Skip to content

SANParks.org Forums

View unanswered posts | View active topics






Post new topic Reply to topic  Page 2 of 3
 [ 44 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3  Next
Author Message
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 11:41 am 
Offline
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Fri May 20, 2005 8:48 am
Posts: 864
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
lam wrote:
But, it would be a waste to spend a lot of money training people, if nobody went on the walks.


I reckon if it's marketed well, it should be fine.

Interesting, because KNP does not even have enough guides to do the current trails. I really wonder why. Surely there are plenty of qualified guides?

_________________
Operation "Duke" Member

Being African is not determined by race, but by what's in your heart


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Bird Guides in Kruger
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 11:54 am 
Offline
Guru
Guru
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 9:34 am
Posts: 186
Morning Forumites,

I can report that 15 staff members in Kruger (Frank among them) have been identified to partake in accredited bird guide training through Birdlife SA. For cost saving purposes, they will not go as far as Wakkerstroom, but to Phalaborwa. However the total cost for this initiative is over R50 000 (including course fee over 10 days, course material, assessment fee, ongoing equipment and transport) and the amount set aside by the presiding manager was cut from his budget. As a result we have turned to the Honorary Ranger Corps to possibly channel funds raised through the Kruger Bird Day for this purpose.

Once the money is found and the staff are appropriately skilled there are a number of exciting bird products that are planned, particularly in the Pafuri region.

It's frustrating now while everything is in the conceptual phase, but hopefully in time there will be an array of exciting birding opportunity in the park (and in turn in other National Parks).


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 8:16 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2005 7:55 pm
Posts: 303
Location: Schoenmakerskop (near Port Elizabeth)
Here's a dumb question from someone who has no idea of SANP finance, personnel or logistics but loves birds and can therefore ask it innocently.

R50K to train 15 guides ? Sounds a lot but it is only 10% of the first 6 month cost if my assumptions laid out below are correct.

KNP is recognized as a major birding destination amongst the southern African and international birding communities. I am concerned that the planning folks might be red-herring'ed by the bus loads of day visitors and one-nighters who only want to kitty cats and jumbos. Bird visitors to KNP is major business. Every day in KNP you will bump into other groups of visitors who are there primarily, if not entirely for birds.

To recoup the cost of R50K within 6 months (any business person would die for an ROI like that) AND keep 15 guides employed at total cost to company of R5K per month each, you would need less than 20 birding guests a day, plus the guides will still be available for other tasks. If you project an average of 30 guests a day (ie 4 per guide every second day) at R150 a guest, the projected GP after 6 months is over R300K, or am I missing something big here?

Training Costs 50000
Monthly Cost to Company per Guide 5000
Projected Guests per Day 30
Income per Guest 150
Total Guide Cost for 6 Months 450000
Projected Total Income after 6 Months 810000
Projected GP after 6 Months 310000

Of course, this assumes that one does walks from a camp, which are mostly located in bird-rich areas (a la Pafuri picnic site or Punda or Letaba or Satara or Skukuza or .....) - you don't need the cost of a safari vehicle to organize a birding walk. At Ndumo (a place SANP management might consider visiting to pick up some tips) all walks are done from the camp or with the use of the guests vehicles (the guide bums a lift).


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 11:50 pm 
Offline
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2005 5:53 pm
Posts: 3833
Location: Cambridge, MA (and home from home in Darling, WC)
wildtuinman wrote:
DinkyBird wrote:
For a start they should build on what Frank at Pafuri does at the moment. Promote him to a guide and allow him, with all the safety precautions provided on other walks, to take interested parties further out of the picnic area on a bird walk.


DB only registered fgasa guides can take people on guiding outings. Frank does not have that skills I think. You seem to suggest a daywalk at the Pafuri picnic spot? I like that idea!


I know that if specific birding walks were available from a couple of camps, I wuld definitely be interested. Of course you would need to have a minimum number sign up, as for the bush braais and breakfasts. That's really not such an obstacle. Probably a bigger obstacle would be having a qualified guide available. Still, seeing the interest here, it would certainly be worthwhile for KNP to consider?

Do the guided bushwalks (not the trails :D ) also require a minimum number to have signed up?

wildtuinman wrote:
I say if you want to do something like this put in a special request and gather a few friends, Much less fuss.


