Skip to Content

Leaving Car Unattended Outside of the Park

Find information and FAQ's not related to the parks, like Health & Safety, 4x4 etc.
User avatar
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1985
Joined: Mon May 26, 2008 1:52 am
Location: Arizona, USA

Re: Leaving Car Unattended Outside of the Park

Unread post by Stark » Tue Oct 01, 2013 9:48 pm

We had a Sportage that wouldn't quite hide our luggage with the retractable boot cover thingy. Before leaving the airport we situated our luggage so that we didn't scream "Tourist from the Airport!!!", and covered the one suitcase that was sticking out with a hooded sweatshirt. We stopped at the Malelane Spar and shopped - no fuss, no muss.

Enjoy your trip! :thumbs_up:
"Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors." West African Proverb
Kruger Bound in May!
6-8 Berg-en-dal
9-11 Lower Sabie
12-14 Satara
15-17 Letaba
18-20 Tamboti
21-22 Skukuza

User avatar
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Posts: 2566
Joined: Thu Jun 03, 2010 11:27 am
Location: Lost in the travel tales and bird ID challenges

Re: Leaving Car Unattended Outside of the Park

Unread post by isinkwe » Tue Oct 01, 2013 10:17 pm

Some good advice here, the best rule is " keep valuables out of sight"
I have never felt insecure about leaving my car with all its contents in any car park anywhere around Kruger Park. Lets face it, when I stop at a shopping centre somewhere outside the park , or in any unfamiliar town in SA for that matter, I am much more relaxed, and maybe not so aware of my surroundings, because I am holiday, I have never had a problem, and the car guards that are about, what works the best, is a smile and friendly attitude, works wonders for me.
It is quite interesting to see that most responses here are from our overseas visitors. South Africa is not as bad for petty crime as you may have heard. There are plenty of us locals that leave our cars in parking lots all over the country without thinking twice about it.
I am sure you will have a safe and pleasant trip to our country.
Enjoy your stay in Image and I wish you the best sightings in the kruger :D
Isn't it just amazing how potatoes give us fries and vodka? :D The rest of the vegetables should get their act together :rtm:

User avatar
Posts: 122
Joined: Thu Jan 04, 2007 10:11 pm
Location: Canada - West Coast - Victoria

Re: Leaving Car Unattended Outside of the Park

Unread post by Shutterbug » Wed Oct 02, 2013 1:51 am

My wife and I do our shopping the day after we arrive (we are normally so jetlagged when we arrive that we cant even think straight) so we leave all our valuables at the hotel but I see that they have a watch tower in the parking lot FWIW.

The earth has a circumference of 40 075 km and I have to travel 17 141 km to get to the Kruger, that's just not right :tongue:

User avatar
Goggo EJ
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Posts: 7798
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2007 7:05 am
Location: In the bush again

Re: Leaving Car Unattended Outside of the Park

Unread post by Goggo EJ » Wed Oct 02, 2013 6:55 am

Lots of good advice coming out. Just important to make sure the little 'grabbable' things are well hidden. A suitcase is not so easy to do a smash-and-grab on.

And interestingly, the only time my car was ever broken into was in the UK. It was parked in a hotel parking area, right under a light, in full view of a security camera, but still had a window smashed and an attempt to steal the radio!
Smiling is contagious. Start an epidemic today!

Have you read the entrance permit? Do you KNOW the Conditions of Entry?

Completed over 8 years in Kruger in my caravan.

If I was normal I wouldn't be me!

User avatar
Posts: 108
Joined: Wed May 11, 2005 8:22 am
Location: Western Australia

Re: Leaving Car Unattended Outside of the Park

Unread post by Rooikat » Wed Oct 02, 2013 8:22 am

Our major objective is also to make it as hard as possible to "smash and grab" - in our opinion the car guard and how you treat him does not make a difference at all (and I do believe to smile and nod too, just to keep it all pleasant).
We cover everything up before we get to the parking lot. Old fitted sheet/towels work well (as for Avanza that we now rent since we are not living in South Africa anymore; it has no cover over the boot area...but we always did it with items in our canopy years ago too).
Then, our next "trick": we take along a 1.8 m. flexible bicycle lock and lock all the suitcases/bags together - no smash-and-grabber will be able to run away with our whole family's luggage in tow!

29/12 - 30/12 Skukuza
30/12 - 1/1 Olifants
1/1 - 3/1 Letaba
3/1 - 6/1 Satara
6/1 - 8/1 Skukuza
8/1 - 10/1 Lower Sabie

Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1332
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2010 10:29 am
Location: Worcester , Cape

Re: Leaving Car Unattended Outside of the Park

Unread post by okie » Wed Oct 02, 2013 9:00 am

Then of course you get those utmost opportunists that grab something out of your vehicle at the blink of an eyelid , as happened recently at both Punda Maria restcamp . We were still busy unpacking the Landy , and with my back turned , when one of those cheeky vervet monkeys jumped into the Landy , grabbed a naartjie , and made off with it into a nearby tree :evil:
Tread softly , and let your departure not be spoiled by the damage of your arrival

Next :
3 - 6 Sept 2013 - Punda.
7 - 10 Sept 2013 -Shingwedzi .
11 - 13 Sept 2013 - Balule .
14 - 17 Sept 2013 - Satara .

