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 Post subject: Litter, speeding and general lawlessness in Kruger....
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 9:00 pm 
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My SO and I spent 10 days in Kruger towards the end of August. We traveled 1200km in the Park. The Park was busy as it was a school holiday (private?) period.

We are regular Kruger visitors since 1992 - this being our second trip of three this year. Four last year.

After reading recent posts on this forum it was with apprehension that I arrived at Kruger Gate. I did not feel like my precious trip being spoilt by litter lying all over the Park, vehicles speeding past us, trying to tolerate law breaking tourists, seeing road kills, having the quiet evenings interrupted by noisy neighbours in the camps. Experiencing indifference from staff members .... you get the idea I am sure.

I decided to take special notice of how much of this type of disregard for Kruger and what it stands for we encountered. I went in there expecting the worst and totally prepared to report on exactly what I witnessed.

Here is my report back.

Not once did I witness rampant speeding. I was totally surprised that in fact we did not see one speeding incident in the time we were in the Park. We encountered delivery, staff, tourist, police, army and construction vehicles. To tell the exact speed of another vehicle is not easy, but I am certain no one went over their prescribed speed limit by more than a couple of percent - something one can surely understand happens to anyone now and again when driving.

We saw two different speed cops going out on duty and encountered one road block manned by the traffic dept and army.

I noticed very little litter. The litter I did see was tissues and bits of loo paper - easily blown out of car windows. One broken beer bottle, one beer can, one chip packet and once plastic cooldrink bottle. The latter on the road in from Phalaborwa Gate. The litter bag at the bird hide near Letaba was full - but goodness, why can't tourists remove their own litter from bird hides?

We saw one road kill :( that of a hornbill. One too many yes.

Being super sensitive to camp noise, I was amazed that not one of our nine nights in Kruger was spoilt by any sort of noise in the camps - these being Satara, Letaba and Skukuza!

There was one incident of tourists breaking the law - a group climbed out of their car just off the Olifants bridge to take photos of baboons.

We were able to spend 8 hours driving a 62km trail without seeing another car or other humans.

Depending on our mood of the day, it is sometimes fun to spend time at a busy picnic site, sharing the camaraderie of being in such a special place with everyone else there. If in the mood for solitude, we would park somewhere nice, and enjoy coffee and rusks in the vehicle.

I noticed an absence of hyena at the fence at Letaba. One came by once at Skukuza.

There were notices at Letaba veranda imploring visitors to not feed the birds.

The birds were having a field day with left overs at Lower Sabie and Satara.

The three activities we did were done with guides totally passionate for Kruger and the bush :clap:

Was this trip any different than any in the past? No.

I cannot wait to go back :dance:

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It's not too late at all. You just don't yet know what you are capable of. Mahatma Gandhi


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 Post subject: Re: In search for litter, speeding and lawlessness ....
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 11:36 pm 
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:clap:

Though not minimizing the fact that littering, noise and traffic offenses do occur and are not something to ignore nor trivialize, I must absolutely concur with your sentiment.

We tend to visit KNP and other national parks more times in a year than most S.A. nature lovers do in ten. And I share a similar experience, time after time!

The biggest litter problem is the "emergency stop" toilet paper. That I do find disturbing, but luckily it seems that more and more hides are being fitted with toilets. This will help!

You do see the odd bottle or chip bag. But they do not tend to grow old lying there! They get picked up!

Speeding ... yes, I have seen that ... but it is not nearly as common nor as severe as one is led to believe. I can think of many visits where I not once experienced such an incident.

The biggest problem that I regularly encounter is visitors hanging out and even getting out of vehicles. As soon as you have a predator sighting, you are almost guaranteed to have some people misbehaving. More law enforcement is needed there.

Again .. without denying nor minimizing these issues, I sometimes get the impression that we are very good at creating a totally skew perception of the realities on the ground in the parks.

My endearing impression after each visit is that we have a wonderful heritage in our parks. Despite all the challenges and problems, our national parks remain special places of beauty and natural splendour.


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 Post subject: Re: In search for litter, speeding and lawlessness ....
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 7:01 am 
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I have to agree with you DB an Imberbe

Been to the park 3 times this year and, like you said DB, apart from the occasional paper or TP didnt come acros much littering throughout the park. Speeding wasnt a problem the first 2 times but this last trip we came across alot of speedsters on the H7 tar road. I was doing 30-40 at the time and they overtook me easily.

But ja I have always liked the atmosphere at Picnic sites if it is busy.

Never since all my stays have had any problems with neigbours at camps being too loud...

So it is not all gloom and despair like some make out to believe....


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 Post subject: Re: In search for litter, speeding and lawlessness ....
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 8:15 am 
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Aaah.. at last something very positive on the forum again.
DB and Emberbe, exactly our experience too. Sure, you get knuckleheads in KNP breaking the law but really, they are the exception and no reason to get suicidal about.


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 Post subject: Re: In search for litter, speeding and lawlessness ....
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 6:52 pm 
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Good to hear that authorities seem to be addressing many of the concerns we have seen expressed on the forum !

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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.


