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 Post subject: Re: Ways to improve Kruger Park
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 1:16 pm 
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I have to laugh at Whitebobo's post...

I would think that before you expand and think of bigger and better things, you would get what you have at the moment in tip top shape...
I am a HUGE Kruger fan! Whenever I can, I try to get my bum in the park.

Last year I planned a special flight to Kruger to spend the B-I-G 30 bday in the park. I was so excited! :dance:

But for the first time in many years, I left dissappointed. Dissappointed in the staff! Yes, there was the odd tourist that caused a few frustrations. But the staff and how some of the camps were being managed have become a major problem. Berg -&- dal was shocking! And I've always been a very big fan of this camp! Staff members having a major party in the front while the diners wait on food... Just to name one incident.

Skukuza - made a special accomodation request. Even received a reply from the manager, on the same day! (I couldn't believe my luck!!) Just to arrive at the camp and for no one to know what I'm talking about. They see the emails on the system, but they cannot help me! Please don't let me tell you the excuse the manager came with... I was livid at the amount of this guy came up with!!

And then to drive all the way to Satara, absolutely starving... just to find the kitchen staff on strike and to wait 45min + for 2 pie and gravey's.

So, long story short - it all starts with the people of the park (the staff, the managers, the rangers) That is where true change should start. You need people who can actually manage. If there is one camp I can take my hat off to, it's Letaba. Yes, there is the odd improvement that still can be made. But WoW! :clap: You can see that the manager are actually trying to do his/her job!

Have some pride! Communicate!! The people of Kruger are the root of it all. Fix the root and it will branch out. Every one wants to change the exterior, but the interior is causing the issues... The people!

I'm also for the idea of speed bumps, especially close to camp gates and on the way to park gates.
In the old days every car received a, first it was a plastic pag with animal prints & then it became a brown bag, to use as a rubbish bag. Why not now... With that you can add a paper with all the park rules and emergency numbers on it.

My biggest issue is with the staff. Improve their skills, send them on courses, teach them how to deal with tourists. Teach them basic manners and pride! Teach them about the park, it's animals etc. I'm sure if there was more time and effort made to educate the staff, you might find some jewels hidden between them. Some great talent that was only wasting away.. They too add to the "African" experience.

That's my 5c...


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 Post subject: Re: Ways to improve Kruger Park
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 3:01 pm 
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Supertrooper wrote:
just one way to improve Kruger .... just one
for the suip lappe and day visitors : PUT UP SIGNS THAT SAY NO ALCHOHOL ALLOWED IN PARK AT ALL ENTRANCES.
put the sign up sommer twice so then they will get it into their head easily.
day visitor alcohol problem solved . now only the most stupid people will be found at the gates with the substance.
make the fine more hefty if it is found that you have dop in your car in the park, provide the proof of purchase ?
no i dont drink , i just care a lot for my wild life ... what is left of it anyway. i only drink when i find the perfect sunset in the kruger ... out comes that glass of amarula :)


Supertrooper, at every gate there is a sign already stating that no alcohol is allowed, very big displayed under the rules of KNP. Inside your entrypermit there is written that day visitors are not to enter with any liquor. Attached to your entry permit is a leaflet explaining again that it is prohibited to enter with liquor... That is 3 ways of communicating to day visitors as they arrive at an entry gate. Then as they came to the boom and you have to search the vehicle for liquor, you still find some... and then have to listen to excuses of "Eish, I didn't know, no one told me...." How do I know this? I just worked for 3 weeks at the Punda Maria gate as an Honorary Ranger.


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 Post subject: Re: Ways to improve Kruger Park
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 4:58 pm 
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PetraJ wrote:
Supertrooper wrote:
just one way to improve Kruger .... just one
for the suip lappe and day visitors : PUT UP SIGNS THAT SAY NO ALCHOHOL ALLOWED IN PARK AT ALL ENTRANCES.
put the sign up sommer twice so then they will get it into their head easily.
day visitor alcohol problem solved . now only the most stupid people will be found at the gates with the substance.
make the fine more hefty if it is found that you have dop in your car in the park, provide the proof of purchase ?
no i dont drink , i just care a lot for my wild life ... what is left of it anyway. i only drink when i find the perfect sunset in the kruger ... out comes that glass of amarula :)


Supertrooper, at every gate there is a sign already stating that no alcohol is allowed, very big displayed under the rules of KNP.
Inside your entry permit there is written that day visitors are not to enter with any liquor.
Attached to your entry permit is a leaflet explaining again that it is prohibited to enter with liquor...
That is 3 ways of communicating to day visitors as they arrive at an entry gate.
Then as they came to the boom and you have to search the vehicle for liquor, you still find some... and then have to listen to excuses of "Eish, I didn't know, no one told me...."
How do I know this?
I just worked for 3 weeks at the Punda Maria gate as an Honorary Ranger.

