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Children in Kgalagadi

Augrabies, Kgalagadi, Mokala, Namaqua, |Ai-|Ais/Richtersveld
andrew1nesbitt
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Re: wilderness camps & children

Unread post by andrew1nesbitt » Fri Aug 01, 2014 4:09 pm

So according to Jo, it seems that safety is not the main reason for not allowing children. So if their is enough people who would like to experience these wilderness camps with their children maybe the rules can be changed whereby children are allowed but only over certain periods or at certain camps

Eg: all wilderness camps during school holidays and/or
Every even month wilderness camps in the South and every odd month in the North

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Tembe & Kgala
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Re: wilderness camps & children

Unread post by Tembe & Kgala » Fri Aug 01, 2014 4:11 pm

squirrel_asc wrote:
Jo wrote:You mentioned your son is quiet......my daughter is not......where does SANParks draw the line?



Please, allow those of us who are willing to pay a premium for it, the opportunity to stay in a peaceful place...

typically the kind of comment that swows you've msunderstood me. It's not about letting a child in a confined space for several days , but just to spend a night...
but anyway...It's still my right to find it completely wrong and to write it down, even if I know it won't change a thing

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Son godin
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Re: wilderness camps & children

Unread post by Son godin » Fri Aug 01, 2014 4:15 pm

I think the reason why the rules are questioned is that the intend was never there to introduce the rules and for some reason introduced nearly 4 years after the wilderness camps opened.

The real reason seems to be avoided, but it is definitely not safety otherwise why are children allowed in any of the camps, fenced or not fenced. Long time ago my son then 2 years old was threatened by a jackal in Nossob camp, a colleague nearly stepped on a pofadder outside his chalet in Nossob and I have encountered cape cobras in the traditional camps a few times.

The noise factor is also no reason for saying that if you exclude younger than 12 year olds the camp will remain quiet.

The only reason that could be a possibility for the change in rules is over utilization of units. One family comes with 2 young kids and want them to share a single unit or a family with in single child (18 - 20 years old) decide they can all stay in one unit making it difficult to draw the line.

In the end I see it that the reason for change was caused by the behavior of people and SANParks allowing extra bookings that resulted in this change. On the other hand I don't understand that if you book the full camp you can bring along the kids. Then as I said above it is a question of getting full payment for all the units and the safety of the child is now of no interest.

Why can't the rule change back to before allowing children and stricter control introduced about the number of people per unit to avoid over crowding? If you only booked one unit and arrive with your child, you will be required to find accommodation outside the park loosing your booking or double up per child as a fine. Next time you will make sure to book the right number of units. The old relaxed rule of allowing an extra child per unit paying half price also caught us off guard, but the following time I knew better.

Just because a rule was implement a few years back does not mean it cannot be change back to accommodate families.
Trip Reports - Painted, spotted and striped animals of the Koppies, TT of Three Arid Parks near Namibia in April 2015

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Tembe & Kgala
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Re: wilderness camps & children

Unread post by Tembe & Kgala » Fri Aug 01, 2014 4:19 pm

I couldn't say better
+100000 :clap:

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Son godin
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Re: wilderness camps & children

Unread post by Son godin » Fri Aug 01, 2014 4:27 pm

squirrel_asc wrote:
Please, allow those of us who are willing to pay a premium for it, the opportunity to stay in a peaceful place...


Sorry squirrel asc,

I do not want to attack you, but surely some people don't have more rights than others to a peaceful place. If families with young kids want to stay at these camps they need to book all 4 units while lucky you only need to book one.

As you said if rules are enforced the noisy kids also need to keep quiet just as much as the adults, so why do you foresee a problem.

I have seen a few adults that feels it is there right to disturb the peace, so hope next time you book there is not a guy with a drone staying next to you. Kids are not match against the latest gadget toys adults use.
Trip Reports - Painted, spotted and striped animals of the Koppies, TT of Three Arid Parks near Namibia in April 2015

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arks
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Re: wilderness camps & children

Unread post by arks » Fri Aug 01, 2014 5:48 pm

OK, I'm one of those selfish, single adults who had a most unpleasant experience on my first visit to Grootkolk, when the rest of the camp was occupied by 4 adults with 5 children under the age of six. They occupied three of the tents and had also taken over the communal area and their attitude to me, when I complained about the noise and their small children running wild, was, you're only one person, so too d@*m bad. We and our children will do whatever we please. No respect for the rights of others at all. And given how large that group was, the camp's excellent tourist assistant was basically told the same. This group simply hijacked the whole camp.

Now I travel a great and expensive distance to visit KTP (airfare alone usually costs me close to $2000) -- plus I also have the expense of a hired car and pay the higher international WildCard rates as well -- for the priviledge of peace and quiet in wilderness camps and I think that I have an absolute right to expect to get what I pay for.

