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Sighting Boards.

Discuss activities available in the Kruger National Park, and follow all the sighting reports.
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Myer Pincus
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Re: Sighting Maps

Unread post by Myer Pincus » Fri Mar 20, 2009 11:31 am

Hi all.
Here is a possible project for someone with the neccesary computer skills.
Where someone is not sure what they have seen. :huh:
Set up a touch screen PC, where you would enter certain criteria as to the type of animal, insect, bird reptile that you saw. shape, colour etc.
where each selection would narrow down the avenue untill you get to the animal that you saw. further to that you can then place it on a virtual sightings board.
Just to add as far as the new magnetic sightings boards go.
Nice, easy to read Yes I know its only an indication! but.... the magnets are large in relation to the map. So if you see 2 amazing sightings worthy of placement close to each other you cant place the magnets so they are representative of position.

Comments please! :hmz:
You never know , thats why you keep going back!

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Unread post by chris-pe » Mon May 11, 2009 7:37 am

I have just returned from a trip to Kruger and my suspicions from previous trips was confirmed...

One of the best things to do before and after game drives in the Kruger Park is to check the sightings board at either camps or gates.
I have never in my 11 trips to the Kruger Park spotted wild dog and keep an eye on these sightings boards to try find them!
One thing that I have been amazed about is that no matter where you are in the Park wild dog are commonly marked off on the sightings boards and what gets to me is often they have been spotted on the roads I have just travelled ( I am sure you all share this frustration ) .

I began to wonder if maybe people are not confusing wild Dog and Hyena, now I know to us avid game viewers we won't understand how one can be confused between the 2 but to the ordinary first timer, who knows do they think a hyena is a wild dog?

My suspicions were confirmed where on 2 occasions I went to where some had marked off wild dog on the sightings board, turns out in these locations there were hyena dens...

what do you all think? could some people be getting confused?

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Unread post by Mauxie » Sun May 17, 2009 10:12 am

I'd like to share my experience with you, in defence of the sightings boards.

Last September, I spent 11 'sleeps' in Kruger. Starting at Biyamiti and going up as far as Letaba and then back, ending my trip at Malelane camp.

While in the Park, I kept a close watch on the sightings boards and especially looked out for where the wild dog had been seen, as I had only seen them twice before, ages ago.

That same trip, my step daughter and family, on their first trip to Kruger, saw the dogs, half an hour on entering the park, at the Malelane Gate. I couldn't believe their luck and so was even more determined to find them.

My trip was almost over.
My last night was at Malelane camp. Still no dogs!!
At 5pm, I had just booked in at the Malelane gate, which is the procedure for Malelane and decided to go for one last search of the area.

I headed towards the bridge, over the Matjulu river, on the H3.
As I approached it, I saw a large number of cars on the S110 dirt road.

It had to be Wild Dog!!!! Please let it be Wild Dog!!!! No, it wasn't...but it was a beautiful leopard in a tree. :D
It was getting late, so I decided to leave ahead of the pack (pun) not wanting to be late back at camp.

I stopped for a few gorgeous sunset photos and as I pulled off again, I noticed a car had stopped, on the top of the rise, in front of me. I could hardly contain my excitement. It HAD to be!! Yes, it was!!!

A pack of about 8 Wild Dogs! They were running all around us. It was amazing! I was in my element! I spent a good 10 mins ( by now it was 5:55pm) with them as the other cars caught up.

I moved on reluctantly, but also to give the new arrivals a chance to share them. I know that a good deal of those people were heading for Berg en Dal and would most definitely have been late. it was worth it tho'.

Thanks to the sightings board and a good deal of luck, I had found my Wild Dogs! :dance:

I could now go home the next morning, totally satisfied, after another wonderful, successful trip.
KRUGER, my happy place!
SKUKUZA 3rd & 4th
SATARA 6th , 7th & 8th
LOWER SABIE 9th , 10th & 11th

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Unread post by G@mespotter » Mon May 25, 2009 8:47 am

I never use the sightings board as a guide to where the animals are... Simply because animals move around (well most of them). Therefore, it's still nice to know where certain animals are is a specific area.

But, lions sightings that were on the sightings board have given me a fair share of satisfaction.
So, once we had lion sightings reported on the board at Sonop along the H6.
We went off, and hidden in the bushes, there they were!!!
Most people did a round, and then left the place, not seeing them.
We had a full blown show, where they had a go for warthog and wildebeests.
Although the attempt were unsuccessful, it was worth it every minute.

At Punda last Dec. I saw lions dots on the exact same places near Klopperfontein.
This made me change my mind as I wanted to do the Mahonie loop.
And, coming to the spot, we had 11 or 12 lions eating a zebra carcass :whistle: So ja, I does help sometimes...

