Botswana Chobe Riverfront massive restrictions planned




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  1. #1
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    Default Botswana Chobe Riverfront massive restrictions planned

    DWNP published a strategy paper regarding to the use of the Chobe Riverfront at Chobe National Park:
    http://www.bwana.de/images/botswana/...n-strategy.pdf


    In subsequent phases of decongestion will be performed:

    * Introduction of a booking system for the drive along the Chobe River front
    * One-way traffic control system for vehicles with game drives
    * One-way traffic for boats to Iceland Sedudu
    * Introduction of a Tour Guide - Code of Conduct
    * Introduction of a registration form for individuals
    * Erection of additional water supplies by drilling holes and setting of additional routes

    There will be Fixed routes and times on the Chobe River front

    Three routes will be introduced which are different price tags.

    Prices not yet set!

    On Sedudu gate you get a choice of three color plates with 10 cm diameter, one should hang on your mirror. This facilitates the control that you are on the correct route and not your own way.

    Blue route: "River Route front" - the most expensive from Sedudu entrance to the Chobe River, Chobe along at up Serondela and from there via Ihaha (and possibly Nantanga gate) back on the tar road. Signs should be already installed. On this route you can see everything on animals. One-way only permitted.

    Red route: "upper route" - From the entrance to the left through the Sedudu Valley and then to Ngoma Bridge and back on paved road. The plan is a small, not fenced rest area, about the height of the fire lane number 9. A new borehole is already in operation here. On this route you can see mainly elephants, zebras and occasionally sable. You drive right through forests.

    Green route: "Nogatshaa junction route" - From the entrance Sedudu about 30km on the tar road towards Nata to the south, then west and back via the tar road to Ngoma Nogathsaa - Kasane. On this route one sees predominantly ruminants such as zebra, eland, buffalo and toccasionally elephants. The plan here is a shortcut between the two new wells and an old well, because this round is impossible as a game drive in three hours.


    25 cars will be allowed per route, that means there will be up to 75 vehicles simultaneously in the region of Chobe expanded Waterfront.
    Per tour / lodge only two vehicles are allowed per Lodge.
    A week earlier, the organizers/ lodges must submit the list of participants.

    Self drivers may use only the less attractive times around midday.

    April 01 - 30 September
    Morning game drive 06:00 clock - 09:00 clock
    Only Botswanian tour operators and lodges
    Noon game drive 09:00 clock - 14:30 clock
    Only self drives and day visitors
    Afternoon game drive 14:30 clock - 18:30 clock
    Only Botswanian tour operators and lodges

    October 01 - March 31
    Morning game drive 05:30 clock - 09:00 clock
    Only Botswanian tour operators and lodges
    Noon game drive 09:00 clock - 14:30 clock
    Only self-propelled and day visitors
    Afternoon game drive 14:30 clock - 19:00 clock
    Only Botswanian tour operators and lodges

    Restrictions on the 3-hour boat trips

    Maximum of 15 4-cylinder motor boats with more than 12 passengers are permitted
    Maximum of two small boats with a maximum of 45 passengers per operator / lodge per morning and afternoon tour
    Reservations already on the day before required.

    Introduction of a Tour Guide of Conduct

    CODE OF CONDUCT CHOBE NATIONAL PARK FOR GUIDES

    Excerpt:

    * Switch of mobile phone
    * No alcohol serving to guests during the tour
    * no smoking
    * Maximum speed 40 km / h
    * 300-500 m distance from the vehicle ahead (hahaha 25 vehicles with 300 m distance = 7.5 km to the 17 km total distance, all of which are early in the morning at the gate)
    * Only four vehicles may stand together, a maximum of 5 minutes at each spot.
    * No sharing of information via radio.

