that period!
Much political lobbying was done by the operators, who were, tragically allowed the right to use open channel radios in the KNP.

To sit at a sighting and get overpowered by squelching radios and uncontrolled visitors on OSVs is not fun... and really, if you want us to police the situation and report offenders... I will with Vigor! But the, for my effort, and others, i want to be allowed to attend a meeting between all role players (as a public representative), and be allowed to make my opinion heard at these meetings...

Do a census of people visiting the park... us the general public as to why and if OSVs should be allowed to operate they way they do iro radios and discourteous behaviour.
I think it is time to see a investigative program done on this sensitive issue, on 50/50 or whatever.

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"Some are Guilty, but we are all Responsible"

KNP: 03 Jan to 12 Jan 14 (Berg n Dal, PKop, Croc Bridge)
KNP 10 May to 17 May 2013 (Malelane, Satara, Skukuza)
KNP 16 July to 26 July 14 (Croc Bridge, Tamboti, L Sabie )


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 Post subject: Efficient market penalties
Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2006 3:20 am 
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I am an avid Kruger-ian, but now live in San Diego, USA.
I return to Kruger as often as I can, and enjoy it while there.

In following this forum/thread, I believe that Kruger is being excoriated for not doing anything material. It may be true, but I do believe that they are interested in the success and continuation of the Park, at least as much as we all do. To be blunt, the Park is not static, but instead grows/changes. As the Park changes, so must its means of operating, managing, and being. It is also a business.

I believe that repeated identification, with subsequent impartial investigation, of the individuals will help alleviate the symptoms mentioned here. Each vehicle should have the guide's ID visible (front, back and sides), and should be checked at the gates (and randomly by all employees, if needed). After 3 (or some number) of validated infractions, that individual would be barred from all Parks, on either business or pleasure. Also, that person's employer will be penalized, maybe with later entrance to the Park, or simply with escalating fines (ending with a complete ban and also public listing of the company, owner, and previous name's of the company tied to the current name - the taxing authorities must have access to this information).

If people believe that reporting/cataloging the individual and the infraction is overly burdensome, then impose a reward. Not for the reporting, but for the validated outcome. In fact, also apply a penalty for repeated false reports to avoid the "witch-hunt" problem; have the penalty be similar, something like later entrance to the Park, or 6-month ban (just an example). If you only ever report/document real infractions, there is never a charge. But if you do have a history of false accusations (with no basis, proof, etc), then you are fined and your name published. The penalty for this needs not restrict appropriate reporting, but does need to restrict in-appropriate reporting.

In short, the penalty for all the parties involved (individual operator, OSV, and reporter) should be strong enough to enforce truthful, valid reporting of infractions, or valid actions within the Park.

To provide the incentive for the Park to pursue these investigations, it should also "profit" from pursuing the investigations: it should be paid by the employee's company.

Another idea might be to notify the passengers that they will pay the Park if their guide/jockey breaks the rules. Make each OSV, as part of the SLA (Service Level Agreement), contractually involve the visitor and educate them on the rules (along with the reason for the rules). If they control the Guide (either by with-holding tips until the end or by reporting to the Company) then the problem is solved. They can be told to watch the speedometer, listen for the radio, and any other Park-decided rule. The guide breaks the rule to please the guests; if they dis-please the guests, they would pay the price, both by not receiving tips and also by having their "boss" told by un-happy passengers. Maybe the guests have to pay if their guide breaks the rules and they do not report it (so they would only pay if both instances occurred: first, someone else reported it (and it was duly investigated/validated), AND the guests did not report it). This would then solve the problem of the guide denying it: outside parties, and the guests agree that the guide broke some rule.

Personally, I would love to see no more radios, but I am realistic. Allow the radio to be in the car, but penalize those who do not use it as a tool to solve emergencies. Require GPS as part of the SLA, but allow for appeals why the GPS tracked abnormal speeds. Make the penalties worthwhile, both to those who would pay, and to those who would receive payment.

