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Park and Road Etiquette

Discuss and find information on the Kruger National Park
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Re: Viewing etiquette

Unread post by Lonehill_Birders » Tue Sep 25, 2012 1:35 pm

Unfortunately too many visitors to the parks have the "middle finger" syndrome.
If they get a good spot they will stay for as long as they like, without making way for others to view whatever they are looking at.
It is bad manners, but unfortunately there is nothing to be done.
Blocking the road, or obstructing the view seems to be acceptable behaviour.
When we get into a situation like that, we move away after a couple of minutes to give others a chance to take photo's or whatever, otherwise, if we arrive late and struggle to see, we just don't stop.
It's not worth the aggro.

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Re: Viewing etiquette

Unread post by Grantmissy » Tue Sep 25, 2012 2:01 pm

Lonehill_Birders wrote:If they get a good spot they will stay for as long as they like, without making way for others to view whatever they are looking at.

... and some visitors :evil: even tell you straight :shock: that it is their sighting only as they have seen it first
and they do not make way for others (their own rules :rtm: ). It happened to us :roll:. But fortunately in our experience so far we have encountered mostly good people :D who are more than happy to let others also see and experience what they have seen :wink: 8) .
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Re: Viewing etiquette

Unread post by Bush Baptist » Tue Sep 25, 2012 2:05 pm

Unfortunately dog, many visitors to the park are 'leeuverskrik' (lion besotted) and will stay with lions the whole day.

I have had both types. Those who hog a sighting for hours on end, and those who are helpful and share it.

I am very tempted to ask the hogs to share and if they don't, blast my hooter!

I have done that accidentally in Kgalagadi at a cheetah sighting in the open. :redface:

If you want great lion sightings without bush, go to Kgalagadi instead.
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Re: Viewing etiquette

Unread post by DuQues » Tue Sep 25, 2012 2:20 pm

I have on occasion directed people to drive their car as close as possible to ours, till the glare from white front starts to show in my viewfinder. That gave them room to see as well, while I could continue to make photos.

Yes, they will have a lesser spot, but if there is action of some kind (kills in my case) I am not inclined to move.
If it is just lions doing what they do best (sleeping) I may stop to make a photo, and will be on my way in minutes.
Not posting much here anymore, but the photo's you can follow here There is plenty there.

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Re: Viewing etiquette

Unread post by DrPhil » Tue Sep 25, 2012 2:30 pm

DQ, i have to agree, If it is a lion sleeping or a leopard up a tree with no sign of the animal going to move then there is no point in sitting there all day. If it is a animal stalking, hunting or just made a kill. Then there is no reason to move.
Not in Kruger.... Busy planning the next trip...

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Re: Viewing etiquette

Unread post by Crested Val » Tue Sep 25, 2012 2:32 pm

On my first visit to Kruger in 1976, we were lucky enough to have a wise old Saffie staying in the next unit.

Not only did he teach us Poms to braai correctly, but he also told us about the "unwritten etiquette" that should be observed.

He said that if you are the first at a sighting, get yourself in the best position and enjoy!!!!
If other cars arrive and cannot see very well, it is polite to not stay more than 15 minutes, so that they can have a chance.

As he said, it was only an unwritten rule, but to this day, we always try and abide by it...................sadly some people don't!! :whistle:

We refuse to spoil a sighting with arguing the toss, so if there are too many vehicles, or a selfish viewer, we just drive on!! :thumbs_up:

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Re: Viewing etiquette

Unread post by Katz7 » Tue Sep 25, 2012 3:35 pm

It is sad that you get people who aren't willing to share in their joy. As a rule we will take a few photos and give the next people a chance. And then people like my husband would stop as many people as he possible and share with them the exciting news. :D

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Re: Viewing etiquette

Unread post by Shutterbug » Tue Sep 25, 2012 6:24 pm

Unfortunately I have found that this attitude is not KNP specific but rather the way the world is going, (I must be getting old I sound like my dad) but I have found that more and more the “norm” is every man for himself and too bad for the rest of you.
I can remember 40 years ago if you came across a car stopped on the side of the road the people would be so excited to share their find with you whereas now you have to ask what they are looking at.
Having said that I must say that when you chat to people in the camps its the opposite, they couldn’t be friendlier :thumbs_up:
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:

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Re: Viewing etiquette

Unread post by picnic » Tue Sep 25, 2012 6:36 pm

Nice reading others opinion on etiquette at a sighting.
As Phil and others mentioned, if it is just a animal sleeping, make way for the next guy and when they are finished photographing, then take your spot back if you like.
But if it is a moving animal and you were first on the spot then you are entitled to have the better spot because you were there first. :wink:
And another thing is people who stop their vehicles so bad that no one can get pass them, always try too keep a part of the road open for those who needs to pass or for those who do not wish to stay at the sighting. :thumbs_up:

@Shutterbug people sometimes more than often, do not like to talk anymore. :?
In Kruger you get overseas people who can't speak English, so they are excused but what about the others who can. :hmz:

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Re: Viewing etiquette

Unread post by Hazyview Charlie » Thu Oct 11, 2012 4:29 pm

To follow on from this discussion, we were heading towards Mopani camp in January this year when we were flagged down by the driver of a 4x4 travelling towards us.
He let us know that there was a pride of lions on the Capricorn Loop stalking a buffalo herd.
He had come away from the spot to collect his wife from camp and told us to swing our car around and follow him.
We did this and after 10km, arrived at the spot where we watched 6 lionesses concealed in the long grass stalking the herd.
After a few unsuccessful attempts to catch one of the young buffalo, they finally gave up.
We were the only 2 cars for the entire 45 minute spectacle, and chatted with the owner of the 4x4 afterwards. It turns out that he is a farmer and former rugby player for the Blue Bulls!

The fact that he went out of his way to guide us to a special sighting means that there are still plenty of good people in SA who make Kruger such a special place.

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Re: Viewing etiquette

Unread post by Trentonskeeper » Fri Oct 19, 2012 8:19 am

On our recent trip we made a point of sharing exciting sightings with others and asking them to do the same with us if they happened to see us.
It worked and for 8 of our 9 days we would be driving along and either flag someone down to point out a cool sighting or be flagged down to be told of one nearby.
By the end of our trip we had exchanged numbers with follow campers who were specially looking for cats and had not seen while we were looking for dogs and we messages each other if we happened to find or heard of a sighing close by.

One day we found a leopard lying in the road and spent a good 20min watching him all alone before he got camera shy and backed up a bit into the bush, we drove a little way to a T-junction as flashed our lights at a passing car to share, he stopped and we told him and mentioned how we were sharing in the hope that others would share with us too.
We waved good bye and expected him to go look and were very surprised when he just went past did not go look.
The next morning we were at the gate bright and early and low and behold he was right in front of us, he came over and said "I'm sure you were wondering why I did not stop to look but my friends had just called to say they had arrived and were lost so I was on route to help them but you mentioned that you wanted to share so I wanted to tell you about a carcass I saw in the riverbank late yesterday afternoon (he gave us directions) and about a group of Hyena who I have seen daily on the same bend of road at this time of day".

We found both sightings and everyday we chatted with him at the gate and shared sighings.
It was lovely and we are going to make a point of doing this in the future.

As Barney says 'sharing is caring' lol ok that is lame but it's true, it's better and more fun to share.

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Re: Viewing etiquette

Unread post by onewithnature » Fri Oct 19, 2012 8:36 am

picnic wrote:@Shutterbug people sometimes more than often, do not like to talk anymore. :? In Kruger you get overseas people who can't speak english, so they are excused but what about the others who can speak english. :hmz:

It's happened sooner than I expected - within two decades, and primarily because of the advent of the cellphone and the laptop - people have forgotten the skills and joys involved in being able to communicate effectively! :roll: :roll: :doh:
Good conversation is actually an art, and done well can leave one burning with a sweet fire in one's heart.