    Introduction of a visitor's Code

    CHOBE NATIONAL PARK VISITORS CODE OF CONDUCT
    The aim of this code of conduct is to enhance the quality of experience and safety offered to visitors to Chobe National Park and to ensure the sustainability of its ecotourism.
    GAME DRIVES
    1. Entry into the park should always be at designated entry points where payments are made.
    2. A reasonable following distance of 300 to 500m should be kept between vehicles.
    3. Maximum driving speed should be 40km/hr.
    4. Only four vehicles are allowed per sighting and a maximum of 5 minutes should be spent by each vehicle.
    5. Parking should be done with two-side wheels on the road and the other two-side wheels off the road to avoid off-road driving.
    6. DRIVING OFF THE ROAD IS STRICKLY PROHIBITED.
    7. Minimise disturbance to animals to avoid wilful obstruction to other park users.
    8. Do not inform another of a sighting through a mobile device, radios and/or cell phones are for emergency purposes only.
    9. Respect the animal’s living space; do not go too close to animals.
    10. The first person at the sighting should be given priority, never block another vehicle.
    11. Always stick/park to the side where the sighting is, to give way to other vehicles.
    12. Slow down to avoid accidents and unnecessary dust when you approach another vehicle head on.
    BOAT CRUISES
    1. Entry into the park should always be via the Jetty point after making payments at Sedudu gate.
    2. Only four stroke engine boats shall be used to transport clients into the park.
    3. A maximum speed 15km/hr should be adhered to.
    4. For safety ensure that life jackets are always available.
    5. There should be a maximum of four boats per sighting and only five minutes will be allowed per boat.
    6. A distance of 20 to 50m should be kept between a boat and the following:
    (a) Animals such as hippos or crossing elephants.
    (b) Birds and crocodile nest sites.
    (c) The river banks and island edges
    7. Only boats of a size approved by DWNP should enter the park.
    8. Movement in the river should be in a one-way clockwise direction around the Sedudu Island form the Jetty point.
    9. Any guide operating a boat on the river should be a reasonably competent swimmer and must always wear a life jacket.
    10. Keep a sharp lookout for dug-out-canoes and fishing nets on the river and ensure that your driving does not endanger them.

    Conclusion: Make a long term booking. Give your Passport number to the Lodge when book.


    It is still unclear:

    What prices are charged for the three different routes?

    Is a pre-booking for individual travelers on Sedudu gate possible?

    By phone / fax and by whom?

    Will take on the dysfunctional DWNP the bookings?

    How do they operate with the accumulation of cars at the start at Sedudu gate?

    What penalties are there for breaches of the Code of visitors?

    What is with Ihaha bookings? Do they have a free ride? or only in the western part to Serondela?

    From when are there enough inspectors?

    There is still no common management plan with the Namibian side. Boats are counted from Namibia?

    Will report how it goes on!
    Last edited by Southerndreams; 2012/01/23 at 12:31 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Dit lyk my hulle wil regtig nou "belaglik" raak.

    Eersdaags sal hul seker jou laat betaal vir elke dier wat jy sien. Hul maak maar net op die ou einde hul eie toerisme dood- daar is baie ander gebiede om te gaan besoek.

    Dit is jammer, maar ek sal maar dophou. (Dalk is dit nog nie in plek nie, dan kan ons vinnig in Junie vir oulaas 'n draai daar gaan maak)
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    We've been lucky to got there in 2009, including crossing CKGR, just months before the privatisation.
    They are getting more and more crazy.
    Weve just started planning a 2013 trip to Mana Pools and Liuwa plains and my husband wanted to go Khutse, CKGR and Chobe - Moremi again on the way up, but we will boycott them now.
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    Do you know when this will be in effect from?

    Will our trip in March/April be affected? We will be in the area on the 4th-6th April.

    It very much looks like this might be my last trip to this area.
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    Starts 1. February.
    I won't go there any more.
    Did you book anything?
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    Any guesses why self-drives are being limited in this way?
    Paul

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    Quote Originally Posted by Southerndreams View Post
    Starts 1. February.
    I won't go there any more.
    Did you book anything?
    We did not, as Chobe River Lodge (our venue of choice) would not accept bookings for camping.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mistral View Post
    Any guesses why self-drives are being limited in this way?
    There was a rumour a year ago or so, that DWNP wanted to forbid and selfdrives at Chobe and Moremi, so the idea was to go there, park your car an book a game drive via local Tour Operator. As the local TO would not provide x cars at as example Savuti Campsite, that has been skipped.

