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 Post subject: Re: Disturbing Weekend Post newspaper article about Addo Park
Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 10:47 am 
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I can only agree with Haupie, I don,t know what the drug of choice was but it may have been a bad LSD trip for all we know. We regularly go to Addo about eight to ten times a year last visit was in September, next visit next week-end, and the only thing I can agree on is the spekboom hide toilets. They have never been good but with the picnic spot about 500m up the road there is no reason to use them.I would suggest the park demolishes them and people use the picnic spot ones. We must remember newspapers are in the business of selling newspapers and don't let the truth interfear with a good sales pitch. One good thing is if the article has put anyone off it will reduce the no.of cars, and make it less crowded for those in the know. So please don't go to Addo over the next couple of weeks I would like it all to myself. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Addo Press
Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 1:30 pm 
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Thank you for sharing those Patto!

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 Post subject: Re: Disturbing Weekend Post newspaper article about Addo Park
Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 1:32 pm 
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Reply to the article is shared here

(Will merge the two topics soon)

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 Post subject: Re: Disturbing Weekend Post newspaper article about Addo Park
Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 3:44 pm 
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I will attempt to post a reply from SANparks as feautred in the Weekend Post yesterday. Don't know how to link- so will try copy and paste.

Addo Elephant Park not in ‘rundown’ state
2009/11/28
IN response to William Smith’s letter “Rundown park no pleasure” (Weekend Post, November 23), SANParks assures Mr Smith and other concerned visitors that the management of Addo Elephant National Park takes note of all the concerns raised.
SANParks also assures all visitors that the park is certainly not in a “rundown” state.
There have been many recent developments and improvements in Addo Elephant National Park within the past year, including the opening of a new picnic site with modern toilet facilities in the game area, the addition of five new cottages in Addo Main Camp, the construction of a new Interpretive Centre (to be opened early next year) and construction of a new main entrance gate.
All accommodation units in Addo Main Camp are being renovated. New roads have been constructed in the Colchester section and large game introduction has begun. Both processes involve the allocation of significant funds. The tourism roads in the main game viewing area have recently been upgraded. Millions are spent annually on Coast Care projects, alien vegetation clearing and poverty relief programmes. More than R9-million a year is spent on conservation initiatives alone.
Due to construction in the main camp area, there has been some accumulation of debris on occasion. Park staff have made a concerted effort to keep this debris to a minimum.
The Spekboom Hide toilets have now been closed, due to problems with maintenance and the proximity of better toilet facilities at the new picnic site where an attendant is on duty all day.
An electric gate was recently installed at the new picnic site for visitor safety, ensuring that large animals could not enter. Since a few visitors did not seem to know how to activate the gate by driving onto the metal plate, a push button for opening has been installed. The new building in the picnic area is earmarked for a kiosk, but is vacant because SANParks is engaging the national Treasury regarding small concession opportunities.
The new game viewing roads in the Colchester section (Camp Matyholweni) were opened three weeks ago. All signage is in place. Signage is only erected once road construction is complete and ready for use by visitors. These roads are not yet shown on the park’s visitors’ map.
Smith’s report of a number of birds killed by flying into windows of the Interpretive Centre is a matter of concern, as SANParks’s core function is the conservation of biodiversity. The building was designed to maximise the use of natural light. Park management will investigate methods of addressing this problem.
The curio shop in the park stocks a range of products, including “proudly South African” products, and is committed to supporting and selling any local products of a high standard. The shop’s high income figures reflect that its products have proved popular with local and international visitors.
Visitors can use an SMS system to rate the park restaurant and report any complaints. The SANParks development unit, which monitors this feedback, reports a significant increase in customer satisfaction over the last six months. The park also issues a customer feedback form to all visitors staying in the park. Statistics here also show that compliments about the restaurant have increased significantly.
We do receive specific and valid complaints about the restaurant on occasion. These are dealt with immediately by restaurant management.
We again urge visitors to report and discuss any concerns they may have with park management when they are in the park or as soon as possible, so that matters can be addressed speedily.
We are committed to addressing any concerns and complaints raised about maintenance or service in Addo Elephant National Park, in line with our commitment to excellent service levels and the SANParks vision that national parks will be the pride and joy of all South Africans and of the world. Addo Elephant National Park is a key tourism destination of which the management and staff are proud.