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 Post subject: Re: In search for litter, speeding and lawlessness ....
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2008 11:02 am 
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Thanks to everybody for sharing the positive feed-back from Kruger.
I visited Kruger with my familiy (husband and 2 children) in 2005, and it was the best experience we have ever had.
So even though it is a long and expensive trip from Scandinavia to SA, we have booked 3 weeks in SA again in October 2008 (of which we will be 6 days in Kruger and 2 in Golden Gate NP).

Having read the recent reports from Kruger the last couple of months, we started to wonder if it was the right decision to go to Kruger again, or if we would be disappointed.

I'm therefore very pleased to see so many confirming that Kruger is still a wonderful place, and I can now better enjoy to count the days until October 11 when we will start our vacation. :dance:


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 Post subject: Re: In search for litter, speeding and lawlessness ....
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2008 11:20 am 
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Viking, you have every reason to really look forward to your trip!

I spent a short while at the Lake Panic bird hide. It was very busy. I was amazed how quiet everyone in the hide was though.

I sat next to a lady from the USA - she was just bubbling with what an awesome experience her trip to Kruger had been. Her eyes shone with excitement and she had nothing but praise for SA :D

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It's not too late at all. You just don't yet know what you are capable of. Mahatma Gandhi


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 Post subject: Re: In search for litter, speeding and lawlessness ....
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2008 7:57 pm 
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I have also just spent a couple of days in the Phalaborwa area.
The Sable dam hide was spotless and we saw no litter in the area we were in.
Unfortunately we did see some speeding on a sand road, but this was definitely a minority
We did see speed traps twice on the road near Phalaborwa gate

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 Post subject: Re: In search for litter, speeding and lawlessness ....
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2008 7:33 pm 
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The Good....Your happy report DB, on the known problems.

The Bad.... not much, it seems.

The Ugly... that you had to do this type of report in the first place.

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 Post subject: Re: In search for litter, speeding and lawlessness ....
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 10:40 am 
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My main problem is toilet paper.
It is the kind of thing I really don't want to pick up and throw away :evil:
It's disgusting and inexcusable :evil:

Other than that, I would like to say that I have not encountered anything that I have found deeply disturbing. "Speeding" seems to pick up towards gate closing time.
I think many of us have had a few tense moments when 50km/hr just does not seem to be getting you to the gate quickly enough :pray:

What I have noticed, people still smile and wave.
If you are free with your sightings advice, people respond with gratitude.
Excited voices can be heard at all the camps as they retell their stories of the day.
Laughter and awe is never far away.

When I hear discordant moans, it says more about the discontent of the moaner than it does about the actual situation..

Nothing is perfect, but I can try to experience the perfection of the moment.

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 Post subject: Re: Littering in our Park
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 4:26 pm 
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The litter situation is very annoying, and although it is easy enough to clean up the litter in and around the camps (although it shouldn't be there in the first place), and sometimes you can pick up a can or bottle lying in the road, but I get so angry when I see the disposable nappies lying next to the roads.

I don't know if there is a solution, but perhaps it could be possible to make all visitors with babies in the car to buy a sealable bag or bucket, which would hopefully make them seal the nappies and then get rid of them at the camp or stopover.

Other issue is the toilet paper all over the place. Yes... sometimes when you gotta go, you gotta go, and it is a problem that won't go away. The rules forbid it, but not everybody pays attention, so maybe one of the big corporates could get together with SanParks, and try and get biodegradable tissues etc into the park..... We might not be able to stop the tissues from being left out there, but at least they will have less of an impact on the environment....

Just a thought......

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 Post subject: Re: Littering in our Park
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 7:52 am 
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It is terrible to see how people litter in the park. just take a close next to the road when you are at a sighting and see the butts and bottle tops and whatever else. One litter bug enjoyed his/her castle lite's all the way from Shingwedzi to letaba, thirsty work this game viewing. Tossed all the bottles out the window. SHAME on you.

It is the worst thing to see is litter strewn all over the roadside.


Last edited by etienne1 on Tue Mar 24, 2009 11:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Littering in our Park
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 1:57 pm 
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We can all do something about it.

1. Teach your children not to litter.
2. Teach your parents & family not to litter.
3. When you see someone littering, tell them to pick it up and put it in the bin. If they do not, do it yourself, it will shame them although they will not show it.
4. Do not litter yourselves, especially those nasty unsmoked bits of cigarettes.

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 Post subject: Re: Littering in our Park
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 11:36 pm 
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ndloti wrote:
If you see a guy stopping on the verge of the road picking up litter (he gets out of the car if necessary to do it if no one can see) and stooping down in public places in KNP also picking up litter , it is me .

Well I'm sorry but you shouldn't.

Anyone could come along, see you out of your car and think it's OK and copy you. They won't see you picking up litter, they'll just see you out of your car. You can't just pick and choose which rules you follow, even if it is in a good cause.

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 Post subject: Re: Littering in our Park
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 3:29 pm 
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Talking about ash , what can we do to the people who drop cigarette ends ?

Many people seem to be unwilling to keep them in a small personal repository till they find a bin in which to deposit them .
At Shingwedzi camp , and I assume the same happens in other camps I saw cigarette ends on the ground within 4 metres (I joke not !) of dustbins .
I even saw them deposited on the ground about 100m from the car park at Tshange lookout , I assume the same idiots who left them there would be surprised to discover that they are a defenite fire hazard , especially at unattended spots such as these .....

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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.


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