Firstly, thanks DB for allowing this issue to be debated for a few weeks and BH, your initiative is to be welcomed, but I have certain reservations. I am rather new on this forum but please allow me to rush in where “angels” fear to tread (excuse the pun)!
Put yourself in the place of a visitor enjoying the park for all the right reasons and being confronted by a group of cyclists on the main road, albeit accompanied by official vehicles. It would be a shock to the system (I know this is intended). This will go against the grain of everything one knows, or has heard, about the park and I honestly believe a park ethic will be compromised and will create a serious precedent. What happens when other fundraisers want to do something similar in future? Everyone on this forum is passionate about our KNP and would like to assist but please think about it and don`t do this, however well-intended – let`s just not go there.
Can we not find other ways to raise awareness? I like EJ`s ideas and perhaps we can think creatively to enhance those ideas. Gate receptionists must be trained to specifically point out all rules and not merely dish out a permit. Hon. Rangers and others have negotiated sponsorships, etc, in the past. I am rather ignorant but can sponsorships not be found to flash an ad on TV regarding KNP rules without resorting to bicycle rides on public roads in KNP. Why not some other activity outside Kruger or whatever? BH, please do not think I am knocking your idea. I merely have a problem with the method. Education, yes, it always helps, but I fear most of the serial offenders, especially those from rural areas, will probably neither know nor care about such an initiative. Their objective is getting from point A to B for either business or other reasons. How many "drive alive" campaigns have there been countrywide, and yet?
The great majority of visitors do not speed. The culprits are usually the ones transporting goods, taxis – especially in the north, those heading for Moz and sadly some Sanparks staff members. We all know where the main problem areas are, especially during holidays - Punda/Pafuri, Punda/Shingwedzi and Phalaborwa/Giriyondo. Surely KNP management can deploy more resources in those areas when required. Sanparks received huge revenue from the ivory sale which can be used where necessary. When all is said and done, this whole issue is entirely the responsibility of Sanparks. What is required is the will to enforce it.
I have to agree with Oryx on this one, especially the second and last paragraphs. It would certainly destroy my holiday in Kruger if I came across a group of cyclists and support vehicles on the road on which I was travelling and I honestly don't think that such an initiative would make the slightest difference to the speeding that goes on in the park - mainly for the reason that Oryx points out - the message will only impact on those who don't speed. The ones that do speed think that they have a right to do so. Nothing is going to change this. I fear the precedent that would be set and I fear for the future of the parks as I and others have said in other topics. I entirely agree that the issue of speeding is the responsibility of SANParks and I think that if there is top be public intervention it should be in the form of approaching SANParks with regard to enforcement of the speed limit.