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 Post subject: Re: Quick, effective, convenient access to sightings in Krug
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:31 am 
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Excellent post SAF :thumbs_up:
The groups are also used as an educational platform for newbies! Learning the differences between cheetah and leopard, and different types of antelope. Or on a more advanced level, bird identification and discussions about phenomenon in nature.
:thumbs_up:

I have personally advised BBM users to join these forums (and some of them have) as well as advised they join the Facebook group: Kruger National Park - Best Place on Earth. And we are expanding our interest in Kruger through this BBM medium :clap: We want MORE people involved and interested in nature! And I am particularly motivated on getting the youth into it! And this seems to reach them 8)

Good point there Billy :thumbs_up: Although I have seen JJ's communicate over radio anyhow (more instant and reliable). Unfortunately there will be those that use the technology to speed around. :(

So it is good and bad.

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 Post subject: Re: Quick, effective, convenient access to sightings in Krug
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:47 am 
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Unfortunately I can't agree with an application like this simply because of human behaviour. Yes, it is wonderful to see unusual sightings, however in a lot of cases, the rule book flies out the window and as Scipio mentioned animals get killed.

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 Post subject: Re: Quick, effective, convenient access to sightings in Krug
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:51 am 
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SAF I am glad that in your case this technology works well for you and your group and that Kruger benefits from it as you mentioned that at least 20 people that you know became instant Kruger fanatics.

The post on page one by Scipio is also very interesting as it is an observation of what could happen (or is already happening) if this technology creates over excitement amongst people, the other side of the coin. During August this year while we were visiting Satara restaurant there were three visitors sitting at the table next to us early morning and they were talking about the amazing bbm, fb and wu and the awesome pride of lions that they saw and they constantly and eagerly waited for the latest sightings to come through on their phones. And the latest news did come through as they got up and literally ran towards the parking area moments after their telephone pinged. It is a reality - the usage of this technology in a place like Kruger – and I somehow felt very very sad for those three visitors who had to rush to the next amazing sighting. We went for a very long drive after that, it was between 5 to 6 hours long and saw impala, zebra, wildebeest, field flowers, insects and many birds and we were very, very happy and at peace.

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 Post subject: Re: Quick, effective, convenient access to sightings in Krug
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 11:30 am 
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It is not my kettle of tea.... 99% of the enjoyment I get from being in Kruger is trying to spot the birds and mammals. (Well, and the treestump, could be leopard? sightings.)
After reading these forums for 7 years I know the first name of most animals, so to speak, and know where there is a very good chance of spotting <insert animal>. So if we don't see them we were either unlucky or did not spot well enough.

And racing off to sightings reported by others? :hmz:
I have doubts. Some people may drive faster than needed, only to arrive at a trafficjam...

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 Post subject: Re: Quick, effective, convenient access to sightings in Krug
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 11:37 am 
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That is sad for those people Grantmissy :roll:
The other benefits of technology is how quickly you can name and shame rule breakers so that hundreds of people have access to see who you are and what you have done wrong. Social networking puts the pressure on people to behave. Those who have the updates on whichever medium will know how quickly you can end up being shunned by people all over cyber space :wink:

Technology is here. Social networking is a reality. The Park is not exempted from that. Everyone should just come to terms with the fact that we live in the information age :wink: Technology is not inherently bad ... it depends how it is used. Not everyone goes to the Park to "unplug". In fact I badly want to share my experiences of what I have seen right there and then! We not all the same and that is okay 8)

The Kruger Park will be lost in the future if we don't raise interest in the youth. Social Media (especially twitter, facebook, BBM, Whatsapp) is our key to future conservation of the place we love. From personal experience I can see how people are more interested in trips to the Kruger because of the instant networking.

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 Post subject: Re: Quick, effective, convenient access to sightings in Krug
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 1:56 pm 
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Grantmissy wrote:
The post on page one by Scipio is also very interesting as it is an observation of what could happen (or is already happening) if this technology creates over excitement amongst people, the other side of the coin. During August this year while we were visiting Satara restaurant there were three visitors sitting at the table next to us early morning and they were talking about the amazing bbm, fb and wu and the awesome pride of lions that they saw and they constantly and eagerly waited for the latest sightings to come through on their phones. And the latest news did come through as they got up and literally ran towards the parking area moments after their telephone pinged. It is a reality - the usage of this technology in a place like Kruger – and I somehow felt very very sad for those three visitors who had to rush to the next amazing sighting.


We were in Pretoruiskop from 21 - 25 September 2012, the guests in the unit next to us were on twitter.
The first night I ask them which road they planned to take the next morning, the one stated they do not plan their route or roads it all depends on the last update on twitter.
Once they received the twitter report they rush to it.
For me the APP's is a no no. I planned my routes the night before and enjoy nature as it presents to to you with no rush.
During the same trip at a lion sighting (Voortrekker Road) one of the JJ's informed us of a leopard sighting on Doispan road and that they are on there way, we can follow them.
I was not interested and continued on Voortrekker and we spotted Sable as well as Lichtenstein Hartebeest what a amazing sighting.


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 Post subject: Re: Quick, effective, convenient access to sightings in Krug
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:15 pm 
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I accept that BB, twitter et al can give information on sightings, and it is great to hear that people saw awesome 'lifers'.

But for me, although I do my fair share of rushing around, that is not the main reason for going to Kruger. I love to sit at Mantambeni hide. If somebody came in there on the phone I would see how far I could throw it into the river. It is what Kruger does for me that counts. Going to my favourite spots, spending time to recharge what life has taken out of me, and of course, the spontaneity of sightings.

