Kruger Park - Visitors & Law Enforcement

  • JGB
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8 years 6 months ago #11342 by JGB
JGB created the topic: Kruger Park - Visitors & Law Enforcement
I have just come back from a weekend in the Lowveld which included a day in the Kruger.

I really believe that they need to look at limiting visitors or policing them more effectively. I know it was over a long weekend and maybe in off-peak periods things would be better.

We were delayed on entry, no because of a very long line of people but people who need to be taught of speeding a line up. When there are 20 plus people in the queue behind you, please don’t decide to suddenly think it is a good idea to apply for a wild card, by all means apply but go and stand aside and let other people through. And please remember what your ID number is before rushing off to get the ID and a few moments later again rushing off to get the vehicles registration number!!!!! <!-- s:biting: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/biting.gif" alt=":biting:" title="Frustration" /><!-- s:biting: -->

Inside the park people have no clue of what the rules of the park are, we came across four separate occasions where people were out of their cars. We also came across a car that was throwing food out to monkeys; well we certainly gave them an earful.

I believe that a nasty incident with one of the animals is still going to happen. We saw on numerous occasions how vehicles would be stopped right alongside an animal to get a better look. All that is needed is an elephant to be a grumpy on a day and take a swipe a car or one of its occupants and we can all just guess the headlines “Viscous Elephant Attacks Innocent Kruger Visitor.” It seems as some of the visitors are under the impression that the animals are tame and can be petted almost!!!

At Lake Panic we arrived there were five other cars there, the sign at the entrance saying that there only eight are allowed. We managed to squeeze ourselves in on the benches and spent about 30 minutes there, more and more people were squeezing in. On our departure another tow vehicles arrived and four people from each proceed to the hide. At this stage there were 11 vehicles excluding ours in the parking lot, how everyone was going to pit in I have no idea.

As for the speeds in the park, let’s not go there. Driving at just under the limit of 50kph on the tarred roads felt like I was going backwards with all the cars over taking us. We also came across a tortoise and a hornbill that had been hit by a car. Unfortunately I saw absolutely no sign of any law enforcement officials in the park as I have seen previous years. I do see that there is a permanent speed camera in place near Skukuza and let’s hope that a few people will be getting a nasty surprise in the post soon.

I understand that these are not new problems and they will be with us for a while. Maybe a solution is better policing of visitors and stiffer fines – banning serious offenders from returning to the park for things like feeding animals or excessive speeding may help.

But even with all these problems Kruger remains a jewel and always provides something special – this trips it was three birding lifers, our first ever cheetah and a first ever Roan Antelope and some great butterflies at the nursery.

Cheers,
A much better feeling Justin <!-- s:lol: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_lol.gif" alt=":lol:" title="Laughing" /><!-- s:lol: -->

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  • Doug
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8 years 6 months ago #11357 by Doug
Doug replied the topic: Re: Kruger Park - Visitors &amp; Law Enforcement
Hi Justin.

It would seem, and I fully agree with your frustrations, that South Africans (not all - but an alarmingly larger and larger group) seem to have absolutely no respect for the law or for anyone else around them.

I could launch on a 2000 paragraph tirade about certain affluent (or is it effluent <!-- s:lol: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_lol.gif" alt=":lol:" title="Laughing" /><!-- s:lol: --> ) groups of people and their road ownership plans - the space at the front of the queue is automatically yours irrespective of who is waiting in it simply due to the fact that it would appear yours may seem to be the most expensive vehicle in the queue.

I must say that it is becoming increasingly unpleasant visiting ANY popular tourist destination on any day that is not a week day when all the stiffs are working to maintain their cancerous lifestyle of all consuming trend!!

In fact I know of at least three people that have left South Africa, not because of crime or unemployment or anything else other than the fact that they simply find South Africans way to arrogant, rude and offensive so they left for countries where people are not so grumpy!!

I find it interesting that in some cities in Australia where South Africans are rather plentiful, they are starting to make a bad name for themselves as they go over there and behave like they do here and it is not very well received. In fact in Perth I believe it is becoming a bit of an issue just being a South African in that city.

Anyway that is my 2 cents worth...

Getting off my soap box now :D

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  • nkgray
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8 years 6 months ago #11362 by nkgray
nkgray replied the topic: Re: Kruger Park - Visitors &amp; Law Enforcement
Justin,

Like Doug I too could launch into a tirade on behaviour in the Kruger Park. Over the past few years things have got steadily worse, especially as regards speeding, littering and people out of their vehicles.

I visit the Park at least 10 days every year and I reckon that I will have at least 5 instances of people out of their vehicles per day visit - have you yet seen people out of their vehicles sitting on rugs, with the remains of a picnic and their cloths drying on a bush!!!! Boggles the mind!

As for speeding, I heard a Parks Board spokeperson on 702 recently declaring that Parks Board vehicles on "official" business are allowed to drive at 65kph - what a great example to set to the public! There is also a very good reason for not exceeding 40kph on gravel roads - dust. Stick below 40 and you kick up very little dust. Those that really tick me off are the guys kicking up a storm of dust that don't even bother to slow down when you meet them and you have to wind up your windows or take half the Kruger home with you. Some of the worst offenders are the "cowboys" in the open-topped safari vehicles with the foreign tourists whose mates have just radioed in the location of their lion sighting - they will surely get great tips back at the lodge, but I for one would rather see them having to stick to rules like everybody else (should).

I know of someone who was trapped at 80kph and slapped with a R1000 fine just a month ago so there is soemthing being done. Wonder how many people have recognised that fixed camera just outside of Skukuza for what it is <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: -->

As for Wild Cards, I do not believe that applications should be done at entrance gates - well not when there is a queue just after gate opening time. I have stood seething with others in long queues at Crocodile Bridge after both clerks were occupied with Wild Card applications. They should either consider not processing Wild Card applications for the first 2 hours after gate opening time or having a separate facility for this. Having said that, if everbody had Wild Cards it would speed up the entrance process dramatically.

I took a great photo of Goliath Heron at Lake Panic, only to find that there was a black garbage bag in the picture with it. Another time my Senegal Lapwing was standing right next to a piece of broken beer bottle - and people wonder what starts veld fires!

Let me stop now before I really get going. Suffice it to say that I agree with you that something drastic needs to be done to make visitors realise how precious our national parks are and the damage that they are doing, both physical and to the Park's reputation, by their flouting of the rules.

Neil

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