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 Post subject: Re: Dinghy trips down major rivers ... what is the possibility ?
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2009 2:45 pm 
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Out of interest - what are the laws governing the usage of SA's waterways? Various countries have different rulings, and I know in New Zealand, the Maori have tried to lay claim to 'ownership' which went throught the courts.

Who would give permission to use the Croc River? I mean it's a boundary, so who has ownership?

In terms of 'ownership' - would they have control of the rivers in Kruger for example?


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 Post subject: Re: Dinghy trips down major rivers ... what is the possibili
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2009 3:06 pm 
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From what I understand from my leisure paddling, rivers belong to the public and are free for use.
This includes up to the high water mark (I'm not completely certain on this boundary).
So theoretically I think I could just enter the Croc River and do I want.
I'm not sure how the fact that it is a border of the park would affect its usage.

In terms of rivers inside Kruger, I'm again not sure.
I imagine the other laws would come into effect first, such as having to pay conservation fees, not getting out of your car etc.
What they would do if you decided to paddle from outside the park past the fence, I'm not sure.

It was quite funny last year, we entered and drove through the park, from Phalaborwa to Giriyondo with a large trailer with 4 sit-on-top kayaks in tow.
Quite a sight indeed :)

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 Post subject: Re: Dinghy trips down major rivers ... what is the possibility ?
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2009 3:12 pm 
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The park fence is on the Southern bank of the Crocodile river, so effectively the river is inside the park.

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 Post subject: Re: Dinghy trips down major rivers ... what is the possibili
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2009 3:46 pm 
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Bush happy , I have advocated that these limited activities take place out of sight of tourists.
1 vehicle with a trailer with 4 boats/kayaks/dinghys to take maybe 8 tourists out to a certain secluded spot in 3 or 4 different locations to enjoy the wilderness without seeing a whole lot of cars and people along the ride .
With well silenced microlight rides at reasonable heights never passing over a specific area more than once per day from one or 2 locations (Skukuza , Malelane , Phalaborwa) to view the wilderness from the air where without being seen by or seeing tourists .
Just the same can be said for "Designated Quiet Camps" (see thread under Indaba) which I feel we have the right to , because the following has adversely affected our enjoyment to some degree.
Notice how many day visitor safari game viewing vehicles are allowed in KNP obstructing viewings and generally destroying the feeling of "being" in the wilderness ?
The beer garden at Afsaal ?
The daily flights allowed to land at Satara to service Singita concession .
The courier trucks speeding from camp to camp ?
The through traffic allowed to go to Mozambique & Zimbabwe ?
The overland tourist companies who seem to cause more disturbance than is healthy ?

While I have always vehemently objected to further visible development in KNP I think these "proposed" unique experience activities are but a single grain of sand in KNP compared with what is allowed and what we certainly can expect in the future .
Why not allow a few alternatives besides day walks and wilderness trails and oh so upmarket lodges for a slightly discerning tourist ?

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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 4:38 pm 
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I think you'll find that all water resources and it's usage are under goverment control according to NATIONAL WATER ACT Act No 36 of 1998

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 Post subject: Re: Dinghy trips down major rivers ... what is the possibility ?
Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2009 5:27 am 
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:naughty: Not me agitating - I was being very serious.

I done quite a bit of canoeing over the years and love the peace - I've never bothered here because the Swan and Canning rivers are as boring as bat doo doo :evil: . I've gone up into the Okavango in a canoe back in '87 and in '00 I did the Nile on a paddle dinghy raft (white water but also some beautiful stretches through the bush!) - both options are feasible if the water levels are good and the rivers are available.

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While I have allways vehemently objected to further visible development in KNP I think these "proposed" unique experience activities are but a single grain of sand in KNP compared with what is allowed and what we certainly can expect in the future .
Why not allow a few alternatives besides day walks and wilderness trails and oh so upmarket lodges for a slightly discerning tourist ?


I agree ndloti - I would see this as a further development from the walks, bush trails and other "wilderness" experiences that SANParks have already developed. There are sufficiently large rivers which during the wet have good water which would make this a decent project. :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Dinghy trips down major rivers ... what is the possibili
Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2009 11:52 am 
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Guys, just a plea for caution here.
The “edge of the wedge” principle applies here too.
This is a difficult one.
Don`t get me wrong, I have sympathy for some of your ideas but I also tend to agree with Bush Happy`s warnings re Chobe, etc.
I have seen the same thing in places like Mana Pools on the Zambezi and others.
Someone recently told me never to go on a night drive in Luangwa.
He said there are so many open vehicles out at night with spotlights, etc, that it looks like the searchlights over London during the blitz! Granted, unlike Sanparks, there seems to be no regulation there, but still.
The problem, where tourism is concerned, is where to draw the line.
Various activities, albeit low-impact and low-key can, and in my opinion will, pose the next threat if we are not extremely sensitive and will lead, as always, to ever diminishing returns.
Being a discerning tourist is one thing but rest assured, once an activity starts it very easily expands and demands for something else starts.
It simply works like that.
I am in many respects a hypocrite too but I often question myself these days.
The following “products”, as they say, have all developed over the years.

