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 Post subject: Re: Dinghy trips down major rivers ... what is the possibility ?
Unread postPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 11:33 am 
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big5spotter wrote:
There are places where you can do river rafting so go do it there and come to KNP for the 'wildness' it presents!!Why spoil it?

Those would have reflected my thoughts exactly , but then came the accelerated expansions of the last 15 years , if you had seen the KNP as it was 30 years or so ago , but I think you will agree with me if you see KNP in 30 (or less ?) years from now .

Still , I do not see how (eco) river rafting could have a more detrimental effect to the environment than expansion of camps and provision of monstrous day visitor centres (etc) , not to mention the influence that for example "My Acre of Africa" and other estates opposite the S 3 will have on the Phabeni area .
The way I would see the dinghy trips being arranged would add little additional infrastructure , just a dinghy on a trailer being towed by a game viewing vehicle (which is used for other purposes when not in use) and a drop off point and a pick up point , this would be just a half day excursion , no overnighting .

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KNP is sacred. I am opposed to the modernisation of Kruger and from the depths of my soul long for the Kruger of yesteryear! 1000+km on foot in KNP incl 56 wild trails.200+ nights in the wildernessndloti-indigenous name for serval.


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 Post subject: Re: Dinghy trips down major rivers ... what is the possibility ?
Unread postPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 12:23 pm 
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Only 2 places to go on the river in Kruger & both are in view of tourist roads. Except if you carry the boat. IMHO, not very good idea. :whistle:

Maybe change the thread name to, extreme walk, carry boat on shoulders while dodging elephants. :thumbs_up:


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 Post subject: Re: Dinghy trips down major rivers ... what is the possibility ?
Unread postPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 12:42 pm 
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Besides other points ...

I would have very serious safety concerns. The rivers in KNP cannot be compared to other rivers on which it is done. Even the big KNP rivers are very seasonal. Most of the year it is either very low or rather fast. It is also very narrow, there is no room to maneuver past crocs or hippos, as in areas such as the Okavango.

There is no way that even an armed guide can protect the people against two very serious (Probably the most dangerous animals in the bush.) animals, nl. crocs and hippo.

And then you often hear of accidents taking place in other areas where this activity is done.

Three days ago I was watching a 4 plus meter croc in the Olifants. You have no chance if he grabs you!

Personally I am absolutely at ease and feel absolutely safe walking in the bush. Going down the river ... no thanks!

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 Post subject: Re: Dinghy trips down major rivers ... what is the possibility ?
Unread postPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 2:32 pm 
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:lol:

Ndloti, if it was a small risk (like walking are) I would go for it. I have often stated, to the ire of my SO, that I would prefer dying on the sharp end of a rhino above dying in a car crash.

But I consider it a considerable risk. Hippos are very territorial, and can be very aggressive. Water is their place of safety and they will attack if you threaten that. (The recent Croc bridge incident being a case in point.) Crocs see you as one thing ... food. If it was not for that ... I would have loved the idea!

It can be done in the Orange river .... no hippos and no crocks ... (But it isn't Kruger! :( )

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 Post subject: Re: Dinghy trips down major rivers ... what is the possibility ?
Unread postPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 4:22 pm 
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ndloti wrote:
Why not take a small risk , most people risk their lives daily out on the roads with unroadworthy vehicles and at home offering themselves as easy prey to marauding criminals ....


At least on walking safaris the Rangers/Guides that take you out can minimalise the possibility of being attacked by knowing to a degree how to deal with animals on foot, like scaring off lions with a shot above their heads etc.(im not a guide so I dont know whether this will help, just speculating) In the water, if the raft had to capsize, what good will a trained proffesional do to scare off crocs/hippos. I dont see why we need to take those risks, when its the innocent animals living like they do, that are the first ones that get shot and not the people that create that risk for themselves.

I think that this would be a brilliant Idea in areas with no crocs or hippos.
JJ

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 Post subject: Re: Dinghy trips down major rivers ... what is the possibility ?
Unread postPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 5:32 pm 
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big5spotter wrote:
Why would you want to disturb the animals by making noise?I really don't see any sense of that.It may be difficult to capsize but not if an angry bull hippo is underneath you. :huh:


One would only make a noise if they are displaying potentially threatening behaviour .
We allready inconsiderately disturb animals all day in KNP , hundreds of cars and trucks, litter , fences , noise .
Whats the difference if we try to discourage an attack with a short knocking noise of less magnitude than an elephants trumpeting ?

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KNP is sacred. I am opposed to the modernisation of Kruger and from the depths of my soul long for the Kruger of yesteryear! 1000+km on foot in KNP incl 56 wild trails.200+ nights in the wildernessndloti-indigenous name for serval.


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 Post subject: Re: Dinghy trips down major rivers ... what is the possibili
Unread postPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 2:28 pm 
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Hi guys, this is my first forum post.
A bit of background, I'm just about qualified as a level 1 field guide and as level 1 river guide.
One of the concession operators in the Mozambique side of the park, Trails do Limpopo operate canoe trails on the Rio Elefantes (Olifants River) from Massingir dam to the Limpopo confluence.
Their website is http://www.dolimpopo.com/wilderness_trails.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; .
The trail is flat water (i.e. no rapids).

I had the privilege of guiding on one of the first trails in August last year.
In this part of the park, the river forms the park boundary.
There is actually human habitation within the park too, a fair number of large villages.

We didn't see any crocodiles or elephants on the trip, but we did come pretty close to a small pod of hippo which was quite frightening and dangerous.

