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Roadhogs and other speedfreaks

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Re: Roadhogs and other speedfreaks

Unread post by Captainron » Mon Sep 12, 2016 12:03 pm

arks wrote:I'm really tired of reading over and over again that bad behaviour in the parks is the result of "lack of knowledge by foreign tourists". I also agree that providing some guidelines for first-time visitors might be helpful, but then again, most visitors don't even bother to read what's on their booking information.

I as a foreign visitor, my first visit being way back in 1984 when information regarding rules and expected behaviour wasn't nearly so easy to come by as it now is, knew about the park rules before that first visit, so they couldn't have been too difficult to find. And over the years of many repeat visits to KNP and elsewhere, it's been my experience that the worst behaviour that I've encountered -- feeding animals, crowding and hogging sightings, noise and total disregard for neighbors, etc -- has invariably mostly been caused by locals. Who should (and usually do) know better but clearly could care less.

When I point out to such visitors that they are breaking specific rules, I am very often told off: How dare you, a foreigner (and female to boot!), tell me how to behave in MY park. Until that attitude changes, there will continue to be problems. So please don't blanket-blame foreign visitors.

Hi Arks,

I did state that only some of the problem was down to this and I am not blanket blaming anyone. I agree wholeheartedly that the majority of issues are caused by locals (they are far more prevalent in the park), however, I also believe that education is the only way to improve the situation especially for those with zero experience of the bush. I have been lucky enough to help 4 families here in England plan a trip to South Africa which included a trip to the park. In every single instance, I have spent at least 3 hours educating them on the best etiquette when driving around and what to look for in animal behavior. Every single time they have come back and thanked me for this training as it has helped them stay safe and improve their experience of the park. Too many people think that the car they are in will protect them from harm and they get way too close to the animals. A couple from my town were injured badly by an elephant in musth a few years ago. Lots of people around here were put off going because of this error in judgment. They held their hands up and said they had no idea of what to look for with this bull. They didn't have the experience/knowledge/respect/fear and as such they paid a heavy price.

I firmly believe that people coming from abroad who have never experienced the park are going to lap up everything SAN Parks send through. If this contained an illustrated cartoon style education video, I am sure they would watch it and learn a few things about what is best to do. Of course, some people will ignore the information and think they know best but something needs to be done to improve the situation as a whole.

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Re: Roadhogs and other speedfreaks

Unread post by arks » Mon Sep 12, 2016 4:24 pm

Hippotragus wrote:Very good points, arks. I think a few foreign tourists make genuine mistakes and, when this is pointed out to them, most of them apologise and don't do it again. Many local (RSA) visitors, however, do know the rules but choose to ignore the ones that don't suit them - this happens all over the country and not just in game parks!!

Thank you for coming to SA so often and thank you for your useful posts on the Forum.

And thank you and most Saffies whom I've encountered for making me feel so welcome in your amazing country. :gflower:

@Captainron: Yes of course there are foreign visitors who break park rules out of ignorance and it's proactive of you to try to educate friends who are visiting for the first time. However, I'd think that most behaviours, such as not getting too close to animals in the wild, would be common sense?

In KTP the park rules are not only printed on your entry permit, they are pointed out when you enter the park. I know that the entrance gates in KNP are busier, but I've never had the rules on the KNP permit pointed out to me. It might be a good idea if reception staff did this, perhaps asking "is this your first visit?" and proceeding from there. Since foreign visitors have to produce a passport at the gate, it's easy to see who the foreign visitors are.

However, I agree with Hippotragus that it's not so much foreign visitors who make genuine mistakes, but rather the locals who know but choose to ignore the rules that are the greater problem.
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Re: Roadhogs and other speedfreaks

Unread post by Sampie Cronje » Mon Dec 19, 2016 8:38 pm

Good evening all. Hope you're well.

