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Open Safari Vehicles in Kruger

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Jeep jockeys out of control!

Unread post by Samster » Thu Jan 13, 2011 6:31 am

Have been in the park for the past week and numerous times have seen safari vehicles speeding and driving recklessly!
The other day i had a special sighting of wild dogs when a jeep jockey came across the siting, he proceeded to radio all his friends at the top of his voice!
Furthermore his guests, who were very excited were shouting and calling the dogs- this is not acceptable! Today they must have heard about the lions that were on the main road and they sped past me in excess of 80km!
This behaviour is disgusting!
They are suppose to be setting a good example for the tourists!
The guilty parties involved seem to be the same companies over and over, echo africa and thompson's!!! Recently i came across a baby hyaena that had been hit by a car- i would not be surprised if it was one of them!
This really needs to be addressed because they are spoiling it for everyone!

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Re: Jeep jockeys out of control!

Unread post by Hugh » Thu Jan 13, 2011 7:18 am

Best is to take their photos and get the registration and then contact the tour agency concerned ..enough peeps doing this might make them take note.. (maybe take a "video "with the sound on for proof )
There are also some very very good Jeep jockies out there too Its a pity some give them all a bad name
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Re: Jeep jockeys out of control!

Unread post by norms » Thu Jan 13, 2011 7:19 am

Samster - Did you take note of the OSV registration number, date, time and place.

You need to contact Thompsons and Echo Africa and report this kind of unacceptable behavior to them.

These incidences have been discussed on this forum before and folks have reported the drivers (guides) to their companies.

I totally agree that their actions in the park are wrong!!
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Re: Jeep jockeys out of control!

Unread post by Riverrat » Fri Jan 14, 2011 8:20 am

This complaint is an old one..for years there have been complaints about the OSV's obstructing the views and creeping well off the roads to afford a better view of an animal... probably in many cases to ensure a better tip for the driver at the end of the day.
One only has to do a search under Jeep Jockeys / speeding / obstruction to find some of the objections. They certainly do NOT control their passengers and disturbance of wildlife occurs at almost every single sighting!!!

I must admit that the vast majority of OSV guides are respectable, well behaved and quite helpful to other parks visitors, but the inconsiderate minority are giving them a shocking reputation.
This bunch certainly seem to act as if they have the authority and rights of a parks ranger, which they do not.
The fact that they have done guiding courses gives them knowledge, not the right to be a "hero".

I frequently listen in on their frequencies and the comms are not really about "rushing to a scene"..many of them just keep it in mind and divert that way if they are in the area.
I also often read between the lines where some guides prefer not to pass information on to others (probably because they know the latter will spoil a sighting).
I take my hat off to the responsible guys and ladies.

The responsibility also falls upon the more experienced and wiser guys on the road and VHF channels to guide or even reprimand their colleagues who behave in such irresponsible ways.
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Re: Jeep jockeys out of control!

Unread post by Bat » Fri Jan 14, 2011 8:46 am

On our visit in September, we stopped at a Leopard sighting on the Pkop road where an OSV stopped and in their quest to get the best view, simply reversed (without looking I presume!) into the car behind and smashed their headlight! I have to agree that there are some really polite operators and it is unfortunate that there are those few that give the industry a bad name! Almost like tow truck drivers!!!

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Re: Jeep jockeys out of control!

Unread post by Joep Stevens » Fri Jan 14, 2011 9:20 am

Dear All,

Yes, as mentioned, this is not a new issue and one of the best ways to ensure compliance to the terms of the agreement and KNP rules and regulations is indeed to take and report details. Pics always make it easier to prove an offence or poor behavior. Please use the 24 hours number in Skukuza and provide time, place and details of behavior.

Thank you.

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Re: Jeep jockeys out of control!

Unread post by Goggo EJ » Fri Jan 14, 2011 10:05 am

Thanks Joep!

Am I right that the use of radios is banned on the OSVs? It seems that many are using them now. If they are banned maybe the companies need a gentle (or not so gentle???) reminder.
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Re: Jeep jockeys out of control!

Unread post by Dirk.V.E. Neethling » Fri Jan 14, 2011 2:56 pm

Banning radios in OSV is not going to help solve the problem..... It is going to make it worst.
Read under the OSV operators Fred my reply I posted last month.

What is going solve this if people start taking number plates, time, date location and if possible a photo of the bad behavior.
All I am asking is make sure that it is the vault of the OSV blocking a sighting.
It is always easy to see the OSV first when approaching a sighting and always want to blame them.
Do a test the next time you get to a sighting.
Which vehicle do you fist notice?
Why is there 5 OSV's on the sighting?
Do you only see the 5 OSV?
What about the 15 normal cars at the sighting?
These vehicles are big and are intimidating.
People always see the first before realizing the other vehicle.
Believe me I had to take many beating from the mouth of other park user as they all want to blame the OSV for just being there.
I had a lion sighting on Elloff once where I had to wait 45min in a queue just to get through the sighting not even stopping to see it as there was only one spot directly in line with it to see it.
This idiot driving a land cruiser came past everybody, stop next to me and say that I must move as I am blocking the road.
I was waiting to go through the sighting not even looking at the animal and this oak goes of on me.......
And please I am not saying you are the same but there is 1.6 million people coming to Kruger in a year and we have many with that mind set in the park….

