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Berg & Dal Rest Camp

Lennie Senior
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Location: Brackenfell, Western Cape

Berg & Dal Rest Camp

Unread post by Lennie Senior » Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:46 am

I am an annual camping visitor to KNP, all the way from Cape Town. I am also a defender of Sanparks and their efforts, mostly under difficult circumstances, to ensure that this wonderful heritage gem remains a tourist attraction to all South Africans and tourists from abroad. Browsing through the 10 pages of this discussion (145 comments) since 2005 of Berg & Dal underlines the beauty of this camp, its facilities and surroundings. My friend Stoffel also commented on this thread years ago in this regard, however, it was most disturbing to learn from him (with photographs as proof) of the current terrible state of affairs in management of this camp. These photographs tell a story that no KNP-fanatic wants to see. Stoffel has raised the matter in writing with his photographs as proof through the correct channels at Sanparks and I have requested him to discuss his personal experience here as well.

My view is that a matter such as this must be shared with all KNP fanatics to ensure that this trend of poor management and maintenance at Berg & Dal is reversed without fail. Adding to this, the baboon and monkey problem at Berg & Dal is totally out of hand and if other rest camps can do it, this camp should also be able to arrest this problem. (We all know the reason for the monkey and baboon problem, but rule obeying visitors should not be left to merely accept the chaos and damages caused by this problem).

Stoffel
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Re: Berg & Dal Rest Camp

Unread post by Stoffel » Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:40 am

Len - Thank you for raising this matter on this forum too. I did send an e-mail to (hopefully) the relevant persons. I placed the photos regarding my concerns in Berg-&-Dal on the CaravanParks.com forum and cannot remember how to place photos on this forum anymore.

The very same issues were raised with SANParks in October 2015 regarding the ablution facilities in Berg-&-Dal. I received the following reply from Londiwe Masondo:

We acknowledge receipt of your feedback and thank you for taking time to complete our Guest Feedback form. We value your feedback as it assists us in addressing all raised issues efficiently and give us the opportunity to address and improve our service standard.

Kindly note that the concerning issues mentioned below are receiving the necessary attention from the camp management. On behalf of KNP management, kindly accept my apologies for the inconvenience endured.


I have sent the following this morning (with photos):

I trust that the persons included in this e-mail, are still relevant to what I am addressing in this e-mail.

As you can see below, I complained in October 2015 about the ablution we used during our stay in Berg-&-Dal. I mentioned that I will be visiting this camp again in June 2016, but my plans changed as I mainly visited the northern and central camps. However, I did camp in Berg-&-Dal for 7 nights (9 – 15 May) this year. We have spent a total of 29 nights in the park (1 x Malelane, 7 x Berg-&-Dal, 7 x Lower Sabie, 7 x Satara and 7 x Tsendze). What I am addressing in this e-mail regarding Berg-&-Dal, does not apply to any of the other mentioned camps. The ablutions were quite neat and very acceptable in all the others, but oh my word, Berg-&-Dal’s were appalling.

This time we used the ablution block in the far end of the camping area. I will address the issues one by one:

• In the first photo (115410), the path (if you can call it a path), leading to the entrance area of both the Gents’ and Ladies’ bathrooms, can be seen. It is uphill, uneven, a mess during rain with obstacles (painted white), making it a rather difficult for especially elder people and those reliant on wheel chairs. The facilities inside have toilets for the latter, but there is no way in which they can manoeuvre the “path” to the entrance.
• The next three photos (115438, 115528 & 115605) shows the signs of absolute no maintenance. Everywhere signs of wood rot are seen and only one of the shower cubicles had a sliding bolt to close the door.
• Photo 115501 shows the impractical design of two of the shower cubicles on the men’s side, where you must walk through the dressing area of the first cubicle before you can reach the next cubicle – also with doors that cannot lock (swing doors). In my opinion, this is unheard of to expect that strangers should be exposed to other persons while showering or getting dressed.
• Photo 115626 shows the big window from the inside that has surely not been cleaned for a very long time. One cannot help to get the impression that things are just left alone to take their course.
• The next two photos (115302 & 115320) shows the signs of total neglect to maintain the building in proper condition.
• The wash up sinks (photos 115211 & 115232) is proof of the poor maintenance performed. Firstly, the taps and piping appeared of a “don’t care” attitude towards proper repairs. The tap on the right-hand side fell off because it did not have the necessary screw to attach it. The plugs were tied with a steel cable that already started eroding, making it rather difficult not to scratch your hands and kept on hooking to dishes.

