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Field rangers on bicycles/motor cycles

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Wed Jul 25, 2007 9:38 am Unread post
During my recent visit to the KNP(22/07/07) I was surprised to see KNP staff/ wardens/ scientist riding on motor cycles on the road between Pretoruiskop and Skukuza. Being a law abiding citizen I was wondering is this allowed as I see numerous photos of people leaning out of cars and even at Lower Sabie there was a letter posted on the board discouraging people from doing this - are these people above the law, surely they must lead by example?
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Wed Jul 25, 2007 9:50 am Unread post
I'm sure these rules are not applicable to all staff. Motorcycles are a very economical form of transport for rangers/scientists while going about their duties and remember they are also usually armed.



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Wed Jul 25, 2007 1:50 pm Unread post
Having just seen lions on the way from Tshok to Orpen Dam a few years ago we came across the O D attendant cycling to the dam. We told him about the lions and he nonchalantly replied, 'Oh no, they dont eat the wekkas'.
But yes there is rulez and rulez sometimes.



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Wed Jul 25, 2007 2:46 pm Unread post
Staff uses motorbikes and bicycles.
Have done this for ages

A Gameranger Remembers has a great story of a lion chasing a
motorbike



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Wed Jul 25, 2007 8:51 pm Unread post
What is the fastest thing in KNP?? No, not the Cheetah....

The "wekka" being chased by one! :D


Re: Just Asking

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Wed Jul 25, 2007 8:59 pm Unread post
Gatao wrote
During my recent visit to the KNP(22/07/07) I was surprised to see KNP staff/ wardens/ scientist riding on motor cycles on the road between Pretoruiskop and Skukuza. Being a law abiding citizen I was wondering is this allowed as I see numerous photos of people leaning out of cars and even at Lower Sabie there was a letter posted on the board discouraging people from doing this - are these people above the law, surely they must lead by example?


Hi Gatao.

There is good reason for these people using motorcycles.

There are many places in the park which cannot be reached by 4x4. There are also times when it is wet, where even the usually easily reachable places become inaccessible.

Previously rangers used horses, now they use motorcycles. As far as I know it is only the rangers and maybe some of the veterinary staff that is allowed to use these, as it is quite dangerous. I know of quite a few rangers that has had serious accidents while riding in these. Also, many of the animals such as elephant and lion pose a huge risk to those travelling by motorcycle.

The game guards travel by cycle, as this is silent and enable them to do their work with little disturbance to the animals. Silence helps them to be less noticeable to would be poachers. This is however also dangerous, because they are rather exposed to the animals. I have high regards for the work these people do.



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Wed Jul 25, 2007 9:05 pm Unread post
Quote
Bush Baptist wrote:
Having just seen lions on the way from Tshok to Orpen Dam a few years ago we came across the O D attendant cycling to the dam. We told him about the lions and he nonchalantly replied, 'Oh no, they dont eat the wekkas'.



In Nov 2003 we saw a badly wounded lion lying next to that same road (must have been a huge fight). While we were watching him, a ranger on an off road motor-cycle came up behind us. He saw the lion & did a wheel-spin stop & about turn while the poor lion leapt to his feet & tried to get out of there as fast as he was able as well. Leading us to believe that the wild life certainly know the difference between "visitors" & "wekkas" !



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Thu Jul 26, 2007 7:37 am Unread post
I have to admit that I have never seen a motorcycle in Kruger even though I know that rangers did use it way back then and still might be using it today.

The "wekkas" on the bicycles are field rangers. They know the bush like most of us know what our GF's and wives are up to in a Truworths shop. And boy do we know, don't we, cowboys? :lol:

It's the best and fastest way of travel for them so that they can do their duties, which are often filled with danger. We salute you Mapoisas!



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Thu Jul 26, 2007 9:38 am Unread post
I often wonder what interesting tales Daniel, who cycles from C.B. camp to the Hippo pools every day must have.
I am pretty sure he must have had a few close calls. :shock:



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Thu Jul 26, 2007 11:09 am Unread post
Last year August we were staying just outside croc bridge.
We talked to Daniel, not knowing that we were going to the same place as him, then off we went.
When we got to the hippo pools turn off, what was there?
a massive herd of Buffs and further down the road, lion, who had a kill just next to the road.
Luckily when Daniel got to the Buffs, which the herd was ranging into almost 300 there was us and another vehicle,
a kombi, Daniel promptly got in to the kombi and we and the other family took him the rest of the way.
Guess what we never got to see on the way there, but on the way back, none other then a mother and her cubs in the road.
Lucky break for Daniel, I think.



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Thu Jul 26, 2007 7:07 pm Unread post
Freda wrote
And poor Daniel has no brakes on his bicycle :shock: I really think we should collect to get him a decent one.


Really Freda, thats quite disturbing, altho he most probably needs a turbo charger on his bike more often. :roll: :wink:
but yes, something needs to be done.


Daniel at the Hippo pool

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Thu Jul 26, 2007 8:41 pm Unread post
Yes we also met Daniel at the Hippo pools in January this year , and he told us that he has travelled for the past 15 years on a bicycle in the park, I think he said to the pool, and he is afraid of the Buffalo because they are dangerous.
it would be interesting if somebody can help him to write a book about his life in the Kruger and yes I think he needs a new bike.

Kruger love
Janneyc



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Sat Aug 11, 2007 7:05 am Unread post
Just had to add this:

In all the reserves I have lived and worked in the poor guys on bicycles and motorbikes are called "Meals on Wheels".


Field Rangers on bicyles

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Fri Jul 25, 2008 7:31 am Unread post
On my last trip to the KNP i was driving on the H6 from N'wanetsi picnic spot towards Satara camp when i saw a field ranger on a bicycle with his rifle on his back. He then turned right onto the sonop dirt road, had a quick view over the water hole and then carried on riding down the H6. Then i wondered how many field rangers are there in the KNP that is still using a bicycle as transport and how many of them find lions or other predators on the road? I take my hat off for them. They really must have alot of guts to ride a bicycle through the park.



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Fri Jul 25, 2008 7:54 am Unread post
They are sometimes jokingly refered to as "Meals on Wheels", but it is not much different from a foot patrol .

And they have a sense of bushcraft that defies comprehention to ordinary people . The do pedal very slowly looking for suspicious tracks of poachers particularly and they are armed . If they detect predators they just get off and push the bike in a detour to avoid confrontation .
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