Present day Kruger visitor profile – not the scientific one

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Malealea
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Nature VS Humans in Kruger

Unread post by Malealea »

When I read the Posts of the Ellie shot in LS. I asked myself how long will the conflict go.
How much value have a human being
How much value have animals???
I accord to the point of shooting for security reason.

I really don't know how you feel about it, but in my opinion the shooting of animals is increasing rapidly and some steps were to quick.
In my opinion the fencing is not good at all.
Why shouldn't the Animals enter?
In some Parks (doesn't matter if SANP or others e.g. Serengeti), it works as well.
I enjoy it if animals enter.
I have had some very nice encounters with zebras wildebeest or Ellies entering the camp.
I feel it difficult to believe that this Ellie in particular causes problems, but I don´t have a proof.
I just can say that the most encounters were lovely no aggression at all.

I believe that fences creating a false security.
I don´t want to know how many animals sneak around at night.
Sometimes even during daytime .
I can imagine that this will change the behavior of tourists a lot.
Maybe the offenders decrease.
You will get a new feeling for nature.
I can only talk about myself, my respect increased.
On the other hand shooting will be less necessary.
I got the Impression that every animal which enters the Camp are shot if seen.
Believe it is only one sided but I really dislike that situation.

Of course problem animals will always occur, at some point we have to decide we or you.
I don´t want to deny that.
But when is the point reached?
What criteria exist, maybe SANP can refer to that.
Would be nice to hear.

I really want to hear your point of views.
life is Game, you rather play or flee. I chose to play the Game.
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Malealea
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Re: Nature VS Humans in Kruger

Unread post by Malealea »

The question will be if this is correct?
The past show us that playing god (I want to call it like that), creates problems.

The Potential of conflict are huge, we want to protect nature but blowing, when driving a huge amount of CO². The infrastructure must have been built.
That causes a Pollution in: CO², Noise and presence, just to call a few.
on the other hand it will help a lot to keep visitors under control.
It is a difficult question.

But to be honest I don´t want refer to that I want to refer to the point of security shooting.
life is Game, you rather play or flee. I chose to play the Game.
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Philip1
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Re: Nature VS Humans in Kruger

Unread post by Philip1 »

Scipio wrote:Humans vs. Nature, sad but true, it should be humans living together with nature........... :?
But in the question, humans always win, to the detriment of themselves. :(


Scipio, humans think they can do anything and everything :hmz: BUT what we forget is that Nature takes it's own course :naughty:
"Lose yourself in Nature and find Peace!" (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
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Son godin
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Re: Nature VS Humans in Kruger

Unread post by Son godin »

Jungle Junkie,

Great story about the elephant going its own way through reception. :clap: :D :D I agree surely animals can live in harmony with human to a certain degree.

Maybe its time that visitor to Kruger become aware that animals can enter the camps and learn to adapt around that.

In July 2010 we camped outside Moremi and the only footprint found in our campsite where that of an elephant that enjoyed the leaves of the camelthorn tree we camped under. We were informed about the elephant visiting the camp by the staff and had no problems camping there. There are no fences around Botswana parks or camps and animal are free to move to areas outside the park. I know this will never happen to Kruger, but somehow we need to be more open minded and realise that we are visiting the domain of the animals and not other way round

One would like to have some form of security, which is provided by camp fences in Kruger but you also need to be aware that a leopard might enter or even a elephant. If visitor are more informed about this possibility of encountering wildlife in camp, the reaction might be different and less demand that animals must be shot. :(

I've seen some photos of leopard visiting reception area of a lodge and the bird hide in the Timbavati area, which show it is possible to have animals around on your stoep.

Unfortunately there are always a number of cases of people being injured by animals in camp (e.g the elephant that charge a man at a boma in Timbavati last month), which make it difficult to make the decision on what can be tolerate or not. There will always be this conflict. At some parks in Southern Africa the animals win and in other humans take control. :hmz:
Looking forward to the next trip:
Jan 2019: Karoo NP, Tankwa NP, WCNP and Namakwa NP
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moggiedog
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Re: Nature VS Humans in Kruger

Unread post by moggiedog »

What constitutes a problem animal
When is it acceptable to intervene in nature - and when not.

I am sure us "tourists" have huge differences in opinion regarding these questions.

For myself - I far prefer staying in unfenced camps but people I know will not even consider an unfenced camp - this difference of opinion I have no problem with.
My concern is that it may be becoming too easy to label an animal as a problem beast and destroy it - rather than seeking alternative solutions.
perhaps the fencing around the main camps needs to be upgraded and 'elephant" proofed.
Whether that is a viable solution or not - I don't know. (How many elephant break through the outer fences of Addo?)

