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 Post subject: Re: Leaving Car Unattended Outside of the Park
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 9:48 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Mon May 26, 2008 1:52 am
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Location: Arizona, USA
We had a Sportage that wouldn't quite hide our luggage with the retractable boot cover thingy. Before leaving the airport we situated our luggage so that we didn't scream "Tourist from the Airport!!!", and covered the one suitcase that was sticking out with a hooded sweatshirt. We stopped at the Malelane Spar and shopped - no fuss, no muss.

Enjoy your trip! :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Leaving Car Unattended Outside of the Park
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 10:17 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Lost somewhere in the travel tales,and don't want to be found
leftylynn
Some good advice here, the best rule is " keep valuables out of sight"
I have never felt insecure about leaving my car with all its contents in any car park anywhere around Kruger Park. Lets face it, when I stop at a shopping centre somewhere outside the park , or in any unfamiliar town in SA for that matter, I am much more relaxed, and maybe not so aware of my surroundings, because I am holiday, I have never had a problem, and the car guards that are about, what works the best, is a smile and friendly attitude, works wonders for me.
It is quite interesting to see that most responses here are from our overseas visitors. South Africa is not as bad for petty crime as you may have heard. There are plenty of us locals that leave our cars in parking lots all over the country without thinking twice about it.
I am sure you will have a safe and pleasant trip to our country.
Enjoy your stay in Image and I wish you the best sightings in the kruger :D

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 Post subject: Re: Leaving Car Unattended Outside of the Park
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 1:51 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 04, 2007 10:11 pm
Posts: 143
Location: Canada - West Coast - Victoria
My wife and I do our shopping the day after we arrive (we are normally so jetlagged when we arrive that we cant even think straight) so we leave all our valuables at the hotel but I see that they have a watch tower in the parking lot FWIW.

Image


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 Post subject: Re: Leaving Car Unattended Outside of the Park
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 6:55 am 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2007 7:05 am
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Location: Back home in the caravan at Malelane camp, KNP
Lots of good advice coming out. Just important to make sure the little 'grabbable' things are well hidden. A suitcase is not so easy to do a smash-and-grab on.

And interestingly, the only time my car was ever broken into was in the UK. It was parked in a hotel parking area, right under a light, in full view of a security camera, but still had a window smashed and an attempt to steal the radio!

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 Post subject: Re: Leaving Car Unattended Outside of the Park
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 8:22 am 
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Joined: Wed May 11, 2005 8:22 am
Posts: 156
Location: Western Australia
Our major objective is also to make it as hard as possible to "smash and grab" - in our opinion the car guard and how you treat him does not make a difference at all (and I do believe to smile and nod too, just to keep it all pleasant).
We cover everything up before we get to the parking lot. Old fitted sheet/towels work well (as for Avanza that we now rent since we are not living in South Africa anymore; it has no cover over the boot area...but we always did it with items in our canopy years ago too).
Then, our next "trick": we take along a 1.8 m. flexible bicycle lock and lock all the suitcases/bags together - no smash-and-grabber will be able to run away with our whole family's luggage in tow!

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 Post subject: Re: Leaving Car Unattended Outside of the Park
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 9:00 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2010 10:29 am
Posts: 1664
Location: Worcester , Cape
Then of course you get those utmost opportunists that grab something out of your vehicle at the blink of an eyelid , as happened recently at both Punda Maria restcamp . We were still busy unpacking the Landy , and with my back turned , when one of those cheeky vervet monkeys jumped into the Landy , grabbed a naartjie , and made off with it into a nearby tree :evil:

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 Post subject: Re: Leaving Car Unattended Outside of the Park
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 9:26 am 
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Senior Virtual Ranger
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okie wrote:
you get those utmost opportunists that grab something out of your vehicle at the blink of an eyelid


I fully agree. Those cheeky impish monkeys and back-chatting baboons are the ones that a person should watch out for. Their mischievous antics carry on from sunrise to sunset and they strike-and-grab as quick as lightning, even looking you in the eye just before they do. They will even take a can or two of your cold beer if you leave it unattended for a few seconds. If you see them in the vicinity expect a molest or commotion soon.

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 Post subject: Re: Leaving Car Unattended Outside of the Park
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 4:25 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 26, 2012 1:19 am
Posts: 21
Location: USA
Wow, quite a few replies to this topic and definitely some good advice. I'm well aware of the out of sight out of mind concept. I grew up in a high crime city in the US, so I'm always very cautious. I honestly wasn't very worried about crime in South Africa until I learned of these car guards. Like I mentioned in an earlier post, I've never heard of such a thing in the US or in any other countries I've traveled to. It made me worried that if car guards are necessary, maybe crime is worse than I thought. On the other hand it also made me worried that maybe the car guards are the ones scoping out an easy make. We'll just take the precautions we always take and I'm sure all will be well and we'll be on our way to a fantastic 2 week stay in the park! Then like a couple folks mentioned, we'll just have to watch out for the furry bandits in the park!


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 Post subject: Re: Leaving Car Unattended Outside of the Park
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 4:46 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 4:15 pm
Posts: 924
Location: Kyalami, South Africa.
LeftyLynn - I'm sure you will have a wonderful trip and many happy memories to take home with you.

The main thing about security here is to keep your wits about you and don't make it easy for them - then they will go for an easier target. As everyone has said, keep valuables either on you or out of sight in the car. When driving, keep the doors locked and windows shut (not in Kruger - there have your windows open to hear and smell what is going on in the bush!).

Yes, watch our for our furry friends - they are very quick to snatch things from open cars, open chalets and at picnic sites!

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 Post subject: Re: Leaving Car Unattended Outside of the Park
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 6:14 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2012 6:58 am
Posts: 227
Location: Gold Coast, Australia
Hi all

I found this interesting reading. I do have to admit that when we do our big shop in Malelane I go in and get the food while hubby waits in the car with the gear.

We have everything hidden and have never felt anything but secure on our trips and yet we still do that. I think however it may have come from way back on our first trip to SA when we took all those recommended precautions which included not to leave valuables in the car even if hidden.

So even though all the paranoia that was hoisted on us before we went the first time has now gone, I guess something still holds us back from leaving the car unattended, especially with our pretty valuable camera gear.

However you know when I think about it, I don't think I would leave all that stuff unattended in my car right here at home either, so maybe I am just paranoid :redface: or its just the unthinkable thought of losing any of our stuff at the start of our long trip that just makes me pretty cautious. I think we will always do it that way no matter where we are.

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 Post subject: Re: Leaving Car Unattended Outside of the Park
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 1:30 pm 
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Senior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2005 5:53 pm
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Location: Cambridge, MA (and home from home in Darling, WC)
Since I travel solo, I don't have the option of leaving someone to guard my car whilst doing my shopping. I'm careful to keep all valuables hidden in the boot, but sometimes I have an 'overflow' of grocery bags that are visible on the floor of the back seat. I'm happy to report that even so, I've never had any problems, shopping centre/mall car parks with car guards and plenty of shopper traffic seem to be 'safe'. It's still always wise to be careful, but I think also no need to be overly anxious so long as you don't leave anything really valuable/tempting in view.

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20-16 Oct Joburg
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31 Oct-1 Nov Pafuri River Camp
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