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Safari Vehicle Operators

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

Unread post by Meandering Mouse » Tue May 01, 2012 7:34 am

My experiences with Safari operators has tended to be positive. I have often been told about sightings and I will in turn let them know if I see something special.

At roadblocks, I will often just drive away. I think many people lose their brains and common sense at the sight of lions. .. The worst behaviour that I have witnessed has been from SUV's, not safari operators.

I do not envy the plight of the safari operator in many situations. His client is right behind him and he has to produce the excitement, regarldless of how Kruger produces. I am sure that there are many harrowing tales of difficult clients. I was once witness to an insistent client wanting the operator to drive into the bush in order to get a better photograph. When the operator declined, the said fellow was very nasty.

I also like to watch visitors faces when something interesting comes around. It gives me a thrill to watch how people respond to nature.
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Open Safari Vehicles in Kruger

Unread post by okiedudeswede » Fri Nov 23, 2012 5:17 pm

Hi! :) i was just wandering what you guys think of the safari companies which ride around the park with tourists. I am curious because it is double-sided. they bring in a lot of money into the park, but sometimes override sightings and can crowd them. Your opinions?

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Re: Open Safari Vehicles in Kruger

Unread post by Trentonskeeper » Fri Nov 23, 2012 5:33 pm

Hate them, seen them speeding, hogging sights, blocking the road so their passengers get the best views and no-one else can see never mind actually try to get past to travel on, antagonizing animals so passengers can get different shots. That said people in normal cars do all that too but I still dislike those Tour-Hogs. :evil:

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Re: Open Safari Vehicles in Kruger

Unread post by iLoveMeerkats! » Sun Nov 25, 2012 7:51 am

We have had some wonderful experiences with safari vehicles. Yes, we have had the occasional jerk who hogs the site or speeds, but more often than not, they have been friendly and helpful. Many times we have had a truck pull up next to us and tell us about something special that is close by. Once we came upon a vehicle from Jock of the Bush camp and they signaled to stop. They were tracking a leopard and we stayed right behind them for miles. They waved and pointed and let us know exactly where the cat was. They went out of their way to make sure they were not blocking our view. We spent at least an hour with them and they could not have been nicer. Another trip we kept running into the same Jeep Jockey (Derick) almost every day for weeks. He always stopped and chatted and shared all the what/where/when of what he had seen. I can honestly say that, for the most part, these folks have added much to our trips. Try being friendly to these guys sometime and see if perhaps, they aren't so bad. :k

And if you see a nasty one, and they are doing something wrong - Report them, they hurt everyone.

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Re: Open Safari Vehicles in Kruger

Unread post by threedogs » Sun Nov 25, 2012 9:37 am

I agree with the above. By and large we have had positive experiences with the JJ's :thumbs_up: I always think how difficult it would be - okay I know they get to be in the park all the time - but imagine how challenging it would be to continually have to go over the same thing to a mixed group of clients day in and day out. They have to diplomatic, informative, cheerful and they work under pressure to 'deliver' the big five.

This last trip we were lucky to see the mega-pride. They weren't on the S100 but close by a couple of kms's away. After a wonderful half hour or so with the lions we headed off and turned onto the S100 heading towards Satara. A few minutes later we came up to a safari vehicle and I flagged him down. I asked him did he know of the mega pride in the area and he initially thought I was asking him for advice until I continued with the location of where he could find them - his face lit up and his hands made the 'prayer' sign and he mouthed 'thank you'. That made us feel great that his guests would have a terrific sighting - and what goes around comes around :D

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Re: Open Safari Vehicles in Kruger

Unread post by K9 Amy » Mon Dec 10, 2012 2:45 pm

Eish, I was looking forward to brand new comments on the OSV's but the same old persist - too many operators / vehicles etc. Imagine that we did not have these vehicles available and all the visiting tourists had to travel by coach to the Park - this year we would then had to allow a little over 1220 40 seater coaches into the Park - nearly 4 coaches per day - using coach or osv, they want to visit the Kruger! OR maybe we should negotiate with Avis or similar and then start a rental depo on site and make this available to the guests, it is cheaper to rent your own car than to join a OSV company, this would then make a good profit for us and allow 8540 small cars entering per year - or 24 private cars per day every day from our property alone - speeding, not knowing where to go, following each other to sightings - or would the public prefer 10 OSV's doing the job.

This is always going to be an issue, but with the large number of visitors to the Park, a necessity, should we rather then discourage these visitors from visiting the Park - imagine the loss in revenue - currently R 204.00 per person per day on a OSV, not counting the money spend in the shops.

Yes we have a few problem children operating in the Park (always the owners to blame) and yes it is difficult to control the guides, but, there is always the alternative above!