If other camps can maintain an acceptable level of neatness and maintenance in their ablutions and kitchens, it can surely be done in Berg-&-Dal too. Presently the ablution facilities in Berg-&-Dal is a blot on Kruger’s name.

The next issue I want to raise is the total lack of baboon control in Berg-&-Dal. I realise it is a problem in many other camps too, but one gets the impression that other camps try to do something about the problem. Last year we saw baboon “chasers” in Shingwedzi. As soon as baboons entered the camp, these persons started chasing them away. In Lower-Sabie (this year), rangers with rifles tried to shoot the culprits – although without success – but at least something is done. We saw for ourselves baboons running over the electric wires in front of the cattle grid at Berg-&-Dal’s entrance as if there is no electricity in the wiring. I kept guard for a whole afternoon when they raided a tent of campers opposite me. It was only when a Honorary Ranger (in training) came to stay in the camp and chasing them with fire crackers that it seemed the problem lessened. The baboon “situation” in Berg-&-Dal is surely the worst of all Kruger National Park camps and should really be addressed in all earnest.

Otherwise Berg-&-Dal is such a wonderful camp, situated in one of the most scenic areas of Kruger, with one of the better shops and restaurants in the park. It is surely one of our favourite camps to visit, but with the issues and problems raised above, I do not foresee that it will stay on our “favourite’s list” if the above-mentioned is not addressed properly

Lennie Senior
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Location: Brackenfell, Western Cape

Re: Berg & Dal Rest Camp

Unread post by Lennie Senior » Mon Sep 11, 2017 5:00 pm

As per Stoffel's post above :
Attachments
20170515_115528.jpg
20170515_115438.jpg
20170515_115410.jpg
20170515_115320.jpg
20170515_115302.jpg
20170515_115211.jpg

Lennie Senior
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Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 7:47 pm
Location: Brackenfell, Western Cape

Re: Berg & Dal Rest Camp

Unread post by Lennie Senior » Mon Sep 11, 2017 5:24 pm

Two more images as per Stoffel's post :-
Attachments
20170515_115605.jpg
20170515_115501.jpg

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DinkyBird
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Re: Berg & Dal Rest Camp

Unread post by DinkyBird » Mon Sep 11, 2017 7:29 pm

Hi Stoffel - did you use the feedback channels as per the contacts in this post? It is better to write to customer care as they will forward the email to the relevant management for attention. That is the only channel to use for your complaint to receive the attention it needs.
- Dalene

Lennie Senior
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Location: Brackenfell, Western Cape

Re: Berg & Dal Rest Camp

Unread post by Lennie Senior » Wed Sep 13, 2017 4:18 pm

I agree, complaints should be addressed through the correct channels to ensure corrective measures to be taken. I am convinced that is what Stoffel did, now and in 2015.

In addition I would say it is also valuable information shared right here on KNP Camps & Roads where fellow Kruger fans ask and get on the spot information regarding experiences obtained at the camps and roads in Kruger, regardless whether it is positive or negative.

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Elsa
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Re: Berg & Dal Rest Camp

Unread post by Elsa » Wed Sep 13, 2017 4:30 pm

We must also remember Stoffels' last visit was in May, 4 full months ago so we don't know at this stage whether these issues have been addressed, and someone who has stayed/camped there very recently can give us feedback on progress.

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Re: Berg & Dal Rest Camp

Unread post by RobertT » Wed Sep 13, 2017 4:52 pm

Personally I would think it would be SANParks responsibility and in their interest to provide feedback and not waiting or making it another camper/ visitors responsibility to check and provide feedback? :hmz:

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Elsa
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Re: Berg & Dal Rest Camp

Unread post by Elsa » Wed Sep 13, 2017 5:10 pm

This is why we ask that issues be addressed directly to the correct source where they are logged and can be dealt with by the correct channels.

