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Sighting Boards.

Discuss activities available in the Kruger National Park, and follow all the sighting reports.
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Unread post by bert » Sun Jan 01, 2006 10:50 am

Punda Maria.
It has a book, with comments

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Unread post by Penny » Mon Jan 02, 2006 6:43 am

The best kept board is the one at Afsaal which is maintained by the Hon. Rangers. BTW should this thread not be under camps?
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Unread post by DebM » Tue Jan 03, 2006 2:36 pm

Elsa wrote:
Penny wrote:The other thing that I find extremely annoying is that every single board has a different colour allocation for the different animals so where you think are wild dog in fact turns out to be leopard for that particular camp.

I also find this very confusing, surely the colour pins could be standardised and you could at least get to know the colours/animals and see what is where at a glance.

Standardised coloured pin for animals would be good.
Orpen could do with relocating their sightings map and then supplying pins so sightings can be added.
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Unread post by spot-a-cat » Tue Jun 27, 2006 12:38 pm

For me looking at the sightings board is the first thing I do when I reach any camp. Its exciting to see where the large game is hanging out. However other than Lower Sabie & Satara, I can't remember a worth while sighting board anywhere in the park.

Firstly, while I understand that the pins are removed by guests, I don't understand why they aren't replaced.
Secondly, they are not maintained properly by Kruger staff, for example while looking at the Lower Sabie board, on our trip in June at around 8:15, there were sightings indicated north of Olifants on the 'Today' map (is it really possible in 2 1/4 hours??)
Thirdly, as has already been alluded to, standardization of colours would be greatly beneficial.

I don't understand why the boards aren't maintained better.
To replace the pins once a month would probably cost in the region of R25 per camp, & would add tremendous value to the experience of hundreds of guests. I can't believe that the SANP budget doesn't allow this insignificant cost.

I honestly believe that more people would use the boards, & take them more seriously, if camp management put more focus in this service.

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Unread post by MarkWildDog » Tue Jul 11, 2006 10:31 pm

I think :

- Big 5
- Wild dog and Cheetah
- Sable, Nyala, Roan, Hartebeest, Tsessebe, Eland, Reedbuck.
- Serval, Caracal, Wild Cat and Hyaena.

Then it will be very nice.

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Unread post by Katja » Tue Jul 11, 2006 11:12 pm

- Big 5
- Wild dog
- Cheetah
- Spotted Hyaena

But maybe it should also vary a little depending on where the camp is.
Last time I was in Shingwedzi, the sightings map didn't have any elephants pins.
That was a good thing because otherwise the area around the camp would be totally clogged up with elephant pins and there would be no place to put pins for other sightings.

I don't think there should be pins for very rare sightings like serval and caracal because they would not get used often, and the number of species on each map is limited to 8-10.
For such sightings the sighting books are better, also because you can write down the exact location and time and the information won't be lost after 2 days.
Maybe the sighting books should be displayed somewhere where more people will see them... ?
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Unread post by Wild@Heart » Wed Jul 12, 2006 7:41 am

I believe there should be two boards:

Board 1:
1. Lion
2. Cheetah
3. Leopard
4. Serval
5. Caracal
6. Hyaena
7. Wild Dogs

Board 2:
1. White Rhino
2. Black Rhino
3. Sable
4. Mountain Reedbuck
5. Tsessebe
6. Buffalo
7. Lichtenstein

Elephants aren't really that difficult to spot so don't think it's quite necessary for them to have a pin

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Beware of 'false' children-placed-pins

Unread post by Wildman » Thu Aug 10, 2006 1:13 pm

A few thoughts regarding sightings boards:
1. I enjoy ‘pinning up’ sightings; it gives a sense of participation! It's a good idea.
2. One may easily be mislead as the sightings boards purely indicate where animals were sighted earlier and there is NO guarantee that animals are still at the same spots.
3. Sighting boards should be used as a guidelines as to the general whereabouts of prides, herds, etc.
4. I have often seen little children putting pins up; they have very limited map reading skills and don’t understand the concept of the sightings board, as it is not a game.

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Unread post by arks » Mon Aug 14, 2006 9:11 pm

Bush Baptist wrote:It is so lekker to put these pins in in front of a crowd. It makes me feel 8 years old!