Yes I am 100% with those that are there that do spoil it, but please people don’t always blame a radio for a congested sighting.
These guys can travel in a group and same times use 5 to as much as 25 OSV for one group.
No we do try and split it up, but have you ever had 45 Germans on one group with 1 OSV seeing lions and the others not.
Believe me the wonderful people you had before breakfast is now little monsters on your truck.
You can be the best guide on the planet and now all the tales of the plants, birds and smaller things around, 60% of these tourist don’t give a damn.
They have 8 hours in Kruger in there life time and they want to see the big stuff.
Believe me I had passing birds and impalas, but same tourist is not interested in that.
They want to see big 5.
And those that think that showing the big 5 10 times over is going to earn you the big tip…..
News flash now it does not work like that.
90% of these groups have been told about tipping and the average tips excepted to give the guys.
You will not get a cent more if they know that, does end matter how good you are or how much you show them.
You can get less if you don’t get lion and the others in you group did see them.

And really people it is not just the OSV that are out of control.
It seems that the whole park is going down the drain with stupid people.
At the look of things OSV is about 1% of the current bad behavior by follow park users.
Watch the news papers and wall of shame.
Sorry I am not naive but this is a far bigger problem than just OSV behaving badly.
This can be stopped.
Get the details and contact the company.
If you have access to this website you have access to Google.
You can get all the details there and if you do not get the satisfaction reply from the Operator you can even contact Sanparks.
But please this will not go away by bitching on a forum.
The people been doing that since 2005 on here.
Take action and report it to the right channels.
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Re: Jeep jockeys out of control!

Unread post by Weltenman » Fri Jan 14, 2011 4:59 pm

Well said Dirk, whilst I am not absolving the OSV of any blame, we must realise there are a lot of rule breaking by regular guests as well.
If you do see rule breaking by an OSV, please document and report.
This is one area where action can and will be taken by Sanparks as the companies have a agreement on behaviour that they need to comply with.
Study the past, if you would divine the future.

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Re: Jeep jockeys out of control!

Unread post by Bundi » Fri Jan 14, 2011 9:39 pm

This same topic was discussed in length last year and is not a new problem.

Personally I have never had any bad experiences with the OSVs and find them to be very helpful and friendly at times.

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Re: Jeep jockeys out of control!

Unread post by Bushcraft » Fri Jan 14, 2011 9:55 pm

Thanks Joep Stevens for taking the time to read these threads. :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:

Personally I have only had an issue once with Echo/Eco Africa and many OSV guys have helped out with sightings - It must be a few bad eggs?

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Re: Jeep jockeys out of control!

Unread post by Mgoddard » Sat Jan 15, 2011 5:09 pm

Nothing you say or do will ever change this...
I think its time for Sanparks to take note of the companies that are this case...look at the first post!
I cant believe they are still allowed to operate in the Park after an incident I reported some time ago :shock:
Also, I would like to caution those who have replied to this your almost landed me up in Jail :shock:
and resulted in my post on Day 114 to be removed from the blog as I made that same mistake!! :( and a very credible company had to take the brunt for that :evil:
Most of the JJ's I have met during my time in Kruger were decent, nature loving ppl, but its that 1% that make us all believe they are bad....
I feel for the good ones, and I'm sorry that they all get treated with the same tarred brush...but....I agree...enough is enough.....
Ban those companies who are only in it for the money and let more of those in who are there for the right reasons!!!

Now I feel better :D

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Safari operators - pain in the proverbial...

Unread post by katlagter » Thu Dec 15, 2011 11:51 am

We came across a young leopard stalking Impala about 7km from Orpen on Sunday 11 December. As per normal cars were piling up and everybody switched their cars off waiting for that magic moment ( cameras ready). And then they arrive - 2 safari operators driving in between the cars following the leopard as he/she was stalking next to the road waiting for the right moment to attack ( and using the cars as extra camouflage). The safari operator with his tip bearing customers kept on driving forward keeping the leopard from crossing the road - the leopard was looking agitated and stressed at this stage with the safari vehicle blocking him from crossing the road. He gave up at the end and disappeared in the bushes. I believe that his customers must have been in some danger as well as the leopard was right beside the open vehicle. I know they play a necesary role for tourists but they must also abide by the rules and avail all the opportunity to take photos and NOT agitate the animals.

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Re: Safari operators - pain in the proverbial...

Unread post by bert » Thu Dec 15, 2011 12:18 pm

If you have the companies number and registration plate best to report

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Re: Safari operators - pain in the proverbial...

Unread post by DrPhil » Thu Dec 15, 2011 12:29 pm

I think you should have reported them at the nearest reception. Take a photo and show it to all to see. It should be part of the gallery of shame.

We have found some of the tour operators very friendly and helpful at sightings.

But then there are the trashy ones that make the blood boil. Driving into buffalo herds and blocking the view of other park guests. :evil:

I know that there is a thread going on bad behaviour on sunset and night drives but a lot of the tourists on these safari trucks and especially buses behave terribly at sightings. Talking loudly and some even trying to call the animals to get some movement from a sleeping cheetah or lion. Unfortunately there is not much one can do about it... :wall: :wall:
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