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 Post subject: Re: Safari operators - pain in the proverbial...
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 12:41 pm 
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Senior Virtual Ranger
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I fail to understand why the problem with Safari operators still persists. Every few months someone reports about bad behaviour by the operators. Names are mentioned and the Operator promises that the problem will be sorted out. But no, as soon as the dust settles, the bloomin fools are doing it again. These Operators should be banned for good from entering Kruger.

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 Post subject: Re: Safari operators - pain in the proverbial...
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 1:48 pm 
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Scipio, If they are allowed to use radios it is definitely not 29MHz radios. I had mine on when we were in Kruger the last time and I didn't hear a peep. I think if someone is in the park at the moment just ask one of the operators if they use their radios.

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 Post subject: Re: Safari operators - pain in the proverbial...
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 2:03 pm 
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Why I am asking, there were operators, "Kurt Safaris", "Wild Wings" or something that was using Radio's galore at every Sighting. :slap: And the Radio's is not soft as well, very irritating. :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: Safari operators - pain in the proverbial...
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 2:56 pm 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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Location: ..on the road again.....
The operators are NOT allowed to use radios in the park.

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

Completed over 5 years in Kruger in my caravan.

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 Post subject: Re: Safari operators - pain in the proverbial...
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 3:10 pm 
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EJ, KURT SAFARI's, WILDWINGS, were seen using radio's this weekend. At a Lion sighting, Leopard sighting on Eloff Street. :roll: But what about all the guides on this Blackberry group, although I don't have a problem with that, it is a lot better. :thumbs_up:


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 Post subject: Re: Safari operators - pain in the proverbial...
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 3:15 pm 
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Stopping modern technology is not going to be easy, but I do think it is only going to add more and more pressure at sightings, with everyone in the group, not only OSV rushing to the sighting.

I cannot recall the name, but a OSV definitely used a radio at the cheetah sighting we were at near Satara in November to inform of the sighting.

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 Post subject: Re: Safari operators - pain in the proverbial...
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 3:55 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Location: Durban, Kwa Zulu Natal, SA
Radios are categorically still in use by OSV's. After a really bad experience with one of them two years ago I took down the registration number and contacted the company personally but it got me nowhere - they simply denied that it had happened and the lady owner / manageress offered me a free drive with them which I declined. I got the impression that she knew exactly who I was referring to and it was not the first time there had been complaints about this particular guide.

It does not help to ban the company - they simply open up under a new name and repaint their vehicles and are back the following week.

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 Post subject: Re: Safari operators - pain in the proverbial...
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 4:26 pm 
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Scipio wrote:
BBM: L-pard 20 kliks o-side LS twrds Skuks.
Result: 20 OSV's cruising at 70 to the sighting. :big_eyes:

Maybe it's my evil way of thinking but couldn't SANParks use this as a way to generate money. Just set up two speedtraps, make up a bogus sighting on BBM halfway between the speedtraps and let the games begin..... :cam:


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 Post subject: Re: Safari operators - pain in the proverbial...
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 6:04 pm 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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madach - you beat me to the posting!!!!! Or they just monitor the notices and set up nearby....

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 Post subject: Re: Safari operators - pain in the proverbial...
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 8:38 pm 
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Dear All,

Yes, this is an old topic and the image problems have been around as long as the OSV have been allowed to operate. I agree that there are a few that taint the whole OSV business, of which majority behave themselves well in the park. In terms of the Service Level Agreement (SLA) with SANParks, OSV, may use radios, but may not use radios to call other vehicles or operators to sightings. Difficult to control, I agree, but not impossible, and SANParks will need to make the effort to identify the transgressors. I agree with Bert's suggestion, namely to note the details of such an incident, namely Operators name, Vehicle Registration number, time and place and then details of the transgression (hopefully substantiated with a pic or two), and report to nearest camp and also copy me (joep.stevens@sanparks.org). By the way this applies to all transgressors, not only OSV operators.

With kind regards.

JOEP STEVENS

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 Post subject: Re: Safari operators - pain in the proverbial...
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 6:52 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2006 12:37 pm
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Location: Hazyview
One of the pain in the preverbial here. I have read this thread with interest and have noted what has been said. Some rather odd, others expected.

I have also noticed the literally hundred of tourists that have been assisted through the years by these self same "jeep jockeys" sadly dont post on the forum, I am not reffering to assisting with sightings in a friendly manner, but here I refer to assisting with flat tyres to broken down cars being towed to the nearest camp to wait for assistance, the "radio-ing" our offices to get hold (telephone calls etc) of the emergency services to come assist etc etc

Amogst the more responsible operators and we consider ourselves one of them, we take any complaint about a nature guide very seriously. As is always the case there are always 3 sides to a story, and we try and stay away from he says she says arguments as they always end up messy.

