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VHF Radios in the park

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johanrebel
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Re: Use of two-way radios / walkie talkies

Unread post by johanrebel » Thu Mar 13, 2014 9:52 am

According to this article http://www.tourismupdate.co.za/NewsDetails.aspx?newsId=71894#, commercial safari operators may not use two-way radios.

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Re: Use of two-way radios / walkie talkies

Unread post by Penny » Thu Mar 13, 2014 10:33 am

If the use of cell phones is restricted to gates and camps what on earth is the point of continuously requesting people to phone the emergency number when required. Often one travels through areas where there is a whiff of a signal and its enough to receive text messages on a cell phone. Not all of us are privileged enough to go to the Park and never have to deal with work problems or an alarm that is going off at home.

I can categorically state that the supposed ban on the use of radios to call in sightings is being completely and utterly ignored by Outside Safari Vehicles. Sadly we have had the rough edge of their tongues at several sightings. Once at Mlondozi dam road an OSV guide was very rude to us as he thought that our vehicle was running but in fact it was the fan at the front of the old Volkswagen TDI bus that comes on when one stops. On another occasion at a mating lion sighting where the OSV arrived in their droves on the S114 we were told after having been there for 5 mins that we should move on as his guests could not see over our Kombi. Tell me how it is possible to arrive in such numbers (there must have been 13 or 14 OSV's) if it was not announced on a radio.

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Re: Use of two-way radios / walkie talkies

Unread post by DSouter » Thu Mar 13, 2014 1:12 pm

The vehicles that the outside tour operators use should be checked when entering the park and if they have a 2 way radio installed in the vehicle then they should be refused entry and the company penalised. I would say that almost every outside tour operator I have come across has had a two way radio fitted and if not then they make full use of cell phones to call each other.

I realise that they have to make a living but not at the expense of crowding out the guests who have paid large sums of money to stay in the park.

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Re: Use of two-way radios / walkie talkies

Unread post by 4O4-5O4 » Thu Mar 13, 2014 5:01 pm

I say ban all cell phone 'sightings boards' too. Its sad that as documented openly in many of the trip reports, they are constantly checking up on latest sightings and creating hype around these sightings. In my opinion, it contradicts that what Kruger stands for. Go find your own lion kill and leave other people who find one alone.

Sadly, it appears not many people here have had the privilege of experiencing the Kruger of 30 years ago.

Technology has its place in the world. But ONLY in camps and outside the park.

And for those who disagree, Kruger existed for far longer just fine before cell phone reception was introduced. I would bet my bottom dollar too that the increase in animals being run over are directly proportional to the increase in real time 'sighting boards' as more and more visitors speed to reach the next sighting.

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Re: VHF Radios in the park

Unread post by Digger » Wed Mar 01, 2017 10:46 pm

May i carry my vhf radio to use it in case of an emergency like a engine malfunction?

If yes, whats the frequency should i program to listen?

Thanks.

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Re: VHF Radios in the park

Unread post by Elsa » Sat Mar 04, 2017 10:50 am

Digger, I really cannot advise re any VHF frequencies but do have a read through Breakdowns, car problems flat tyres for some info and advice.
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Re: VHF Radios in the park

Unread post by Hippotragus » Sat Mar 04, 2017 2:11 pm

Digger - I also don't know about radios.
Cell phone reception pops up in the most rote areas. Once I came across a breakdown on a remote road and promised to phone as soon as I got signal. Within 5km I was able to phone and report.
I am sure if you have a problem someone will be able to report it.
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Re: VHF Radios in the park

Unread post by gotaloveit » Tue May 02, 2017 8:56 pm

Surely there are more people with radios out there? And surely there must be a frequency that we can use to communicate in an emergency?

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Re: VHF Radios in the park

Unread post by Hippotragus » Tue May 02, 2017 9:25 pm

I may be wrong, but I think the SANParks staff radios are not on a public channel.

The "old days" of CB radios has, I think, been over taken by cell phones.

I don't think general use of radios would be a good thing. There would be chaos! Imagine the rushing to sightings!

As I said in a post above, there are many "hot spots" of cell reception and, if you are in trouble, someone can call for help when they get signal. A couple of years ago I came across a stranded vehicle. I made sure they had water and, when I got signal (not far in fact), I phoned the SANParks emergency number and reported it. Later that evening I phoned the people who had been stranded and they said they had been "rescued" and all was well.
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dylan_87
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Kruger Two way radios.

Unread post by dylan_87 » Mon Jun 12, 2017 7:15 pm

Hi Fellow kruger nuts.

I was just wondering whether it is at all possible to get either sanparks or other OSV operators radio frequencies for spotting purposes?

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Re: Kruger Two way radios.

