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 Post subject: Control of entry and exit in Kruger
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 3:17 pm 
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Senior Virtual Ranger
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I hope this thread does not stir up a storm, however this is a matter that concerns me, particularly in light of the recent crimes in KNP
When one enters KNP you fill in a form, as we all know, stating vehicle registration, name, no of people etc and are given an entry permit.
Presumably this is also loaded on the computer system?
However when one exits, your exit permit is simple checked by the guard at the gate.
I also understand that if you exit legally a day late there will be questions asked of you.
However, there seems to be no "head count" of so many in therefore so many should leave ( sorry can't think of a better way to say that).
If all the data is entered at the entry point and the receipts were bar-coded surely it would be a simple matter to use a bar-code scanner to ensure that those persons due to leave actually left?
Perhaps that is one way of controlling the entry of the unwanted criminals?
BTW I am not so naive that I believe they all enter legally but another control on numbers might help the situation.
Is this an impossible thing to ask, or is it just silly as it will make no difference?
What do other mites think?

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 Post subject: Re: Control of entry and exit in Kruger
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 3:20 pm 
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You raise a good point Pat...when we were there nobody even asked to see our Exit permit.... :?

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 Post subject: Re: Control of entry and exit in Kruger
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 3:51 pm 
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Having worked in a couple of the receptions during university, and after university before going to the navy I can tell you first hand that it's a mission to tally-up people in cars.

What I experienced was when large family groups visit, the kids swap around between cars and even sometimes camps.

The families pay their due on entry, and they pay their due for accommodation (well that was my experience then anyway) accounting for all kids and friends, but then this lot will drive with that lot in the car, or that lot will exit the park for the day and take all, or none of the kids with them, or all the families will enter at Kruger gate with 5 cars, but depart separately at different kinds and kids are driving in different cars when they exit...

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 Post subject: Re: Control of entry and exit in Kruger
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 4:00 pm 
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My exit permit has always been checked, but never taken from me
It was issued the night before at my last camp that I booked into.
So I could still be in the park camping in some camp unnoticed.
Then If I was clued up on the back roads I guess I could exit elsewhere?
@ Daniel I see your point but the exit permit states the number of people departing in that vehicle so it should be checked.
We also go with friends and swap cars and some go on drives while others stay in the camps, but always exit with the same number we arrived with.

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 Post subject: Re: Control of entry and exit in Kruger
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 4:05 pm 
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I agree but never recorded anywhere that you have left and that is my point.
They don't know who left legally and who left via "the back door" perhaps doing something they shouldn't have first.

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 Post subject: Re: Control of entry and exit in Kruger
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 4:12 pm 
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90% of the times we exited the park our permits were checked Pat, but a few times they were'nt.
I can also remember that they use to take in part of our entry permit upon leaving.


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 Post subject: Re: Control of entry and exit in Kruger
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 4:45 pm 
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I agree that much more control is required regarding access and egress from the Park.

What concerns me is that taxis are just waved through without proper checking, surely this is not acceptable, Maybe each passenger should either have a SANPARKS ID which should be checked individually and everyone else in the taxi should have to book in at Gate reception.

Upon exiting the required checks should again be done.

All this irrespective of the traffic pressure, security is of prime importance.

Tourists should also realise that what is shown on the exit permit is what should be in the vehicle.

If insufficient details are shown on the exit permit, I suggest SANPARKS should develop a system that satisfies themselves that they are not harbouring criminals.

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 Post subject: Re: Control of entry and exit in Kruger
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 5:07 pm 
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Are we not going a little overboard.
The "criminals" as such would not need to use a gate for entry or exit.
That is the intention of this thread in terms of preventing criminal activity.
If they did want to use the gate they could book in as per normal and leave with the same number of people in their vehicle and no one would be the wiser that they are criminals even getting their permit checked and numbers counted.

Next problem would be the timing factor, booking in would take forever just to process staff, then the hordes of people.
Guess who would be on the forum complaining about the queues and times it took to get into park.

gmlsmit wrote:
If insufficient details are shown on the exit permit, I suggest SANParks should develop a system that satisfies themselves that they are not harbouring criminals.

I have yet to see a report from SANParks stating that they are concerned that they are harbouring criminals, am sure they are satisfied that they are not harbouring criminals and the only people who they would be checking are 99% of legitimate people who frequent the park because they love nature.
People this take a lot more manpower to implement, every car entering a gate at a camp at any time during day would have to be checked for occupants.
Then you can't leave a person at Letaba and stop and get a cold drink at Olifants because granny didn't want to come with you on the drive.

We ask where the old days of Kruger are where there were no keys etc.
Well Kruger still works on the premise of us being honest hence the not doing a complete search of the vehicle and people unless they are suspicious.


