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 Post subject: Re: Best Thing to Do in Addo
Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 1:21 pm 
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Peter, I support you with the enter time. Why must we wait until the office open to enter the game viewing area. Surely there is solution to this problem.

Megan, can you please answer us.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Thing to Do in Addo
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 7:11 am 
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Carolynn...some of the staff told me that they live at Colchester itself ...1km away...the manager lives at Matholweni itself...half a km away...no I think its more of a Union thing ...very strong in the E Cape. It does not matter how far you live from work..my nearest work is 63 km 1 way. They manage perfectly getting there at 07h00. The guards at South Gate manage perfectly getting to the guard house @ 06h00. But this is a tourist facility and must align itself with SANParks facilities elsewhere like world class Tourist Kruger. Addo is also very much a world class tourist facility and tourism is about service...if staff dont want to open @ 05h30...get staff that do its that simple. I was fobbed off with the story that the sun gets up earlier in Kruger as it is further East than Addo...but my Geography teacher told me at school that the further south you are the earlier the sun gets up in summer (Vice versa in winter)
so that cancels that theory out one time. Second prize if permanent staff cant be found is to use HR's 05h30 t0 07h00...thats what they are for ...serve SANParks...but thats not practical as many of them are workers in PE etc...no there are plenty of hardworking unemployed people out there who will make a plan to get there @ 05h25 to open up if given a wonderful opportunity of having a job.
Carolynn to go on a early morning game drive you have to be resident i am led to believe at camp or wait until 07h00 as usual for a hot mid morning drive (great for ellies though). Also those vehicles are too high for me at the back and photographs are from top down when it is far better to be low aspect. Also I dont think the driver/guide and other guests would enjoy my style of waiting 40 mins for the right moment to fire the camera. Game drives are not for the individual...its a group activity with lots of give and take...bird watchers vs photographers vs Big 5 hunters etc etc. All I want is the normal 05h30 entry at Colchester

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 Post subject: Re: Best Thing to Do in Addo
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 6:16 pm 
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I totally agree with you Peter- Addo needs to step it up in the gate opening times department. What can one do??
Found this previous enquiry about gate times and Megan's response. (Don't know how to do the "quote" thing, so just copy and paste - sorry)

Bushman Post subject: Addo: ADVICEPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2005 2:35 pm
Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2005 10:17 am
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Location: Port Elizabeth I find it strange that the gate times at Addo Elephant Park in summer is from 06h00 to 18h30. We all know that the best time to view game is at sun rise and towards sun set, late afternoon. With the sun rising in the Eastern Cape in summer just after 05h00 and setting close to 19h30 it is obvious that the gates are closed when game viewing is at its best. It is even worse when you are a day visitor as the entrance gate only opens at 07h00.

I feel strongly that the general public should be afforded the best possible opportunity to enjoy what the park has to offer.


Addo Elephant Post subject: Posted: Mon Jan 24, 2005 12:57 pm
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Posts: 423 The main reason why the gate times are as is in the summer months is that this is our busiest time in the park. At any time between 06h00 and 18h30, there may be between 100 and 200 vehicles in the main game area. The extra daylight time before and after gate opening hours allows the wildlife in the park some quiet and undisturbed time.
Another reason is that we often have to deal with visitors who do not leave the game area by closing time or have some kind of vehicle break down. The extra daylight time allows the rangers to locate and help these visitors.
It is also our experience that when visitors exit the game area after an afternoon/evening drive, they wish to purchase supplies for the night from the shop. The shop opening hours are only until 19h00, as it is not feasible for them to open later.
The vegetation in the main game area is quite thick and experience has shown that the best elephant viewing is often at waterholes during the middle of day.
Although day visitors can only enter the park after 07h00, this allows the overnight visitors some privileges and advantage over day visitors.
Megan Bradfield
Addo Elephant National Park.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Thing to Do in Addo
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 6:19 pm 
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Got so involved with looking for this previous query that I see I am now way off topic - sorry! Maybe someone can move this to the appropriate place?

