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Crime in Kruger

Discuss and find information on the Kruger National Park
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Unread post by ingrid60 » Fri Jul 11, 2008 2:40 pm

I agree with Arks,Africat and all the other posters.
They all give you really good advice how to get on !!
SO and I (50.+ and more)visit SA the last 6 years!We have been in several places and SanParks.
We have been to Ithala (Kwa-Zulu-Natal)and drove all the way back to KTP on our own!!
Believe me,it's quite a distance!! We never had any problems,
with anyone or anything! After all the" bad news" you read in the papers,it's still a "selfdrive" country!!!
Make your plans,enjoy yourself and I'm sure you will come back!Like we do!!
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Unread post by Maargat G » Sat Jul 12, 2008 2:45 pm

To everyone that said all the good things :clap: :clap: :clap: . I can only agree with them. Yes we SAFFIES have a problem with crime in SA but we learned to work and survive around it.

I think the only time you will be robbed inside KNP is when the Baboons and the Vervets will steel your stuff!!!!! :twisted:
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Unread post by gd4skw » Sat Jul 12, 2008 5:31 pm

Mucman wrote:I think all in all one can say, that south africa is a dangerous country not only but also for south africans. But the Kruger Park ist a relatively save place to be.

One can go nuts. I'm at a loss what to do. But I think I will come and see............

I visited SA many times during 1983 - 1987, once in 2000 and 2006. I was aware when visiting in 2000 that the level of crime had risen dramatically since the 80's. I think it made me over cautious and slightly apprehensive. It didn't spoil my holiday, nothing happened. But I learned to have a level of awareness that ensured my safety. It didn't put me off going back in 2006 and when I asked my wife where she wanted to go for our big annual holiday....well, we'll be landing in JNB on the 12th Aug :)

Take care, don't be silly, don't put yourself at risk, be aware and take advice of the locals. You will enjoy your trip to SA. KNP for 8 nights for us :dance:

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Unread post by Imberbe » Sun Jul 13, 2008 1:12 am

Not a single person has been hijacked inside KNP. This person on this website has been shown to be very liberal with her interpretation of the facts.

What did happen, is that people who tried to use KNP as a route to get stolen vehicles in to Mozambique got caught inside KNP. The vehicles were not stolen inside KNP.

Regarding the police inside KNP. There have always been police inside KNP. There has been a police station in Skukuza for a very long time. What has happened is that the SA government transferred the responsibility for border control from the defence force to the police.

For many years there were big army bases inside the KNP. This was for the purpose of patrolling the border. Some of these have in fact been dismantled and some are now used by concession holders for tourism purposes. Others have been transferred to the police. The fact is actually that there are a lot less police in KNP than there used to be defence force members.

People have been moving through the KNP area from long before the park was established, have always been moving through and will continue moving through. Not even in the time of the heavy defence force presence could they stop it completely. These people are not know to be there for criminal purposes. They are mostly poor people from Mozambique, coming to look for jobs in SA.

Poaching is a constant problem. These poachers avoid contact with people, since discovery is their biggest threat.

I would go so far as to state that the KNP is one of the safest places in the entire SA. Yes, crime do happen there too. Where there are humans, there will be crime.
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We felt truly safe

Unread post by AussieAngel » Tue Jul 15, 2008 1:44 am

Hi - just wanted to say that my husband and I recently visited South Africa - we are from Australia - and the only place we felt truly safe was in KNP. We were SO relaxed, the only thing we were looking over our shoulders for were possible lions that might have entered the camp (lol I know I know "tourists").

To date it has been the most relaxing holiday we have ever been on - and we direct all our friends there. We loved it so much we're currently planning a return visit with our 10 month old baby. And to echo past posts - we'd NEVER put him in danger.

So to any tourists wondering about safety - put your minds at ease. The park team do an excellent job at looking after you. If you're still concerned do what we are going to do - fly directly to the park, hire a car, then fly back home - but for 'pete's' sake don't miss out on the park!