I would be lying if I didn't say that I go looking on info, but that is only part of the broader experience.

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 Post subject: Re: Quick, effective, convenient access to sightings in Krug
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:38 pm 
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I strongly abhore this BBM / twitter assisted "pirate viewing" ,
Pay your "licence" to view by finding animals yourself and at the same time do the majority a favour in minimising traffic congestion at sightings .

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 Post subject: Re: Quick, effective, convenient access to sightings in Krug
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:44 pm 
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I agree that technology is changing, but not for me. I will always look forward to the unexpected. I also enjoy the thrill of spotting a pride of lions on my own without alot of cars already there.

Please, please cant we all behave better at sightings. The way we park and block the road. Always wanting to be first. Why cant we look and then move on and give someone else a turn.

I feel that there was always this understanding between all of us but sadly this has been lost in the last couple of years. :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: Quick, effective, convenient access to sightings in Krug
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 3:19 pm 
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I love the assumption that sightings software causes animal fatalities, tenuous much? Statistically an animal is more likely to be hit by a delivery vehicle than a visitor, fact. Blaming Software for speeding is sad. That comment is an indication of our society, people do not take responsibility for their own actions....."a sighting on my phone made me speed", "because there were too many cars, I had to get out of mine to see", "everyone else litters, so why must I not throw my dirty nappies out the car", "the devil made me do it". No, YOU need to stick to the law.

If that is your thing to go from sighting to sighting without anything in between, great. If you choose to take the road less traveled to see everything else, more power to you, I am sure SANParks values each of your monetary contributions equally.
If you don't want a traffic jam at a sighting, go in the off season. 20 years ago, I was only able to go during school holidays, I can remember the most deplorable behavior and crowded sightings at just about every big sighting, I am pretty sure that was not due to sightings being text ed or uploaded to phones.
People need to behave and not blame everything else as a catalyst or a reason for their bad or illegal behavior.

I use my software to log my sightings, gps my photo's and keep a trip record of each of my trips. I enjoy looking back at those trips as well as looking at what other people have seen when I cannot make it to the park. I was at a sighting recently, 4 lions 20m from the road just past Satara. I had seen it posted on my phone before I set off. At the sighting there were 2 other cars. They had also come to see the lions via the sightings on their phones....there weren't 100's of cars and speeding to get there and people hanging out windows etc.
Generalizations generally make me moody.
Anyway, I spot something and it takes my position, that sighting can't be uploaded until I have internet again....which could be hours in most cases, hell, you pass a person on the road and he says there was an xxx on the road just 2km back.....by the time you get there, there isn't even a car to say its even still in the area.

Lets pat this mole hill back down to a mole hill, not the mountain its made out to be.


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 Post subject: Re: Quick, effective, convenient access to sightings in Krug
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 4:04 pm 
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Heksie wrote:
Well all I can say is that I'm glad that 90% of KNP doesn't have cell reception :thumbs_up:


:lol: :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Quick, effective, convenient access to sightings in Krug
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 5:15 pm 
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Cell-phone signals are transmitted through equipment situated on top of towers set about 15 to 20 kilometers apart , and these are as ugly as wind-generator towers - in any language that you want to say it .
Unfortunately , cell-phone technology is extensively used by criminals including poachers to signal , advise , and keep in touch with their fellow criminals for their activities . And as such , we do find that criminals also have their own facebook/twitter connections , and IMHO by using and encouraging the use of such communications ( cell-phone groups , facebook , twitter - whatever you wish to call them ) , also then assist the crims .
Hopefully ( and I am sure they do ) Sanparks are aware of the risk , and as such will not allow the erection of multiple cellphone towers within Kruger .

So , think very carefully before you post onto facebook etc etc .

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 Post subject: Re: Quick, effective, convenient access to sightings in Krug
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 5:35 pm 
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Just think about the economics of erecting cell phone towers around Kruger to transmit the signal deeper throughout the park (not even thinking if SANParks would ever agree to this). Would a cell phone company really erect a tower for such a little bit of 'traffic' as there will be over whole of Kruger? At night when everyone is in the camps, there will be no calls being made in some areas for example.

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 Post subject: Re: Quick, effective, convenient access to sightings in Krug
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 5:39 pm 
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I think that the Kruger really has no need for extra towers so we don't have to worry about this. We can communicate with each camp and gate without extra towers then why get more?

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 Post subject: Re: Quick, effective, convenient access to sightings in Krug
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 6:16 pm 
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In my opinion, we all go to the Kruger Park, or any other bush type experience to get away from the world we are forced to live in. To go back to a far gentler age, where time means nothing, to take our time traveling as it suits us. To watch in wonder the natural world happening all around us. To feel our worries, troubles and stress lift off our shoulders.

I am quite convinced that the Kruger sightings app, although very well intentioned , is a major cause of the problems in the Park at the moment.

For several months how many people have reported speeding, animals killed, a general bad type of behavior at sightings? This never used to happen!

We now seem to attract the instant gratification type of visitor rushing from one sighting to another. I remember several times over the past 30 years that we didn't see a lot but still loved it. Better luck next year!

I feel we are spoiling the whole experience. Turn off your cell phone, lap top and just soak up the atmosphere. You come away a better person, calmer, more relaxed and happier.

And don't get me started on TV in the camps :sniper:


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