I look forward to your comments.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2006 5:14 am 
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Hello Schoemanskloof -

Yes, i agree the park is a changing entity - but at what cost?

The OSVs are more recent arrival in the KNP, but the extremely negative impact they are having on the general publics game viewing experience, needs to be addressed.
We are not for banning OSVs or other progressive ventures. However, how they operate is a concern... and the reluctance, it appears, of the KNP authorities to police and take action on a SLA they agreed on!
These OSV groups are treated as more special, eg. iro getting back to exit gates on time. I am in the park every eight days, and i could write a book on the law infractions that take place, and condoned by KNP Staff at the Gates. Why are three OSVs allowed to sit at a Leopard sighting after Gate Closing Time, ten KMs from the exit? Come on, who is going to fine them or report them - not the KNP staff - seen on a Night drive i was on recently from Croc Bridge?
I would love to see the Visitors on these vehicles be made responsible for their guides behaviour... but personally i cannot see how? It is the pressure that the Visitors put on the driver of the OSV to see "big" sightings that created the monster in the first place ... and majority will not care or mind as long as they got the shot! Sorry about being very cynical, but i really see this as being a big part of the problem.
If you have visited Parks in Kenya, see how progression and un-enforced laws/rules have ruined Masai Mara! I will never go there again! It looks so nice on Animal Planet... but we dont see the twenty OSVs and Busses following and surrounding the poor Cheetah mile after mile, with more OSVs converging at great speed as news spreads by radio... thats what we fear is going to happen in KNP.
The average visitor in his Honda Civic, is not going to get a chance, because he wont be able to get close to sighting of a lion, before it is chased away by the OSV and Minibus Circus. Its already happening!
The way i see it, the economic benefit these Operators bring to the Park will always outweigh the complaints against them. Money and Politics = Guy in Street loses out. In the USA, you should know what i mean!?

Cheers

_________________
"Some are Guilty, but we are all Responsible"

KNP: 03 Jan to 12 Jan 14 (Berg n Dal, PKop, Croc Bridge)
KNP 10 May to 17 May 2013 (Malelane, Satara, Skukuza)
KNP 16 July to 26 July 14 (Croc Bridge, Tamboti, L Sabie )


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2006 6:59 am 
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Well said Fizzpop - you echo sentiments expressed by so many of us.

Just one small snippet of information. It is a well known fact that when a safari company is caught once too often transgressing the rules of the Park and the etta hits the fan and they are banned all they do is change their name and make application to the Park as an OSV and carry on where they left off. We used to laugh when we saw the badly painted out names on the side of the vehicle but then the driver still had the name of the old Company on his eppaulettes. Until the Powers that be in the park stop the speeding and the numbers of these vehicles the situation is going to continue to grow worse by the year. It was far worse in October last year when we were in the Park than what it was a few years ago. To suggest any form of policing by the paying guests in these vehicles is euphamistic to say the least - three quarters of them cannot speak a word of English. As already said they are there for one thing only and that is the Big 5!

What might be valuable is for Sanparks to see how some of the Private reserves handle sightings and control the sightings themselves. For example only a certain number of vehicles are allowed at a sighting at any one time (it is usually 3), and at sightings where there are small cubs then only one vehicle is allowed at a time. There is also a time allowed by each vehicle and they are only allowed 10 mins at a sighting. At a certain point when the sun is going down and it is virtually dark sightings of diurnal animals are called a halt to and on night drives if they are spotted the torches are turned off and they do not allow guests to view these animals.

If Sanparks is going to continue to put greed before loyalty to their many private park going public then slowly but surely they will kill the goose that lays the golden egg!

_________________
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: Badly behaving OSVs
Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2006 12:35 pm 
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Hi Forumites

Many thanks for everyone's feedback on this issue. I find the accounts of actual incidents very useful - and shocking, by the way - and ask (plead) that the registration number of the vehicle seen committing the offence is included in the account as then we can really take action against the offending OSV according to their Service Level Agreement.