With noisy adults -- and I've experienced a few of them in wilderness camps as well -- you have a bit more leverage. But with children the arguement is always that children need to let off steam and must be tolerated and that if I object then I'm an intolerant child hater. The fact that parents have an obligation to respect the rights of others to a peaceul and quiet camp is completely overlooked.

I agree entirely with Squirrel asc. I'm 100% in favour of the rule of no children under age 12 in KTP wilderness camps, which was instituted after my appalling experience at Grootkolk, about which I complained strongly at the time. I applaud SANParks for being being so proactive and responding to complaints about uphappy experiences such as mine.
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Tembe & Kgala
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Re: wilderness camps & children

Unread post by Tembe & Kgala » Fri Aug 01, 2014 7:28 pm

Once again, it"s all about éducation. Not age. I told You guys my 2 very unpleasant experiences with adults in the camps last year...while my kid was quiet as a stone

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Re: wilderness camps & children

Unread post by squirrel_asc » Fri Aug 01, 2014 8:54 pm

Son godin wrote:
squirrel_asc wrote:
Please, allow those of us who are willing to pay a premium for it, the opportunity to stay in a peaceful place...


Sorry squirrel asc,

I do not want to attack you, but surely some people don't have more rights than others to a peaceful place. If families with young kids want to stay at these camps they need to book all 4 units while lucky you only need to book one.

As you said if rules are enforced the noisy kids also need to keep quiet just as much as the adults, so why do you foresee a problem.

The way I see it, you have the priviledge of raising a child, but with it comes not only responsibilty, but also the necessity to make some sacrifices. Why should someone who did not make that decision be forced to sacrifice their peace? I don't have more rights than you, but like you had the choice to have a child, I believe I deserve to have a choice about whether or not I spend my holiday surrounded by little kids. It's only a few years. And you can always leave them with someone if you find the main camps so intollerable.

Yes, rules need to be enforced on children, but you can't exactly fine an unhappy child for crying, and to ask a parent to keep their little darling quiet is often even worse than asking a drunk person to keep it down... As someone mentioned before, you are immediately subjected to the whole you obviously don't have children... You must hate children... Etc.

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Re: wilderness camps & children

Unread post by squirrel_asc » Fri Aug 01, 2014 8:59 pm

Tembe & Kgala wrote: It's not about letting a child in a confined space for several days , but just to spend a night...
but anyway...It's still my right to find it completely wrong and to write it down, even if I know it won't change a thing

Where is your child during the day? In the car (confined space)? Or do you drive to a main camp so he can run around and play?

You're right, though. It is your right to disagree with the rule, just as it is my right to thank Sanparks for making it.

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Re: wilderness camps & children

Unread post by arks » Fri Aug 01, 2014 9:36 pm

squirrel_asc wrote:It is your right to disagree with the rule, just as it is my right to thank Sanparks for making it.
Hear! Hear! :thumbs_up:

After my own appalling experience with inconsiderate parents and out-of-control children at Grootkolk, I am infinitely grateful to SANParks for instituting the "no under 12s" rule for KTP wilderness camps.
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Re: wilderness camps & children

Unread post by cheetahlady » Fri Aug 01, 2014 11:35 pm

It would be nice if some of the wilderness camps had family accommodation. We are a family of three (1 teen) and have chosen to go to KNP rather than KTP because of the cost of having to hire two tents ( assuming we could get two, that is). We like the more remote camps.

I am not sure when the rule changed, but I do remember a report about a child being bitten by a cobra, so may be after that.

We will probably wait until our son is in college, and then SO and I can sneak off to KTP.

Only 4 years to wait.....
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Re: wilderness camps & children

Unread post by Meandering Mouse » Sat Aug 02, 2014 5:05 am

arks wrote:
squirrel_asc wrote:It is your right to disagree with the rule, just as it is my right to thank Sanparks for making it.
Hear! Hear! :thumbs_up:

After my own appalling experience with inconsiderate parents and out-of-control children at Grootkolk, I am infinitely grateful to SANParks for instituting the "no under 12s" rule for KTP wilderness camps.


No child is quiet with an earache, I have experience the ear splitting screams of a sick child through the night. It was a in a camp in Kruger. I accepted it felt and sorry for the child. It was a small camp where I did not pay a premium for solitude. I might have felt differently had it been a very pricey wilderness camp.

As a parent, I would not even think of taking a child to a wilderness camp, purely for the child's sake.

Children are children and need to be free to run and explore. They need to enjoy life and be curious. A wilderness camp does not offer that experience.

I would even think twice about a camp like Tambotie. I can just imagine my children disappearing into the snake ridden bushes to play ''explorer, explorer''. Children have little understanding of consequences in certain situations.