The first cars entered KNP in 1927.
What has happened today – see the many posts and complaints especially about the over-populated south.
Walking trails
Night drives, sunset drives, etc.
Morning walks, afternoon walks, from all camps.
Mountain- biking at Olifants - morning and afternoon.
Lebombo Ecotrail.
Olifants back-pack trail.
Mphongolo back-pack trail – twice per week – why not just once per week? Matiovila and Malahlapanga springs which attract game will be visited and, no doubt, people could have a wash there and leave the human scent.

Microlight flights are just not on, no matter how silent.
What will the next demand be – hot air balloons?
I have seen these colourful monstrosities in Mara too.

It is true that one would be out of sight of other tourists but that is not the whole point.
It is not just about our own enjoyment.
I feel the wilderness, what little is left, has an inalienable right to be free from us.
I have heard it said that wilderness has no value unless it is used and renders a service to society.
In my humble opinion such thinking is devoid of imagination.

I know this is probably an unreasonable puristic attitude and I will be shot down but please guys, don`t do so before you have really thought about it.
Yes, I know, KNP needs money for its own continued existence and activities do make money, but we do not live by bread alone.
Those in favour of this sort of thing are no doubt discerning people but extreme sensitivity is required here.


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 Post subject: Re: Dinghy trips down major rivers ... what is the possibili
Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2009 12:46 pm 
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Oryx wrote:
Guys, just a plea for caution here. The “edge of the wedge” principle applies here too.
I feel the wilderness, what little is left, has an inalienable right to be free from us.
I have heard it said that wilderness has no value unless it is used and renders a service to society.
In my humble opinion such thinking is devoid of imagination.


I have been shot down for trying this line at least 20 times in the last 3 years ...
I started a thread "Need Sanparks be Self Funding ?" under Indaba around 18 months ago, the howls of protest caused me to wonder if there were more than 10 sensible answers .
So with the dinghy trip thread, I thought what about a lower impact activity, seeing hundreds of safari vehicles aren't a problem, as are expansions to just about every imaginable form of tourist infrastructure .

I was told that Kruger must pay for itself, I am selfish even thinking that one could deny the right of as many people as desired to enter the park no matter what the effect on the ecology, that the many km of private roads on each concession is not a serious threat to the ecology
Then Sanparks proposes building a hotel (one of 7) on the periphery .

Agreed , microlight flights are a bit over the top, but I thought the same when I saw the amount of open safari vehicles in KNP , raping the sense of place while a few make a few bucks on the side .

I am glad there is another sensible one around Oryx , lets see the reaction .

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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: Sat Nov 21, 2009 1:11 pm 
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Pleaaaaaaaaaaase don't.
There are many other rivers where the excess adreniline or adventure seeking energy can be used up, outside the KNP.
Just imagine sitting at the tranquil riverside in your vehicle quietly watching animals coming down to drink and listening to the birdsong and then all of a sudden all goes quiet and the animals turn around and flee, and then what appears - some intruders in their domicile floating down the river on a dinghy. No please, never.

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 Post subject: Re: Dinghy trips down major rivers ... what is the possibili
Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2009 1:21 pm 
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Here's an article written by Ian Player, a very well respected conservationist, explaining the 'thin edge' principle. The article was written in 1980!!