Unfortunately, "para-English-speaking people" - that is, those who once had a mother tongue called English :tongue: - are now the norm, so that evolution must have dived into a regressive spin.
With this consideration in mind, I now predict that the next generation will be BBMing (or similar) with grunts, whistles, and paralanguage. :slap:
The simple sentence will be the stuff of English university professors, and the qwerty keyboard will be viewed with disdain and mirth in a museum! :lol: :lol:

Which means, in many cases of bad behaviour, we are seeing the exposed and jagged chill of the paralanguage iceberg in game-sighting areas; the tip of the things to come.
Okay, I admit it, I am being uncharacteristically pessimistic, but at least I won't be upset when people act selfishly, explosively, or just plain dumb at sightings;
I will be able to thank them for their normal societal behaviour and sweetly inform them that all that we put out into the world ALWAYS returns with interest. :hmz:

To conclude, let me tell you that I indeed once did that at a sighting where a large vehicle was deliberately blocking the view of a leopard at a kill.
No-one could get any access, and many went home in disappointment with a leopard-tail or leopard-ear on their tick list.
Finally, after noticing the belligerant attitude of the couple in that 4x4, I deliberately pulled close and, signalling them, very pleasantly asked them if they didn;t mind if I could sneak a quick look.
95% of people would have been happy to oblige, especially with the understanding that I would return "their" spot to them directly thereafter.
Not this couple: I was promptly informed that it was THEIR sighting as they were there first. "No problem, " I enthused; "what you put out into the world always comes back with interest; have a fine day!"
I then leaned to my passenger window and, loud enough that the rude hoggers could hear, asked the people in a vehicle parked parallel with me there if they had seen the wild dogs sighting 5 km along the intersecting dirt road. "No!" they exclaimed, and proceeded to rush off in that direction, followed by an entourage of cars who had heard me.
The rude couple were in a quandary: to leave the leopard-kill sighting for the wild dog, or to stay in case I was lying.
I watched their discussions with some mirth.
Soon, they reversed their high vehicle in a cloud of dust and rushed off to the wild dog sighting;
I, and a few others that had arrived later, then could view the FULL leopard at her kill for well over half an hour. :D :D

Later that evening, at the Park shop, I saw the car to whom I had first referred the wild-dog sighting; they were in seventh heaven, having seen wild dog for the first time in more than twenty years of visiting Kruger. They thanked me effusively for telling them about it;
I smiled and just said what I always believed: whatever you put out into the world comes back with interest. Then the father grinned widely at me and said: "You know; that rude couple by the leopard - they arrived JUST as the wild dog had left the road and disappeared into the bush; and they didn't see them!"

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Re: Length of stay at sightings

Unread post by Carol g » Mon May 06, 2013 2:05 pm

Hi Readles I don't think there is a limit of time at a sighting, I just feel one should consider other people that cannot see what you are looking at, and move a bit so they can also see the sighting.
Most people will appreciate this, and you could return to your prime position again after they have left.
Those who have no love in there hearts for animals, have no love in there hearts at all

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Re: Length of stay at sightings

Unread post by Bush Baptist » Mon May 06, 2013 2:27 pm

:hmz: Very good topic.

Some people think they 'own' a sighting. This is very easy to do if you are the first to come across it. I must confess to a measure of guilt here.

If it is a 'mobile' sighting, like a leopard stalking or lions walking along, one would like to see how it plays out, and time seems to stand still, but if it is a 'static' sighting like lions lion around, then there seems to be no reason to hog it, and not let others into position to see it.

At mobile sightings, people tend to change places rapidly depending on the direction of the movement.
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Re: Length of stay at sightings

Unread post by isinkwe » Mon May 06, 2013 3:53 pm

There is no rule , for me its a matter of common courtesy. I take my pictures and move along so that others may enjoy the sighting.
I believe I get to see more by moving instead of watching a sleeping lion or whatever under a bush , 50 metres away for an hour or 2.
last week for example , I was with some lions having breakfast on a buffalo right next to the road. (we were only 2 vehicles there) I had been there about 10 minutes, other vehicles started arriving, I left to make space for others, I hope they enjoyed the sighting as much as I did.
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