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Children in Kgalagadi

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

Unread post by Meandering Mouse » Sat Aug 02, 2014 2:19 pm

Son godin, I stand by what I say. Taking children into a wilderness camp is irresponsible. It is far from facilities, and quite honestly, dangerous.

anne-marie wrote: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:


Anne marie. :thumbs_up:

I would not like to rush a child to a medical facility because of accident, illness and perhaps death. This is not a playground.

Again, we get off the issue. The issue is.. ''should these rules exist?"

Puffadders are everywhere, facilities are not.

Believe me, if a child died in a wilderness camp because of a lack of facilities, this thread would be at page 200 in a very short space of time. The first question would be.. or even should be.. ''did Sanparks take enough care?"

Cheetahlady mentioned a snake bite at a wilderness camp. It happens. We cannot prevent snakes, we can ensure the best possibility of survival. That includes boundaries and rules.

The thing is, a child is a delicate being. A child has no chance against snake poison, predators, or even their own curiosity.

I would never risk my own child's safety.
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Re: wilderness camps & children

Unread post by Son godin » Sat Aug 02, 2014 2:47 pm

The reason for parents to take their children to wilderness camps might be for the very same reason why all those that don't have a problem with the rule want to go to wilderness camp. If you have not taught your child to be bush-wise he/she will be in as much danger in a camp like Tsendze in Kruger than Gharagab in KTP.

Each person's or families circumstances will be different and for me it is totaling unfair for introducing a rule that is purely discriminating against a certain group of people and not against behavior of people to respect the rules. The park rule is currently generalizing that all visitors with children younger than 12 years are a problem, while those with no or older children are abiding by rules of wilderness camps, that by the way do not differ much from normal camps.

Please note:

1) In order to retain the tranquility and exclusiveness of the wilderness camps we do not exceed 8 people per camp.
2) Chidren under 12 years are not allowed at these camps: Kieliekrankie, Urikaruus, Gharagab, Bitterpan, Grootkolk.


Since 2011 I am seen as a responsible adult that will ensure that the "tranquility and exclusiveness" of the wilderness camp will be retained and is allowed to book. What changed in my life that I am now a model citizen while not before. The only thing that changed was that my son turned 12 years, but that will not change by attitude towards fellow visitors or ensure that the tranquility of the camp will remain.

The rule is just as absurd than introducing a no-alcohol rule at wilderness camps, because of me and other families complaining about couples having a party in these camps being noisy at night time and their children could not sleep.

Some-times we are lucky to stay with fellow visitors that have respect for the rules and other times we will not be that lucky. Does that now give us the right to complain and enforce that new rules must be introduce, because of isolated cases. In my experience with my child in wilderness camps since 2006 while visiting wilderness camps at least once per year, the camp's tranquility was only spoilt by adults sitting around the fire chatting loud and laughing to impress friends and not so much children (children were allowed up to 2009)

It is just so much easier to pick on families with children than marking bad adult behavior and enforcing rules. If you think that you are seen as child haters when you complain, what do you think 6 other adults think of you when you the minority in a camp and want to complain because they still are sitting around the fire chatting loud after midnight. Get a life is what I've heard before or you must understand we drove far and just want to have a great night with friends. If I was a resident of KTP fine, but as much as all of you want to hear animals calling at night and not children crying I want to add no adults too. So lets get a rule to ban adults and children that misbehave from the park than introducing discriminating rules that is hiding behind the safety of children or the tranquility of the camp.

Unfortunately rules only and no enforcement will not ensure a peaceful time in a wilderness camp if you hid the odds of getting badly behaved visitors sharing the camp with you.

The second issue is the number of people per camp. In the past parents were given grace and allowed an extra child or two per unit and that resulted in what Arks experienced. If numbers are strictly enforced this will not be a problem any more. When entering the park at Twee Rivieren with more visitors than booked for surely park management can already stopped you at that point.

This means 2 families with 4 kids will have to book the full camp (no place for Arks then) and one family with 1 - 4 children 75 % leaving most other visitors with a maximum of 4 kids in a camp. In most cases you will only experience 1-2 other children in a camp, which I cannot see will change the atmosphere completely from a tranquil surrounding to a disruption of the peace. This will also most often happen in school holidays.

We as South-Africans can easily change from chalet to camping and take our children on the Nossob 4x4 Eco Trail or stay on Botswana side. T&K might not be in that position to change to camping and will not be able to show their children that part of the park.

In my case the rule can remain, but in honesty I cannot keep quiet when I see that rules are there to discriminate and serves no purpose except to advantage couples to get place at the wilderness camps.
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 Meandering Mouse » Sat Aug 02, 2014 2:52 pm

About two years ago, a child drowned tragically at a swimming pool at Lower Sabie.

The first under scrutiny was Sanparks.

The thread that evolved was very painful to read. Sanparks was the first to come under the spotlight. And so it should be.

Sanparks needs to take every precaution.
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Re: wilderness camps & children

Unread post by Hippotragus » Sat Aug 02, 2014 4:41 pm

Apart from the safety aspect, the units in the Wilderness Camps are tiny (to say the least) and there is no way you could fit another bed/cot into the space. That would mean renting two units - one adult and one child in each (family of 4).