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 Post subject: Re: Disturbing Weekend Post newspaper article about Addo Park
Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 3:52 pm 
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Good - it worked! There is also another letter from a member of the public written to the Herald re Addo, but it does not have a name on it - don't know if one is allowed to place these on the forums?? Actually, I hope it was OK to do the one above, but as it is an answer from Sanparks I am assuming it is?? Will the people in charge please remove it if not? :?

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 Post subject: Re: Disturbing Weekend Post newspaper article about Addo Park
Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 4:20 pm 
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In Stellenbosch is a company that sell a small reflector that can be mounted on a building and apparently the reflected light scare birds away. This is mainly used to keep birds away from buildings to stop them from "painting" the building white. Many buildings in Stellenbosch have these reflectors on them. Maybe this can be used to scare the birds away from the glass in the new building. At least it is harmless to the birds, although I am not sure of it's effective radius, as we don't want to scare them away from the surrounding areas!

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My latest trip report to Addo during June 2009:
http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=34300


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 Post subject: Re: Addo Press
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2009 9:47 pm 
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Having read this topic, I went to Addo this past weekend with a very critical eye at the ready, and really expecting to see some sort of 'decay' since my last visit.

I visit Addo regularly - at least 3 - 4 times a year.

I have never seen Addo's main camp looking better. The gardens are suffering as a result of the drought, but were still neat (taking into account they are nature reserve gardens growing indigenous plants) and the walk ways and day visitors area swept clean.

The new Interpretive Centre has been so tastefully designed it blends into the surroundings beautifully. Looking at the educational displays being set up there I think this is a great asset to Addo and will help educate both children and adults about elephants and nature.

All the facilities I used; ie reception toilets, camping ground and ablutions, were well maintained, neat and clean.

The game area is really showing the strain of the drought and crying out for rain, but I do not think we can hold SANParks responsible for this :wink: The roads are all in good condition and I saw no litter at all.

The new control to allow entry into the picnic area worked perfectly - and the picnic area was spotless and is really a lovely place to stop off at to enjoy lunch etc.

As always has been my past experience, the staff were friendly and polite - from those who welcomed us at the gate and reception to the cleaning staff in the camp.

Addo was just Addo as I have always known it to be - an asset to the Eastern Cape and SANParks and South Africa, one I am very proud of and will encourage folk to visit.

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 Post subject: Re: Addo Press
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 7:28 am 
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Thanks for that DB. :thumbs_up:

It's great to here there is someone who feels the same about Addo as I do.

I absolutely love that place. It might not be the biggest or have the most animals but it is part of my life.

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 Post subject: Re: Addo Press
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 8:33 am 
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I have to agree DB - the place was looking great!

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 Post subject: Re: Addo Press
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 8:45 am 
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DANKBAAR wrote:
I absolutely love that place. It might not be the biggest or have the most animals but it is part of my life.

:dance: I agree!

I must add though that I am sure the animals in Addo are good Broadway show candidates! They were super stars this past weekend putting on shows to delight. The Ellies at Hapoor on Sunday morning were animated, vocal and entertained us with antics in and out of the water.

I was so blessed to see the black rhino visit the waterhole at the main camp at dusk. A first for me!!! They hung around wandering in and out of the pools of light for about 2 hours! :dance:

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 Post subject: Re: Addo Press
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2009 7:53 am 
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Hi Megan
Can you please give us an indication of how many people and cars visit the park on average per day? My assumption is that these figures have increased dramatically and the park is getting more popular. This trend should continue. This will put pressure on your facilities but I feel it is manageable. I visit regularly and compared to Kruger it is the best "Day Visit" big 5 park in the country.


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 Post subject: Re: Addo Press
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 8:51 am 
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I agree...Addo is one of the greatest parks to visit. I'm visiting at least 2x per month and think that it is well managed.

And as long as you can take pictures like this and see animals close up...who can complain.

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Addo Press
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:00 am 
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Mandy Roets, Regional Marketing Manager – Frontier Region, has asked that Addo's response to the last letter of complaint posted in the Weekend Post, be placed here too. This was placed in the newspaper the following week. It is an illustration that Addo is not ignoring these complaints.