I do not count on them, but the sightings board have proved to help sometimes.
I find it a waste to follow leopard, wild dog magnets as they simply are too restless :lol:
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sighting boards

Unread post by ice » Sun Jan 17, 2010 11:10 am

All the sighting boards in KNP (at least all I know) hold the big five plus cheetah and wild honestly, is there anybody out there who would try and find a buffalo, an elephant or even a rhino because of a pin on the sighting boards?
These animals are so big and occur in such big numbers, you don't really have to go looking for them, do you?
I know it's not going to happen but I'd easily replace these three with rarer animals like sable and roans (where they occur) and distinguish between black and white rhinos as well as between leopards in trees (which might in fact still be at that particular point hours later) and other leopards (in the bush or just crossing the road, those which will most likely not find again, no matter how hard you search)

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Re: sighting boards

Unread post by brendon111 » Sun Jan 17, 2010 12:10 pm

ICE. I Totally agree with you they should replace the buff and ellie with something more rare.
I personally think they should keep the rhino but put a difference between black and white.
It would be cool if there was a way off showing the difference between something on the road or something in a tree but I think they are trying to keep it simple
Great idea tho. hope the idea goes to the people who need it hear it!

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Re: sighting boards

Unread post by Sprocky » Thu Jan 21, 2010 5:33 pm

ice wrote:
Baobab Boy wrote:Totally agree, however what about a pin for "Wild Dogs" because at most sighting boards the yellow pins are used for hyaena’s :wall:

but that's because most people mistake wild dogs for hyenas ;-) "down south" (e.g. up to Orpen and Satara) yellow pins are (in theory) used for wild dogs

I also use big yellow pins. Every time I see a Wild Dog I stick a big yellow pin in it, it makes it more visible for the next car. :twisted:

To me the sightings board is a bit of a hit and miss affair, people that don't care about rules also mark "sightings", lots of them in very funny places.
I only use the sighting boards to decide on a route home, not to go and look for what was indicated.

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Re: sighting boards

Unread post by fee » Thu Jan 21, 2010 6:53 pm

The books were open to abuse as nobody really checked them at reception.
Unfortunately you always got the smart-ass making ridiculous/false sightings and I'm sure that's why they did away with it.
Often there were really pathetic comments.
The boards are quick and easy to look at especially at Nkhulu and Afsaal.
Its a great idea to have pins for the more unusual/endangered sightings, but which do you choose. Wild dog and black/white rhino .... definitely.

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Re: sighting boards

Unread post by klotzof » Thu Jan 21, 2010 7:26 pm

The book was open to abuse but so is the board. You can usually tell who the wise guys are

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Re: Sightings Boards

Unread post by fazekma » Fri Jan 22, 2010 1:50 pm

I've noticed two distinct divisions on this thread relating to sighting boeards - some people think they are great while others say they are a waste of time and don't use them.

Our experience with the sighting boards is that they lead us to about 50% of our sightings. This article provides some information on how to get the most out of the Kruger sighting boards and this web page ... alows.html shows all our sightings, on our sighting board at home, relating to the various Kruger camps.

Yes, some people will put pins on the wrong road while some will even move other people's pins around (takes all kinds!) but the main problem we have experienced is that some people, even locals, don't know the difference between a cheetah and leopard, as big5spotter pointed out, or between a hyena and wild dog.

It boils down to educating people so we have put together some info on the difference between the most confused animlas: ... ation.html

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Re: sighting boards

Unread post by cvn » Sat Jan 23, 2010 1:22 pm

Hi everyone, been reading the forums a long time and about a year ago my wife had this great idea regarding the sighting boards, on the round magnets just put the following;
w - for walking, l - for lying down, k - for kill, that way it will be easy to know if one should go and look for it or not.

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African Lynx
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Lets try again....Sighting Boards Demise

Unread post by African Lynx » Thu Oct 07, 2010 10:19 am

Yesterday I posted a thread regards the sighting boards. It was subsequently moved to the "POLLS" thread on the main screen and merged with a poll thread on the sightings boards. It has been viewed by only 2 people in the last 24 hrs and no one has commented. Ok I know this sounds like a 4 yr old moaning about not getting his mcflurry from mcD's, but trust me it isn't. I wanted to stir up some debate around the accuracy and legitimacy of the sightings boards and whether we should keep them or scrap them. Maybe theres someone out there with a better and "kid" proof idea. If i wanted a poll on the issue I would have put the thread in the poll section. My apologies to the Mod who moved it, but I did request that you re-instate it here yesterday afternoon and i've had no response.

Below is my original post.

Hi All

I think its high time that we do away with the sightings boards. Before I get a barrage of counter arguements let me first explain my reasoning.

