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Instant Closure of Lake Panic Hide

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JimS
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Instant Closure of Lake Panic Hide

Unread postby JimS » Tue Aug 18, 2015 11:36 am

This morning, Tuesday 18th August, my wife and I, along with several other wildlife photographers and birdwatchers were enjoying the birdlife and the opportunities for photography at Lake Panic hide. A Parks Board employee arrived and informed us that we must leave as maintenance will be starting immediately and the hide will be closed for two weeks.

We asked why there had been no advance warning of the closure but he did not know as he said he received his instructions from Tourism. A great deal of timber was stacked outside of the hide, so this was a project that had been planned. We planned to spend a week photographing wildlife at Lake Panic and have incurred accommodation and travel expenses to do this.

Lake Panic is the lead story in the latest Wild magazine, and a major tourist attraction in the south of Kruger, and yet SanParks simply closed the hide without warning or announcement and seemingly without any thought of the inconvenience and disappointment to paying customers.

We drove to Skukuza to complain that our holiday had been basically ruined, and the response was a shrug of the shoulders. The Duty Manager, Hospitality Manager, Technical Manager, and the Camp Manager were all unavailable, and could not be contacted either by cellphone or radio. We were not even asked to leave a cell number where we could be contacted.

We realise that maintence work has to be carried out at the hide. But material had to be purchased and the work planned yet there appeared to be no thought of the impact on customers that were in the Park, or those that were coming to the Park in the next two weeks and were hoping to visit Lake Panic.

In our opinion this attitude is unacceptable in today's world of instant communication, prior notification on the Sanparks web site, Facebook, Twitter, SMS, or any of the other media channels is fast and simple.

Please do not remove this mail until SanParks announces the dates of the closure so at least customers are aware they cannot visit Lake Panic.

At the moment I am very angry that we have been evicted from the hide without any advance warning, having spent many thousands of rands on accommodation and travel.

JimS

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Elsa
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Re: Instant Closure of Lake Panic Hide

Unread postby Elsa » Tue Aug 18, 2015 11:55 am

Sorry about the disappointment Jim,
I will refer to SANParks PR.
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Lesego
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Re: Instant Closure of Lake Panic Hide

Unread postby Lesego » Tue Aug 18, 2015 12:40 pm

Dear JimS;

Apologies for the inconvenience caused. The closure of Lake Panic is just temporary :wink: . A notice has been placed on the website informing guests of the closure.

"The Lake Panic hide in Skukuza will be temporary closed from 18 - 28 August 2015. The closure is due to maintenance work that has to be conducted on the hide. We apologise for any inconvenience caused."
http://www.sanparks.org/parks/kruger/
Lesego Nko
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Lesego.nko@sanparks.org
Tel: (012) 426 5202

JimS
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Re: Instant Closure of Lake Panic Hide

Unread postby JimS » Tue Aug 18, 2015 1:15 pm

Thank you for your apology, but the closure is considerably more than an inconvenience. Like taking the kids to Disneyland only to find it's been closed and no-one bothered to warn the customers. If we would have known in advance of the closure the booking would certainly have been changed, it's time and money wasted. We are back at Kruger in early September, hope the hide is opened by then.

The response at Skukuza was a disgrace. I could say much more about how my wife's complaint was dealt with but I will leave it at that.

JimS

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Re: Instant Closure of Lake Panic Hide

Unread postby VicRob » Tue Aug 18, 2015 2:08 pm

Oh I can only imagine how devastated you must feel. Time spent in LP is something I look forward to for months or even a year and cannot wait to experience, and I would be terribly disappointed if I was in your situation. :(
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Selling up in Australia to spend more time in the best place on earth......Kruger

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isinkwe
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Re: Instant Closure of Lake Panic Hide

Unread postby isinkwe » Tue Aug 18, 2015 3:10 pm

Image What will they do with Jan Van Lake Image
KRUGERPARKING is good for your health. Keep on KRUGERPARKING.

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bert
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Re: Instant Closure of Lake Panic Hide

Unread postby bert » Tue Aug 18, 2015 3:41 pm

Understand the disappointment.
But also know that staff is not well informed.
Found that out twice
A few years back asked at LS if the Voortrekker Road was open
Found out that it was open but LS reception staff did not know

After the floods in march 2014 asked Skukuza reception if the LP hide was open and nobody knew
So drove out to find it open :roll:

But also understand that planning a maintenance might be done a few weeks in advance for eg
But would be nice if such a notification will be posted at reception(s) and if possible on this forum

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Re: Instant Closure of Lake Panic Hide

Unread postby Hippotragus » Tue Aug 18, 2015 4:18 pm

It is good that maintenance is being done. It must be difficult to find a time when the park is not too busy - it is busy 52 weeks a year!

At the moment it is private school holidays and we are going to be up there next week and were looking forward to visiting Lake Panic.
Anyway, there is so much more to appreciate and I am sure we will have a great trip.

I agree, though, that a little more advance warning would have been a good idea - on Forum, Facebook etc.

I look forward to seeing the renovations when we are back in October.
Paul Kruger Gate (day visitor) 24-28 August 2015
Skukuza 14-18 October 2015
Satara 18-21 October 2015


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