    It goes into that direction. Get all selfdrivers out. I am not sure if its like they mention to protect the area (when you see how they handle the bookings its mostly only 30 % occupied at the campsites, selfdrivers are not massive in the area) or to help local tour operators? And they help themselves by making money, off course ...

    Thats such a nonsense ....
    Last edited by Southerndreams; 2012/01/23 at 10:36 AM.
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    Do you know if the sunset boat cruises will also be limited, therefore do we need to book one now?

    Thanks
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    I've made use of the tour operators. they race, wreck and intimidate animals. My wife and I were shocked art their behaviour especially compared to our sa counterparts and I've been to madikwe, sabi sands and normal government. Many of the rules set out above I agree with. But the operators are the problem not the day visits.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Connan View Post
    Do you know if the sunset boat cruises will also be limited, therefore do we need to book one now?

    Thanks
    I think that it will be so....

    BOAT CRUISES
    1. Entry into the park should always be via the Jetty point where client’s registration forms must be deposited.
    Think that means all boat cruises
    Last edited by Southerndreams; 2012/01/23 at 12:33 PM.
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    I sincerely hope this will never take off. I can't imagine the chaos in bookings and enforcement (control).
    Even reading the concept make one shudder, what a frustration!

    What are the real issues here, overpopulation, too much interference with wildlife, off-road driving, more profits or less business, queues at sightings....... I can't think of any that would merit the proposed measures?

    Clearly somebody has taken up a task that has not been analyzed for a practical solution and come up with a half baked plan similar with the centralized park entry fee payments which is now back to where we started and meanwhile most visitors were frustrated in the process.

    Thanks for keeping us informed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kalahari Safari View Post
    I sincerely hope this will never take off. I can't imagine the chaos in bookings and enforcement (control).
    Even reading the concept make one shudder, what a frustration!
    As far as I understand it it will be fact from 1.2.2012.
    They are already putting signboards to the river roads....
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    Having been to KNP at Christmas holiday and we had a sighting of two lionesses and one lion male near Satara, one lioness and the lion male mating.
    The one single lioness was desperetly ill, think TB, and the other two quite the same.
    Was wondering where from they took the energy for mating.
    The second evening they were seen, there were 60, 70 cars around. What a shame, theese poor animals.
    We tried to drive past (which was diffucult) and I was thinking I wish they had a Code of Conduct like that of Masai Mara Triangle, which says,

    When there are more than five vehicles waiting to see an animal, viewing time is restricted to 10 minutes. Vehicles waiting to see the sighting must wait at a distance of 100 meters.



    I think you know that I mean....

    At Chobe National Park that new system will surely help mostly DNWP to fill up their funds. My opinion .....
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    It's a done deal. It was even written up in the Air Botswana inflight magazine- January 2012. They gave us an early heads up- oh, that's right, not too many self drive flying Air Botswana.

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    As Euripides said, "Quem deus vult perdere, dementat prius" - whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad. Botswana seems hellbent on destroying the backbone of its tourism industry - one prolonged European recession with no fly in tourists and they will be weeping in their bureaucratic buckets.

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    A couple sources in Botswana have indicated that they anticipate a much busier year then last year. But that is only a couple sources.

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    Default What a lot of bull!@#$

    We have booked to camp at Ihaha during May 2012. Really hope they doe not have any restrictions on us as the camp cost plus the park fees are already expensive, making this trip more or less a once-off. If they restrict visitors driving around in the park, visitors will stay away. Part of the idea of camping is actualy not to be restricted
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    This new ruling - it's only for Chobe Or don't I miss something?
    "If you don't care where you are, you ain't lost"

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    @Andre Tunie, I phoned DWNP yesterday, They said if someone is camping at Ihaha they must enter the park at Nantanga, the firebreak from the tar road that leads doen to Serondela campsite, from there they must head straight to Ihaha. If they want to gamedrive along the river front then they must book a week in advance as per the new rules at Sedudu Gate and the hours of course are 9am -2:30pm. You can turn up at the gate and see if there is a slot, 1st come 1st serve. Once the 25 vheicle number has been reached no further vehicles will be permitted in the park.


    @Spook, For now its only along the Chobe water front.

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