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Unread post by Kathy » Tue Jul 15, 2008 7:10 am

Look people, who are we trying to kid...? Crime is a huge issue in this country. I agree with the forumite (I think it was Mucman) who says that we have simply learnt to live with it, and on some level accept it. I come from a small town in the Eastern Cape where crime is petty, so in a way, I sympathise with the tourists who are nervous about travelling to the big cities in South Africa.
Having said this, do I avoid visiting the cities? - NO. Would I ever consider leaving this beautiful country? - NEVER. Do I feel safe in Kruger? - NO, I am totally terrified of the ellies :shock: Do I feel safe from crime in Kruger? - ABSOLUTELY. The simple fact is this: Everyday, you run the risk of being killed in a car accident / by a hurricane / tsunami / aids / cancer etc etc etc. Does that stop you from living - not! This country is beautiful and worth visiting. Kruger is the most awesome place I've ever been. We have to travel 1600km by road to just to get there (with 2 small children) and yet, we get there as often as we can - it's SO worth it. Please do not let these vastly exagerated articles put you off. I have lots of friends who have left South Africa, but guess what - a lot of them are starting to drift back. It's been said hundreds of times before - be cautious - don't stop in isolated places - don't stop alongside the road to ask for directions, rather ask at shops or fuel stations - don't leave your valuables lying around - a lot of South Africans are poor, and the temptation is great. Honestly, the only murder you are likely to see in Kruger (and that only if you are really lucky) is that of a zebra or impala :wink:

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Crime in Kruger Park

Unread post by gmlsmit » Wed Jul 16, 2008 10:12 am

W have been going to Kruger Park now for 41 years.We go at least twice per per year, over this period we have been to KRUGER 121 times. Never ever have we experienced crime in KRUGER . We have just returned from a 12 day trip from Crocodile Bridge to Skukuza to Orpen to Satara . We also stayed at a resort close to Crocodile Bridge . No where were we even alerted of the possibility of crime or did we even get the feeling of such a possibility.Some camps give you keys to your accommodation others do not.This article is obviously SENSATIONALISM by a journalist that had to write a big scoop, fortunately it is far derived from any truth. Anyone who wants to go to KRUGER to have peace and to enjoy nature - THIS IS THE PLACE TO GO TO.The only offenders you will see will be tourists who break the rules eg. get out of their vehicles in unauthorised places and who hang out of their vehicles at sightings.We must not compare KRUGER with any other place in the world, there is no other such place for the true nature lover.Please be assured KRUGER is safe , go there , enjoy it, and see for yourself.
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Re: Crime in Kruger

Unread post by 3aces » Fri Aug 14, 2009 12:14 pm

Reading the posts about crime in SA and especially KNP I must admit that I´m not sure what damages the reputation of SA more, the crime or articles and comments like the one which started the discussion.

Been to SA last year and drove all the way from JHB through KNP, Swaziland, Kwazulu Natal, etc. etc. to Cape Town (exept for a flight from Durban to Port Elisabeth but that had nothing to do with safety, more with time saved) and I have never felt unsafe or what so ever.

Frankly, I live in a town up north in Holland which has also a high crime rate in Holland (used to be in the top 5) and late at night in the shopping area, I felt much more unsafe than I did in SA. For example, there are also a lot of places in Amsterdam where I would walk around late at night in the dark and I bet there are also such places in Munich (I know there are e.g. in Hamburg, does Reeperbahn rings a bell?).

So where is it safe in the world? Guess nowhere. If you´re not using common sense and behave like a "real" tourist, your the hot spot anywhere (whether it be in NY, Paris or Hong Kong). Of course you need to be very careful, but that´s something you have to do everywhere.

It made me real sad that when we got back from our trip to SA last year, a lot of people asked us "was it safe in SA, you hear such awful stories". What I have seen is people working really hard to get the country on his feet and I really appreciated that!

We will go to SA next September and I really hope that we have the same great time as we did last year.

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Re: Crime in Kruger

Unread post by Bush Baptist » Fri Aug 14, 2009 1:56 pm

Well said 3aces :clap: :clap:

If you are looking for trouble, you can find it in any city in the world.

If you are aware, and don't flash wealth around in poor areas, you will be 'lucky' to see any crime, or very unluckt if it happens to you.

There is no point in being paranoid and scared witless, be positive.

By the same token, if we all were an example and obeyed the law and were humble not arrogant and aggressive if it were pointed out to us that we were transgressing, there would be less crime.

It starts with littering, having 15 items in the 10 item queue, so let's all try to be an example, and if we see people doing it, don't mutter to yourself, say something, point it out, and the chancers who get away with it will be stopped.
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Re: Crime in Kruger

Unread post by Bush Baptist » Sun Aug 16, 2009 11:40 am

ladylucy wrote:As a foreign visitor to South Africa may I say my husband and I have travelled the length and breadth of your beautiful country many times; as often as finance allows and have never had any problems from crime. We did I admit have a debit card cloned and our bank account cleaned out!!!! ( our wonderful bank reimbursed us within a couple of weeks) but this could have occured anywhere, as for crime in the Kruger Bah Poppycock. :roll: We are counting the days till we are back (43) .
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I live here and have not been a vicctim except for burglary before we got a rottweiler.