If you rented two tents/cabins, it could be too dangerous to walk between them and small children would possibly not understand this. We had an experience at Grootkolk when we were two adult couples in two units - lions came into camp and we had to stay in our respective units until they departed!
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Re: wilderness camps & children

Unread post by suebfly » Sun Aug 03, 2014 8:35 am

Excellent point Hippotragus - we had a situation when we were at Kielie - me in unit 1 and my adult son & wife in unit 4 (not sure why they put us so far apart) Every time we wanted to "travel" between the two the poor ranger on duty insisted on walking with us between doors due to the fact that a large cobra was somewhere around. We were all adults so I have no idea how it could possibly work with small kids

I am HUGELY thankful to have the choice of the peace & quiet of the wilderness camps - please don't ever consider changing the rules.

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Re: wilderness camps & children

Unread post by penolva » Sun Aug 03, 2014 11:03 am

Tembe & Kgala wrote:Good day all ,
I would like to express here my disappointment about a specific rule of Sanparks, in the winlderness camps. We've been fond of quite secluded camps like Bitterpan or Kielikrankie for example for many years. Now , we have a child , and we understand that we'll have to wait until he turns 12 (!) before being allowed to go back in such camps. I understand the reason is that these have to remain quiet camps? We had unfortunately many experiences with noisy grown ups in the parks , and it's all about education , not age. Our son is a quite little guy and would be a very minor disturbance compared to some alcoolized (or not) adults... it's so disappointing that such a rule had been edicted.
or are there any other reason i don't know about? :(

Anyway , it's sad...

Correct me if I am wrong someone, but I believe you can take your child to Kalahari Tented Camp, family tent. It's almost as good as the smaller wilderness camps and you can even let him walk into Namibia to get some goodies from the farm stall. Couple this with Nossob with it's hide etc you could all still go and have a fantastic time. A few days at Augrabies where he can run and climb and see the Dassies would be great fun. Go on have fun with your child now :thumbs_up:

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Re: wilderness camps & children

Unread post by suebfly » Sun Aug 03, 2014 11:46 am

You definitely can take children to Kalahari Tented Camp - we had the misfortune of having to listen to a baby crying constantly the entire time we stayed there

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Re: wilderness camps & children

Unread post by Son godin » Sun Aug 03, 2014 12:21 pm

Hippotragus and suebfly,

You have a point with the distance between units, but the inconvenience is as much for adults as for a family with children under age that booked two units. Families with one child like Tembe & Kgala do not even have to move between units, because a young child don't need much space to sleep in. In case of larger families with two kids they can decide to book in other camps that do not have this problem, e.g. Urikaruus and Bitterpan. We had no problem with our child at Bitterpan (2008) / Urikaruus (2006 and 2007) and the same for the other family that came with a child of the same age.

Our stay at Kieliekrankie (2007) was also without any problem a few years ago, but we had recently an issue with space in one unit with our teenager at Gharagab because of the distance of between units (we got no 2 and 3). The problem is the same for older children that are allowed and for younger ones. It is not necessary for the children to move between unit on their own, because as you suggest the group can be split in one adult one child.

The problem of movement between units are not resolved at Grootkolk, Gharagab and Kieliekrankie, but no restriction is placed on booking two or more units per party, except for families with a young child, which could be the only one in a group of three or six. The decision on how you want to spend your holiday should be up to the person making the booking and not the park, because as you pointed out the risk is just as great for adults and children.

A recommendation to families with young children is important to add when parents or grandparents want to make bookings at a wilderness camp such as Grootkolk, Gharagab and Kieliekranke, but restriction should not be allowed as it is very bias towards particular groups.

Imagine you found yourself in a position of having another child after 10 years of the last one you need to wait up to 22 years to visit these camps. Others might find that their friends have young kids, while theirs are older than 12 years like in our case and you can not visit these camps in a group of friends or even brothers/ sisters with younger kids can't join you.

Yes it is true that KTC has the facilities for families, but the camp is very large and close to another large camp that results in not so much quiet times as in the case of other wilderness camps and with an advantage of a certain area that you can reach early.

Surely parents will place the safety of their children first and based their decisions on where they want to book specially if they have good knowledge of the wilderness camps.
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 penolva » Sun Aug 03, 2014 12:34 pm

Son godin wrote:Hippotragus and suebfly,

You have a point with the distance between units, but the inconvenience is as much for adults as for a family with children under age that booked two units. Families with one child like Tembe & Kgala do not even have to move between units, because a young child don't need much space to sleep in. In case of larger families with two kids they can decide to book in other camps that do not have this problem, e.g. Urikaruus and Bitterpan. We had no problem with our child at Bitterpan (2008) / Urikaruus (2006 and 2007) and the same for the other family that came with a child of the same age.

Our stay at Kieliekrankie (2007) was also without any problem a few years ago, but we had recently an issue with space in one unit with our teenager at Gharagab because of the distance of between units (we got no 2 and 3). The problem is the same for older children that are allowed and for younger ones. It is not necessary for the children to move between unit on their own, because as you suggest the group can be split in one adult one child.