User avatar
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Award: Forumite of the year - Eagle Award (2016)
FAC Member (2015)
Posts: 8164
Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2009 9:21 am
Location: SA

Re: Leaving Car Unattended Outside of the Park

Unread post by Grantmissy » Wed Oct 02, 2013 9:26 am

okie wrote:you get those utmost opportunists that grab something out of your vehicle at the blink of an eyelid

I fully agree. Those cheeky impish monkeys and back-chatting baboons are the ones that a person should watch out for. Their mischievous antics carry on from sunrise to sunset and they strike-and-grab as quick as lightning, even looking you in the eye just before they do. They will even take a can or two of your cold beer if you leave it unattended for a few seconds. If you see them in the vicinity expect a molest or commotion soon.
“Whether it's the best of times or the worst of times, it's the only time we've got.”

Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Dec 26, 2012 1:19 am
Location: USA

Re: Leaving Car Unattended Outside of the Park

Unread post by LeftyLynn » Wed Oct 02, 2013 4:25 pm

Wow, quite a few replies to this topic and definitely some good advice. I'm well aware of the out of sight out of mind concept. I grew up in a high crime city in the US, so I'm always very cautious. I honestly wasn't very worried about crime in South Africa until I learned of these car guards. Like I mentioned in an earlier post, I've never heard of such a thing in the US or in any other countries I've traveled to. It made me worried that if car guards are necessary, maybe crime is worse than I thought. On the other hand it also made me worried that maybe the car guards are the ones scoping out an easy make. We'll just take the precautions we always take and I'm sure all will be well and we'll be on our way to a fantastic 2 week stay in the park! Then like a couple folks mentioned, we'll just have to watch out for the furry bandits in the park!

Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 2138
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 4:15 pm
Location: Kyalami, South Africa.

Re: Leaving Car Unattended Outside of the Park

Unread post by Hippotragus » Wed Oct 02, 2013 4:46 pm

LeftyLynn - I'm sure you will have a wonderful trip and many happy memories to take home with you.

The main thing about security here is to keep your wits about you and don't make it easy for them - then they will go for an easier target. As everyone has said, keep valuables either on you or out of sight in the car. When driving, keep the doors locked and windows shut (not in Kruger - there have your windows open to hear and smell what is going on in the bush!).

Yes, watch our for our furry friends - they are very quick to snatch things from open cars, open chalets and at picnic sites!
Skukuza 2nd-5th March 2017
Satara 5th-8th March 2017

Posts: 183
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2012 6:58 am
Location: Gold Coast, Australia

Re: Leaving Car Unattended Outside of the Park

Unread post by VicRob » Wed Oct 09, 2013 6:14 am

Hi all

I found this interesting reading. I do have to admit that when we do our big shop in Malelane I go in and get the food while hubby waits in the car with the gear.

We have everything hidden and have never felt anything but secure on our trips and yet we still do that. I think however it may have come from way back on our first trip to SA when we took all those recommended precautions which included not to leave valuables in the car even if hidden.

So even though all the paranoia that was hoisted on us before we went the first time has now gone, I guess something still holds us back from leaving the car unattended, especially with our pretty valuable camera gear.

However you know when I think about it, I don't think I would leave all that stuff unattended in my car right here at home either, so maybe I am just paranoid :redface: or its just the unthinkable thought of losing any of our stuff at the start of our long trip that just makes me pretty cautious. I think we will always do it that way no matter where we are.
Spending more time in the best place on earth......Kruger[/color]

Biyamiti - 31-07-16
Skukuza - 02-08-16
Talamati - 05-08-16
Letaba - 07-08-16
Shingwedzi - 08-08-16
Satara - 11-08-16
Crocodile Bridge - 15-08-16
KwaZulu-Natal - 18-08-16
Home - 26-08-16

User avatar
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 3757
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2005 5:53 pm
Location: Cambridge, MA (and home from home in Darling, WC)

Re: Leaving Car Unattended Outside of the Park

Unread post by arks » Wed Oct 09, 2013 1:30 pm

Since I travel solo, I don't have the option of leaving someone to guard my car whilst doing my shopping. I'm careful to keep all valuables hidden in the boot, but sometimes I have an 'overflow' of grocery bags that are visible on the floor of the back seat. I'm happy to report that even so, I've never had any problems, shopping centre/mall car parks with car guards and plenty of shopper traffic seem to be 'safe'. It's still always wise to be careful, but I think also no need to be overly anxious so long as you don't leave anything really valuable/tempting in view.
RSA 2016
4,5 April Melville
6-19 April KNP: Croc Bridge, Olifants, Shingwedzi, Pafuri Border
20-24 April Mapungubwe: Leokwe
25 April-28 May Darling
29 May-19 June Cape Town
* * *
21 September-21 November Darling

Return to “Advice needed (Not Park Specific) ”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

Webcam Highlights

Submitted by valcook520 at 16:39:54
Submitted by Wildspirit at 06:17:18
Submitted by Trrp-trrrrrrrr at 06:47:45
Submitted by Anonymous at 07:50:40