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 Post subject: Re: Control of entry and exit in Kruger
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 6:30 pm 
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I agree RobertT, it is a real problem and I do think that for some of the issues, they are living in the old days.
If I do remember clearly Kruger Gate does have an extra side boom gate at the entrance that never seems to get used.
I, in fact did ask the gate official how he knew all the people in the vehicle that he waved through were "legal", and his answer was to merely shrug his shoulders.
Anyway, we live in hope and I will check again next month and report back as to the procedures this year.

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 Post subject: Re: Control of entry and exit in Kruger
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 8:58 pm 
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I don't think South Africa wants to turn Kruger into a police state, but I can see where a measured response would be appropriate.
Keep in mind the 80/20 rule, and spend resources where they will do the most good for the Vision and Mission of SANParks.

To me, the usage of Kruger as a shortcut should be curtailed by SANParks, as such lenience seems to go against the objectives of the Protected Areas Act. And, simply and IMO, it is a bad practice that doesn't benefit Kruger in the slightest.

For day visitors, it is very easy to get into and out of Kruger National Park.
It seems that car thieves are aware of this and use it to their advantage, as do poachers.
While discussing these good ideas, keep in mind this question: "What would success look like?" in the end? And what are the costs involved?

I like the idea of automated registration of vehicle entry and exit in a shared database.
Success would be offering SANParks better tracking of comings and goings of vehicles. (imagine the forensic and historical information that could be used for conservation and policing)
I'm speaking in US terms, but I don't think the costs would be huge...scanned barcodes from temp stickers on windscreens, automated reports for analysis, etc.

I also like random vehicle searches coming in, and better vehicle searches going out.
This will take training, time and manpower and eventually somebody will complain that they were searched and/or the guard wasn't friendly enough, but I don't see these as a big deals.
This could be tied to the above automated system if red flag patterns arise.

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 Post subject: Re: Control of entry and exit in Kruger
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 7:07 am 
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Guys, we are talking a National Park here where people are going on holiday, it is not immigration.
They do not even count occupants of vehicles etc when you enter/exit secure estates in Jhb.
We are talking huge volumes of people.
Can you imagine if a tour bus or two arrives at a gate before you and everyone on that bus needs to be checked.
People with trailers and caravans would have to unpack everything to have it checked etc, boots would need to be unpacked. :hmz:

For this to work, everybody in the vehicle would have to produce an ID, they would then all have to produce it at every camp you enter day visitors and overnight, otherwise whats to stop me bringing in 2 different people every day and leaving with the previous days people the following day.
Or i could enter from any of the surrounding private game farms and not even come through the entrance gates.
I may book overnight in a camp and not pitch up at camp or I may drop the occupants of my vehicle along the way and I book in at camp.
There is just so much that cannot be policed without having huge manpower.
I doubt the poachers are using the gates, IMO they are coming across the borders or using the private reserves/tribal lands as access.


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 Post subject: Re: Control of entry and exit in Kruger
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 12:39 pm 
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It would be such an easy thing to improve security around entry and exits - and I BET that no law-abiding visitor will ever complain!
I did the right thing to declare my handgun when entering Kruger during June 2009 and it was duly sealed in a bag.
After leaving the park we only realised a few 100 km's later that nobody asked us anything re: handgun when we left!
We still have the nice bag...

We also bought Impala and Kudu lilies at the nursery and received a permit to prove that we did not harvested these from the veld.
Suffice to say: It was never even checked, even though the 2 lilies were quite obvious at the back of my car.

What prevent me from booking 2 days for camping during the quiet season and then staying for 10!
And then hunt during the day for my braai every night?
And harvesting many plants for my nursery?
And collect a few insects?????


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 Post subject: Re: Control of entry and exit in Kruger
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 1:24 pm 
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I know that at 'our' gate here they do regularly check the permits - and boots.
The information from the exit permits is processed into the computer too - a mammoth task, which I am not sure is always completed or reconciled by IT dept (or whoever...).
A lot will depend on the quality of the security guard on duty.

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 Post subject: Re: Control of entry and exit in Kruger
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 4:10 pm 
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Location: Bristol, UK
I disagree that it would be a massive task!
Just think how easy is it to swipe your credit card at the table in the restaurant.
In a few seconds, that machine is connecting to a central exchange, then re-routed to your bank to verify funds and personal detail, the OK and initiate transfer to the new account.

In this day and age you can automate most of this.
As your exit permit is scanned by the guard, he can verify the detail presented on the screen.
For each he can enter an OK, which will automatically update the central registry.
And at the end of each day automated reports can highlight areas where people SHOULD have left, so that they can be found and dealt with.


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 Post subject: Re: Control of entry and exit in Kruger
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 4:18 pm 
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Main problem is technology! Cables go through the bush, and are difficult to maintain....systems constantly 'go down'......

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Have you read the gate leaflet? Do you KNOW the regulations?

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