Just so that you know how the Service Level Agreement is written, the following short points that you might find interesting:

* 3.1.4 "Decals of the operator have to be placed on both front doors and reasonably visible and legible for persons in passing vehicles" - the reason why we stipulate this is for the very reason that everyone is reporting on this thread - SO THAT MISDEMEANORS CAN BE REPORTED.
* Section 5.1 deals with "special undertakings" with the sub-heading "The Operator undertakes to operate its safari vehicle business in the Park in the most abundant faith and shall ..."
5.1.1 - provide an excellent level of service;
5.1.3 - promote the good name of SANParks and its facilities at all times;
5.1.5 - show courtesy towards other road users especially when viewing game;
5.1.6 - refrain from using radios to inform other vehicles of game viewing information of any nature.
* Full compliance with the rules and regulations of the KNP.
* 7.2 says: "Should SANParks receive regular complaints against the operator regarding the operating of the safari vehicle business as described in clause 5.1 in any year, it shall constitute a breach of this agreement by the operator and ... SANParks shall be entitled to terminate this agreement forthwith."
* 7.3 basically repeats this provision mentioned in 7.2, except that it mentions the rules and regulations of the KNP.

(I have included what I thought was relevant to this discussion but if you feel you would like to peruse the rest of the document, you are more than welcome to visit me in my office in Skukuza and I'll show it to you. Just PM me to make an appointment ...)

So what this basically means is that YOU certainly have the power to not only stop bad behaviour of the OSVs, but potentially throw them out of the KNP if that behaviour persists.

Way forward: What I suggest here, therefore, is that you send your accounts of these incidents (please remember to include the exact time/date/place/vehicle registration/OSV company name etc) to the KNP HOD Tourism, Ms Lucy Nhlapo at email: lucyn@sanparks.org.

Lastly, I apologise if I "side-stepped" the issue but this certainly wasn't the intention. I was under the impression that everyone knew that they are welcome to report ANY bad behaviour of ANY KNP user.

Kind regards
KNP Spokesman

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 Post subject: Re: Badly behaving OSVs
Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2006 9:58 pm 
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KNP Spokesman wrote:
* Section 5.1 deals with "special undertakings" with the sub-heading "The Operator undertakes to operate its safari vehicle business in the Park in the most abundant faith and shall ..."
5.1.1 - provide an excellent level of service;
5.1.3 - promote the good name of SANParks and its facilities at all times;
5.1.5 - show courtesy towards other road users especially when viewing game;
5.1.6 - refrain from using radios to inform other vehicles of game viewing information of any nature.* Full compliance with the rules and regulations of the KNP.


If you look at what the major issue is about the OSVs, it is the speeding from sighting to sighting, that they have been informed of, by all other OSVs in the region BY RADIO.
The Points above define the scope of use of radios and behaviour.
It is clear that this ethic is not adhered to in 95% of OSVs in KNP.
If we can obtain the limited use of Radios by the OSVs, we would not be needing to involve the Visitor in the Equation of speeding and disruptive behaviour.

Yes educate, as we all must be, on the rules and regulations of the Park. If we are in our Pvt vehicles or a OSV, every passenger should be informed of the rules and regulations. So, then, if a visitor knows their guide/ driver acted inappropriately, they can make an informed decision to report his/ her bad behaviour. Hopefully this will start to happen.

My suggestion to help in this regard:
Every person entering the Park on a OSV, should be handed a A5 size notice, by a Parks Board employee, which discusses the problems and potential problems of abuse of the regulations, and a contact where complaints can be addressed.
Lets use the Visitor as vital a tool in the action. Get them on the side of pro-active action.

