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Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 10:20 am 
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Honorary Virtual Ranger
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Location: Red sand, why do I keep thinking of red sand?
You can sleep soundly.... In Kruger there is nothing going on, and outside it you just have to take care. Lock your doors, not leave windows open, the 'normal' things.

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 Post subject: Re: Crime in Kruger ? ? ?
Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 10:49 am 
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Hi Mucman,

I am a young white male South African, currently living in Johannesburg, and I am sad to read such a post :( What some guys in the media should realise when writing such articles, is the possible (negative) effect it has on especially foreigners. Are we going to find a solution with negativity. The answer is 3 times NO!

Yes, SA is having some major crime problems, but again I personally think Kruger is still one of the safest places to be in SA. Kruger IS relatively safe, and I personally disagree about it as being a 'crime hot spot'. I knew loads of people going there a few times a year, and have never ever experienced or heared of (serious) crime.

The past years there were a few robberies at the gates, and stolen vehicles recovered, but thats it. Foreign visitors should be aware when driving through the homelands though, as they often stand out with all sorts of equipment around their necks. My advice, take your shots, put your stuff away and dont let anything visible behind in your car... Also, rather dont stop at the picnic sites next to the main roads, stop at major petrol stations and be aware of your surrounds, dont be ignorant thats all advice I can give you. Please, stay positive, think positive, as negative thinking infects the human brain too easily!

Now dont worry and unnecessarily panic, once you're in Kruger, forget all the worries and relax, its is not as bad as depicted!! You can worry a lot about crime, and get sick or be part of an accident......life has all sorts of dangers. Actually, Kruger is the best place to be on earth, and you'll be in more danger of animals than human :wink:

Plan your trip with excitement, have a wonderful time and appreciated nature at its best!

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Letaba 8 July, Shipandane 9 July, Shingwedzi 10 - 14 July :D


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 10:55 am 
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Senior Virtual Ranger
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I agree GS :)

Just to add something.

I think us Saffies are pretty used to the fact that we have to take care, look around, lock everything bla bla, that we dont even see it as unusual anymore. It has become apart of our everyday life here in SA. Tourists will be targeted as they probably seem more vulnerable to the criminals imho.

Kruger has never ever felt unsafe, rather I feel safer with a big tusker in must starring me down than driving around JHB 11pm at night.

just by sticking to the main highways and roads and not go venturing around strange areas will probably make you not even realise that crime is a problem.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 1:11 pm 
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Distinguished Virtual Ranger
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Location: mind in SA, body in The Netherlands
Kruger and all other major SA wildlife reserves are very peacefull.
Your biggest worry will be a elephant blocking the road :wink:
Been visiting the big parks since 1999.
Been there each year since.
From Kruger,Kgalagadi to KwaZulu parks and never had anything bad happen to me.
Never had anything being stolen in any accommodation.
And travelled the country in a rental from Johannesburg to
the north and south.
Travelled through big cities, got lost in downtown Johannesburg and in rural areas. Not one dangerous moment.

But i always stop at dedicated parking places.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 1:45 pm 
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Just to add a little perspective, particularly to vanalder :shock: .

I am an older American woman and I have been traveling alone in South Africa since 1984. I have traveled all over the country in a hired car, stayed in small towns and in large cities, as well as in KNP and KTP, and I have never encountered anything worrying. Rather, I have always encountered the extraordinary welcome and generosity of Saffies to visitors.

Yes, you need to be aware of the ordinary problems of a country that has cosiderable poverty. You need to take the usual precautions, keep valuables out of sight in your car, don't wander on your own in remote areas, don't venture unescorted into township areas, be aware of your surroundings when walking in a city and don't walk on your own at night. The situation of some tourists being mugged whilst walking on Table Mountain is still the exception rather than the rule, but sadly, I agree that in this instance it is better to be safe than sorry.

However, to feel that you must stay in your hotel or KNP to be safe is a HUGE exageration!! The drive from Jozi to KNP is perfectly safe, so long as you lock your car whilst shopping and leave nothing visible in it, and don't pick up hitchhikers. I have done that drive since 1984, along several different routes, and through the (now former) homeland areas, no worries. And I have driven in many far more remote areas, even had a breakdown on a Sunday en route to Bloemfontein and was "rescued" by a kind couple from Pretoria. :clap:

So please, to all who read this thread, and particularly to all overseas readers, South Africa is a VERY safe destination for overseas visitors. IMO it is no more dangerous than many areas in the USA, and believe me, the Saffies are much more welcoming to visitors than Americans are. :redface:


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 3:32 pm 
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As a Saffie (South African) living and working here, I can agree that the recent crime statistics as released by the honourable minister, are nothing short of BS.

I do have to say however, that KNP is not a "crime hotspot" in any way shape or form. Sometime I think journalists suck. They seem to thrive on sensationalism and have little regard for the consequences of their actions. I do realise that this does not apply to all of them, but generally speaking, is the truth.