Quote:
SANParks Response to “Rundown Park No Pleasure”

In response to William Smith’s letter to “Rundown Park No Pleasure” which appeared in the Weekend Post of 23 November, SANParks would like to assure Mr. Smith and other concerned visitors that the management of Addo Elephant National Park takes note of all the concerns raised. SANParks would also like to assure all visitors that the Park is certainly not in a “rundown” state.

There have been many recent developments and improvements in Addo Elephant National Park within the past year, including the opening of a new picnic site with modern bathroom facilities in the game area, the addition of five new cottages in Addo Main Camp, the construction of a new Interpretive Centre (to be opened early next year) and construction of a new main entrance gate. All accommodation units in Addo Main Camp are currently being renovated. New roads have been constructed in the Colchester section and large game introduction has commenced, with both processes involving the allocation of significant funds. The tourism roads in the main game viewing area have recently been upgraded. In addition, millions are spent annually on Coast Care projects, alien vegetation clearing and Poverty Relief programs. Over nine million rand per year is spent on conservation initiatives alone.

Due to construction in the main camp area, there has been some accumulation of debris on occasion, as occurs with any construction area. Park staff have made a concerted effort to keep this debris to a minimum and maintenance issues have been addressed.

Spekboom Hide toilets have now been closed, due to problems with maintenance and the proximity of better toilet facilities at the new picnic site where an attendant is on duty all day.

An electric gate was recently installed at the new picnic site for visitor safety, ensuring that large animals could not access the picnic area. Due to the fact that a few visitors did not seem to know how to activate the gate by driving onto the metal plate, a push button method to open the gate has been installed. The new building in the picnic area is earmarked for a kiosk but is currently vacant due to the fact that SANParks is currently engaging National Treasury regarding the process of awarding small concession opportunities in national parks.

The new game viewing roads in the Colchester section (Camp Matyholweni) were opened three weeks ago and all signage is in place. Signage is only erected once road construction is complete and ready for use by visitors. These roads are not yet shown on the Park’s current Visitors Map, which is issued to each visitor group on entry, as the map is currently being redesigned to include all the new roads and other developments.

Mr. Smith’s report of a number of birds killed by flying into windows of the Interpretive Centre is a matter of concern as SANParks’ core function is the conservation of biodiversity. The Interpretive Centre building was designed to maximise the use of natural light. Park management will investigate various methods of addressing this problem.

The curio shop in the Park stocks a range of products, including “proudly South African” products, and is committed to supporting and selling any local products of a high standard. The shop’s high income figures reflect the fact that its products have proven highly popular with local and international visitors.

Visitors can use an SMS system to rate the Park restaurant and report any complaints. The SANParks Development Unit, which monitors this feedback about the Park restaurant, reports a significant increase in customer satisfaction over the last six months. In addition, the Park issues a Customer Feedback Form to all visitors staying in the Park and statistics here also show that compliments about the restaurant have increased significantly. We do receive specific and valid complaints about the restaurant on occasion and these dealt with immediately by restaurant management.

We once again urge visitors to report and discuss any concerns they may have with Park management when they are in the Park or as soon as possible so that matters can be addressed speedily.

We are fully committed to addressing any concerns and complaints raised about maintenance or service in Addo Elephant National Park, in line with our commitment to excellent service levels and the SANParks vision that national parks will be the pride and joy of all South Africans and of the world. Addo Elephant National Park is a key tourism destination in the Eastern Cape of which the management and staff are proud.

Norman Johnson
Park Manager
Addo Elephant National Park

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 Post subject: Re: Addo Press
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 9:06 pm 
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Dear All

I would like to contribute positively and assume you have things thoroughly under control from my visits to Addo recently.

Expect a "BIG RUSH" from May 2010 - I don't think any one realises what is going to hit SA this year on the tourism front! Being so close to PE and the garden route, Addo is going to be invaded like never before. Be prepared and willing to go the extra mile - especially in the restaurant. What you offer to the soccer fans can put Addo on the international map forever.

We realise funds are always restrictive, but I would suggest you get a few water holes established in the south before June, and move more animals to this lovely area. The new roads are stunning and will help spread the traffic - but only if there are animals to see!

Good luck in making this Reserve what it deserves to be! Better than Kruger.

Regards
Hennie Saunders


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