Sunday 1st April 2012, another beautiful day in Kruger National Park and with school holidays starting, also the beginning of a very busy period in the park. Not only are a lot of European tourists in the park but also families from the neighbouring provinces are present and all only want to do one thing. They are here to observe the beautiful wild life of the park and enjoy some time in the rest camp’s after dark.
Whilst the South African Park Board is going out of its way to ensure that there are not only enough rubbish bin’s in the park and on every day camp facility but also clearly marking their bins for recycling some “guests” just don’t get the message.
I spend 4 hours today driving around one of the main camp’s area as I found a large herd of elephants the night before to take some pics but instead I was horrified to find scene’s like this:
plastic bottles next to the road, paper in the bushes, sweet wrappers being eaten by baboons. The staff at the gate is actually handing out paper waste bags, so that if you consume your allowed food and beverages, you can place them into the bag and then recycle them on a rest stop. I just don’t get this kind of visitors who make the effort to drive a rather long way, spend a fortune to get into the park and on accommodation but rather selfishly through their rubbish out of the window.
I actually took 150 pics of rubbish laying on the streets or bushes in 4 hours!
Maybe I should post a rubbish pics page? I know that the Parks Board is doing the up most to keep the Park which has the size of Israel as clean as possible and I think you should punish these so-called visitors who through their rubbish into the bushes and next to the road like poachers and lock them up for a number of years!
African jails are even for local’s scary and after a couple of tourists and local’s get locked up, I’m sure we have a clean park again.
This actually brings me to another point. The traffic these poor animals experience during holiday season is immense and must cause stress to them.
Yes some of you might say, well they are used to it! Trust me, some idiot last afternoon insisted to take his Nissan Nivara so close to a herd of elephants with babies that they are started to charge the vehicle. Most people living in SA (South Africa) or even watching Discovery Channel or Animal Planet or do some research on Kruger before coming here are aware that these elephants in the Kruger National Park are some of the most aggressive ones you can find in Africa.
Kruger National Park anyway had a rather rough start of the year so far with massive floods and now the damage which has been left behind. This picture of the bridge is pure water damage from earlier this year and the Sabi is good 7 m below the bridge! Now imagine the water masses which have done this damage and changed the natural flow of the Sabi River.
Well back to the animals and their stress, as well the damage done by the amount of vehicles just driving through the park on a daily basis and I’m not talking about the organised tours from the park or other operators in the area but the sheer traffic I experienced today on the road is amazing. Having lived all my life in big cities I’m pretty used to traffic but today it was a circus. People parking in the middle of the road, blocking everybody else and causing traffic jams. I can hear the cars pulling in and out of the Rest Camp from our staff acommodation like
I’m living next to a highway. Guys, I have to confess that I’m also driving a big petrol swallowing pick up but in my defense I have 5 kids and I love to drive on offbeat tracks, not just in Kruger but all around Southern Africa.
Now you might ask me what the solution would be?
Well to start off the park could be closed off to all vehicles, meaning you are allowed to travel to your rest camp which becomes your home base and from there onwards you are only allowed to take organised tours like at Chobie National Park in Botswana.
Still a circus for tourists but an organised one or you are only allowed to enter the park with an electro car (I know I’m dreaming) but stay for a moment with me on this point. Your car chases away a lot of animals anyway due to the engine noise, electro car= no noise and organised tours enables communication between the drives which enables you to get much closer to the wild life.
Unfortunately it is not up to me to decide but maybe one day somebody takes up this ideas before it is too late.
Then check this out, on my way back I found this:
She reminds me on the British tourist late last year who insisted that he needs to go for a swim in the ocean near Cape Town despite the warnings from locals and the shark flag up. Result of the story: The shark took both his legs off and in her case a rather large land animal like a lion, cheetah, rhino or even elephant or even a herd of baboons, which are very common in the area where I took the pic ,take a bite of her or a good stomping.
So dear pale lady from the norther hemisphere, good luck to you and I hope you are a tasty treat to an animal.
Now as the sun is setting, time would be perfect to go for a drive and check out the local wild life I on the other hand will stay in my house watch my 2 pet croc’s checking out the hippo and wait until all visitors have to be in the camp as I do not want anymore traffic or be upset by rubbish laying next to the roads.
However I will leave you with a beautiful pic of an owl which I found sitting in a tree watching me drive by last night and hopefully I will be able to show you some amazing pics in the next couple of day of real wild life instead of Life Gone Wild before I must to my treaded track back to Johannesburg for a while to take care of business.
Hitchhiker of Life