This isn't a possibility for someone like me who comes from overseas and who travels alone. And I would be very interested in doing birding walks 8)

DinkyBird wrote:
Owl wrote:
I can report that 15 staff members in Kruger (Frank among them) have been identified to partake in accredited bird guide training through Birdlife SA.


Great news! Also good to see staff who are willing to go the extra mile be rewarded with an oppotunity to further themselves in the workplace.


Great news indeed 8) Any chance, I wonder, of such walks being introduced by next April? I'd love the chance to do one!

_________________
RSA 2014
20-16 Oct Joburg
27-30 Oct Mapungubwe: Limpopo forest tented camp, Leokwe camp
31 Oct-1 Nov Pafuri River Camp
2-15 Nov KNP: Punda Maria, Sirheni, Olifants, Tamboti, Skukuza
16-22 Nov Cape Town
23 Nov-20 Jan Darling


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2005 10:45 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2005 9:28 am
Posts: 221
Location: Port Elizabeth
saraf wrote:
As long as they cater for beginners then I think they'll be great.


Even semi-experienced birdwatchers, when in a new area are really beginners.

I am quite a good birder in sand forest and thornveld, but when I come to forest birding, which so often relies on calls, I am pretty much a beginner.

_________________
Kruger - July


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Birding walks and drives: the reality
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2006 11:00 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jul 02, 2006 2:27 pm
Posts: 73
Location: Pretoria, RSA
I think that the concept of birding -drives and walks should be offered to the keen birder. I know I would certainly enjoy it. I have seen numerous wonderful nocturnal bird sightings on a night drives!

Which brings me to the point: If the “normal” game drive operators (game rangers) simply paid more attention to bird sightings, both the game and bird viewing fraternities could benefit from a normal drive.

Unfortunately however, this ‘ideal’ is difficult to implement in reality as many foreign tourists, sitting in the back of the game vehicle, are waiting to see a lion and couldn’t be bothered by a rare LBJ! Thus, specific birding drives would be a logical and novel concept - especially if beginner’s level birding is also offered.

Walks are a bit of a different story altogether. It could work really well if the guide is an expert in all aspects of birding, i.e. identification of birds and their calls, habitats and habits. Again a beginner's course would also be attractive to many.

_________________
This is the Law o’the Jungle,as old&as true as the sky;The Wolf that shall keep it prospers,the Wolf that shall break it dies;the Law runs forward and back
For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf,&the strength of the Wolf is the Pack
Kipling


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: More birders than you think
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2006 12:34 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Aug 09, 2006 9:02 pm
Posts: 4
I am a birder and I am going to Kruger for the first time next month. :dance: I also love looking at everything else too. But if a dedicated birding walk or drive with a knowledgeable guide was offered, I would certainly take advantage of the opportunity! Even a coordinated day drive.

My first birding exposure came during a class geared toward both beginners and advanced birders, but some of the people had mobility problems. So most of our trips were by carpooling in vehicles and using walkie talkies to communicate the sightings and identifications of what others were seeing. The car makes an ideal hide and it seems to me that since you can't get out of the cars anyway, Kruger would be an ideal place to do this.

They say birding is one of the most popular and fastest growing hobbies in the US. And a great deal of these people are retired with travelling money, so it has been a huge economic boost to locales with a variety of birds and/or specialty birds.

Looking forward to my visit!
Sallee


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 11:06 am 
Offline
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 23, 2004 1:38 pm
Posts: 1935
I've done a brilliant bird walk before but still found that while walking the birds many times decide to move away quickly when they hear you.

As for Bird viewing drives on the other hand something totally different which I would really like to see happening in Kruger. During this year's Birding weekend we birded at Punda Maria. Birding was done from those game viewing 4x4 vehicles (12 seater? total but we had less people so that nobody had to sit in the middle). We left at 3am (remember that it was January so the sun rises early) made our way to Crooks Corner for the dawn chorus which was brilliant and somewhat overwhelming for a bird-call-challenged-individual as myself but still great!

We made our way back slowly to Punda, stopping every so often (including breakfast/brunch stop at Pafuri picnic spot), switch the engine of the vehicle off, sit back and listen to the birds and see what comes along. Sometimes we were even allowed out of the vehicle but had to stay within a certain perimeter. We had place to store our small cooler boxes with provisions (and a big bag of biltong supplied by Johann :thumbs_up: ) Although, due to the puncture incident, we could only bird until about 11:30 we still managed around 138 birds without finishing the whole route!