Maybe a whisper in the ears of the OSV operators... they are being watched! :evil:

And the problems with members of General Public, well ... that is another problem altogether!! :shock:

_________________
"Some are Guilty, but we are all Responsible"

KNP: 03 Jan to 12 Jan 14 (Berg n Dal, PKop, Croc Bridge)
KNP 10 May to 17 May 2013 (Malelane, Satara, Skukuza)
KNP 16 July to 26 July 14 (Croc Bridge, Tamboti, L Sabie )


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2006 8:41 am 
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It seems that we all agree that something needs to be done about the SVs. :D Some of us are just a little more irritated by them than others. KNPSM gave us a contact where we can send documented complaints too.

Reading the February issue of Africa Geographic, Darryl Balfour wrote on the issue of these vechiles in the East African Reserves. It seems that there, many of the vechiles are minibus types with a raised roof that allow viewing when standing up. He complains about the behaviour of these operators and says something needs to be done about it, but then he also makes this statement:
"I do not want East Africa's parks to become like South Africa's Kruger National Park, where traffic cops and speed traps are de rigueur, or like the parks in Botswana, where no guides other than those licensed with the local wildlife department are permitted to operate"

So it seems that where we think more "policing" is needed other people think it is an over kill. :?


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 Post subject: Tour operators in the Park
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 6:10 pm 
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Hi All,

Just got back from 4 nights in the KNP and I'm shocked over the way the SANParks allows outside (private) tour operators to come into the park in the quantity that I saw . There must have been at least 15-20 Vehicles in the Skukuza/lower Sabie area all connected by radio .So that if a private individual spotted something of interest and 1 of these tour operators came past he would contact the rest of the gang to come and join and its an absolute nightmare.

My problems plainly are :

They go off-road .
They are higher than any other car but they are always in the front and you cant get a picture of the animal without a vehicle in the way ( or a vehicle behing the animal) .

I just think it is not the way to do things since when staying in the KNP I'm paying alot of money and stay for more than 2 nights and these tour operators come in for a game drive and take over the place.

I still had a fantastic time and have planned my next trip :)

Enjoy 8)

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 8:53 pm 
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I've never found them to be much of a problem in the North of Kruger.

Maybe you can try the North, as it is a real special feeling you get once you've left the crowds in the South behind.

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Last edited by christo on Fri Mar 31, 2006 8:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 8:32 pm 
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Its not only the tour operators who go speeding along but also the delivery vehicles and the construction/road works trucks. Some of them make a hek of a noise when they rattle past as the animals you were watching disappear in fright.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2006 7:53 am 
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Speeding is happening through out the park, not only by the jockeys, or construction workers but also the visitors. Did not see any speed traps or anything.

The problem with the speeding rules i.t.o. delivery trucks is that they cannot brake quick enough should they need to. I believe they should keep to a speed limit of 40km/h max for any heavy vehicles.

The jockey company "Untamed" seemed to be "almost" behaving, but the other two "Thompsons" and "Spurwing" was just outright pathetic. For one, they sped through the park like the speed limit was for a highway. They had no but no consideration for other tourists, not allowing others to see but only their own paying guests. They would drive recklessly, making U-Turns and driving where ever they can to get a good space, even if it means driving next to the road in the veld.

And don't think you can get away from them. We had our usual quiet spots in the South when we went there last. Not so this time. They were everywhere. At one stage there were two Thompsons jockeys who actually blockaded the road with a sighting that I could not get through. When they sped past me I would go up to 50km/h on the tar and they would still dissappear faster than a Ferarri passing a UNO. I would flash them and they would just ignore me and continue speeding. I felt so helpless. But I did report it, so let's see what happens.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2006 2:36 pm 
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W@H

I brought up the speed limit thing in one of the other threads. I think you have hit the nail on th ehead. These big trucks definitely cannot stop quicker than a car can, and so the speed limit for large vehicles ( trucks) should be lower. I understand that SANP vehicles have a speed limit of 60kph. That should also be looked into.

As for the tour operators, they make life very difficult sometimes and these guys have absolutely no respect or regard for others. They have paying customers on board who only want to see the big 5 and these drivers will stop at nothing to show their passengers them. It is really sad, as it is not portraying the right image of what Kruger is about. I reckon they should be banned.

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