Skip to Content

Using sightings groups/apps - good or bad?

Discuss and find information on the Kruger National Park
User avatar
flying cheetah
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 3057
Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2009 2:49 pm
Location: Burghausen, Germany

Re: Using sightings groups/apps - good or bad?

Unread postby flying cheetah » Tue Jul 16, 2013 9:52 pm

I don't know how anybody who has a little bit of respect for nature and the animals can support the immediate report of sightings in this app!!
Last year I had three wonderful sightings that were all destroyed because of reports in the internet :evil:
First sighting was a mating üair of lions the S40. I watched them already for a while (I was alone with them) when the lions just wanted to mate for the forth time. Suddenly they both jumped from the road only to escape a car with very high speed. THe driver stopped, took a few pics of the lions and then asked me if I have seen the Leopard near Timbavati. I answered that I didn't know about this Leopard and he replied that it was reported on the net. It seemed he didn't understand that somebody could be in Kruger without watching the net :slap: Then he raced on...
Two weeks later I saw a cheetah mom with two cubs on the S65. I was alone with them for 25 minutes and it was fascinating to watch the totally different characters of the cubs. They were jumping on trees and stones and came very close to my car. When the second car arrived the woman immediately started to type on her mobile. 5 minutes later there were 5 cars and I left. Then I counted 24(!!!!) cars that passed me during the next few minutes :twisted: :twisted:
Believe it or not but the next day the unbelievable thing happened. I checked the road again at the same time, found my cheetahs at exactly the same spot and again I was alone with them for more than 20 minutes. Then a second and a third car arrived and for a few minutes everything was still ok. Then a JJ arrived and ...guess what happened??!! The cheetahs were chased off the road and havn't been seen there again for the next week (then I left the park).
For me it's a fact that if you do Kruger by following these app you have to speed to have a small chance to see the animals you want, otherwise you have 20 cars in front of you. I don't know how many animals have been killed because of this but I guess there are a lot :wall: :wall:
If anyone would ask me what's the most important thing in Kruger I would say...Slow down, swith off anything that connects you with the outside world, turn off your radio and try to get the (signs of) the bush!
During my latest trip I saw nearly 100 lions, had 7 diffenrent cheetah sightings, 14 leopards and 3 wild dog hunts. Everything without any apps!!
I absolutely accept that people report their sightings in the net, but they should wait at least 2-3 hours, then it would make sense to me.
Maybe those people who call themself animal lovers should ask themself what the animals would say if they had the chance to post here. Would they prefer to be chased off the road, killed by speeders etc. or would they prefer to be treated with respect???
At the end of this post I also want to say that I feel sorry for the people who spend there time in Kruger with watching the internet because I don't think they have a real chance to realize the incredible beauty around them...
Last edited by flying cheetah on Tue Jul 16, 2013 10:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Akukho nyon' endiz' ingahlali phansi. (Zulu)
There is not a bird that flies and never sits down.

User avatar
Carol g
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
FAC Member (2013)
Posts: 14151
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:59 pm
Location: Bloemfontein

Re: Using sightings groups/apps - good or bad?

Unread postby Carol g » Wed Jul 17, 2013 8:36 am

RobertT wrote:I also believe it is partly to blame for the roadblocks that are happening as they help to concentrate the vehicles to a point where they may otherwise have gone other routes. I use the sighting group to see which roads to avoid. :thumbs_up:


Now that's a great idea RobertT :clap: :clap: :clap:
Those who have no love in there hearts for animals, have no love in there hearts at all

User avatar
spargish
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 911
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 10:48 am
Location: Johannesburg

Re: Using sightings groups/apps - good or bad?

Unread postby spargish » Wed Jul 17, 2013 10:17 am

Fankie wrote:I'm completely in agreement with FC's post, except that the developers of the apps should build in an automatic 2 to 3 hour delay.

I for the life of me can't understand the "need" for everyone to want to see each and every sighting there is - much prefer to find my own at my own relaxed pace. Or is it just the lazy "modern" requirement for instant gratification, expecting to have everything presented on a silver plate.

