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 Post subject: Re: How Fast Do You Drive?
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 3:55 am 
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I know 20 km/h is tops. But, when I drive an entire day or two without seeing much, I am mighty tempted to cover more distance and get into another area. And then 20 km/h usually produces that sighting yet again!

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 Post subject: Re: How Fast Do You Drive?
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 4:02 am 
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The other problem with doing the speed limit is when a buck races across the road.
Especially now in rutting season, I had a few impala rams dash across the road to chase each other, not giving a flying hoot about the cars (and why should they, being their park and all!).
We were once, many years ago, driving along a dirt road near Olifants I think and, without warning, a large kudu dashed out of the narrow verge bush.
Despite us only doing 30 km/h at the time, we were unable to react in time and, thanks to their amazing survival skills, this kudu simply leapt entirely across our bonnet!!
Another time, while doing 50 km/h into the setting sun near Pafuri, I barely missed hitting an nyala ram as he shot across the road; the sun was blinding and I couldn't respond in time; however, again, the animal saved the day, but narrowly!
I know that a car doing 60+, or even 50, when the Park is in Stygian darkness can only invite trouble: there is no-one on this planet that will respond quickly enough to avoid never hitting an animal if speeding in thick bush and near-darkness!

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 Post subject: Re: How Fast Do You Drive?
Unread postPosted: Mon May 11, 2009 4:06 am 
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Let's sum up some favourite tips here for everyone to learn how to game-spot more effectively.

My top ones are:
- Drive out as soon as you can after gate open;
- Arrive back as near to gate close as possible (but without inviting a fine for late arrival, or speeding to make it in time);
- Drive at a speed that allows you to effectively scan all the gaps (I like 20-25 km/h);
- Be courteous to others at a sighting, and help them locate the game you're seeing if they cannot;
- Keep noise levels at a minimum at a sighting; if possible, total silence is preferable;
- Park on the side of the road where the sighting is, and keep it single file;
- Keep your windows open as much as possible (except when close to predators or baboons) to listen for bush signs (breaking branches, rustling, animal and bird noises, etc.);
- Take pictures and catch a thrill whenever you can!

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 Post subject: Re: How Fast Do You Drive?
Unread postPosted: Tue May 12, 2009 2:05 am 
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Glen79 wrote:
In the early morning and late afternoon, when I'm crawling along at 5km/h along a river road ..... its pure bliss, and when that irritating tail-gater become 5 cars plus, I pull over and make as if im reading my map. After they pass, i merrily continue on my way. :whistle:


The easiest method of avoiding tailgaters is to place a "BIRDWATCHING" sign in your back window and when you get a few cars behind you, to just stop at the first LBJ you find. They will soon pass :twisted:

I generally travel at between 20 and 25kph, but I use what a friend taught me many years ago.
Aptly named the "MacDonald middle-distance theory" after him, we concentrate on looking in the areas between 25 and 50 metres from the road. In most instances, anything further is too far and anything closer that is moving is often seen anyway.
Works well for me and what you miss, you don't miss :huh: so long as you have a great day.
As a newbie in the birdwatching scene, it is now almost impossible to have a bad day, unlike the big-5 chasers :hmz: and these little birds have shown me to many other sightings :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: How Fast Do You Drive?
Unread postPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 11:19 am 
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We are all individuals and each of us has our own preferences. :thumbs_up:

Some of us prefer to drive at 10 km/h, others at 30 km/h and others prefer driving, legally, at 40 km/h on the gravel roads and 50 km/h on the tar roads.

If I’m driving at 10 km/h surely I have to accept the fact that I will be tail-gated sooner or later and I can’t blame a tail-gater for tail-gating me. All I do is to move more to the left for the tail-gater to pass me.

Some of us prefers to be “big five chasers”. As long as such a big five chase is done according to the rules its fine with me as well. I for one prefer to search and find one of the big five and while searching for the big 5 I may just spot a Pel's fishing owl, Narina Trogon, Brown Hyena or Caracal! :shock: :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: How Fast Do You Drive?
Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 11:59 am 
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We just got back from Kruger and and we had wonderfull sightings :dance: .I find driving at 35km/h(on the gps)you have a good chance have great sightings.