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 Post subject: Re: Ways to improve Kruger Park
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 4:59 pm 
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I agree, plenty of signs already! :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Ways to improve Kruger Park
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 7:09 pm 
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Elsa wrote:
I agree, plenty of signs already! :thumbs_up:

I spent some time in the Park over the Christmas season as a day visitor and not once was I asked whether I had any alcohol or was I asked to open my boot. Unless this is done the signs have no impact. :hmz:


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 Post subject: Re: Ways to improve Kruger Park
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 8:45 pm 
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Why do you get a better view of Orpen and Satara dam on the Webcam, but not when visiting the park. :whistle: The only way of viewing game at Satara is to look through a fence like monkeys in a zoo. :wall: :wall: :wall:

A lookout platform / hide like at Nossob will be ideal to sit and relax at camp rather than driving around.

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 Post subject: Re: Ways to improve Kruger Park
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 11:29 pm 
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I have family who regularly visit the park and all they have is negative feedback regarding the staff. Poor manners, rudeness. It's as if some staff are only working at the park because it's their job, lack of passion, not willing to go out of their way to help tourists. Yes it is KNP, but such experiences can easily result in a tourist becoming hesitant to return to the park which is obviously what KNP does not need. 6-8 years ago, I rarely experienced this.

I don't know if the focus has shifted to the rhino poaching or recent floods but friendliness and manners is not a chore and if some staff can adopt these traits it will benefit the park as a whole.


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 Post subject: Re: Ways to improve Kruger Park
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 7:48 am 
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MarkWildDog wrote:
I have family who regularly visit the park and all they have is negative feedback regarding the staff. Poor manners, rudeness. It's as if some staff are only working at the park because it's their job, lack of passion, not willing to go out of their way to help tourists. Yes it is KNP, but such experiences can easily result in a tourist becoming hesitant to return to the park which is obviously what KNP does not need. 6-8 years ago, I rarely experienced this.

I don't know if the focus has shifted to the rhino poaching or recent floods but friendliness and manners is not a chore and if some staff can adopt these traits it will benefit the park as a whole.


Not all staff in all camps are rude and incompetent. We had the opportunity to work in Punda Maria over the festive season, and in my report had the following to say:

Quote:
Camp Management of Punda Maria – Hospitality manager Johann and Duty manager – Nomonde, has the camp management totally under control. They were such a pleasure to work with, always friendly and where there were problems, they didn’t hesitate to assist. The camp were always clean, when problems occurred in the ablutions, etc, it was tended to immediately. With the power failures that occurred, the power was back on within a few minutes without any guests that felt the need to complain. On 24 December 2012 the sunset drive’s guide didn’t report for duty and without hesitation the camp manager took the drive out after working at a roadblock at the S60 for the whole day. As I was totally pasted that evening after the road block, I felt the highest of admiration for him for doing so and giving the guests a wonderful drive as well. The Duty Manager on her side handled very difficult matters with some international guests in such a successful manner, that I realised her competence in doing the job is such a great asset to KNP, and that Punda Maria is going to be a camp to note in future. The other staff from reception to the cleaners as well as the personnel at the gate, in the gate office as well as the security and rangers assisting at the gate was extremely proficient in getting the job done, and always stayed calm and friendly. The rangers on the road always smiled and waved to visitors as they were passed and were friendly when stopped to chat. As this camp has a very high traffic volume between the gate and Pafuri border post, it can be very difficult to manage and handle the Mozambique travellers on speed, getting out of vehicles etc, and they are doing a great job in trying to prevent such matters.


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 Post subject: Re: Ways to improve Kruger Park
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:17 pm 
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PetraJ, I too, said in one of my earlier posts that the problem is with the staff. To use my own quote - ...they can change the exterior as much as they want, but it's the interior that needs the attention. ... The heart of Kruger, is the people of Kruger.

As I said in my post as well, I was absolutely blown away with Letaba. The staff was singing to themselves while busy with their work, the camp was spotless, the gardens absolutely stunning! I send an email to the Letaba managers to congratulate them on a job well done. So yes, we know it's not all staff members that are rude etc. I had major issues with some of the staff members in Skukuza (receptionist & some of the staff members working in the shop), but the lady who cleaned our bungalow was an absolute jewel!
At Berg-en-dal the cashier was talkative, friendly and really nice as well as the receptionist. But the restuarant and cafeteria staff was a different issue. Out of everyone who worked in the cafeteria & restuarant, there was 1 woman who was really friendly and helpful.

Long story short! We just listed our concern when it comes to trying to improve Kruger. Nature is nature, I really couldn't be bothered about that. I take what I get when it comes to nature. My concern is with the people of Kruger. And I feel that instead of constantly spending money on the park, spend some on the people. I'm sure there is some great talent there that can only add to the magic of Kruger. Woman who can make jewelry, bowls, blankets - the list is endless, that can be sold in the shops or in their own little shop. Homemade, organic stuff - that is what everyone is running after in any case. They can have a working area where people can witness how they create whatever. Like they do in some restuarants these days, with a window through which the client can see how the chef cooks. That's part of the African feel.


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