I have read on this forum of aggressive elephant in the North that charge the cars - are these animals problem animals or is it only animals that enter camps the problem -
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Re: Nature VS Humans in Kruger

Unread post by BushFairy »

While the idea of no fences in KNP is a wonderful one, it is completely impractical.
KNP is meant to be a family vacation where kids can join there parents on an incredible learning experience, similarly it is meant to be a relaxing holiday for parents too.
This would not be possible if there weren't fences, firstly, prices would have to increase dramatically to factor things like daycare staff (to look after kids when folks are napping in the afternoon); insurance liabilities (a man was driving along the highway next to our farm and hit a Kudu and wrote off his car, he then proceeded to try and sue us???
Now imagine the type of problems which could occur in KNP), etc., etc.
There are many reserves which cater for people over 12 who can get personal attention so that they can be given the chance to connect with nature, but this takes a special kind of staff and a small scale camp, doing it in KNP would mean very high fees which would make it inaccessible to the average South African and that is main social obligation of SANParks!

I also don't think that it's fair to assume that SANParks destroys all animals that enter camps, I'm sure that most individuals do not enjoy destroying animals, despite what some people have been implying in other threads.
In fact, there was once a leopard lying in front of our chalet in Biyamiti when we came outside one morning, we reported it to management and they chased it out and said to look out for it, as it comes in often.
There have also been a few ellies in various camps over the years during our visits, were they destroyed, no, but if there was probable cause then they might have been!
We don't hear about all the big game that enters camps, we only hear about the problem animals, surely if the management didn't know what they were doing they would have shot all these other animals too?
It is very easy to judge an organisation by what is visible (and bad news sells) and not by all the behind the scenes functioning of the whole system, especially in a place like Kruger!

So, nature versus humans...
Unfortunately due to the extent of our development in the world, nature (wild animals) cannot exist without humans and not just any humans, custodians of nature like most of the staff employed by SANParks, not the maintenance workers, tellers, hospitality managers or receptionists, but rather the game rangers, guides, concession rangers, ecologists, vets and zoologists,
I think we're losing sight as to how many of these people are involved in protecting the thousands of animals in the parks and focusing on the few people who aren't usually involved directly with the animals!
The whole earth is one huge complex system, and in the past humans could not survive without nature (natural resources - food, oil, etc.), unfortunately with an increase in technology and development the roles are slowly reversing and soon nature (and I don't mean this in a large scale sense, but rather at a species level) is not going to be able to survive without the proper management and intervention by humans.
So I don't think there is such a thing as either nature OR humans surviving, I think it takes a balance where human involvement conserves nature!

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lee lewis
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Re: Nature VS Humans in Kruger

Unread post by lee lewis »

Very interesting topic Malealea! The delicate balance has been permanently disturbed, in my opinion.

Admittedly, 'problem' animals do exist, BUT they are far and few between.
On the other hand, there are masses of 'problem' humans!
It is MAN who feeds the monkeys and baboons.
It is MAN who thinks he can "direct" nature and "manage" 'problem' animals - like when those self-same monkeys associate humans with 'free lunch' - they are automatically labelled 'problem' animals!
Or when an innocent elephant helps himself to marulas inside the camp, he is summarily shot.
Also when bat droppings become too much of a chore for MAN to clean up on a daily basis.... they are swiftly expelled from their home.
I could go on and on...

Has anyone ever stopped to think that a fence means NOTHING to an animal?
If there is food on the 'other side', any animal WILL find a way around, over, through it! (It is merely a MANMADE structure created by MAN to give MANKIND peace of mind)
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Re: Nature VS Humans in Kruger

Unread post by BushFairy »

Malealea wrote:1) I belive that nature is not addicted with humans.
But humans are to Nature.
People think they can do manage Nature but I disagree to that.
Best examples Natural Hazards.
It will be the opposite way more interference oh humans --> increase in natural destruction.


I raised this point and I particularly said that I mean this at a species level, not a general level.
If the "good" humans are not involved in their conservation, then the "bad" people will destroy it, therefore, nature AT A SPECIES LEVEL does rely on humans to survive.
This is a very sad result of development, deforestation, degradation, etc., but I am afraid that it is a fact, hence why SANParks exists in the first place...