I will certainly pay money for a drive like this. These could be either half day or full day excursions. One does need a person on board who knows the birds of the area (and their calls) well and who can easily communicate and interact with the other people in the birding party. Also need a driver with a special temperament to stop ever so often for a bird or just to wait and listen. The one we had seemed dumb struck by the fact that we were not interested in game viewing and needed to stop for birds, it took him a while to get used to this idea as well as some well directed words from Dr Ian Whyte :lol: )

Oh and did I mention the beautiful Pennant-winged Nightjar male we saw on the evening drive from Punda?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Kruger Birding Activities
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 8:31 am 
Offline
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 9:08 am
Posts: 2162
Location: Leeu Valley
I have been thinking about this for some time now and actually discussed it with a Sanparks employee a while back who also thinks there is a market for this.

For birders it is not always possible to get to view the nocturnal birds such as the Owls and Nightjars and many of them miss out on these sightings/ticks.

Unfortunately the current game drives that Kruger offers are catered for the Big 5 findings, so for many birders that do visit the parks don't really get the chance to experience the birds that are mainly active at night, and to try and get a current guide to stop for a Nightjar in the road is unheard of.

My proposal is that 2-3 camps ranging between north and south for example Berg N dal, Satara and Punda should have a Birding night drive option that accompanies the current sunset and night drives.

I don't think its necessary for a dedicated birding guide to be employed as such, but perhaps one or two of the current guides could perhaps get a course into birding and be on hand for when a birding drive is booked.

This drive won't just be catered for the Saffies alone as it is estimated that America alone has over 20 million birders which of whom many come to Africa to enjoy the bird life here and add to their Global life lists.

Of course the chances will still be there for findings of nocturnal animal life, but the main reason for this drive is to try and cater for those out there who actually wants to stop and ID a Nightjar, or get that Barn owl tick etc.

I believe that this option could actually enhance the experience that Kruger already offers and could be another drawing card to an already successful recipe.

Please give some of your thoughts regarding this, as I would love to send any feedback on to the relevant people at Sanparks and see what they say :wink:


Last edited by DotDan on Wed Dec 02, 2009 10:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Birding Night Drives
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 10:36 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2007 5:06 pm
Posts: 48
Location: England
Good idea DD ! On many previous drives I have felt a bit uncomfortable asking the driver to stop while I check a second or third interesting bird sighting, knowing that most of the group would prefer to be looking at a yawning lion. The only drawback I can think of is whether the activity would be popular enough. Still, it wouldn't hurt to have a trial run. I agree that for some birding enthusiasts it would be a reason alone to come to the Kruger for a holiday, as many already do for the annual Big Birding event.

_________________
Save the planet. It's the only one that sells beer.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Birding Night Drives
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 10:43 am 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 2:15 pm
Posts: 1901
Location: Johannesburg - too far from the closest Sanpark
I'm pretty sure that if there are enough people in a group, Sanparks will oblige with any type of drive. When I did the sunset drive at Olifants in September, there was another drive specially booked by a private group. I'm not sure if it was birding, but it was definitely photography enthusiasts. How I wanted to be on that drive... (though we did see 2 leopards and AWC on ours)

_________________
The 'mite formerly known as joshilewis

FGASA Level 1 Guide

Glen Reenen TR

15-18 June: Berg-en-dal


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Birding Night Drives
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 11:03 am 
Offline
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 9:08 am
Posts: 2162
Location: Leeu Valley
I do feel there are enough people that visit the park that would love to do something like this.

It is actually frightening when one realizes how many Bird guides exist outside the park in places like Gauteng, Pretoria, KZN etc but in KNP there are just NO options for birders other than self drive.

I would love to rather go do a 3-4 hour hike with a bird guide in Kruger than do one here in Jozi for instance.

The point on photography is another good one and I believe that photography and birding goes hand in hand :wink:

I seriously believe that KNP does not cater currently for birders at all, and I think that if they do some market research, they will realize that there is a booming market for these type of activities .

