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'Protocol' on first out of gates

Augrabies, Kgalagadi, Mokala, Namaqua, |Ai-|Ais/Richtersveld
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Obelix
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'Protocol' on first out of gates

Unread post by Obelix » Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:34 pm

Hi all

We just returned from another memorable visit to the Kgalagadi. The sightings were wonderful (yet again, we were spoiled with many memorable sightings) and, considering that it was during the school holidays, the behaviour of fellow visitors were also great (no traffic jams or rude visitors at any of the special sightings).

I was wondering about one thing though, and that is the 'protocol' as far as leaving the camp gates early in the morning is concerned. Call us nuts, but we make an effort for some of the days in the Park to be first in line to get our permit at the office, in order to be the first on the road for the exciting first few km's, that is until someone overtakes us at the first sighting. This has always worked out well for us. E.g. we would be at the office at about 05:45, if the gates open at 06:00, and we would have a very nice chat with fellow visitors joining us in front of the office between then and 06:00. In all our years, everybody 'observed' the 'protocol' by allowing whomever was first to collect his/her permit first (and thereafter in the order of visitors arriving at the office).

However, at Twee Rivieren things were somewhat different. On the one morning we decided to give the 'first in line' a go, we lined up again in bitter cold from about fifteen minutes before opening time. Shortly before opening time, we were joined by Mr X and Mr X was called to the front of the line by the Park attendant, to be given his (and his friend's) permit first. We (as well as other visitors in the line) were somewhat confused about this.

We got our permit next and left for the gate before Mr X, who was seemingly taking his time. But on arriving at the gate, we noticed that Mr X's friend/family was parked in front of the gate in another car, waiting for his permit as well from Mr X. And then Mr X arrived, with the key to the gate, which we assume he got from the Park attendant in terms of a prior arrangement.

Mr X's friend/family was decent enough to pull over and let us through once the gate was unlocked. We decided to do the first few kilometres at the allowed 50km/h to get some space between Mr X and his friend, but Mr X would have none of it, he sat on our tail and after a while he raced passed us (I say 'raced', as we were doing the allowed 50km/h per hour when he passed us), to be first in line.

At that stage we pulled over, and let all the other cars passed first (first place on the road now being 'lost') and had a very nice (and slow) drive from then onwards. We were just wondering about this special arrangement with Mr X though. Maybe he was an Honorary Ranger or something, but his preferential treatment felt a bit unfair to us. Then again, maybe it is just us being a bit nuts and not appreciating him assisting the Park's officials. Anybody's views on this?

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barryels
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Re: 'Protocol' on first out of gates

Unread post by barryels » Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:20 pm

Dear Obelix,

I can only request an answer from SANParks PR if the specific date could be supplied please.

Kind regards,

barryels
Always be humble and understanding.

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Obelix
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Posts: 193
Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2005 3:54 pm
Location: A little village in Gaul

Re: 'Protocol' on first out of gates

Unread post by Obelix » Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:33 pm

Hi Barry

That is not really necessary, we were not that upset about it, was more interested to get other people's views on it. It was Thu 5/10, but it seemed like a standing arrangement they had with Mr X, not only for that day.


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