SANParks.org Forums


Previous topic | First unread post | Next topic
Page 4 of 5 [ 65 posts ]
Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
Post new topic Post a reply
Print view

French guy who was found wandering

Offline
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2008 1:27 pm
Posts: 16
Location: Joburg
Profile 
Mon Aug 15, 2011 4:00 pm Unread post
A lesser tale but here it is anyway...

In October 2010, we were staying at Bitterpan, enjoying a siesta, after just having checked in after a long drive in the early summer heat.

At midday out of the bush came walking 2 young Afrikaans guys, looking pretty worse for wear. Turns out their convoy of 2 cars had both got stuck 10km south of Bitterpan on the one way 4x4 track to Mata Mata. Apparantly they had enjoyed driving up the one big dune on the 4x4 route, so they had turned around to have another go at it. The first vehicle got stuck just off the road at the base of the dune trying to turn around to try conquer the big dune again. The second then got stuck trying to turn around to come to the aid of the first. So the family sent the fittest amongst them, their two 18yr old sons to go get help.

So they walked back the 10km in the midday heat with minimal water and a skottel braai pipe for use as a potential weapon of protection. We gave them more water and a quick shower and then went over to help their 2 stuck cars. Pulled them out easily with a sntach rope and a little digging.

Neither of their cars tyres had been at all deflated, being at 2.4bars. If they had deflated, they probably wouldnt have got stuck at all.....
Last post


Re: French guy who was found wandering

Offline
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2006 10:36 pm
Posts: 8248
Location: Lausanne (Switzerland)
Profile  WWW 
Mon Aug 15, 2011 4:39 pm Unread post
thanks firefinch to report this... tale... :hmz:


Re: French guy who was found wandering

Offline
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2011 1:36 pm
Posts: 129
Profile 
Mon Aug 15, 2011 4:52 pm Unread post
Amazing! So they just had to have another go! Talk about pushing your luck.
And what the heck use would a skottle braai pipe be if they met an animal? Were they gonna cook it a meal?


Re: French guy who was found wandering

Offline
Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2010 11:01 pm
Posts: 61
Location: Cape Town
Profile  WWW 
Mon Aug 15, 2011 9:59 pm Unread post
Just thought I would update everyone on the outcome of my enquiries with regards this remarkable story.

I received an email from the French man at the centre of the story confirming this. He mentioned that there was a lot of misinformation about his ordeal, so for the record, here is his account:

"I am the Frenchman who was found "wandering" in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier park in 2007 and picked up by a German couple who was watching 2 lions, just on the side of the track.

In fact I did not walk 70 km as said somewhere, but only 15 km - (3 hours)- which is already quite enough, in the sand and at mid day. Exhausting!

We got stuck in the sand the previous day on a 4X4 special track (at around 45 km of the Twee Rivieren camp) and had to spend the night there, with my wife and my grand son of 12.

We had only 10 liters of water and as we saw nobody the following morning (our absence during the night had not been spotted by the camp), I decided to take my chance and walk to the main track as the water was reducing and as it would have been difficult to wait another day+night .

The car was stuck in the sand - with a flat tyre (completely flat) and the spare wheel was impossible to extract (a big mistake not having checked that before). It took more that one hour to fix that in the garage of Twee Rivieren 2 days later; Hard work.

There was no panic and the decision to go was taken deliberately -knowing the risks. I left the family at 10 in the morning to take advantage of the hot period of the day when lions are quiter (We visited more than 100 game parks during our life in Africa - West and East).

I only took half a liter of water and the big piece of metal of the jack as defence ( not terribly efficient probably -but that was all I had)

When I reached the main track I slept 15 minutes -exhausted- under a smal tree and started walking again for one km before seing the car of the German couple....

I was certainly very lucky that day (having been very unlucky the previous day)......as, on top of these 2 lions (very agressive) there was a group of 6 other lions 3 km further on the way to the camp....

We are still in contact with our German friend: Michaël..."


Re: French guy who was found wandering

Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Joined: Sun Oct 17, 2010 9:03 pm
Posts: 1314
Location: Trichardt, MP
Profile 
Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:17 pm Unread post
jeffgordon,

Just wondered what he did driving on a 4x4 track on his own. The only 4x4 track 45 km from Twee Rivieren is the Nossob Eco 4x4 Trail. This is a guided trail which means that he illegially drove the route. Why did he decide to take this route if it clearly indicate no-entry? :rtm:


Re: French guy who was found wandering

Offline
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2011 1:36 pm
Posts: 129
Profile 
Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:56 pm Unread post
<<Why did he decide to take this route if it clearly indicate no-entry?>>
I think the answer to that is in the topic title. :whistle:


Re: French guy who was found wandering

Offline
Guru
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 1:18 pm
Posts: 2574
Location: Twee Rivieren, KTP
Profile  WWW 
Tue Aug 16, 2011 12:23 pm Unread post
By reading the situation of the French guy and trying to work out which road he was on, I can only agree with Son Godin that the guy was on a road he wasn’t supposed to be on. Maybe jeffgordon can shed some light here or find out which road they got stuck on......

Regarding the situation at Bitterpan, unfortunately guests like those spoil the adventure for many others as they do act very brave to take on a dune from the opposite side, if we thought it would be easier that way we would have made the one way in that direction, for your own safety and those of others please stay on the roads indicated and in the direct indicated. Firefinch, maybe you do have some detail of the brave guests which got stuck....