The problem of movement between units are not resolved at Grootkolk, Gharagab and Kieliekrankie, but no restriction is placed on booking two or more units per party, except for families with a young child, which could be the only one in a group of three or six. The decision on how you want to spend your holiday should be up to the person making the booking and not the park, because as you pointed out the risk is just as great for adults and children.

A recommendation to families with young children is important to add when parents or grandparents want to make bookings at a wilderness camp such as Grootkolk, Gharagab and Kieliekranke, but restriction should not be allowed as it is very bias towards particular groups.

Imagine you found yourself in a position of having another child after 10 years of the last one you need to wait up to 22 years to visit these camps. Others might find that their friends have young kids, while theirs are older than 12 years like in our case and you can not visit these camps in a group of friends or even brothers/ sisters with younger kids can't join you.

Yes it is true that KTC has the facilities for families, but the camp is very large and close to another large camp that results in not so much quiet times as in the case of other wilderness camps and with an advantage of a certain area that you can reach early.

Surely parents will place the safety of their children first and based their decisions on where they want to book specially if they have good knowledge of the wilderness camps.


I really hope we don't have a crying baby within ear shot this September and again next March at KTC :shock: but nor do I want loud adults or the 'golf crowd' mentioned on Trip Advisor. Let's hope all our camp mates are forum members who all know how to behave! :gflower:

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Re: wilderness camps & children

Unread post by Tembe & Kgala » Mon Aug 04, 2014 9:48 am

most of the time , I have to complain about loud adults drinking a lot and talking loud until veeeery late. :twisted:

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Re: wilderness camps & children

Unread post by andrew1nesbitt » Mon Aug 04, 2014 10:47 am

Sanparks as a government organisation must avoid discrimination wherever possible. Essentially discrimination based on safety and practical reasons are probably the only justifiable reasons, eg age limits on hiking (too young, too old or disabled) due to fitness, stamina and correct behaviour during a dangerous situation. As a family destination (yes a couple with no children are also considered a family), discrimination targeting children with respect to noise potential affecting others is outright wrong. Going further "game drive" activities in our national parks seems to discriminate on potential noise affecting others and thus an age limit is applied, again this is wrong. Only practical reasons should be considered eg toilet habits and correct behaviour in a dangerous situation - the age limit may end up the same but the reasons justifiable. Another way to avoid this type of discrimination is to provide the same product with or without children

Those who want to experience total peace and tranquillity with no potential of screaming noisy kids, book the private concessions, as these private users, have the right to discriminate on age, as they are selling a premium "peace and tranquil" product, Sanparks are not - they should be selling a family destination for all.

Another point, the wilderness camps are no more dangerous than camping at Polentswa, Rooiputs and Kalahari tented camps where children are allowed. In addition, from my experience, the park north of Lijersdraai is not accessible for those with children unless one is camping as the return trip becomes too long if one is based at Nossob.

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KTP Wilderness Camps - Children Policy

Unread post by edertch » Sun Jan 11, 2015 6:33 pm

Hi there,

I would appreciate if somebody can give a definite answer to the following issue (as SanParks itself seems not to be able to answer this - obviously very uncommon - question:

I spoke to 6 different people at SanPark regarding the booking for children at KTP Wilderness Camps. Four told me that children below 12 are NOT allowed at ANY Wilderness Camps, 2 of them confirmed, that Kalahari Tented Camp allows children below 12 and even send me a confirmed reservation for that.
The SanPark's web site states also two different versions:
1) "No children under the age of 12 is allowed at any of the park’s Wilderness camps."
2) "Chidren under 12 years are not allowed at these camps: Kieliekrankie, Urikaruus, Gharagab, Bitterpan, Grootkolk." (thus Kalahari Tented Camp is not named so children are allowed?).

Cheers
edertch

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Re: KTP Wilderness Camps - Children Policy

Unread post by Son godin » Sun Jan 11, 2015 7:09 pm

edertch,

Children under 12 are allowed at Kalahari Tented Camp, but I assume it only applies for the family units and that it will not be allowed to book separate units of 2 x 2 beds. The camp is not fenced so for the safety of the children and convenience of eating together and driving out its best to stay in one unit.
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: KTP Wilderness Camps - Children Policy

Unread post by edertch » Mon Jan 12, 2015 8:26 am

Son godin wrote:edertch,

Children under 12 are allowed at Kalahari Tented Camp, but I assume it only applies for the family units and that it will not be allowed to book separate units of 2 x 2 beds. The camp is not fenced so for the safety of the children and convenience of eating together and driving out its best to stay in one unit.


Thanks - but obviousy not, as the web site is unclear and 4 of the 6 reservation officers simply did not allow booking with a child at ANY accommodation in ANY Wilderness Camp....

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Re: KTP Wilderness Camps - Children Policy

Unread post by Jonkers » Mon Jan 12, 2015 10:52 am

the base rate is for 2 persons and only the family units allow 2 extra persons
different rate for extra adult or extra child
at KTC

so you can never book a unit for two children or you should pretend they are adults and pay accordingly


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