Such negative publicity will no doubt have a negative impact on Kruger tourism and the effect of this is a definite ripple effect on our economy.

If there were some factual basis to the article, fair and good, but I cannot see any truth to KNP being a crime hotspot. This is on par with the ministers statements about a crime reduction. BS.

There is a global crime problem and SA is no exception. Crime affects us all and is the scourge of any society. Crime should be ruthlessly stamped out, and so should irresponsible reporting.

Joekin, I sympathise with your recent brush with this scourge on Long Tom Pass recently, and yes, certain aspects of crime have escalated, but no more in SA than anywhere else in the world.

I agree that we need to petition present govenrment to take a firmer hand with the criminal element, but unless their secrity as future goverment is threatened by the lack of action, they will not respond the way we expect them to.

Crime exists because there is a general lack of reaction to it, much like a general lack of law enformcement in the kruger. Speeding, feeding and protruding may be small issues, but until the law is enforced, people will continue to push the envelope.

Having said that, no-one ever had any serious after effects of seeing some loon hanging out of his car in the Kruger.

Misreporting the facts is not only irresponsble, it makes me angry. Such fooglians are then just as guilty because they knowingly publish such BS.

KNP is not a risk for any tourist. It is in fact, paradise and a safe place to visit.

Don't be put off by idiots who know not what the real facts are. The only crime that is almost guaranteed in Kruger is a monkey making off with your breakfast toast at Nkhulu. Otherwise, you are perfectly safe.

Get real people, and yes, Mr. President, do something about crime in SA. At the same time, Mssrs Bush et al also need to do something about crime in their own territories. It is not only a localised issue restricted to SA.

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Conservation is not an option.
It's imperative.

Leave KNP alone. Go build a hotel someplace else. Reserves are for the preservation of wildlife.

Think Pink. ..


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 8:28 pm 
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Mucman...as a very naive Canadian travelling through Swazi & SA this past March....you don't really have anything to worry about.
The people are VERY friendly..just be aware of your surroundings...don't walk alone at night, stay away from definite trouble spots, don't flash money or valuables....just like travelling anywhere....
Cash points are protected by guards with pump guns, but only at pick up times.
They are here too at Christmas.....

We had a fantastic time and the only unfriendly encounter we had was with an American customs official at the very beginning of our trip :shock:.
Go & see your lions & ellies....you'll never regret it!!! :D

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Appreciate what you have before it becomes what you had.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 9:14 pm 
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Mucman, My wife and I drive 1500km through SA to the Kruger Park regularly, mostly towing a caravan and have been doing it for the past 16 years and we will be going again next month.

I can't imagine ever feeling unsafe in the Kruger Park, or any of the other SA National Parks we visit regularly as well. In fact the very opposite is true. The feeling of peace and tranquility one experiences there is what keeps us going back again and again.

Just follow the sensible advice given above and you will have a great time.

@ Arks and CC

:clap: :clap:


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 9:19 pm 
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Senior Virtual Ranger
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Location: 4 hours from KNP : South Africa
Arks wrote
Quote:
I am an older American woman and I have been traveling alone in South Africa since 1984. I have traveled all over the country in a hired car, stayed in small towns and in large cities, as well as in KNP and KTP, and I have never encountered anything worrying. Rather, I have always encountered the extraordinary welcome and generosity of Saffies to visitors


Thank you Arks, well said.

We have, like many others on forum, visited various parks on many occasions. Now that we camp all over the place (not only in RSA), not once have we felt that our safety and security has been compromised by criminal activities.

Although a few criminal incidents have take place in KNP, but because they have been in KNP, the world has got to know about it. But does the world know about the young 18yr girl living two houses away from me who was gun down in cold blood earlier this year during an attempt burglary and is now paralyzed from the waste down - no the world does not know about it.

Shame on the person who wrote the article. Get your facts right before writing such garbage.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2008 3:15 am 
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@mucman

Go with your heart!

We travelled with our 2 kids (11 and 9) and we felt very safe in Kruger. Even the animals were polite :shock:

Please do take the recommended precautions outside of the park, though. Remember when you are a traveller in a foreign country you do "stick out" and hence tourists will always be soft targets. However having said this and having visited South Africa........my experience was good enough for me to visit again. And I would be on the plane in 15 minutes if someone would pay my airfares. :wink:

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Rusky's Kruger Ramble Jun 08 - a 1st timers dream trip


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2008 6:29 am 
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Mucman, I have in the past come under a lot of pressure to leave the country. Many prophets of doom have told me that it is the best thing that I could do for my children.

I have decided to stay. I love the excitement the country gives, it's diversity, the people, the wide, wide spaces, the impossibly blue sky.
In many respects we do live cautious lives. I worry, maybe a bit more, when my children go out at night ... the night is a time of great care.

One does adapt and I have seen my children grow into free thinking, responsible and caring young adults. They have a compassion and understanding often missing in a materialised western culture.