Certain camps are much better for children. These are camps where families are accepted and child friendly services are available.

If something terrible should happen to my child, I would like to be close to medical facilities and help. Even certain illness can kill a child in a few hours. I cannot think of a worse scenario than trying to rush a critically ill child for help. Something as simple as tonsillitis has the capacity to do a lot of damage if not treated in time.

MXM posted a very chilling picture of a puffadder from Grootkolk. I would not like to expose my child to that risk. Although bigger camps are not risk free, they carry a lot less risk than a small wilderness camp.

I think these rules are absolutely essential, not a hindrance. Imagine the law suites against Sanparks if a child dies due to something Sanparks could have prevented.
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Re: wilderness camps & children

Unread post by Meandering Mouse » Sat Aug 02, 2014 5:46 am

cheetahlady wrote:It would be nice if some of the wilderness camps had family accommodation. We are a family of three (1 teen) and have chosen to go to KNP rather than KTP because of the cost of having to hire two tents ( assuming we could get two, that is). We like the more remote camps.

I am not sure when the rule changed, but I do remember a report about a child being bitten by a cobra, so may be after that.

We will probably wait until our son is in college, and then SO and I can sneak off to KTP.

Only 4 years to wait.....


Cheetahlady :thumbs_up: I am sure it will be worth the wait.
The bird doesn't sing because it has answers, it sings because it has a song.

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Son godin
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Re: wilderness camps & children

Unread post by Son godin » Sat Aug 02, 2014 8:59 am

Meandering Mouse wrote:
MXM posted a very chilling picture of a puffadder from Grootkolk. I would not like to expose my child to that risk. Although bigger camps are not risk free, they carry a lot less risk than a small wilderness camp.

I think these rules are absolutely essential, not a hindrance. Imagine the law suites against Sanparks if a child dies due to something Sanparks could have prevented.


Hi MM,

Just a correction. Read MxM TT again. The pofadder was encountered at Nossob and not Grootkolk. Risk can be far greater at normal camp because of parents thinking it is safe and drop their guard. One time at Nossob 3 children were doing "gate duty" and opened the gate while a leopard was approaching the fence. If safety is a concern then no children should be allowed in the park.

MxM wrote:My bedroom door could not close tightly, so I placed a chair at an angle against it and that kept it shut at night. In short, a Nossob 3 bed hut must be the most underpriced accommodation in RSA!

Well, underpriced perhaps, but there is a price to pay. DEATH. As I was coming from the hide to my lonely but quietly charming abode for a night, my neighbour (I was all talked out for the night and not really in the mood to chat with the neighbours) called me over. There was some excitement in his voice. I said that I would just like to put my gear down and then I would come over, but he insisted I come immediately. WOW. Now that is a scary sight - a sight that made me realise I am not in the fairytale version of the dangerous wild, no, I am in the real wild where there are not only dangerous creatures but they come in snuggle distance. Innocent was my neighbour when he arose from his verandah seat to start the braai. He had made a decent fire and was returning to his not-standing-position place. Then he stopped. Short. Never to go ahead. Or the old man would die. The dead kind. He threw coals at it (visible in the one image), waved at it, but no, his seat was annexed by the slitheren powers. I asked the braai master to keep his torch on the scaly fiend while I bent for some shots, stood up for others and generally tried to get a shot or two. This is one of my most disappointing moments of the trip - these are the only 2 near decent shots I got. If I had merely bothered to work the scene with a little more enthusiasm and patience and thought, much more would have been able to come from a calm puff adder lying near a braai, there was a subject and a scene and dark lighting, all dramatic, but no, I was tired. Silly boy I was!
Image

Image

The point of the first snake shot is to see the actual chair that my neighbour very nearly returned to and would have suffered severely for. From here on, with one exception, I was even more careful, especially traveling alone, to whom do I shout if I go bump in the night? KTP can be dangerous - I had seen both scorpions and snakes, and survived (although the assassin wasp nearly killed me by heart attack), but please, if you go, keep an eye out, keep your shoes off the ground in a sealed packet when you are not wearing them, come home alive. Best is, the scariest encounter is yet to come...

Trip Reports - Painted, spotted and striped animals of the Koppies, TT of Three Arid Parks near Namibia in April 2015

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Re: wilderness camps & children

Unread post by anne-marie » Sat Aug 02, 2014 10:24 am

MM I confirm, there was a Puff Adder along the door/wall, in the sand at Grootkolk... but can't remember from who... some time ago :hmz:

and I had a big Cape Cobra at Urikaruus... just under the balcony... we tried to capture it, but each time "run" from holes to holes... for a long time :lol:
we never could catch it :wink:
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