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Re: Open Safari Vehicles in Kruger

Unread post by DrPhil » Mon Dec 10, 2012 3:35 pm

gmlsmit wrote:What the Jeep jockeys seem to miss is that the complaints are mainly about their behavior in the Park.

None of us need a lecture in economics.

:clap: :clap:

It is all about their behavior and disrespect towards other visitors in the park.
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Re: Open Safari Vehicles in Kruger

Unread post by Penny » Mon Dec 10, 2012 3:45 pm

Aside from some rotten eggs in the basket and my personal belief that there are way too many OSVs in the Park my main concerns are the continued usage of the radio to call in sightings which means that OSVs are speeding from one Big 5 sighting to another my other huge issue is the preferential treatment at the gate. When we have all got up early and are standing in a queue of either vehicles or people it is totally unacceptable that an OSV either drives past us on the wrong side of the road at Croc Bridge up to the office or alternatively at Paul Kruger when we have stood in a queue for over an hour and an OSV guide strolls clean past the queue and straight into the office. Aside from paying for our Wild Cards we have usually also arranged a permit for that day at a price over and above the cost of the WC and everyone should be treated the same! Sadly this situation has continued for many years despite many complaints and whilst its not fair to tar everyone with the same brush it would be more encouraging were Sanparks to treat us all as equal!
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Re: Open Safari Vehicles in Kruger

Unread post by gmlsmit » Mon Dec 10, 2012 3:50 pm

Maybe it would be a good idea if SANParks make it clear whether the OSV's are allowed to jumping the ques and if so also then mention what other preferential treatment they are entitled to.
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Re: Tour operator: "The rules do not apply for us".

Unread post by Bush Baptist » Wed Sep 25, 2013 3:35 pm

Name & shame please.

That action is not only very much against the rules but arrogantly ruining it for others.

These offending operators are named often on the forum.

Sometimes the owner sees it and (says he) takes action.
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Re: Tour operator: "The rules do not apply for us".

Unread post by Elsa » Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:01 pm

Remember one does have the emergency number which is printed on your entrance pamphlet
report them directly to the operator with as much information as available and if you can get a pic of the offender then so much the better for further evidence.
We have a friend who does guided drives into the park and she was telling us that if they have 3 reports against them they can get their license pulled by SANParks.

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Re: Tour operator: "The rules do not apply for us".

Unread post by okie » Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:27 pm

Maybe its time for Sanparks to really lay down the rules :hmz:
Yellow card them - time-out for 10 days suspension on first offence , and Red-card for second offence - say two months suspension ?

Or maybe we should just stop bothering about this , because maybe Sanparks have lost control in any event :hmz:
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Re: Tour operator: "The rules do not apply for us".

Unread post by leander09 » Thu Sep 26, 2013 7:41 am

I think that is a good idea Oki. If they cannot behave in the park they should be suspended and then lose the income. That will definitely let them think twice of breaking the law. They should make an example of one or two just to show that if you break the law regularly it will not be tolerated.

I really do not hope that san parks have lost control because if that is so we have some big problems.
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Re: Tour operator: "The rules do not apply for us".

Unread post by Grantmissy » Thu Sep 26, 2013 8:17 am

Rules are applicable to everyone. Such arrogance and misplaced superiority should not be tolerated in the SA Parks. Comply with the rules or face the consequences is what all vistors to the SA National Parks should know.
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Re: Tour operator: "The rules do not apply for us".

Unread post by Maargat G » Thu Sep 26, 2013 8:30 am

okie wrote:Or maybe we should just stop bothering about this , because maybe Sanparks have lost control in any event :hmz:

A statement not worthy IMHO.

If you so strongly believe SANParks lost control in any event, then why support them? If they indeed lost control in any event, then why is it still having a growth in visitors each year? A year or 2 ago, when the driver ran down a couple of impala close to Skukuza, which the driver where banned and the company fined, you all applauded SANParks, but the next moment you say they lost control in any event. Make up your mind guys...or is it if they don't do as we say they have lost it and will be out of business tomorrow?

We as forumites have a gazillion negatives to say about SANParks, and yes there are stuff and issues I can not agree with, but how often do you see the positives? How often do you compliment the cleaning lady that did a great job in your chalet, or thanked the guy cleaning your braai stand every morning, or greeted the guy opening the gate in the morning.

These operators are one hell of a pain. Yes I agree. But if we do not report them, SANParks wont be able to take steps against them. And its not just giving the name of the company. Take photos of the act of transgression, with as much as possible info. Then they have something to work with. If you just say" this company did this and that" without proof, it will end up as your word against theirs. And saying its always an issue to report offenders cant be an excuse, because there is the emergency number for offenders printed on the pamphlet. And theres always a camp manager on duty who will be able to assist you.

The rules applies to everyone. Including staff. And if broken it needs to be reported and the needed steps taken.

Just my 5c worth.
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