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 Post subject: Re: Safari operators - pain in the proverbial...
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 11:27 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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It's nice to hear some positive stories for a change. Thank guys :D

edit: I had a really, really long rant here-- but i've come back and deleted it. But it boils down to the following:

I'm really not sure if I've even got the strength to work (drive an OSV) in Kruger again. I'd like to, because it's one of the most magical places on earth, but my skin might not be thick enough to cope with the constant aggressive and undeserved abuse from other road users. You're supposed be in awe after a day in Kruger, not in tears.

(long upsetting rant about behaviour in leopard jams deleted)...

...To see such anger in such a beautiful place. People not appreciating where they are. Even if you're in that traffic jam and you 'can't see' just yet, at least you are there. How many millions of people would do anything to be parked just feet away from a wild leopard... on a safari... in Africa? How many people will never, ever be privileged to do something so special? You're in the presence of something incredible and wonderful. Take a deep breath and enjoy the moment. But no one seems to. People completely take it for granted that they're in this place. I don't get it. It breaks my heart, and it damages the Kruger experience for everyone.

I don't even know where i'm going with this rant. Some OSV's and safari operators are bad. They break rules. Some are wonderful and kind and helpful. Some self-drivers are bad. They break rules. Some are wonderful and kind and helpful.


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 Post subject: Re: Safari operators - pain in the proverbial...
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 3:21 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2005 3:25 am
Posts: 101
Location: On the Congo River estuary...
Hello all...

As a query, do the private OSV guides not have to have at least Field Guides Association (FGASA) membership, to allow them to take guests out on these vehicles?

I would hope this would be the minimum legal requirement to at least be registered with a controlling body and have level 1 certification.

I am fortunate to have my level 2, and know when i did my training and exams there was emphasis on etiquette and correct behaviour, with clients.

Perhaps not having properly qualified trained operators/ guides is the reason for the appalling lack of knowledge SOME of these men and women have, and the very poor judgement in respect of animal behaviour and interaction with their guests and the public on the roads in KNP.

I suppose our expectations and perceptions are that the guides on these OSVs are knowledgeable and passionate on their subject.
Sadly this is not always true, and some of my recent BAD experiences have been with the OSV guides from one of the private concessions in the South (who I imagined would/ should be better trained / knowledgeable?).

In my opinion, serious incidents that can be qualified with video/ photos should be reported to the professional bodies the OSV guides/ drivers are supposed to be registered with, as well as the SANPS and the OSV management team.

However, I believe SANPS is not enforcing strictly the guidelines and structures put in place to control OSVs, and their modus operandi in the Park.

Ban a few operators and their vehicles for repeat infringements and soon the message will be out there to lead by example to those who care.

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"Some are Guilty, but we are all Responsible"

KNP: 03 Jan to 12 Jan 14 (Berg n Dal, PKop, Croc Bridge)
KNP 10 May to 17 May 2013 (Malelane, Satara, Skukuza)
KNP 16 July to 26 July 14 (Croc Bridge, Tamboti, L Sabie )


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 Post subject: Re: Safari operators - pain in the proverbial...
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 3:25 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Fizzpop: FGASA 1 is the minimum for driving OSV in Kruger. There are plenty in there without it...


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 Post subject: Re: Safari operators - pain in the proverbial...
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 3:34 pm 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2007 7:05 am
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Location: Back home in the caravan at Malelane camp, KNP
To legally guide in SA (and therefore Kruger) a guide must be registered with the Tourism Authority in the province where they work. This means a minimum theoretical and practical qualification, a current first aid certificate, and a public driving licence. It is renewable every 3 years. There are fines for both guide and employer if they are not registered.

As Moose says, unfortunately there are always those who flout the rules - either using unqualified or unregistered guides....... The problem is catching them. At road blocks in Kruger the registration etc is checked.....but then the guides warn each other and bypass the block if possible! One of the most effective recently was at the Skukuza cross-roads - no way around!

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Have you read the gate leaflet? Do you KNOW the regulations?

Completed over 5 years in Kruger in my caravan.

If I were normal I wouldn't be me!


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 Post subject: Re: Safari operators - pain in the proverbial...
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 4:03 pm 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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Location: Back home in the caravan at Malelane camp, KNP
The last time there was a block at the cross roads they also checked on the other 2 roads!!!!! I know at least one person who was caught.....

SANparks guides have to comply with the same regulations.

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Smiling is contagious. Start an epidemic today!

Have you read the gate leaflet? Do you KNOW the regulations?

Completed over 5 years in Kruger in my caravan.

If I were normal I wouldn't be me!


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 Post subject: Re: Safari operators - pain in the proverbial...
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 4:07 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Awesome :)

I never ended up at a roadblock the whole time I worked there. I never even heard of any happening, but apparently they step it up during the holidays.


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 Post subject: Re: Safari operators - pain in the proverbial...
Unread postPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 7:34 am 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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Location: meandering between senility and menopause
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My experiences with Safari operators has tended to be positive. I have often been told about sightings and I will in turn let them know if I see something special.

At roadblocks, I will often just drive away. I think many people lose their brains and common sense at the sight of lions. .. The worst behaviour that I have witnessed has been from SUV's, not safari operators.

I do not envy the plight of the safari operator in many situations. His client is right behind him and he has to produce the excitement, regarldless of how Kruger produces. I am sure that there are many harrowing tales of difficult clients. I was once witness to an insistent client wanting the operator to drive into the bush in order to get a better photograph. When the operator declined, the said fellow was very nasty.