Unread post by RayK » Mon Jun 12, 2017 8:37 pm

Hi dylan_87,
Why? It would only encourage speeding to the sighting. I'd prefer coming across a sighting on my own.

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Re: VHF Radios in the park

Unread post by Nkulu » Tue Jun 13, 2017 6:22 am

Spotting animals is fun and very rewarding, following the crowd :evil:
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Re: VHF Radios in the park

Unread post by Hippotragus » Tue Jun 13, 2017 9:26 am

Absolutely, nkulu!! Find your own sightings and enjoy without the madding crowd.

The OSVs are not supposed to use radios to call in others to sightings - some probably do, however.

It would not be a good idea for the SANParks channels to be made public because of "sensitive" communications.
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Re: Kruger Two way radios.

Unread post by johanrebel » Tue Jun 13, 2017 9:31 am

dylan_87 wrote:I was just wondering whether it is at all possible to get either sanparks or other OSV operators radio frequencies for spotting purposes?
Technically, a simple scanner should do the trick. Might be illegal in South Africa, I wouldn't know.

The OSV operators and private lodges do not exactly use sophisticated state-of-the-art radio technology. Their networks are either simplex or semi-duplex, the latter working off repeaters, some of which are located on Mariepskop. Judging by antenna length, the operating frequencies are in the VHF-high band, i.e. 148-174 MHz.

Since lodge radios can be used to communicate with SANParks, their systems must be similar, although one would hope that anti-poaching uses modern secure comms (e.g. the frequency hopping kind).

Having said all that, I must add that eavesdropping on radio comms and then racing to sightings doesn't exactly sound like my idea of fun. I don't think SANParks vehicles call in sightings anyway, with the exception of the rest camp game viewing vehicles, which perhaps may do so if several are operating in the same area.

Johan

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Re: VHF Radios in the park

Unread post by DinkyBird » Tue Jun 13, 2017 11:51 am

Hi dylan_87

Radios in the park are used for security reasons - not spotting. I would not advise trying to tap into their frequency without express permission from the park :thumbs_up:
The use of radios:
OSV Operators are required to sign Terms and Conditions which includes undertaking to provide excellent levels of service, look after its clients at all times and in respect of every client interface, promote the good name of SANParks and its facilities at all times, provide a high standard of safety to its clients at all times, show courtesy towards other road users especially when viewing game and refrain from using radios to inform other vehicles of game viewing information.
Recently there have been calls for two-way radios to be removed from all OVS’s to eliminate the calling in of sightings. However, the use of these radios are a critical element of visitor safety and are not an instrument that is taken lightly by the Operators. Because these Operators take full legal responsibility for their guests whilst on tour, it is a vital tool used in their daily operation to remain in contact with their offices/vehicles. This is especially important when considering the limited cell phone coverage within the Park and in some cases dead zones on roads outside the Park. On a number of occasions OSVs have even been in a position to assist stranded motorists who were out of range and unable to call for help.
OSV radios are legally complaint which comes at a high operational cost with acquisition fees as well as yearly and monthly licencing fees paid to ICASA per radio, licence and channel. The primary functions of two-way radios are for client and vehicle safety and security and not to enable better sightings. Bearing in mind again that Operators take full legal responsibility for their clients, radios usage include:
Security
• There is often volatility on the roads surrounding the Kruger National Park with road closures and protest action. On these occasions Operators need to be able to send warnings to guides and redirect travel routes at short notice
Safety
• The ability to send out a general message instead of contacting each guide individually saves valuable time
• A broadcasted radio message alerts guides instantly to incidents whilst having to answer a mobile phone means the guide must come to a stop – this could potentially place the vehicle and the tourists in danger
• In an emergency situation contact between offices and vehicles are critical. This could be for vehicle breakdowns, in which case replacement vehicles are required, or more serious situations requiring medical assistance
Communication
• Flight and traffic delays have to be shared with guides to ensure that tourists flying in/out are met/dropped appropriately and that other deadlines, such as Park closing times, are met
• Radios are most often used to communicate estimated time of arrival which assists with various operational arrangements such as meal times, meeting transfer vehicles, etc.
• On occasions mobile signals are blocked within the Park, even at rest camps, due to anti-poaching operations. In these instances radios are the only means of communications between guides and their offices
• When larger tour groups are split amongst a number of vehicles there needs to be inter vehicle/office contact in case of itinerary changes
Anti-Poaching and Veterinary Services
• Operators have the option of installing dedicated channels that puts them in direct contact with MAJOC (Anti-Poaching) and SANParks Veterinary Services. This allows guides to call in suspicious activities and animals in distress especially in areas with no cell phone coverage. Many Operators have these channels installed and they have been used successfully on numerous occasions
- Dalene


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