Furthermore there are quite a number of guides out there that are members of this forum.

If there is a guide that consistently gets reported for bad behaviour, the following happens, in our case, the guide gets called in, if we have a complaint in writing then it becomes a formal disciplinary. The guide has the oppurtunity to respond in writing which they have to have according to the law. Based on the severity of the "charge" action is taken. In the past we have "fired" guides, because if we get a complaint in writing 3 times or more for the same offence sorry but youre out. Basic laws of employment apply here aswell unfortunately.

There is also a thin line here, employed guides as apposed to free-lance guides. Employed guides (those who are taxed have pensoin funds etc etc) have to be managed according to the labour laws of the country, free-lance guides, believe me word gets around if you have a guide that continuously "stuffs up" and he very quickly gets weeded out of the system and gets put right at the bottom of the pecking order list, and wont be used. I know of several guides that have been weeded out in this way.

I will ask SANPARKS if I can publish all operators contact details on the forum. I will however need their assitance here as I do not have all the operators details. Joep?

Those that are SATSA members wont be a problem as we have there details.

I hope this puts a little perspective on the subject, and doesn't become a bunfight again, because I wont be part of it. Any meaningful debate yes please..............

Have a cracker of a festive season out there.


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 Post subject: Re: Safari operators - pain in the proverbial...
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 8:05 pm 
Groovy it is nice to read the other side of the story as well.

It is concerning however that this situation is something that more and more tourists to KNP feel is getting out of hand.

I realize that you and other operators are in it for business and that you pride yourself by the number and quality of the sightings that you give your clients.

I don't think that this is the problem however. It is merely the manner in which they conduct themselves in the hunt for sightings that will satisfy the clients.

Most of the self drive visitors to KNP merely want a peaceful holiday for the money that they pay. They don't want to get confronted by sighting hunting operators who will stop at nothing to get the best view.

The park is there for the enjoyment of all and if everyone conducts themselves in a decent and polite manner then this problem will not occur.

I am sure the people who you assist during break dons etc are very pleased and all of us appreciate it as well but that is not a remedy for selfish behavior.


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 Post subject: Re: Safari operators - pain in the proverbial...
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 10:18 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2007 2:30 pm
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Location: London, UK
Can I just take us all back to the 1st post?
What really is the complaint? As far as I see it, it was poor etiquette by the OSV and maybe they should have known better. But breaking any rule? Hmm not sure.
If a tourist car had done the same, would you call it in?

KNP is a self-drive park. It is a minor miracle if 3+ cars at a sighting can co-ordinate and not mess with cat behaviour. I count myself incredibly fortunate that my only 'proper' leopard sighting had 2 other cars and us, and we all stayed out of the leopards way and each others.

I don't like OSVs on principle (who on earth would want to sit in one when you can drive yourself?), but by and large they serve a function and do a good job and are quite predictable as to where they go. KNP probably could be smarter in licensing operators and controlling their bad sides, the 'bad apples'.
For example, I would give a one week immediate BAN to any such vehicle caught speeding; that disincentivises poor behaviour on the driver and operator. A repeat within 6 months would up the ban.


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 Post subject: Re: Safari operators - pain in the proverbial...
Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 6:11 am 
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Nice seeing you around Groovy! :thumbs_up:

I think the answer lies and it is also our responsibility to report rule breaking and bad behavior as requested by Joep and by Groovy. Even a lack of common courtesy should be brought to the attention of the operator in question. These guys are not doing the industry or Kruger any good. I don't believe a blanket ban on all OSV's is practical or fair, it's just a small minority who spoil it for everyone.

Groovy wrote:
Furthermore there are quite a number of guides out there that are members of this forum.

Yes and these members have been very helpful and informative even here on forum. :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Safari operators - pain in the proverbial...
Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2011 1:49 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2006 12:37 pm
Posts: 103
Location: Hazyview
Just a couple of comments:

Behaviour is people related, whether you behave badly as a normal tourist or as a guide, it should not happen. The same goes for game viewing etiquette!!

The more people that enter the park the more incidents you will have.

Very noisy and smelly fumes, show me a vehicle that isn't!

Tipping is a place in China, believe me you will only get a gratuity if you perform above expectations. Sightings dont bring tips, knowledge, passion and commitment to the causehowever does. I remember one of the best gartuities I ever received was on a windy day, saw in 3 hours 4 impala and a giraffe long distance, but man did the guests know a lot about animal droppings after that, purely talking s...! so to say.

Have a great week ahead, and hope the next long weekend I will be able to spend some quality time in the wild!! Hey thats in 5 days!!!


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