Malealea wrote:2) I do not believe that that fences will help.
I do not understand why animals have to chase away.
Its there home/habitat.
Tourists are guests!
I don´t think that no fences will increase costs.
Because the fencing and keep the fence updated are already expensive.
No Fence will show a direct contact with Nature, that can increase the respect..


I still believe that the size of the camps in KNP is too large to remove fences successfully, yes in places like Biyamiti or other bush camps this may work, but the logistics of removing a fence successfully in a place like Lower Sabie, Skukuza or Satara is mind blowing.
But, I do agree that ON A SMALL SCALE this does increase respect and knowledge.
I just really believe that it is not a viable option in the main camps of KNP.
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Malealea
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Re: Nature VS Humans in Kruger

Unread post by Malealea »

well, I do believe that Nature can deal with every difficulties.
In the past tense they had to adopt (we had Ice ages and then Ages of hot Temperatures).
But I can´t deny that the Good humans will support nature.
We don´t need to discuss about that.

About fences, removing doesn't make sense at all.
But for new Camps we could think about leaving Fences.
I know lot of NP´s where this works.
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Son godin
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Re: Nature VS Humans in Kruger

Unread post by Son godin »

BushFairy wrote:While the idea of no fences in KNP is a wonderful one, it is completely impractical. KNP is meant to be a family vacation where kids can join there parents on an incredible learning experience, similarly it is meant to be a relaxing holiday for parents too.

In fact, there was once a leopard lying in front of our chalet in Biyamiti when we came outside one morning, we reported it to management and they chased it out and said to look out for it, as it comes in often.


Hi Bushfairy,

I fully agree with you that KNP must be fenced off and do not propose any removal of fences around the park or camps, but that will not stop the conflict between humans and nature.
A fence can however not keep animals back as you have mentioned about the kudu jumping over the fence of your farm. (By the way have you seen how they jump a fence?
Its amazing to see how they stand next to the fence and without a long run to get some speed just jump over. :wink: )

What is important is to educate visitors of the possibility of animals in camps and how to react.
The reality is that KNP is not child friendly and that parents need to be aware of their children's where about.

My first visit to Kruger was in 1976 and it was also my first encounter with wildlife at a young age.
I approached a large male baboon in the camp, which suddenly jumped around and tried to attack me. :wall:
This incident could have turned out very nasty, but if I was better prepared I would have known to stay out of its way and called an adult. :naughty:

During the incident of the leopard being shot in Letaba camp a few years back, children were running around after dark in the camp not near to their campsite.
If there was less movement in the camp the outcome for the leopard might have been different. :hmz:

You also gave the example of a leopard in Biyamati camp.
We visited the camp a week after you in Jan and were informed about the leopard and that lions had a kill in the camp a few days back.
Without this information people might decide to walk around camp at night and let their children play around only to get into a situation where they may be confronted by a dangerous animal and then the "problem" animal must be shot. :cry:

Even camps like Berg en Dal is not that save to walk around as you wish at night.
I think it was Lowveldboy that saw the leopard next to the fence on the *** walk.
At some spots animals can crawl underneath the fence due to soil erosion and the trees also hang over the fence making it easy for a leopard to enter.

My point is that we are visiting a wildlife reserve and need to take caution that animals may enter and try to make the interacting as peaceful as possible, without overreacting and blaming animals as a problem animal. :slap:
Looking forward to the next trip:
Jan 2019: Karoo NP, Tankwa NP, WCNP and Namakwa NP
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Re: Nature VS Humans in Kruger

Unread post by BushFairy »

Malealea wrote:well, I do belive that Nature can deal with every difficulties. In the past tense they had to adopt (we had Ice ages and then Ages of hot Temperatures). But I can´t deny that the Good humans will support nature.


Let me try and make my point simple:
Nature (at a species level) CANNOT survive without conservation in the current world.
Conservation does not exist without humans.
If conservation areas do not exist then humans will take it as a free for all to kill animals for food or simple to kill animals to make space for more development.
HUMANS are the conservationists who look after the species, without this protection the other humans would wipe them out.
This is a fact and why deforestation and habitat loss (removal by humans) has caused hundreds of species extinctions.

You cannot compare the species which faced and survived the ice age or ages of hot temperature to todays animals as humans are now the main factor which are putting pressure on animals.
I have no doubt that many animals can survive the climatic changes which are happening, but no animals can survive over long-term in an area which is not a protected area, national park, no-hunting zone, blah blah blah, and all of these areas are run by humans, hence, nature at a species level is directly reliant on the efforts by humans, without conservation efforts they will not longer exist in most parts of the world, this is a fact.