It sounds all cool to try it from another side BUT WHAT IF....
Another vehicle came over the dune from the right side while the others were still stuck.
WHAT IF...
The two brave boys encountered lions and they had an unthinkable incident, who would have taken the blame for that.....

Remember to avoid getting stuck the norm would be to deflate your tyres at least 40% of what the pressure is upon entering the park.


Re: French guy who was found wandering

Offline
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2005 12:38 pm
Posts: 9696
Location: In the shadow of Table Mountain
Profile 
Tue Aug 16, 2011 12:42 pm Unread post
Yeah, now THAT'S the story I remember. It WAS a grandfather and lions WERE close by.

I think it was the Leeudril 4x4 trail.


Re: French guy who was found wandering

Offline
Guru
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 1:18 pm
Posts: 2574
Location: Twee Rivieren, KTP
Profile  WWW 
Tue Aug 16, 2011 2:10 pm Unread post
BB, That was also the only 4x4 trail I could think about where they might have gotten stuck.


Re: French guy who was found wandering

Offline
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2011 7:27 pm
Posts: 108
Location: Hermanus
Profile 
Wed Aug 17, 2011 7:54 am Unread post
So what is the action to be taken if one does become stuck on one of the 4x4 roads and you are traveling alone - not in convoy.

Just sit and wait for some one else to come along. OK one is not supposed to get out of the car so no digging out etc. I would feel a bit silly sitting there all day ( or night)?

Our 4x4 radios are I presume on a different wavelength to Parks officials?

KG what is your advice please on procedure - how closely do you keep track of 4x4 drivers?


Re: French guy who was found wandering

Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 12:31 pm
Posts: 374
Location: Langebaan
Profile  WWW 
Wed Aug 17, 2011 9:50 am Unread post
@mistral,

These issues are all reasons why some institutions are putting pressure on government to bring special 4x4ing permits in place. If the legislation is passed, you will have to undergo 4x4 training to receive a permit to do any controlled 4x4 route - such as those in Kgalagadi. Reading all these posts have me in agreement of such legislation.

90% of cases where people get stuck on 4x4 routes are due to their own ignorance. IF you obey the basic 4x4ing rules, none of the referenced cases would have happened. The most basic rule of 4x4ing is never travel alone. Never have two vehicles in the same obstacle. Have the first vehicle CLEAR the obstacle before the second one enter. Always deflate your tyres. How much to deflate depends a lot on the type of tyre and the load you are carrying but yes as KG said at least 40% less than normal running pressure for sand. If the tyre does not allow that amount of deflation it is quite simple (such as low profile tyres) - you've got the wrong equipment to do the route in the first place.

If you do 4x4 alone (and I do as well), make sure you got the necessary skills and be well equipped for self recovery. I always carry enough rations to last me at least five days when entering remote areas alone. Rent a SAT phone if you can afford it. My honest opinion is that the average tourist does not take 4x4ing serious enough. It is a wonderful way of traveling but is potentially very dangerous, needs to be treated in that way.


Re: French guy who was found wandering

Offline
Guru
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 1:18 pm
Posts: 2574
Location: Twee Rivieren, KTP
Profile  WWW 
Wed Aug 17, 2011 9:56 am Unread post
Weskusklong,

You have beaten me with a reply. I must say I couldn’t have answered it better thanks so much for the info. :clap:

KG


Re: French guy who was found wandering

Offline
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2011 7:27 pm
Posts: 108
Location: Hermanus
Profile 
Wed Aug 17, 2011 12:25 pm Unread post
Thanks for all the info : We are members of the 4 Wheel Drive Club and well briefed on safety issues and carry full recovery kits.

People often book into one of the 4x4 camps or drive the 4x4 route such as Leeuswdril alone and not in convoy. Yes the unexpected can happen even for experienced 4x4's or a simple issue such as a puncture.

Does one get out of one's car to fix the problem?

This is a different situation to driving on dunes - trails outside of the Park where there are no predators.

Also, Are you saying one should not book into the 4x4 camps unless you are travelling in convoy?


Re: French guy who was found wandering

Offline
Honorary Virtual Ranger
Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2005 5:42 pm
Posts: 17943
Location: Red sand, why do I keep thinking of red sand?
Profile  WWW 
Wed Aug 17, 2011 12:35 pm Unread post
mistral wrote
Does one get out of one's car to fix the problem?
Also, Are you saying one should not book into the 4x4 camps unless you are travelling in convoy?

Yes, you do. Just drive (if possible) to a location with a good view, so no unexpected lion encounters are possible. Put one person on the lookout, and lookout only! and simply fix the problem. If that is not possible make yourself comfortable and simply wait.

You can happily drive to the camps alone, no convoy needed.


Re: French guy who was found wandering

Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 12:31 pm
Posts: 374
Location: Langebaan
Profile  WWW 
Wed Aug 17, 2011 12:39 pm Unread post
Quote
Also, Are you saying one should not book into the 4x4 camps unless you are travelling in convoy?

No, please read my last paragraph again :wink: The routes to the 4x4 wilderness camps are not challenging to begin with. In the referenced cases, they only became a challenge once travelers overstepped the rules.

Whether you should get out your car for self recovery... I think KG is in a better position to answer, but my own opinion is you should use common sense. Every case will have its own criteria to go by but in general I will most definitely attempt a self-recovery before sitting in and waiting for help. I will most certainly not attempt to walk or even worse send someone else by foot for help in a hurry.
Top

Post new topic  Post a reply
Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
Page 4 of 5 [ 65 posts ]
Previous topic | First unread post | Next topic

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest





Search for
Jump to