OPINION: Fun, games and irritation for the Fat Cats boys
Every August I take a long trek to the east – Kruger National Park is the destination.
Me and my friends from the Fat Cats call it a boys’ outing and this we have done for more than 10 years.
We always say whatever happens in the bush should stay there. And there is a lot that goes down there, from playing games to offloading man-to-man and heart-to-heart issues. We have so many good memories from the Orpen, Skukuza and Lower Sabie camps.
But some things cannot just be left there and have to be addressed.
All visitors go to the park to enjoy themselves and wind down. But, most importantly, we go there for the animals. Some even play a game of who has spotted what during game drives. Imagine the commotion there is when a big cat is spotted. Almost everything comes to a standstill. It feels like a wasted and worthless trip if you go and come back without having spotted any of the cat family – lions, leopards and cheetahs.
So seeing these animals is a big deal. But it can also be a nuisance to others. Some visitors are inconsiderate. What irks me is when some people block the roads; others fight for the best spot – and stay put forever.
And, as if that is not enough, the game drive open vehicles with guides seem to expect everyone to move aside so they can have the best view.
This is so not on. Imagine you are on your way to a camp or going out of the park and you get stuck along the way. With strict times to be adhered to, it sometimes becomes inconvenient to those who have to rush out before gates close.
But selfishness and irrational thinking cloud some people’s judgement and they have no time for others. I find this practice very unfair and uncalled for. No wonder there have been reported incidents of fist fighting and other aggressive behaviour in the past. I bet this will continue if nothing is done to curb selfish thinking and bad behaviour.
This is the place to enjoy but most importantly to be considerate to others too.
Then there are those who hang out of the windows or sunroofs to get the best view or take better pictures. Hanging out is against Kruger’s rules.
The authorities need to do something about this behaviour urgently. But it is also up to visitors to behave in a responsible manner – be considerate, patient and tolerant of one another. After all, we are there to enjoy nature. Our behaviour as humans should be different from the animals we go to see.
Any official of the SA National Parks listening?