So too, visiting South Africa has it's raw moments. There is poverty, lots of it. It is not comfortable and it challenges everyone's comfort zone.

Non the less, it is a vibrant, dynamic sometimes funny, sometimes heartbreaking country.
Enjoy the ride.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2008 7:59 am 
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Hi Mucman

I understand your concerns about travelling in SA and they are not unfounded, crime is a problem in certain areas. But, crime is concentrated more around the bigger cities and towns, and more so in certain areas in the cities and towns. Some areas in SA are almost crime free, eg the national parks, some rural towns, particularly in the northern cape. However, some rural areas are densely populated and thus crime becomes a problem.

Yes, in some areas you have to be very aware of where you are and you can't park your car anywhere on the street. However, there are places even in the cities where you can park on the street. Just be sensible and careful.

Inside Kruger? Don't even give crime a second thought. Of course lock your car and keep valuables locked away and out of sight. You never know, someone could be tempted to take a nice expensive camera or cell phone from an unlocked car, but that could happen anywhere in the world. But Kruger a crime hotspot? No, that is very very far from the truth.

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June '12 - Berg-en-Dal


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 8:05 am 
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Hi Mucman,

Crime is an issue in SA, more so than in other countries. It is best to follow the advice of fellow forumites. Kruger is relatively safe as a destination but there have been instances of crime. Most perpetrators have been brought to justice and you will find that security is taken seriously in the park to ensure the safety of visitors. Most instances of crime have happened at the park gates, and at camps close to the western boundary. Some of the articles you may find by Googling are listed below but have happened over a number of years .

* Armed robbers hold up Skukuza shop
* Police swoop on car-smuggling syndicate
* Numbi Gate robbed
* Orpen Gate held up by gang of eight armed men
* Shots fired as robbers try break into Skukuza Staff village
* Crocodile Bridge held up at gunpoint

Feel free to plan your trip to Kruger as it’s a great place to visit but do get travel advice before your trip.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 10:33 am 
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Location: In UK desperately waiting for the next trip to SA!!
Last time we came to SA and stayed in the Kruger was in 2003.

I remember that there were no keys to the bungalows to speak of in the KNP and although on the drive from Jo'Berg to the gate we were very aware about leaving the vehicle and hiding anything from view, not stopping anywhere we didn't have to and sticking to main areas like Petrol stations when we did stop.

Are we going to find that things have changed that much in 5 years to the point where we are going to be spending our time worrying about our belongings instead of enjoying the time spent with the wildlife?

Maybe my apprehension is unfounded but the more I read on these forums about safety, breaking the rules, crime, littering etc etc....... the more I am thinking that things are not going to be the same and I am going to feel an immense feeling of disappointment!!!

I am well aware that maybe I see things through rose tinted glasses as far as the Kruger is concerned, but for me living in Europe it is one place I can get close to wildlife....... have that special feeling that what you are witnessing is unique to you, I can't think of anywhere else I have visited where I am immediately thinking of when I can return as I go back out of the gate!

I only hope that things haven't changed that much in 5 years, I really don't want to have a negative lasting image of a place that I thought was so wonderful, never to return.

We will be picking up a hire car at the airport when we land at Jo'Berg, reading the posts here, I almost feel that this is making me a target!!


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 10:56 am 
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Speaking from personal experience and given the history of crime incidents in KNP, I too believe the statement that KNP is a "crime hotspot" is a bunch of rubbish and sensationalism. HOWEVER, I think we should be very careful to use this one sensationalist piece of rubbish to jumb on the bandwagon and conclude everything is still normal in this wonderful country of ours.

With reference to the following quotes:...
cybeR@NGER wrote:
...But then again how about the rest of the World?

Arks wrote:
...particularly to all overseas readers, South Africa is a VERY safe destination for overseas visitors. IMO it is no more dangerous than many areas in the USA,...

BunnyHugger wrote:
There is a global crime problem and SA is no exception.
...

The following is an extract from an article in a recent edition (June 2008) of a reputable SA business newspaper: SA No 2 on world’s murder list - India has recorded the highest number of murders in the world and SA is second, according to [name of newspaper]. India reported more than 32 000 murders over 2007-08, and was closely followed by SA, which registered nearly 31 000 murders. However, SA leads the world in murders per capita.

Mucman, I therefore think your comment below is spot on:
Mucman wrote:
But in one thing, some of you are wrong. I believe that some of the south africans are so accustomed to that enourmes violance that they start to say: It is everywhere the same, just to feel comfortable themselves. I heard that many people in sa are leaving the country,...No, it is not everywhere the same.

I'm not saying stay away from KNP. I love that place and I'll go tomorrow if the opportunity arises. However, (and I desperately hope I'm proven wrong on this) IMHO and given the recent crime history of this country, it is only a matter of time before a very serious incident/s in KNP will elevate its crime status to the same (horrible) level as the rest of the country. The question is, would you (or any of us) want to be part of that statistic...


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