Actually, to be truthful, I'd much prefer these apps being taken off air immediately

Fankie



Totally agree, There is another "Sightings group" on Facebook and twitter that only posts there sightings after gate closing time.....
NO to OSV privleges! Equality for all Guests!
TR Cricket Days and last nights of Summer now on

robertwintle
Posts: 36
Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2008 9:27 am

Re: Using sightings groups/apps - good or bad?

Unread postby robertwintle » Wed Jul 17, 2013 11:50 am

I too use the app on my phone but I will by no means use it to chase after a sighting. I use it purely as reference to see where the most sightings of the big four (Lion, Leopard, Buffalo and Elephant) and then where Cheetah/Wilddog sightings are made before I go to the Kruger. I can then plan my daytrips around that.

I do hate people speeding in the park as it upsets us as true lovers of nature. No SPEEDING please :naughty:

User avatar
tent dweller
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1102
Award: Funniest/Best Forumite Name (2013)
Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2011 7:35 pm

Re: Using sightings groups/apps - good or bad?

Unread postby tent dweller » Wed Jul 17, 2013 3:26 pm

Rooies wrote:Ah, some people are seeing the daylight here. Ban these bloomin things from Kruger. Block their signals or do whatever to get them out of action or use in Kruger. They are a menace to the rest of us.


:twisted: :twisted: :D :D :D :D :D :D
PRETORIUSKOP 20 - 21 December 2015
TAMBOTI 22 - 24 December 2015
OLIFANTS 25 - 27 December 2015 (with a view)
LETABA 28 - 31 December 2015
MOPANI 01 - 03 January 2016 (with a view)
PRETORIUSKOP 04 -06 January 2016

User avatar
john n poppy
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 854
Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2006 6:04 pm
Location: Middle of England

Re: Using sightings groups/apps - good or bad?

Unread postby john n poppy » Wed Jul 17, 2013 4:30 pm

I have to totally agree, these apps just add to the chaos that appears near sightings...

and no doubt certain people with these apps will speed, will drive off road, will not respect an animals space..

I enjoy looking at sightings here in the UK but in Kruger its me and the wild.

A great idea to only post sightings after a couple of hours though.....do I think it will happen NO because app developers are hoping to make money!!!

john :thumbs_up:
SAY NO TO HOTELS IN KRUGER NP...before its too late

Died and going to heaven....5 weeks in Kruger July/August 2015 ...hope to see you there :-)

User avatar
flying cheetah
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 3057
Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2009 2:49 pm
Location: Burghausen, Germany

Re: Using sightings groups/apps - good or bad?

Unread postby flying cheetah » Wed Jul 17, 2013 6:15 pm

Bush Baptist wrote:If enough rogue sighters send in bogus messages to obfuscate the 'chasers', then maybe after a few fruitless searches, they might not trust the system, and give up on it. :wink:

I had the same idea last year. But if I would report wrong messages then even more animals would be killed by people who would rush to this 'sighting' and I definetely do not want to be responsible for the death of one single animal!!
Akukho nyon' endiz' ingahlali phansi. (Zulu)
There is not a bird that flies and never sits down.

User avatar
Patto
Posts: 129
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2005 9:18 am
Location: Port Elizabeth

Re: Using sightings groups/apps - good or bad?

Unread postby Patto » Wed Jul 17, 2013 8:21 pm

Hi all,

I would like to address two quotes by people defending these sightings groups:
cheetah2111 wrote:Has behavior in Kruger gotten worse? That is a good question :hmz: It seems to me bad behavior is much more related to many cars in the Park than technology. But that is my opinion :) One thing is for sure, the technology is here to stay, now let us utilise the platform for positive :D Let those of us who have a heart for conservation be leaders on these platforms as well and set the tone :thumbs_up:

Mcook wrote:The problem is too many cars and day visitors, not OD’s site IMO


In my honest opinion the defense that the traffic jams/breaking of rules has been caused by an increase in numbers of cars/people and not the technology of these sightings apps is not correct. As far as I am aware, and I stand to be corrected, there has not been a significant spike in the increase in visitors in the park over the last few years. It has increased, yes, but not significantly.