IF YOU DON"T go to dodgy places, you will be unlucky to be a victim.

It is the fear that turns into paranoia.
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Re: Crime in Kruger

Unread post by saraf » Sun Aug 16, 2009 12:07 pm

BrooklynBirder wrote:So this thread got me thinking about security for our valuables while out (say, at the restaurant or the pool or laundry or wherever I might not drag all my camera equipment with me; and I will have quite a bit! Not to mention laptop etc.) And no, I am not particularly worried about Kruger vs other destinations we've traveled to, especially some areas of South and Central America...but I am just wondering what folks in the know suggest. I presume there are no safes in the rooms. I guess I will bring my "Pacsafe" which is a steel mesh bag I can put my camera backpack in and lock to something in the room. Any other suggestions? Do all the rondavals have locks, at least?

OK - firstly the attack at Satara is the only incident of its kind I've ever heard about in Kruger, anywhere. On the other hand I'm always hearing stories of lost wallets etc being returned safely to owners with nothing missing.

Secondly - always have a camera (and binoculars) with you at all times, laundry, restaurants, you never know what you might see. You don't have them with you, you'll see something worth taking a photo of. It's called Sod's Law.

Thirdly all rondavels have locks. If you keep your stuff out of sight you should be OK. Remember it's not human thieves you have to worry about - inquisitive monkeys could do lot of damage to a camera if they pick it up. If you are really worried take a spare padlock and lock your stuff in the wardrobe when you are out.

Lastly - have a great trip and please come back and show us the photos you take with your camera.
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Re: Crime in Kruger

Unread post by missings.a.! » Sun Aug 16, 2009 1:10 pm

I am English and lived in South Africa for ten years. I visited KNP many times, Etosha, the Arid Parks, KwazuluNatal, Mala mala and I have been to Mocambique several times.

South Africans are exceptionally patriotic which is good, but here in the UK, we will sit and discuss things and debate situations critically, whereas South Africans get upset if they think their beloved South Africa is being criticised. Talking about problems is about democracy, not about disloyalty or "If you don't like it don't come here".

South Africa is the engine of Africa and I know from living there, it has the get-up-and-go of a young America. I know in reality you may feel helpless about the crime and to some extent that is true. But starting with the children at school, they need to be educated on their heritage, especially The Kruger which was the beginning of conservation in Africa, and all the wonderful animals that are their heritage too.

I am shocked to read here of KNP fences broken down, people bathing in the rivers and doing their laundry and their goats and cattle encroaching on KNP. :(

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Re: Crime in Kruger

Unread post by Pjw » Sun Aug 16, 2009 7:07 pm

I would just like to point that there is a very dedicated team that investigate all crime in Kruger, and having just recently met the "Man in Charge" I believe that everything possible is being done to combat all forms of crime in Kruger. Sadly, the world wide economy is not helping the situation. And the market in the east for rhino horns and ivory contribute hugely to the problem
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Re: Crime in Kruger

Unread post by onewithnature » Mon Aug 17, 2009 12:19 am

You see , there is a middle path here that is more accurate. I like your courage at speaking what you see as the truth, missingsa, and I think you do have some valid points there. We need to sit up and take notice instead of just accepting the crime around us. And there are people doing this, but not enough yet.
Yet, BB has a valid point that crime is rife mainly in big cities. Of course there is crime elsewhere, but much much less, and often of the petty variety. You must also remember that small towns know everyone there, so a thief would find it difficult to hide from anyone.
The crime is high in South Africa, but as many people overseas will tell you, other countries - and first-world ones, at that - often also have high murder rates and other crimes in certain areas. The Bronx is one that comes to mind as an immediate example.
I come into contact with people on a regular basis who have experienced crime, but it's not every day, and sometimes several days go by without seeing such a person. It is a problem, but it is also dramatically blown out of all proportion, as is the whim of human beings.
Crime in Kruger, I suspect, will be a non-entity for many decades to come. It is only a gut-feel, but I'm mostly right with my intuitions. :angel:

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Re: Crime in Kruger

Unread post by mel123 » Fri Aug 21, 2009 4:40 am

Really, I think the whole crime thing has become a bit of a hype. Sure, there is crime but the hysteria is excessive and damaging towards overseas visitors and South Africans alike.
Most South Africans hopefully know that not every second person they meet are out to rob, kill or rape them. Getting overseas visitors believing this is in fact close to the case, is doing them and us a great disservice.
And the park is one of the safest, most beautiful places in South Africa. Please come visit it and us. :thumbs_up:

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