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 Post subject: Ever been refused entry at a gate?
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 5:33 pm 
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On 31/03/2014 i wanted to enter at Phabeni Gate and go up to Satara where i had a booking. The receptionist,Mpho Mthalane,was busy with two young ladies who sounded German. As their conversation was becoming rather longwinded i politely nudged my entry and booking documents over the counter as the time was 14h10 - this is cutting it a bit fine but travelling at 40km per hour i would make it still taking into consideration any 'unexpected happenings'.
I was totally taken aback when the gentleman looked at my documentation and firmly informed he will not let me in at Phabeni as i would not have enough time.I was slightly speechless and explained to him mathematics dictates I will make it, whilst still taking short stoppages into account.He referred me to the table at the back of the current mapbook giving the recommended travelling time between points (at 30km per hour) and said he was going to finish with the girls first and then get back to me.
Their conversation lasted about 8 min - seemed he was planning their whole trip for them (they would ultimately go up North).
He eventually got back to me with the verdict that I should enter at Orpen Gate and ultimately refused me entrance at Phabeni. I asked to speak to a supervisor and he replied I can only speak to him.
So I had to 'run the gauntlet' through Bushbuckridge on a Sunday afternoon and spend about R200 extra on fuel.
I am a wildcardholder since its inception, a visitor to the park for 35 years and an avid bushlover.I dont transgress the rules as I have respect for the environment and other visitors. I have seen PLENTY people who do though.
I would like to know if this has ever happened to anybody and if you consider it right. I feel slightly aggrieved


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 Post subject: Re: Ever been refused entry at a gate?
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 5:37 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Ever been refused entry at a gate?
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 5:58 pm 
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Hi Andretrees

I think gate closing time at camps is 18:00 in March and the receptionist must have based the travelling time to Satara on the Distances and Approximate Travel Times between Camps and Gates found here.

To answer the question in your topic title, we have been refused entry at a gate at Addo once and had to enter via another gate.

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 Post subject: Re: Ever been refused entry at a gate?
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 6:09 pm 
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andretrees, welcome.. and I am sorry that it is under these circumstances.

I have been given special warning at Phabeni and the instruction not even to stop at lions. The same at Malelane.

I really thought that I was in good time, but in both cases, I barely made it to the camp before gate closing time.

Would you give us a little bit of your itinerary and it might help us to understand what happened.

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 Post subject: Re: Ever been refused entry at a gate?
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 9:59 am 
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My sister and a friend, scheduled to stay the first night in Shingwedzi, were once not refused entry at Phalaborwa gate, but were told they will have to stay in Letaba the first night as there was no way they were going to make it to Shingwedzi in time. Luckily there was a bungalow open in Letaba so they could make the switch. I gather the lady at the gate was very helpful in making the suggestion and changing the reservation accordingly. Rather than just telling them they cannot enter, she made a plan...


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 Post subject: Re: Ever been refused entry at a gate?
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 1:58 pm 
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Dabchick wrote:
My sister and a friend, scheduled to stay the first night in Shingwedzi, were once not refused entry at Phalaborwa gate, but were told they will have to stay in Letaba the first night as there was no way they were going to make it to Shingwedzi in time. Luckily there was a bungalow open in Letaba so they could make the switch. I gather the lady at the gate was very helpful in making the suggestion and changing the reservation accordingly. Rather than just telling them they cannot enter, she made a plan...


I was at Orpen camp when people were stopped at the gate . They had about 30 minutes to get to Roodewal. The Officials working at that time also helped them with alternate accomodation at Tamboti or Maroela

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 Post subject: Re: Ever been refused entry at a gate?
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 2:06 pm 
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Matthys is probably correct which means the receptionist was probably correct in refusing you entry Andretrees.....guess one cannot complain if the rules are adhered to but then it must just be implemented across the board. I suppose the times stated on the timetable Matthys refers to includes stoppages which one can argue you will not do but let's face it, if people come across lions, leopards etc they will definately stop and I suppose that is why sanparks are playing it safe by saying it will take more than 5 hours from Phabeni to Satara.

Oh, never happened to me no, luckily!


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 Post subject: Re: Ever been refused entry at a gate?
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 3:03 pm 
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Hi AndreTrees

Welcome to the Forums. :mrgreen: Sorry about the nature of your first post :|

When I was a teenager, my family was refused access to Olifants from Phalaborwa. We arrived at around 16:00pm during June when gates close at 17:30pm, technically there was enough time driving at 40-50km to reach Olifants but the according to the suggested traveling times we were to late. Sadly it was school holidays and there was no accommodation at Letaba.

I guess the only thing I can say is at least they are consistent at sticking to the rule. I am glad he gave you the advice of entering at Orpen.

I do think its important to know that gates that don't allow late entries are Phabeni, Phalaborwa and Pafuri. I have noticed that the suggested traveling times are now printed on confirmation letters.

At least you didn't have to abandon your 1st night in the Park, I hope you had a wonderful time. :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Ever been refused entry at a gate?
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 3:16 pm 
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Kruger time is such a different time. Even as a seasoned Krugerite, I get it wrong.

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 Post subject: Re: Ever been refused entry at a gate?
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 4:17 pm 
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After missing a flight to Nelsoruit and booking on a later one, there was no way we would reach the gate, let alone Biyamiti, in time. SANParks was able to move us to Berg en dal and arrainge for a late entry escort from the gate.

I'm glad a Saffie friend of mine suggested this plan when I reached hot to him, or we could have ended up in a very similar predicament.

We're very grateful to SANParks for working our this wrinkle on the fly.

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 Post subject: Re: Ever been refused entry at a gate?
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 4:43 pm 
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Thanks for the welcomes and responses :)

As far as my itenerary was concerned:
I am a White River resident and visit the park as much as possible-on this particular occasion I worked in Nelspruit until 1 p.m. I was fully packed and ready to go by the end of work and made my way to Phabeni as soon as I could to honour my booking at Satara. The idea was to get up to Satara fairly hastily, sleep over and then have the whole of the next day to meander back down to Phabeni at snails pace. This I duly did and heartily enjoyed. :lol:
On a serious note though, I feel I am fully within my rights to travel at 45km an hour which gives me 3 hours to travel 131 km to Satara. This is done while ensuring I do not ruin any body elses experience ie. driving slowly and respectfully past any vehicles at sightings. Keep in mind I had 3 hours and 45 minutes to do this trip.


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 Post subject: Re: Ever been refused entry at a gate?
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 9:31 pm 
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Happened to friends of ours a Phala Gate last April, they only arrived there at 5pm and Letaba gates closed 18h00, they had to find accommodation in Phala for the night and meet up with us the next morning.


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 Post subject: Re: Ever been refused entry at a gate?
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 11:24 pm 
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I get refused entry at the Kruger each and every time I go there Image I think that is mainly because the chap at the gate is still in the process of waking up and wondering to himself "What is that fool doingImage here so early, cant he even wait for the Image to get up"

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 Post subject: Re: Ever been refused entry at a gate?
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 12:20 am 
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I did the Phalaborwa entry last year September with two canadian guests, they OR Tambo was subject to strikes. Made the gate at Phalaborwa at 5 and just made Letaba by 6. Staff were friendly.

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 Post subject: Re: Ever been refused entry at a gate?
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 7:01 am 
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It must have been very frustrating for you Andretrees as you knew you would keep to the rules but they are in place for the 100's of people who do not comply and we all have to suffer for this as they apply to us all. I am thrilled to hear that the gate officials apply these rules in an attempt to try to stop speeding at the end each day


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