There has however been a significant increase in the number of incidents reported, and having been on the forum for some time, these spiked after the introduction of these apps.

Yes, there have been traffic jams in the past, I just feel that these apps have been the catalyst to make these so much worse.

People here have shown clear evidence where the apps have been used negatively, I dont see any of the people defending the apps as showing that this is not the case/or is caused by any other reason.

These people have shown clearly how these apps have infringed on the animals (speeding leading to potential animal fatalities) and their enjoyment of the park (overcrowding at sightings). Arent these two factors the cornerstone of what Kruger is, ie conservation and peoples enjoyment thereof.

What makes Kruger so special to me is the thing of not knowing what is around the next corner, the thrill of the chase of a good sighting (big or small, hairy, fluffy or feathered). Like our last trip, not seeing a leopard for 10 days and then one evening just before gate closing having a sighting of one all to ourselves.

I dont need some app to help me enjoy kruger...
"Wealth is not measured by how much you own, but by how much you give to others!"

RobertT
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1069
Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 10:35 am

Re: Using sightings groups/apps - good or bad?

Unread postby RobertT » Thu Jul 18, 2013 7:16 am

:hmz: am not sure the app is responsible for human behaviour, the speeding etc, that is a personal choice from the driver/transgressor. I do agree in that it causes more roadblocks as the amount of people following the sightings get concentrated at particular points within a timeframe depending on how the behaviour of the animals sighted is reported. This last trip I even had a roadblock on one of the quieter narrower sand roads where there were lions mating. Now most of the people there would never have even chosen that road to traverse, but because the sighting was reported on the site, there was a roadblock and after getting past I just saw more and more cars coming. The problem is concentrated in the South because everyone wants to be in the South because of the abundance of animal sightings. To me the problem is not just the app, but also the people complaining about the app because they too are responsible for so many people being in the South, if they had spread out over the whole of the park, traffic would not be so bad. They are just as guilty in respect of the overcrowding of the South and a lot of the times for the self same selfish reasons as the app users, which is to increase the odds to get as many sightings in the shortest possible time, otherwise they would have gone North. :thumbs_up:

User avatar
yoda
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 2275
Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2005 4:24 pm
Location: UK

Re: Using sightings groups/apps - good or bad?

Unread postby yoda » Thu Jul 18, 2013 9:38 am

Bush Baptist wrote:If enough rogue sighters send in bogus messages to obfuscate the 'chasers', then maybe after a few fruitless searches, they might not trust the system, and give up on it. :wink:



Yup, I think that would be a very good idea.
Though ultimately it would ruin the app for the people that use it properly.

Maybe a 2 or 3 hour delay would prevent the chasers from using the app for that purpose.

User avatar
yoda
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 2275
Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2005 4:24 pm
Location: UK

Re: Using sightings groups/apps - good or bad?

Unread postby yoda » Thu Jul 18, 2013 9:43 am

Patto wrote:Hi all,

I would like to address two quotes by people defending these sightings groups:
cheetah2111 wrote:Has behavior in Kruger gotten worse? That is a good question :hmz: It seems to me bad behavior is much more related to many cars in the Park than technology. But that is my opinion :) One thing is for sure, the technology is here to stay, now let us utilise the platform for positive :D Let those of us who have a heart for conservation be leaders on these platforms as well and set the tone :thumbs_up:

Mcook wrote:The problem is too many cars and day visitors, not OD’s site IMO


In my honest opinion the defense that the traffic jams/breaking of rules has been caused by an increase in numbers of cars/people and not the technology of these sightings apps is not correct. As far as I am aware, and I stand to be corrected, there has not been a significant spike in the increase in visitors in the park over the last few years. It has increased, yes, but not significantly.

There has however been a significant increase in the number of incidents reported, and having been on the forum for some time, these spiked after the introduction of these apps.

Yes, there have been traffic jams in the past, I just feel that these apps have been the catalyst to make these so much worse.

I dont need some app to help me enjoy kruger...