The fact that so many foreigners come to KNP on a yearly basis and not be able to fully appreciate everything there is to our wonderful ecosystem is frightening.
SA has over 900 species of birds recorded to date, of which Kruger has +- 500 of those species.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Birding Night Drives
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 1:28 pm 
Offline
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2005 12:28 am
Posts: 14283
Location: Pretoria, RSA
I have no problem with your basic idea, but I have to disagree with your premise that there is no room for birding on current night drives.
Most guides will stop for the nocturnal birds, especially birds such as owls.
I don't think any guide worth his / her salt will drive past one of these magnificent creatures.
They may start ignoring night jars after they have passed nr. 6. This may annoy a serious birder!

I must agree, that on a drive there can be pressure to see the cats.
Many people do a night drive and in fact come to a national park, mainly for that reason.
Even the other members of the big 5 seems not to impress!
Many people will also let the guide know that he will be measured by his success in this, both before and even after the drive. That is sad!

But a good guide should try and keep balance and manage this pressure.

I think that birders should maybe inform the guide beforehand that they are interested in birds. They may be surprised at how much the guide actually knows!

Specialised bird drives may also be an even better option.
But remember that there is a severe limit on resources.
There are only so many guides and vehicles available at any given time.
It will be difficult to run on the long run if it is not integrated in to other activities and if it is not supported by the birding community. Training of existing guides would in my opinion be a better option.

_________________
Imberbe = Combretum imberbe = Leadwood = Hardekool = The spirit of the Wildernis!

Want to know more about the SANParks Honorary Rangers? Visit www.sanparkshr.org


One positive deed is worth more than a thousand critical words.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Birding Night Drives
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 2:29 pm 
Offline
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 9:08 am
Posts: 2162
Location: Leeu Valley
@ Hardekool :|
Imberbe wrote:

Specialised bird drives may also be an even better option. But remember that there is a severe limit on resources. There are only so many guides and vehicles available at any given time. It will be difficult to run on the long run if it is not integrated in to other activities and if it is not supported by the birding community. Training of existing guides would in my opinion be a better option.
\


Training of current guides was my opinion and the idea from the start:

Quote:
I don't think its necessary for a dedicated birding guide to be employed as such, but perhaps one or two of the current guides could perhaps get a course into birding and be on hand for when a birding drive is booked.


Ai... I see I still have so much to teach you mods... :twisted:

And the only reason they stop for Owls, is because the people might actually start to cry if the owl is run over... and in my experience, the current guides have no training in how to deal with crying guests.

IMO lets not mix the two drives up here... this is solely meant for birders and people wanting to experience SA's bird life.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Birding Night Drives
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 3:40 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 2:15 pm
Posts: 1901
Location: Johannesburg - too far from the closest Sanpark
DotDan wrote:
No real difference between this and normal drives either, as one can also see nothing or everything.

Yes and no. There are a lot more nocturnal mammals - species and individual animals - than nocturnal birds. Also, one can often see diurnal or crepuscular animals during the drives, whereas diurnal birds will not be seen at night.

DotDan wrote:
The problem one has in asking the driver to stop is that the other 15 guests immediately look around and you hear the gossip about everything from a Leopard, Lion on a kill to Cheetah jumping over the moon, and the looks one get after they find out it was for a bird, hell not even my wife can give me those looks :lol: :lol:

Yup, that's why I rarely ask to stop for birds (or trees, rocks, plants etc) on guided drives :(

DotDan wrote:
Remember this type of drive does not necessarily have to be restricted to night drives ,as birders know, the dawn chorus is the best time for birding. Overseas guests that might want to do some birding whilst they are here would enjoy a 3 hour 5am - 8am guided drive. Yes, they can do the self drive option, but for most guests it would be easier with a guide on board helping with the ID's etc..

Very good idea I think. I imagine this type of guide would have to be more specialised though, about on par with private/freelance bird guides. Otherwise I'm not convinced they'd add value in terms of help with identification (i.e. I personally wouldn't be prepared to pay for it). I think specialist bird walks would also have a market, but again a specialist bird guide would be required.

My dream guiding role is as a specialist bird guide, but I'm not good enough (yet).

_________________
The 'mite formerly known as joshilewis

FGASA Level 1 Guide

Glen Reenen TR

15-18 June: Berg-en-dal


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 44 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3  Next



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group

Webcams Highlights

Addo Nossob Orpen Satara
Addo Nossob Orpen Satara
Submitted by Stampajane at 17:58:07 Submitted by avidspotter at 20:54:11 Submitted by avidspotter at 18:31:46 Submitted by salamanda at 19:02:24