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 Post subject: Predator-proof fence extended in Karoo National Park
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 11:58 am 
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Visitors to the Karoo National Park outside Beaufort West in the Western Cape have an extra treat in store for them since the beginning of December. The predator-proof fence which previously surrounded the rest camp and caravan park has been extended, allowing greater freedom to walk within the rest camp area.

Park Manager, Nico van der Walt, says “The old fence divided the rest camp (chalets) and the caravan park. However, the extended fence now includes the chalets and reception area, caravan park, bird hide, brown hyena cage as well as the Fossil and Bossie trails”.

Historically, the 4.9km Bossie Trail was run as a guided walk only and driving was necessary between most of the facilities and attractions like the bird hide. “Our guests over the years have always requested greater freedom and more space in which to take leisurely strolls, and we’ve now heeded their calls by extending the predator-proof fence, just in time for the December vacation,” says van der Walt.

Visitors can now walk, jog and enjoy all these amenities in a larger area surrounding the rest camp. Existing trails inside the fence boundary will also be extended.

“Visitors are, however, requested not to walk randomly in the fenced area but to stick to the demarcated trails; otherwise new paths will be created which could lead to unnatural soil erosion. Bicycles are only allowed on the tar road,” concludes van der Walt.


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 Post subject: Re: Predator-proof fence extended in Karoo National Park
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 4:05 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Location: Somerset West
:lol: :lol: :lol:
Good news!

Somebody is going to a lot of trouble to make Karoo more user-friendly, and that just means happier tourists and more visitors to keep the park running on a financially stable basis!
You have also gotten lions in to give the park a wilder feeling; then the brown hyenas arrived to make it more special; now two young male lions from Kgalagadi to get new bloodlines...

This does however not solve the basic problem that Karoo has of attracting visitors to stay for more extended periods of time -- lack of sufficient roads! To exacerbate the problem, most of the current roads (especially the tarred section) don't feel wild at all since you can see trucks racing past on the N1 in the background.

A visitor in a sedan can cover all existing roads in the park within a few hours, have a lovely picnic at 2 sites, and swim at one of them. You can then enjoy walking, strolling around the new enlarged predator-proof fence, sit at the bird hide and watch a lonely shell duck or a few bishop birds, and then repeat the same again in the afternoon... and then?

I know it costs money, but get the local municipality to help upgrade some of your 4x4 tracks into better roads, and start a bush camp in the western side of the park for campers only -- make it like the exclusive camps in Kgalagadi (Botswana side) where people camp WITHOUT ANY FENCE AROUND THEM so that they really feel they are in the wilds!

There is also still the small matter of cheetahs that were promised so long ago, but have never materialized "because there are not enough springbok for prey". Surely there are plenty of springbok by now, and cheetahs in the Kgalagadi specialize in smaller prey (like steenbok). The current lion population would also keep the cheetah numbers in check so you need not worry about their impact on antelope numbers...

Keep up the good work!

God bless,

Friedrich von Horsten

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 Post subject: Karoo: Border Fences
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:03 am 
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Karoo National Park extends fence - article:
http://www.sanparks.org/about/news/default.php?id=55394


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 Post subject: Re: Karoo National Park extends fence
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:32 am 
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:gflower: lizef, thank you for the good news :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Karoo National Park extends fence
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 4:14 pm 
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When I visited in September, I noticed the working on the new fence. I immediately welcomed the idea that the whole of the rest camp is going to be fenced in as a unit. I gave my opinion on more than one occasion about the original ill-considered decision to divide the chalets and caravan park as two separately fenced areas. I applaud Nico van der Walt for this new initiative. Now one can walk to the shop and swimming pool from the camping area again.

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 Post subject: Re: Karoo National Park extends fence
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 10:06 am 
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Good morning Stoffel. I am not sure how much of the new fence you saw during construction.

If not much, then I have good news for you and anyone else who love this Park. We were in the Karoo the day after completion of the new fence, and the staff were busy taking down the old one.

The new fence does not just encompass all the camps, but in fact extends from the main rest camp well past the bird hide and runs behind some of the rises and hills before joining up with the fence at the camp site. What this means is that while walking along the road between camps, or just from a chalet to reception, you cannot even see the fence from the road and you still get that “out in the open feel” of the Karoo.

It really is very well done.

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 Post subject: Re: Karoo National Park extends fence
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 3:30 pm 
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Yes LL, when we were there in September (for 10 nights) and staying over for one night during October, we saw the pillars for the new gates and also the poles for the new fence. I noticed that the new fence will enclose the total rest camp area as well as the old Bossie Trail. I was then told by a personnel member that the new Park Manager (Nico van der Walt) thought it to be unpractical that the chalet area and camping area being two separate fenced-off areas. When I visited the park for the first time after the lions were released, I said to my wife that it was a stupid decision to fence off the individual areas. When we went camping in the park with my grandchildren, they were fenced into the smallish camping area.

10 out of 10 for the new fence.

By the way - we saw the lions (two females and 4 cubs) from our chalet stoep during our first visit after their release. They caught a zebra and was lying near the carcass.

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 Post subject: Re: Karoo National Park extends fence
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 9:59 am 
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Definately a great improvement!


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 Post subject: Re: Karoo National Park extends fence
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 3:10 am 
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Many people miss the beauty of the Karoo while speeding from CT to the Free State and Jhb. On our recent trip back from CT, I was awestruck by the beauty of the mountains around Beaufort West. Definitely will be planning a stop in Karoo NP soon; wise decision by the authorities to extend the fence. :clap: :clap: :clap:

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 Post subject: Re: Predator-proof fence extended in Karoo National Park
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:12 am 
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Thank you for your kind words and words of advice and observations.

From a Marketing perspective, I can advise that we'll be giving quite a bit of thought into attracting more long-stay visitors into the Park going forward.


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 Post subject: Re: Predator-proof fence extended in Karoo National Park
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 9:49 am 
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@mh-baer: SANParks is mandated to minimize risks and to ensure the safety of visitors and animals. Therefore it is our responsibility to keep animals out of rest camp areas, especially predators to minimize human/animal conflict and damages.

The grids over the roads in front of the gates are safety measures during the day, so that we can leave some of the gates open during day time (when the safety risk is lower). The primary protection measures are the gates that are being closed at night when predators like lion are more active and the grids will not necessarily stop them.

The grids with gates is standard practice in all dangerous game areas, like Addo and Kruger and even in some private reserves.


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