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 Post subject: Re: gate times
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 12:12 pm 
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I know this issue with gate times is one that is close to the hearts of many of the regular visitors and I understand the reasons why you ask for changes.

At present, it is a staffing and budget issue. To open gates earlier and close later means a whole new staff or security guard complement would need to be employed as well as the fact that the right type of people need to be employed. There are all sorts of labour issues pertaining to working hours and times that come into play. Then there is the issue of financial viability. We would need to justify these extra expenses with equal returns on entrance fees. It would not be financially viable to open gates early/late if an extra one or two visitors visited because of this.

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 Post subject: Re: gate times
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 3:25 pm 
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Surely Sanparks do not measure every move they make in Rands.

On the other hand I know that longer hours can cause some labour problems.

For me as a normal day visitor it is very frustrating to wait untill 7 AM to enter the park. Surely it won't be to difficult to arrange entry at 6 and payment on exit or payment at the game viewing entry gate.

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 Post subject: Re: gate times
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 5:16 pm 
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I know it is difficult Megan, but we do need to moan from time to time, just in case..........!

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 Post subject: Re: gate times
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 8:09 pm 
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Thanx for the support Carollyn...but this is not just a moan...this is a serious request.

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 Post subject: Re: Addo: Gate & Check in times
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 6:43 pm 
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We will be staying in Matyholweni Camp later this month (hopefully) - unfortunately the main camp is full - are you able to leave the Matyholweni Camp early and be at the South Gate when it opens - and if so, is this at 06 h00 or 07h00? Could someone please give me the opening and closing times of the different gates for someone staying in Matyholweni? (January and February) Thanks

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 Post subject: Re: Addo: Gate & Check in times
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 9:50 am 
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Location: Addo - Southern Gate, where elephants left their footprint
I confirmed this info with the duty manager of Camp Matyholweni this morning:
Residents of camp Matyholweni may enter the game viewing area through a boom gate at 06H00. The middle gates, or Addo Heights gates, 16km away, open at 06H00, where you will be able to view all the advertised animals.
Non-residents of Camp Matyholweni (i.e.: People staying at Guest Houses outside the park) can only enter the southern Gate at Camp Matyholweni at 07H00.
Hope this helps lessen the confusion. Enjoy your stay.

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 Post subject: Re: Addo: Gate & Check in times
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:30 am 
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Thanks Apple, that does make it clear. I take it also (obvious really??), that you cannot enter at the Southern Gate -via the gravel road past Schotia that goes off the main tar road near Nanaga -without going through Matyholweni Gate first, even if you have a wild card?

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 Post subject: Re: Addo: Gate & Check in times
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 12:36 pm 
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Location: Addo - Southern Gate, where elephants left their footprint
Your assumption is correct.
The infrastructure is not in place to accept entry at the Addo Heights Road gates. Perhaps this will be a consideration later although missing the Matyholweni section isdone at your own peril. It really is a great strech of the Park and will enhance your visit.

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 Post subject: Re: Addo: Gate & Check in times
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 12:52 pm 
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I do enjoy the Matyholweni section of the park as well, but because we go to Addo so often, we do sometimes go with the main idea being of getting some nice lion sightings and photos - in these instances, it would be nice to get into the main camp as soon as possible. (we are not very lucky with the elusive lions considering the number of visits we make, but our time will come....!) We have had lovely kudu and bird sightings in the new section too, so I agree that it is a good stretch of road.

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 Post subject: Re: Addo: Gate & Check in times
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:42 pm 
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Hi,

I dont know if anyone can help but I was wondering if you arent lucky enough to be staying in the park and will be at a guest house/hostel outside does that mean you would be unable to go on the sunset guided game drive as it goes on after the closing time of the main gate??

Thanks


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 Post subject: Re: Addo: Gate & Check in times
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 7:54 pm 
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Hi tommo13194,

If you are staying outside the Park, I am sure you can still do a sunset drive as the drive returns to the main camp and you can leave for 'outside accommodation' from there after the drive as there is a guard at the gate 24/7.

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