Why I don’t allow lamps
On trail when night falls I am often asked “Why don’t you have any lamps?” and I tell the following story.
This is a wilderness area.
It is our job to try to keep it as wild and primitive as possible – hard work in this twentieth century where the battle cry of humanity is development.
Now if I allowed a storm lantern in the camp it would mean having to carry paraffin in every time we came. People would soon become irritated and ask why a drum could not be brought to the camp.
So a 44 gallon drum would be rolled down the river and everyone would be happy for a while.
But when it was empty another one would have to be brought and people would say, “How silly it is to roll it down the river, why don’t you construct a small road, just a track, and bring it in by vehicle.”
So this would be the next step.
Then someone would ask, “These storm lanterns don’t give much light and seeing there is ample paraffin why don’t you have a little engine, with just enough horsepower to light six electric bulbs?”
So an engine – only a little one – would be brought in and there would be more light in the camp.
Before long another person would say, “It seems so silly sitting on logs around the campfire, what harm would a few deck chairs do, as long as they were green and fitted in with the environment.
We would be able to read in comfort late into the night and not have any of this keeping watch alone.
And we could have a guitar and sing songs around the fire.
It would help to drown out the noises of the lion and the rhino – which can be jolly frightening.”
Later, someone would say, “Only bringing seven people on trail is a bit mean.
Why don’t you double the number and all those who can’t walk too well could be brought by vehicle, along the little dirt road, offloaded a hundred metres from the camp so they have to walk the last bit and be in keeping with the wilderness atmosphere.”
The pace starts to quicken.
“You can’t have people going behind trees and bushes; it’s very unhygienic and also the thorns scratch which makes it uncomfortable.
Why not a little pit drop latrine with a wooden seat to fit into the environment?”
So a lavatory is erected.
Soon there would be complaints about the smell and a nice red brick building would arise in the bush, plastic seats, white walls and waterborne sewage.
“Well, seeing that we have a lavatory,” a newcomer would say, “why on earth do we have to sleep on the hard ground, with smoke blowing in our faces and all those ants and other nunus (insects) running over us in the night.
It’s dangerous, snakes could come too, why can’t just two little rondavels be built, one for the men and one for the women.
Very simple in style with camp beds and some nice rugs to add colour to the drab bush.
A radio and gramophone should be installed because people are getting tired of guitar music and songs around the campfire.
Now, there should be no television set, that really would be carrying things a bit far.”
Years pass and there is big camp with restaurants, supermarket, and swimming pool.
It boasts of sleeping a thousand people a night and tarred roads have been constructed so no one is bothered by dust.
Now comes the final act.
Someone says the camp is too big and sprawling, and it costs a lot of money to maintain.
Buildings should go upwards and not be spread around.
So plans are drawn up and no thought is given to the birds and the animals and the wilderness atmosphere.
At last the big announcement and headlines in newspapers:
a 40 storey building is to be built and in order that it should be in keeping with the wild atmosphere it will have a thatched roof to preserve the rustic appearance.
This, I explain, is the reason for not allowing lamps.


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 Post subject: Re: Dinghy trips down major rivers ... what is the possibility ?
Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2009 1:29 pm 
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It seems no-one at Sanparks who handles tourism understands this doctrine .

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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: Sat Nov 21, 2009 3:38 pm 
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Dr. Ian Player was indeed a wise man.

There were many others as well, many of them wore khakis displaying green epaulettes on their shirts some with NATAL PARKS in gold lettering, others again very proudly had KRUGER NATIONAL PARK in gold lettering with the emblem of a Kudu head and if I am not mistaken with a motto underneath something like CUSTOS NATURAE also in gold lettering on theirs.

None of them were were paid very well but boy were they dedicated.

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I participate because I care - CUSTOS NATURAE
No to Hotels in and commercialization of our National Parks.
No to Legalized Rhino and Lion trade.
Done 144 visits to National Parks.
What a wonderful privilege.


Last edited by gmlsmit on Sun Nov 22, 2009 6:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Dinghy trips down major rivers ... what is the possibility ?
Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2009 2:58 pm 
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Bush Baptist wrote:
Funny that Ian player is mentioned. He was an avid canoeist, who founded the Duzi.

You think he would have approved or disapproved of canoeing in Kruger? :)

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 Post subject: Re: Dinghy trips down major rivers ... what is the possibili
Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2009 4:03 pm 
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I knew Ian Player quite well (I was a Game Ranger with the Natal Parks Board for many years) and I can assure you this would never have been allowed in any Natal Park while there was a breath in his body. Canoeing the Duzi cannot be compared to dinghy trips down Kruger's major rivers.
Read his doctrine again and then ask the question


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 Post subject: Re: Dinghy trips down major rivers ... what is the possibili
Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2009 5:11 pm 
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ndloti wrote:
Certain of the others writers seem to be trying to agitate or alternatively I suspect they have not yet been touched by the wilderness .


Ndloti, I have admiration and respect for your love for nature.
I understand and empathize with your need to enjoy nature in pristine condition / away from the masses.

I am fully aware of all the developments that have taken place in our Parks - for the enjoyment and benefit of tourists - in which I gladly participated until I joined the Forum and had insight re the other side of the coin (pun intended).

I have definitely been touched by the wilderness, and would definitely like to leave it as untouched as possible.
No matter how small the impact... impact is impact is impact.
And seeing what doc Player has said, I do think it will not remain the pleasures of a few elite per year in a secluded spot - Can we really afford to sacrifice more in lieu of Mother Nature and her inhabitants?

So my answer remains exactly the same it was in May of this year...
Remember that two wrongs (hotels and other developments) don't make a right.

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