I also like to watch visitors faces when something interesting comes around. It gives me a thrill to watch how people respond to nature.

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The bird doesn't sing because it has answers, it sings because it has a song.


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 Post subject: Open Safari Vehicles in Kruger
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 5:17 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 9:36 pm
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Location: White River Mpumalanga
Hi! :) i was just wandering what you guys think of the safari companies which ride around the park with tourists. I am curious because it is double-sided. they bring in a lot of money into the park, but sometimes override sightings and can crowd them. Your opinions?


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 Post subject: Re: Open Safari Vehicles in Kruger
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 5:31 pm 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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Check the forum okie,

This discussion comes up a lot.

There are some good guys and bad guys.

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Whatever (according to BB): "You are correct but I don't want to admit it".


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 Post subject: Re: Open Safari Vehicles in Kruger
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 5:33 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 27, 2012 7:39 pm
Posts: 55
Hate them, seen them speeding, hogging sights, blocking the road so their passengers get the best views and no-one else can see never mind actually try to get past to travel on, antagonizing animals so passengers can get different shots. That said people in normal cars do all that too but I still dislike those Tour-Hogs. :evil:


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 Post subject: Re: Open Safari Vehicles in Kruger
Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 7:51 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2005 5:30 am
Posts: 162
Location: Beautiful northern California
We have had some wonderful experiences with safari vehicles. Yes, we have had the occasional jerk who hogs the site or speeds, but more often than not, they have been friendly and helpful. Many times we have had a truck pull up next to us and tell us about something special that is close by. Once we came upon a vehicle from Jock of the Bush camp and they signaled to stop. They were tracking a leopard and we stayed right behind them for miles. They waved and pointed and let us know exactly where the cat was. They went out of their way to make sure they were not blocking our view. We spent at least an hour with them and they could not have been nicer. Another trip we kept running into the same Jeep Jockey (Derick) almost every day for weeks. He always stopped and chatted and shared all the what/where/when of what he had seen. I can honestly say that, for the most part, these folks have added much to our trips. Try being friendly to these guys sometime and see if perhaps, they aren't so bad. :k

And if you see a nasty one, and they are doing something wrong - Report them, they hurt everyone.


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 Post subject: Re: Open Safari Vehicles in Kruger
Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 9:37 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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I agree with the above. By and large we have had positive experiences with the JJ's :thumbs_up: I always think how difficult it would be - okay I know they get to be in the park all the time - but imagine how challenging it would be to continually have to go over the same thing to a mixed group of clients day in and day out. They have to diplomatic, informative, cheerful and they work under pressure to 'deliver' the big five.

This last trip we were lucky to see the mega-pride. They weren't on the S100 but close by a couple of kms's away. After a wonderful half hour or so with the lions we headed off and turned onto the S100 heading towards Satara. A few minutes later we came up to a safari vehicle and I flagged him down. I asked him did he know of the mega pride in the area and he initially thought I was asking him for advice until I continued with the location of where he could find them - his face lit up and his hands made the 'prayer' sign and he mouthed 'thank you'. That made us feel great that his guests would have a terrific sighting - and what goes around comes around :D

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 Post subject: Re: Open Safari Vehicles in Kruger
Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 9:16 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 4:34 pm
Posts: 566
I fondly recall the Good Old Days (not even that long ago) when commercial operators were very few and far between.

- Comair few in guests to Skukuza airport, and had permanent use of the six bungalows behind the gas station in Skukuza rest camp. They operated with two or three vehicles, maybe four at very busy times.

- Springbok Atlas and Welcome Tours offered three or four night trips from Johannesburg, using a ±30 seater bus and VW combi respectively.

- Hotels on the Kruger periphery offered ad hoc day trips.

A total of half a dozen vehicles or so driving around in southern Kruger, often far fewer. Comair occasionally ventured as far north as Olifants, where guests spent a night, maybe even going on a game drive as far as Letaba if they felt adventuresome.

North of there . . . . nothing. No game viewing vehicles, no commercial border post traffic.

Ah . . . . those were the days!

Johan


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 Post subject: Re: Open Safari Vehicles in Kruger
Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:43 am 
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Senior Virtual Ranger
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Location: southern gauteng
johanrebel wrote:
No game viewing vehicles, no commercial border post traffic.Ah . . . . those were the days!Johan


:thumbs_up:

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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: Open Safari Vehicles in Kruger
Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 2:45 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2011 12:36 pm
Posts: 10
Location: Numbi, Kruger National Park
Eish, I was looking forward to brand new comments on the OSV's but the same old persist - too many operators / vehicles etc. Imagine that we did not have these vehicles available and all the visiting tourists had to travel by coach to the Park - this year we would then had to allow a little over 1220 40 seater coaches into the Park - nearly 4 coaches per day - using coach or osv, they want to visit the Kruger! OR maybe we should negotiate with Avis or similar and then start a rental depo on site and make this available to the guests, it is cheaper to rent your own car than to join a OSV company, this would then make a good profit for us and allow 8540 small cars entering per year - or 24 private cars per day every day from our property alone - speeding, not knowing where to go, following each other to sightings - or would the public prefer 10 OSV's doing the job.

This is always going to be an issue, but with the large number of visitors to the Park, a necessity, should we rather then discourage these visitors from visiting the Park - imagine the loss in revenue - currently R 204.00 per person per day on a OSV, not counting the money spend in the shops.

Yes we have a few problem children operating in the Park (always the owners to blame) and yes it is difficult to control the guides, but, there is always the alternative above!


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