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Re: Berg & Dal Rest Camp

Unread post by RobertT » Wed Sep 13, 2017 6:37 pm

I read they were placed through correct channels in 2015 and feedback received yet still with same issues on his last trip. I fill in the feedback after all my trips but have my doubts on whether it works as we expect. I regularly see boards up in receptions with the different percentages from the feedback for all different things in camp, I hope my feedback is not being used to measure the camp and how well it is doing. I want my feedback to prompt an action not a measure. I.e. If I complain of unit being dirty or broken door in shower or doors jamming, curtain rails falling down, it doesn't help if their percentage drops from 90 to 88 because of complaint and yet these things still remain problems.

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DinkyBird
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Re: Berg & Dal Rest Camp

Unread post by DinkyBird » Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:07 pm

Well RobertT, there are different forms of feedback, for different reasons, so depends which one you choose to use.
- Dalene

Lennie Senior
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Re: Berg & Dal Rest Camp

Unread post by Lennie Senior » Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:27 pm

Dalene, let us for a moment set aside the different procedures to raise a concern affecting the enjoyment visitors to KNP are entitled to in exchange for the money paid for accommodation.

The critical point here is the lack of proper maintenance and care that is supposed to be managed by B&D Camp Management which is demonstrated by the various photographs in the camping area. It is very clear from the post and photographs by Stoffel that this neglect is not just a slip up here and there, this is something that has been going on for at least two years that we know of. How is it possible in a corporate structure with regional managers, department managers, camp managers and supervisors that this deterioration could take place unnoticed ? This discussion refers to the camping area and one wonders what the situation is with other forms of accommodation.

As all participants on this forum are active supporters of Kruger National Park, it hurts to see a situation developing as described above and therefore it should be understandable that the matter is shared among members.

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Re: Berg & Dal Rest Camp

Unread post by RobertT » Thu Sep 14, 2017 5:31 am

DinkyBird wrote:Well RobertT, there are different forms of feedback, for different reasons, so depends which one you choose to use.


I fill in feedback forms I get mailed after I return from a trip. Why have a feedback form for people to fill in if there is no corrective action to complaints? Is the one I fill in just a measuring one or do the things I mention on there get attention?

Stoffel
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Re: Berg & Dal Rest Camp

Unread post by Stoffel » Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:19 am

I filled in the relevant form I received after my October 2015 visit. I then got reaction from from Londiwe Masondo (Customer Services Consultant - Marula Region). She also copied Peter SV Dlamini, Ncamsile Dlamini & Sonika Smith. - See my post dated Monday 12 September 2017 on this thread.

I addressed my recent complaint (of my Berg-&-Dal experience of this past May) to Londiwe Masondo and copied the other three persons that she copied in her reply to me after my October 2015 complaint. I received an aotomated reply stating that the e-mail could not be delivered to Peter SV Dlamini. Thus I accept that the others received theirs. The photos (mine, taken this past May) which Lennie Senior placed on my behalf as I was uncertain of how to place photos, was attached to my e-mail to the mentioned persons.

I am still waiting for reaction. It took 8 days the previous time (my complaint was on 26 October 2015) before I received a reply (3 September 2015) from Londiwe Masondo. I am thus still hopeful to get reaction.

To summarize - I trust I addressed my present complaint to the correct person (who reacted on my previous complaint).

And I just want to emphasize that this complaint is only about Berg-&-Dal. All the other other camps that we stayed in during our 29 night visit to Kruger, was great.

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Re: Berg & Dal Rest Camp

Unread post by DinkyBird » Thu Oct 12, 2017 6:42 pm

Stoffel wrote:And I am still waiting for a response on my e-mail sent to Londiwe Masondo (Customer Services Consultant - Marula Region) regarding the matter raised above.???? :(

If you refer back, I did advise to write to customercare@sanparks.org I suggest you resend the email to that contact :)
- Dalene


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