I felt the same way, BB :lol: I'd never really paid much attention to the pin boards before, not having been brought up with them :wink: , but on this last visit I started to look at them and enjoyed the few occassions when I'd actually place a pin — after I'd seen a cat or a notable ellie. They definitely add another dimension to the KNP experience :lol:
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Sightings boards

Unread post by Myer Pincus » Tue Aug 07, 2007 5:29 pm

Heres a thought.
The sightings boards are in itself usefull, but as can be expected not very accurate given the size of the pins.
8) What if a digital map could be designed and worked like the pin system, touch the sighted animals icon, then touch where on the map the sighting was!
This can also be used as a sightings database viewable on this website so that visitors can see a history of where what is, and can see which routes are richer. :lol:


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Electronic sightings board

Unread post by fazekma » Tue Aug 07, 2007 7:04 pm

Good idea Myer! The concept is already in use at Bakubung Lodge in the Pilanesburg. It's called ParkControl and it's a visual database program that allows rangers and guests to input their daily sightings, which can be viewed via ParkView that has been installed on a PC with touch screen and provides a 3-year history of sightings per animal. Hans, who created the program can be contacted on I think he has offered it to SANParks but there seems to be some heel dragging!

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Unread post by Jan Kriel » Thu Aug 09, 2007 12:30 pm


I know animals and birds move

That is so true, it must be remembered that the sighting boards are not an guarantee that when going to the spot marked that the animal/s might not be there, it is merely an indication.

There are factors to be taken in consideration such as territory, specie of animal seen, how territorial is an certain specie, movement of prey species and of predators, weather conditions, shade and the time of day when the animal was spotted and when the person have marked it on the board.
While in the Kgalagadi we have gone out several times to see if the species seen was still at the spot marked, but unfortunately the animal have either just moved over the dunes or even lying down in shade in such a position that nobody have a view over it. On several occasions animals have stayed in the same place for days where they were marked on the boards.

GPS Co-ordinates can help to give you a fair idea where the animals have been seen, not saying that they will be still there as the point where they were seen might be on the edge of their territory and the could disappear deeper into their territory the next day not to be seen for days.

To understand animal behaviour and movement would be the best way to try and locate animals sought after.

It should be up to the reception staff to make sure that kids to not put up pins and also the guides to change and clear the previous sightings to make space for new ones. sightings on road change every few minutes if not seconds.

Again it comes down to be at the right place just at the right time.
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Re: Sighting Maps

Unread post by Pamwe Chete » Wed Mar 18, 2009 9:49 am

Hi All,

During the two trips I made to Kruger last year, I got my 7 and 4 year old exited about the sightings board (for the first time, as opposed to getting exited about the shops), needless to say the first thing that happened when we get to camp is they check the board (no matter how badly the loo is needed).

These board are awesome, but I sometimes wonder (being in the IT field for a major casino group) when these are going to be automated into a touchscreen information kiosk type device, that may even have GPS co-ordinates, shop specials, maps (that could be charged at a minimal fee) etc.

I have mixed feelings about this, as a technologist I think it could be exiting (and possibly an additional revenue stream for the parks board), but as a dad (yup us IT crowd are also people) I think it may take something away from the ambiance of the park?

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Re: Sighting Maps

Unread post by pepperjuice » Wed Mar 18, 2009 12:35 pm

I just love the sightings boards, BUT and that’s the but …

As a keen photographer, I tend to follow my own nose. Try to get the sun behind me in the mornings, and travel mostly quiet dirt roads.

Leopard sighting on the board might have been only a leopard crossing over the road. Gone within 30 seconds.

Even same with lion. And as they move at night, next morning it is a totally new thing, unless it might be a kill as you say. Pros and cons for marking a kill. Less cars on the road where I will be {good}, all others off to the kill/traffic jam.

I have experienced traffic jams like this between Lower Sabie and Skukuza. NEVER again on a long weekend that road.

The sighting boards show me, and that makes me feel awful, what I have missed. But then again right time, right place. Have experience many moments alone with the cats, and other creatures that made up for what we missed.

After such a private sighting, it is always nice to flag the next car down and give directions. Have even turned around to help people to find the spot. The world turns, and have received my own back. Thanks to all those wonderful people.

My vote, a NO for special PIN for a kill.
Last edited by pepperjuice on Wed Mar 18, 2009 10:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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