Khaudum - Disgrace and Poachers Paradise!





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  1. #1
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    Angry Khaudum - Disgrace and Poachers Paradise!

    Just returned from our New-Years trip. We traveled via Khaudum (South to North) to Mahangu area and back home.

    Khaudum has always been one of our favorite spots due to the inaccessibility, remoteness and low-level facilities (similar to CKGR) which kept the masses out. Game was plentiful (seasonal) and behaved normally.

    NOT ANY MORE!

    Khaudum has become an utter disgrace and poachers paradise!

    Huge new entrance facility at Sikeretti with lots of new houses yet Sikeretti Camp is the worse than ever before. All water facilities have been removed. Camp sites are used for dumping building rubble. Old chalets are used as ablutions (on the floors!) and for dumping rubbish. Zero care. Yes, Sikeretti is "closed" but there is no reason to not do basic maintenance and keep it clean. Maybe an "agreement" with the private lodge at Khaudum Camp

    Many roads have not been driven in years and it is very clear that the staff do not patrol the park. Had to push over small trees in the roads to drive along. This is along the western roads and extreme eastern roads.

    Some idiots have turned the concrete direction blocks to point anywhere but the right way (can cause real issues for those who do not know their way around) and none have been corrected - again park staff doing nothing!

    The animals are wilder than wild. Upon hearing or seeing a vehicle they storm off at maximum speed - Elephant, Gemsbock, Roan - all of them. This only happens when poaching is rife! Normal hunting in the hunting areas outside Khaudum will not have this effect. The game in Mahangu is tame and Mahangu is hunted too.

    Found a dead Elephant east of Doringstraat on one of the not maintained roads - face portion hacked off, rest of the body in-tacked except for decomposition and scavenging.

    Unless something is done fast, this park is doomed as a bushmeat and ivory provider only.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Khaudum - Disgrace and Poachers Paradise!

    I have just checked pictures and I see what you mean. It looks abandoned.

    Has the number of visitors dropped in recent years that resulted in the neglect or is it the neglect that has resulted in a drop off of visitors?
    Estee = S T = Sean Towlson

    There is no such thing as inclement weather, only poor selection of clothing.... or Vehicle

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Khaudum - Disgrace and Poachers Paradise!

    I will upload some pics once I sorted through them.

    No, doubt this has anything to do with the amount of visitor and everything to do with corruption, mismanagement, laziness, no control.....
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    Default Re: Khaudum - Disgrace and Poachers Paradise!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dead Buff View Post
    I will upload some pics once I sorted through them.

    No, doubt this has anything to do with the amount of visitor and everything to do with corruption, mismanagement, laziness, no control.....
    I suspected as much
    Estee = S T = Sean Towlson

    There is no such thing as inclement weather, only poor selection of clothing.... or Vehicle

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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Khaudum - Disgrace and Poachers Paradise!

    ....Another place no longer on the bucket list
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Khaudum - Disgrace and Poachers Paradise!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dead Buff View Post
    Just returned from our New-Years trip. We traveled via Khaudum (South to North) to Mahangu area and back home.

    Khaudum has always been one of our favorite spots due to the inaccessibility, remoteness and low-level facilities (similar to CKGR) which kept the masses out. Game was plentiful (seasonal) and behaved normally.

    NOT ANY MORE!

    Many more to live of the land as all of them do anyway.
    Last edited by JLK; 2020/01/07 at 02:00 PM.
    Johan Kriel

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    Default Re: Khaudum - Disgrace and Poachers Paradise!

    The rangers are obligated to remove tusks from any elephant that dies.
    You would have to find out how elephant died. Animals are extremely skittish and I have found lone bull elephant to be very aggressive in this park.

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    Default Re: Khaudum - Disgrace and Poachers Paradise!

    Yes, possible that the staff removed the tusks...but why would a young bull die close to a water hole?

    Found a couple of broken off tusks in other parts of the park...left them there - luckily a bit off the beaten track.
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Khaudum - Disgrace and Poachers Paradise!