Son godin, I think that the next investment by SANParks in camps should be environmental education centres for children, young adults and visitors who are uneducated about how animals behave, how to behave when you come across an animal, signs to look out for when an elephant is getting grumpy, etc.
I think this would be worth far more than any book that you can buy in KNP. AENP has one of these centres and the feedback from children has been amazing.
This to me is what KNP lacks, fundamental environmental education at a basic level for any and all interested guests.
P.S. A kudu jumping over a high fence is one of the most humbling experiences, it is incredible how agile these amazing beasts are!
Study nature, Love nature, Stay close to nature. It will never fail you!
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Malealea
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Re: Nature VS Humans in Kruger

Unread post by Malealea »

@ bushfairy,
I understood your Posts quite well.
But I disagree to the fact that only because of Humans,
Nature will survive.
I find it very difficult to believe because we humans bring more hazards then support.
that doesn't mean every support is wrong.
Unfortunately nowadays no natural habitat is left.
We humans did already change the most areas heavily.
A lot of natural habitats can´t survive without humans.

I believe humans did interfere, but as long the main system works natural habitats can survive.
Nature is a much stronger then a lot of people might think.
If nature can survive, we all can just speculate, we don't give it a try.
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Re: Nature VS Humans in Kruger

Unread post by BushFairy »

@ Malealea

We can then just agree to disagree, because species cannot survive without human help, nature is resilient, yes, but species are not resilient when faced with human induced challenges.
e.g. an animal can adapt to climatic changes over time but it cannot adapt to a shotgun....

Nature is strong yes, but species aren't and need human help.
I dare you to take away the game reserves, conservationists and parks in SA and see what happens to the ***, elephant, etc.
Yes the essential elements of the park would remain, but you would see a loss of species at a mammal, bird, reptile and tree level.
I am sorry, but I refuse to believe that species would survive without the help and support of humans.
If this were not true then conservation organisations, green peace, national parks, etc. would not exist because species would be resilient enough to withstand all the pressures they face.

Malealea wrote:If nature can survive we all can just speculate, we don't give it a try.


Buy a piece of land in Africa where rural people live, stock it with animals, don't involve scientists and conservationists, don't employ game rangers or anti-poaching units and see if the animals can adapt and survive to being hunted for food, or removed because the local people want to grow more crops, or being killed because they are eating these crops.
This will give your theory a try, and I am sorry, but it will fail, having grown up in Africa I know that it is a FACT that without human intervention and management there would be no animals in most parts of Africa.
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Re: Nature VS Humans in Kruger

Unread post by oddesy »

@Malealea,

I understand where you are coming from and agree that nature is very resilient and can overcome many challenges, BUT I have to agree with BF when it comes to human intervention.

The human race has far exceeded the levels by which the earths resources can be sustainable and unless dramatic actions are taken our natural areas face dire consequences.
Our population is simply too big and unfortunately we have become the dominant species not because we are good at naturally adapting to the environment but rather adapting the environment to suit our own greedy needs, usually at a cost to nature.

It is by no means the desired situation, but without human intervention we stand little chance.
We have changed and halted many natural process, destroying many valuable ecosystem services.
It is essential that WE right the wrongs we have committed.
I do not think that taking down fences is at all an option, there are far too many variables that interact in such a situation and most certainly we would see a loss of natural areas.
The best option would be to take down fences between large reserves, creating corridors between them and this might be the kick start the environment needs to get ecosystem services and natural process functioning again.
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Malealea
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Re: Nature VS Humans in Kruger

Unread post by Malealea »

Indeed they did adapt, either Plans, animals and so on.
Best examples hunting.
Hunting is a natural source (to avoid misunderstandings I´m not a hunter and I´m sceptical about hunting!!!), so animals change there behavior in areas where hunting took place or not.
I agree, we can´t deny that,
The impact of humans is big.
But still even if this doesn't work that will be a reaction.
A natural habitat (including plans animals ...) are able to repair a broken system.
Just to give an example. we did have a lake which was polluted at all.
No life.
After a few years this lake did recover.
If you browsing to the web you will find some nice examples.
Therefore in the long run that might help.

I fully understand the opinion of Bushfairy and above.
But i find a difficult to handle, if somebody say only the humans can protect Nature.
I disagree to that.
Your arguments don´t convince me.
if you bring me nice arguments I´m willed to change my opinion, but these arguments are not yet seen.
life is Game, you rather play or flee. I chose to play the Game.
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