As someone with a little bit of bush and river experience, I would say that its just too dangerous to offer these types of trips.
I've heard a lot of very experienced guides say the same thing.
One can't see hippos and crocodile under the water, until it may be too late.
I imagine it would also be very difficult to shoot one of these animals under water (the only chance you'd get if they attacked).

However, as has been pointed out, these types of trips take place in the rest of Africa.
I recall doing a canoe trip on the Zambezi above the falls.
There were plenty of hippo and crocs, and I don't think any of the guides were armed.

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 Post subject: Re: Dinghy trips down major rivers ... what is the possibility ?
Unread postPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 5:51 pm 
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Hi joshilewis, welcome to the forum & a good start at that. :thumbs_up:

Yes, not a lot of animals on that side of the border right now, also with Massinger the river pushes back making it a smooth ride. I do concur that it would be too dangerous in Kruger. Not a lot of place to sidestep a hippo pod, herd of ellies there. 8)


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 Post subject: Re: Dinghy trips down major rivers ... what is the possibility ?
Unread postPosted: Sat May 23, 2009 8:02 am 
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big5spotter wrote:
How about LETS JUST LEAVE KRUGER AS IT IS


Exactly :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Dinghy trips down major rivers ... what is the possibility ?
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:37 pm 
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Scipio wrote:
Through the Olifants Gorge, that will be awesome, but if it is open to all, yet another area of prestine bush gone? :hmz:


Olifants gorge is a bit far from easily accessible drop off points , unfortunately inaccessible and in a wilderness area .
Scipio , rafting on the river , not in the bush :D
Can be done , starting and ending along existing management roads which are perhaps allready used by Sanparks game viewing vehicles as in night drives , skirting rivers which are invisible to the public , out of pristine wilderness areas .

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KNP is sacred. I am opposed to the modernisation of Kruger and from the depths of my soul long for the Kruger of yesteryear! 1000+km on foot in KNP incl 56 wild trails.200+ nights in the wildernessndloti-indigenous name for serval.


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 Post subject: Re: Dinghy trips down major rivers ... what is the possibility ?
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2009 6:33 am 
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I'm not too sure what to make of this thread as I see most of the people contributing, and advocating, dinghying down a river, are those wanting to keep Kruger in an unspoilt and natural state.

Yes, there is boating in the Okavango, but there are also numerous reports on the damage it is doing to the habitat of birds that nest alongside the banks of the river e.g. the carmine bee-eater. The wash from the boat causes erosion etc. of the banks, where they nest.

Are we suggesting a motorized dinghy? If motorized, then I'm afraid this flies in complete contradiction to the other arguments posted on the forum about how Kruger is being exploited, the wilderness areas being spoilt etc etc.

Or are you suggesting kayaking/canoeing? I'm hoping it's a misspelled heading.


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 Post subject: Re: Dinghy trips down major rivers ... what is the possibility ?
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2009 11:08 am 
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Having flown in a microlight a few times , that would be the highlight of my experiences .

I assume the possibility of offering commercial rides has been investigated .
This could be feasible over the wilderness if the motor is suitably silenced , safety aspects could be largely taken care of with a professionally run outfit .

Before I get shot out of the sky , it could be done with relatively little visible impact around Skukuza area where there is an existing tar runway and infrastructure , regular source of cientele and extensive existing human impact .

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KNP is sacred. I am opposed to the modernisation of Kruger and from the depths of my soul long for the Kruger of yesteryear! 1000+km on foot in KNP incl 56 wild trails.200+ nights in the wildernessndloti-indigenous name for serval.


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 Post subject: Re: Dinghy trips down major rivers ... what is the possibility ?
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2009 11:27 am 
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There are various engine silenceing kits available .
Notice how quiet jet engined aircraft have become compared with 30 years ago and less .

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KNP is sacred. I am opposed to the modernisation of Kruger and from the depths of my soul long for the Kruger of yesteryear! 1000+km on foot in KNP incl 56 wild trails.200+ nights in the wildernessndloti-indigenous name for serval.


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 Post subject: Re: Dinghy trips down major rivers ... what is the possibility ?
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2009 12:27 pm 
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ndloti wrote:
joshilewis wrote:
Thinking about it now, after having done the ORBT, slowly drifting down that river would be an amazing experience. Though you'll miss a lot of things by being on the river instead of land, like dung, tracks, small animals etc etc.


I agree , ideally just day trips on the river , perhaps 3 or 4 hours , as in day walks .

Why limit it to day trips? A multi-day overnight trip could be great. Same story, tents, mattresses, food, stoves etc. Anyway, we're getting ahead of ourselves :)

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 Post subject: Re: Dinghy trips down major rivers ... what is the possibili
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2009 2:10 pm 
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Chobe offers boat trips as well as plane trips.
Sound idyllic to you?

Let me tell you - it is your worst nightmare.
The planes start really early in the morning, with the buzzing waking you up.
This carries on for a few hours.
Then, when you decide to take a boat trip, you cannot move for the volume of people on the water.

So you decide to escape it all and take a drive in the park.
You are surrounded by Jeep Jockeys, when you gaze out on the Chobe river, the view is spoilt by the numerous boats on the water, the silence and the sky interrupted by the constant buzzing of planes.

Is this what you refer to when you say we're nitpicking by not agreeing with the idea of dinghy-ing and microlighting?

As you constantly say Ndloti, "it's the thin edge" and believe me, you do not want to see the end of that wedge.
You will never step foot in Kruger again.

Just my 2c worth!


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