    For some clarity.
    1) MET does not have Diesel for their vehicles. So no work can be done.
    2) Sikereti camp was out on tender and the company that won the tender will start rebuilding the camp in Jan 2020
    3) The entrance gates where sponsored and financed by the KfW and German government to create a uniform structure for the Transfrontier park between Nam, Angola, Zambia,Bots and Zim.
    I have travelled through the Park last week and found the animals not too skitish. The elephants were actually very subdued.
    Regarding poaching activities I cannot comment as I do not know if APU's or Special forces are deployed as they are in Mahango, Buffalo, Babatwa and Mudumu.
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Khaudum - Disgrace and Poachers Paradise!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dead Buff View Post
    Yes, possible that the staff removed the tusks...but why would a young bull die close to a water hole?

    ck.
    that is actually a pretty common occurrence, with many species, and particularly with elephant.

    The two main reasons:

    1. Especially in dry season or during drought, animals have to move long ways between water, and are actually very dehydrated by the time they reach the water hole. They then overindulge in the water, which results in severe bloating of the gut, which can be fatal. Very common occurrence with all hindgut digesters as well.

    2. water holes are often also areas of conflict, where young bulls often get into fights. They may get away from the bigger bull, but end up dying shortly afterwards from their injuries. Tou will be surprised how hard a tusk wound is to spot on an elephant carcass sometimes.

    I am not saying there is not a poaching issue in Khaudum, but I don’t think it’s fair to assume that one carcass found with the Tusks cut out (which is standard procedure even when natural death carcasses are found) is a sign of rampant poaching.

    I was also recently in Khaudum and did not find the animals any more skittish than I would normally expect.

    that said, MET is battling with corruption, useless staff and a total lack of funds. So there are definately issues that need to be addressed

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Khaudum - Disgrace and Poachers Paradise!

    I have not heard any reports of an increase in poaching in Khaudum. Anthrax is endemic in the area, and worse as the dry season intensifies so it is quite possible the elephant died of it. As pointed out, parks staff remove the tusks of any dead elephant encountered.
    Khaudum has always had a very low carrying capacity, and as it is a park that sees very few tourists, the animals are not habituated to vehicles, and are skittish.
    Sikereti has been derelict or close to derelict for years now.
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    Default Re: Khaudum - Disgrace and Poachers Paradise!

    We have been in Khaudum in May 2019. The rangers were so nice to bring the water for us to Sikereti. We had the luck for game as never before, especially for roan antelope which is quite rare elsewhere. I will come back anytime for the 4th time.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Khaudum - Disgrace and Poachers Paradise!

    This was my 6th visit to Khaudom, previous being 2 years ago. My impressions and those of all in the group were very different from the previous visits. Let's hope it improves....
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    Default Re: Khaudum - Disgrace and Poachers Paradise!

    Khaudum has always been on my bucket list, I was lucky enough to spend two nights at Khaudum in July 2019. We came up from Sikereti - I will not camp there.

    The official at the gate said we can stay there for one night but not more as the camp has been closed for visitors - he'd need to get permission for us to stay there longer, it's basically an over flow camp for late comers unable to reach Khaudum camp from the South.

    We did not find animals more skittish than normal and saw plenty of Ellies and other game. I think poaching is a problem in most parks and without the proper backing from the top the staff can't do much about it.

    Khaudum will definitely see me again!
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    Default Re: Khaudum - Disgrace and Poachers Paradise!

    It's my dream to visit Khaudum, ever since I read the book "along a hunter's Path " by Kai Uwe Denker.

    Definitly on the bucket list
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    Default Re: Khaudum - Disgrace and Poachers Paradise!

    Awesome book, great man!

    Did travel into a small bit of "West of Khaudum" area around Karikuwisa and Samagaigai
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    Default Re: Khaudum - Disgrace and Poachers Paradise!

    About every 5 years we visit Nam/Bots. And each time we see change. TIA.

    For those of you who want to "see" a bit of Khaudum, do have a look.


    Coen

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    Default Re: Khaudum - Disgrace and Poachers Paradise!

    Thanks for video, most South Africans will understand the Dutch commentary.
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    Default Re: Khaudum - Disgrace and Poachers Paradise!

    Thank you for the lovely Video

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Khaudum - Disgrace and Poachers Paradise!

    Nice video! We had exactly the same experience in Khaudum. Moreover the rangers brought water in barrels for us in Sikereti. The wildest park in Namibia, well worth visit. My people said it was better than Etosha. The approach road from North was much better before the construction works in Khaudum Camp. I was said the camp promised to grade it but nothing happened yet.
    Last edited by schwott; 2020/01/13 at 01:30 PM.

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