Lets be honest now, how many of you actually trust whats on them? How many of you actually rush out to the indicated area to find not a hide or hair of the animal you seeking? How many times does the little red/blue/white/yellow/black/green dot sit in no mans land which doesnt have a road within 20km of it? How many times have you seen kids "tamper" with the red/blue/white/yellow/black/green dots and when they realise you standing there they take them off?

See where i'm going with this? I suggest we scrap the whole "sighting board" thing. Remove them all, take away the urge for kids and immature adults to mess with our travel plans. Lets lose the tradition of rushing to the sightings board when we get back from a morning drive and before we embark on an afternoon drive.

This is when I can see most of you starting to get like this.....

Ok, so we take away the sightings boards, but what do we put in its polace? How will we get the inside track to the best sightings in the area? How can we plan travel routes if we dont have an idea of where all the game is?

I have a suggestion, We should go back to the traditional wave and stop. Talk to people that you see coming the other way. Tell people about sightings, no matter how far away. Let them decide if they want to go and find the sighting. When I was in the park around Berg 'n Dal over the long week end thats what I did. And to see the delight on peoples faces whan you tell them about the nomadic males wallking down the tar road or about a zebra kill just outside the camp is priceless. The joy on the kids faces when they realise that they will get to see a lion or leapard is so much more rewarding than sticking a dot on a map.

So, come on people do we really need to have the sightings boards? Wouldn't it do more for our Kruger experience to interact more with people on the road and to get the info about sightings 1st hand? What are your thoughts? I would like to hear what you all think.

In closing, the ONLY people I saw misbehaving, AND I STRESS, I was in Berg 'n Dal for 3 days and this could just be coincidence, was foreigners from Mozambique. Standing outside their cars taking photos, hanging out windows and sitting out their sunroofs. Maybe we need to print the rules in Portugese. Just a thought.

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Re: Lets try again....Sighting Boards Demise

Unread post by moggiedog » Thu Oct 07, 2010 10:41 am

Hi African Lynx

Regarding the sightings board - I have no feelings either way whether they go or stay. I do look at them for fun - but due to some of the reasons you mentioned I dont use them at all to go looking for sightings. Hubby doesnt even bother looking at them.
They also have there uses - many people go off seeking animals according to the sightings board - then we can head off in completely the opposite direction and do our own "hunting' away from the crowds :)

Many years ago the sighting books were a better guage of genuine sightings as no maps or pins to be played with. Even then there were questionable entries.

Perhaps its time to go hi-tech and have a place to enter GPS co-ordinates of the sighting you wish to share. :D
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Re: Lets try again....Sighting Boards Demise

Unread post by cptphotographer » Thu Oct 07, 2010 11:03 am

African Lynx,

If you do not trust the sightings board, don't use it, no need to remove it.

My son (and I am sure MANY others too) is so excited to put his sightings on the board that I think it would be a travesty to remove these from Kruger. So what if the kids mess around with the pins, nobody forces you to take any roads, animals walk around afterall and are not going stay stationary because their position was pinned on a map.

This doesn't however stop us from starting a more accurate sightings board online for instance. Anyway, just my 2c worth!
Last edited by cptphotographer on Thu Oct 07, 2010 11:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Lets try again....Sighting Boards Demise

Unread post by o-dog » Thu Oct 07, 2010 11:05 am

Everyone has their opinion but personally...

I love the sightings boards!!!

Some seem to be well maintained though (Satara) while others are not really. I for one update my sightings honestly and would like to think people gain info from my updates. Ofcourse some people are there to mess things around and other people dont know the difference between hyena and wild dog but I certainly use them to good affect.
I however use the info as hints (rather than a guaranteed sighting) and when driving a road will keep an extra eye out at a locality where an animal like a lion has supposedly been spotted.

Sightings boards are also great for meeting people and discussing sightings. So often have I been at a board and marked something or seen someone else marking a sighting and ended up talking to that person and sharing valuable info which has led to someone gaining a sighting they didn't know about. I would say I gained 3 or so lion sightings and a wild dog sighting just in my last 2 trips alone in this method.

The boards are also great for many people who don't have good maps and thy can easily trace their routes and learn more about the huge areas the roads traverse.

In terms of talking to people randomly while driving or anywhere else, I am always friendly and I get good response from people most of the time. There are plenty of unfriendly people who don't greet and chat etc but for those who do they gain so much more.

In November of 2009, whether it was guides or fellow overnighters like myself I found most people very friendly whether at sightings boards or out on the road and the sharing of sightings helped avoid driving areas which were not productive and at the same time gave me valuable info for finding things like 3 sleeping lions (which turned out to be 9 lions hunting and bringing down a giraffe).

I hope the boards always remain as I can only see huge benifits from them.
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