I tihnk that bad behaviour has always been going on in Kruger.
As I child I remember seeing chaos at predator sightings, people clearly speeding, hanging out of cars, littering. The usual idiots.
But with the advent of the internet - Forums, message boards etc, the awareness thereof has increased.

Perhaps the app develepers could post messages raising awareness of bad proper behaviour.
Maybe posting a photo of an animal that has been hit by a car with a caption "this is what happens when you speed" or something like that.

Mcook
Posts: 71
Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2013 10:17 am

Re: Using sightings groups/apps - good or bad?

Unread postby Mcook » Thu Jul 18, 2013 11:34 am

Patto wrote:In my honest opinion the defense that the traffic jams/breaking of rules has been caused by an increase in numbers of cars/people and not the technology of these sightings apps is not correct. As far as I am aware, and I stand to be corrected, there has not been a significant spike in the increase in visitors in the park over the last few years. It has increased, yes, but not significantly


I’m not defending these apps and as stated was probably one of the first to address these same issues with the young developer 18 months ago and we shared numerous correspondence and he kindly agreed to post the rules and speeding issues on his site at the start of each day and is doing so. The site can also be used and is being used to report speeding and bad behaviour.

I’m not a massive fan, but if you look at the site membership in the short time it’s been going it’s 3 times this forum’s membership, so I don’t think it’s going away.

I also feel that maybe one mustn’t just look at the app. When did the park rules change permitting nearly double the amount of day visitors in per day. Nearly the same time this app started.

I find the park relatively quiet in the south during the week out of school holidays, but the weekends are another story, app or no app and that crowd is not from camps which are already fully booked during the week and weekend. :hmz:

Mcook
Posts: 71
Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2013 10:17 am

Re: Using sightings groups/apps - good or bad?

Unread postby Mcook » Thu Jul 18, 2013 12:03 pm

I was in the park last week and had mating leopard on the S79 causeway. (just off the H4-1, probably the busiest road in Kruger) There were only 2 cars for around 20 minutes, but in an hour the entire causeway was one massive traffic jam.

Not once during that day did this sighting appear on the app, so therefore nothing to do with the app, just too many cars.

I also stayed at Croc Bridge for 3 days and it was a nightmare trying to get back into camp at night with massive traffic jams heading to the park exit gate (sometimes 150 cars long and all I’m trying to do is get back into camp. Given, it was school holidays.)

All I’m saying is that the app isn’t the only reason for these issues

User avatar
cheetah2111
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
FAC Member (2013)
Posts: 4776
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2010 9:51 am
Location: Johannesburg SA

Re: Using sightings groups/apps - good or bad?

Unread postby cheetah2111 » Thu Jul 18, 2013 2:45 pm

We can argue until we are blue in the face :wink:
But it seems we all agree the sightings group should not provide instant updates (since this causes people to rush to the sighting), but with delayed information, it renders the sight as merely a database of sightings in Kruger. The knowledge is the main draw for most of us there 8)
Kruger 2014!!!

16-23 August - Lower Sabi!!!!

User avatar
cheetah2111
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
FAC Member (2013)
Posts: 4776
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2010 9:51 am
Location: Johannesburg SA

Re: Using sightings groups/apps - good or bad?

Unread postby cheetah2111 » Thu Jul 18, 2013 2:52 pm

yoda wrote:Perhaps the app develepers could post messages raising awareness of bad proper behaviour.
Maybe posting a photo of an animal that has been hit by a car with a caption "this is what happens when you speed" or something like that.


Latest Kruger sightings does this often :thumbs_up: And the reason why there are so many reports of bad behavior of late, is simply because of having such a large pool of connected people on the latestkrugersightings site, as well as facebook groups like 'the gallery of shame' and 'kruger idiots'.

The social platform can be, and has been used for good, but I agree the instant updates of animal locations is detrimental to behavior. BBM updates groups do not release information instantly ...
your messages go through to your admin, and at one point in the day your admin will publish all the sightings updates they have received for everyone to see. This can surely be applied to a facebook site and app as well :thumbs_up: Lets see if I can have a chat with the lad
Kruger 2014!!!

16-23 August - Lower Sabi!!!!


Return to “Kruger National Park”