We've been camping at Shingwedzi Dec 12th - Dec 17th. 2016
We travelled from Shingwedzi to Punda and to Mopani on the tar roads. On the road towards Punda from Pafuri there was a lot of vans with loaded trailers. Some of these vans broke down on the road and occupants where standing outside of their vehicles trying to repair whatever was broken.
On the tar road from Pafuri to Punda about 90% of the vehicles going or coming from the border, was speeding.
On the tar road to Mopani, it was the same. Many taxi's and other vehicles travelled at high speed.
When we came back from Shingwedzi on Saturday the 17th, we drove past Mopani to Letaba and from there to Phalaborwa gate on the tar road. Vehicles were speeding and also overtaking us from behind.

On this day, Dec the 17th, we didn't see any Traffic officer from Shingwedzi, Letaba to Phalaborwa gate.

That is why I prefer driving on the gravel roads, especially on these special holidays.
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Re: Roadhogs and other speedfreaks

Unread post by Grantmissy » Tue Dec 20, 2016 7:18 am

:yaya: Sampie Cronje.

Not sure if this was reported to the appropriate authorities in the Kruger National Park for corrective action to be taken by Sanparks management. Speeding and overloaded vehicles may result in accidents and even worse loss of life and may ruin the nature experience for other visitors in the Kruger National Park.
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Re: Roadhogs and other speedfreaks

Unread post by Sampie Cronje » Fri Dec 30, 2016 11:40 pm

Most of the dirt roads between Phalaborwa gate, Letaba and Olifants camp are/were closed due to the rains we had, but people are driving around the blocked entrances and use these roads. The 'no entry' signs or obstacles that block the entrances are just ignored.

Then, we still have the problem of speeding in the park and people getting out of their vehicles.
We love the Park and will always be loyal, but it seems that more and more ignorant people are taking chances.

Enjoy your last day of 2016 and may 2017 be a year of Blessings to all.
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Re: Roadhogs and other speedfreaks

Unread post by hilda » Sat Dec 31, 2016 10:41 am

Grantmissy wrote::yaya: Sampie Cronje.

Not sure if this was reported to the appropriate authorities in the Kruger National Park for corrective action to be taken by Sanparks management.

I can only echo what Grantmissy said Sampie Cronjé. So sad that people simply ignore Park Rules! :evil:
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Re: Roadhogs and other speedfreaks

Unread post by ChrisFernando » Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:33 pm

I saw the most heartbreaking video of a elephant calf who was hit by a car as the others in the heard tried to "revive" him. Horrible that people would do this but I guess not surprising when looking at our actions as a species.

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Re: Roadhogs and other speedfreaks

Unread post by DinkyBird » Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:32 am

Yes, if that is the same video I saw - it is heartbreaking, I agree. The incident did not happen in Kruger.
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Re: Roadhogs and other speedfreaks

Unread post by squirrel_asc » Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:45 am

In my experience, the worst speeders fall into a few category
1) Delivery vehicles.
This problem should be easily solved by checking the time on the entrance permit when they reach the camp, and likewise notifying the gate at what time they leave the camp. It would be very simple to see if the truck spent too little time on the road, and to issue hefty fines, and bans for repeat offenders.

2) Public transport.
If it is staff being transported to/from camps, the same measures as for deliveries can be implemented. Any other public transport should simply not be allowed to enter. Park roads aren't highways. Taxis should not be moving through the park to Moz.

3) Day visitors who have no interest in wildlife, and come only to spend the day at a picnic site.
For this, I would suggest putting a limit of, say, 2 hours on the time anyone is allowed to spend at a picnic site. That way the picnic sites themselves are no longer an attractive day outing. In the process you also solve the problem of day visitors spending the entire day at a picnic site, crowing out everyone else.

Of course, you also get the odd Jeep jockey (or tourist) speeding to a sighting, or people speeding to get to the gate in time because they dawdled too long on the road, but these are the smaller issues, at least as far as I have seen. (Perhaps it is more common in the South during school holidays, but that is a combination we avoid like the plague!)
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