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 Post subject: Re: How Fast Do You Drive?
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 8:32 pm 
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I believe the more kilometres you do on a game drive the better your chances are of seeing more game than someone who drives very slow. I travel at 20km per hour on roads where the bush is very thick eg. Lower timbavati, 40km on roads through mopani type veld and 50 km on roads where I feel you would waste time if you travelled too slowly eg. between satara and olifants


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 Post subject: Re: How Fast Do You Drive?
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 9:37 pm 
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Oddesy if I think of what I have seen over the past 25 years in kruger I would have to attribute this success to the fact that I try to cover as many kms as I can when I go on a game drive. You do have a valid point that if a leopard, lion, etc. was sitting at the side of the road and you went past at a higher speed you could miss the opportunity of a better sighting. But on the other hand if you travelled too slow or stopped for every impala you could also miss a sighting like we did on new year,s day when we missed a leopard which was lying in the tar road a minute before we arrived at that spot


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 Post subject: Re: How Fast Do You Drive?
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 1:47 am 
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I have tried the quicker method and, though you cover more kilometres, the extent of bush that you can effectively and accurately observe is much diminished. If you look in any well-researched books of game-driving, the recommendation is always to drive slowly, scan at every opportunity, and involve as many senses as possible. There have been several times I have stopped for a suspicious impala snort, or an elephant's trumpet, or even a rapid rustle of the grass verge, and been rewarded with great, or at least interesting, sightings.

I would love to challenge those who think speed in game parks yield more sightings to a one-on-one competition: the "speedsters" (40-50 km/h regulars) and the "appreciators" (<30km/h regulars) teams go to Kruger for 7 days, and at the end of this time period, we total the number of (special) sightings to see who would be more correct. :wink: :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: How Fast Do You Drive?
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 9:22 am 
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Well, it's obviously working for you! Each to his OWN :lol: :twisted: . I prefer the exciting atmosphere that I engender by driving slower, and for me this is half the power of the bush. I'm glad to hear that, despite travelling a little quicker than some others of us, you're still seeing top-quality sightings! We're all in this together and I'm always happy when other mites see good things. Please post your stats - always an interesting read. :thumbs_up:
I have spent many years chasing after "other-people's" sightings, only to have a low success rate with this. So, I now drive at a relaxed speed that allows me to look into all the gaps, and wait for nature to provide her magic! On parts of the S100, I often take it up to 30-35 as one can see so far there; but I would be quite stressed and disappointed if I did this on a regular basis.
Thanks for the comparisons, garrow; it's always good to get other people's views on a subject.

WE'D APPRECIATE IT IF OTHERS STATE THEIR OWN VIEWS AND EXPERIENCES ON THIS SUBJECT HERE!

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 Post subject: Re: How Fast Do You Drive?
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:27 pm 
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Am I a very slow driver?
On Saturday I drove P'kop to Afsaal and back, via Fayi loop, Voortrekker Road, Afsaal-Skukuza road and Napi Road. It took over 6 hours.

On Sunday I drove P'kop to Skukuza via Phabeni and the Sabie River road, back along Doispane road. This also took around 6 hours.

For most of it I was travelling around 20-25km/h and stopping often for bird parties.

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 Post subject: Re: How Fast Do You Drive?
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:49 pm 
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Last trip I travelled a day trip from Tshokwane around Munyiwini road to Lugmag dam to N'waswitsontso loop to Trichardt road to Lindanda road and back to the starting point - around 108 km took 11 hours including stops of about 2 hours . With regular stops to listen I seldom exceed 25 km/h .

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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.


Last edited by ndloti on Wed Apr 28, 2010 2:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: How Fast Do You Drive?
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 1:26 pm 
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We have also found that 20-25 km is the ideal speed by which we should travel in Kruger. In our experience if a person drives faster than that a lot is missed along the way. We would rather go for shorter drives than try to do many km’s in one day.

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 Post subject: Re: How Fast Do You Drive?
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 6:10 pm 
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Definitely true, Grantmissy! :thumbs_up: Nobody can convince me that driving fast yields an equal number of sightings to driving slowly. :roll:

Dr. Phil, like Grantmissy, I've moved away from driving too far, as this results in us being too tired to enjoy Kruger to the full. However, sometimes a long, scenic trip is worthwhile - the problem with being too far from camp, though, is what happens when you see a truly special sighting and haven't the time to savour it?

K-4S, that's indeed strange: the ears of animals hurt his eyes!? :sup: But, sounds like he sees more than most. :dance:

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TR: NECTAREAN NICETIES OF THE NORTH
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 Post subject: Re: How Fast Do You Drive?
Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 9:54 am 
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The speed varies.
When I dive alone and I reach a dirt road, I literally drift forwards in first gear without touching the accelerator! Giving me enough time to look left and right. Extremely slowly when the bush is dense!

But with other passengers, 20-30 is fine :thumbs_up:

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