Air rescue Kgalagadi national park.





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  1. #1
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    Default Air rescue Kgalagadi national park.

    Soon my fantastic trip will start and I am trying to finalize my preparations so some support is appreciated.


    Does somebody have the emergency numbers to dial in case of an emergency in which air support is required?


    Okavango air rescue I know but I am not sure if they also operate in Kgalagadi?
    In the park, I will visit the South African part as well the Botswana part, can you use both countries as an emergency support no matter where you are in the park?


    Thanks for your kind feedback in advance


    Regards


    Johan

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    Default Re: Air rescue Kgalagadi national park.

    hi it doesnt quite work like that

    your travel insurance may cover air evacuations from one of the camps - both twee riverien and nossob have airstrips
    but this would need to be medically justified and its an arduous process to get fly over rights in a national park

    stay alert, stay safe and dont worry about this, the camps are good, the rangers even better

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Air rescue Kgalagadi national park.

    I obtained the attached emergency numbers for a trip to Botswana in 2018. They were compiled by Tara at Botswana Footprints before she sold the business. Perhaps they are still useful.

    we took out insurance with Okavango Rescue but I recall that they did not cover the Kgalagadi. Our plan there was to utilise any assistance that could be provided by the camps or SanParks staff. Not long before we started our trip a lady was badly mauled by a Leopard at Motopi 1 while transmitting between Kgalagadi and Mabua. Her travel mates ended up driving to Upington to get assistance for her.

    Anyway hope this helps
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    Default Re: Air rescue Kgalagadi national park.

    No-one flies at night.

    In Kgalagadi (SA side) the closest point (Twee Rivieren) to Upington Mediclinic (Private Hospital) is about 3 hours drive. You could be at least four hours north of that giving 7 hours drive time.

    SANParks are extremely helpful in the event of an emergency and there is an emergency number in all their camps.

    They helped the husband whose wife was mauled by the leopard.

    Decent First Aid kit always a good idea.
    Last edited by Paul Dold; 2020/01/11 at 06:34 AM.

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    Default Re: Air rescue Kgalagadi national park.

    Many of the international travel insurance packages include air evacuation, but only where their control center considers the emergency to be of such urgency to justify a fixed-wing or helicopter evacuation.

    Organising an air evacuation as a layman can be laborious and it might often be better to head from Kgaligadi to the nearest major medical center in Upington, arranging for a life-support ambulance to travel simultaneously towards you, from Upington.

    Unfortunately there are too many panicky and unjustified calls for emergency air evacuation. First seek help and advice from the staff and public at the nearest South African camp. If too far, head for the nearest DWNP office on the Botswana side. If the park staff call for an air evacuation and you have valid insurance cover, such a rescue might be expeditiously organized.
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    Default Re: Air rescue Kgalagadi national park.

    We are used to travel with a single vehicle as a family and visited some very remote places.


    My advice: Preparation.

    Make sure you personally can cover the most important basics from vehicle repairs to medical emergencies, and have the needed items packed.


    We managed our trips with my youngest at that time technically in a permanent state of medical emergency.

    We had to plan our routes with hospitals and clinics mapped along our routes and had to verify with a facility or two where the needed blood products are usually in stock.


    People these days seems to rather want to put their faith in some kind of gadget or service, than working on their own skills. That most of the time, is the shortest route to safety.


    Other than that, when off the beaten track, don't do something stupid.


    Don't try and make that water crossing if there is another way.

    Don't play with axes and chop wood if you are an idiot with it - like me.

    If you have to get on the roofrack, you better know that falling 2m to the ground hurts.

    Know that snatching a vehicle a not fun. It is nerve wracking.


    Those sort of things.
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    Default Re: Air rescue Kgalagadi national park.

    What Stan said.

    I can also add, make sure your wife or travel partner can drive off road for in case you are incapacitated. Take a Satphone and if something goes seriously wrong, even in the middle of the night, start driving.

    Our medical aid has an international travel option which we had to activate by a simple e-mail in the past. But since the last 2 years it is always active. So my first port call will be your current medical aid to make sure they cover you for emergency transport and hospitilasation across the border. Edit: I only saw your location after I posted this, so might not be applicable to you.
    Last edited by lekhubu943; 2020/01/11 at 07:51 AM.
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    Default Re: Air rescue Kgalagadi national park.

    I am not sure if the Nossob airstrip is still functioning, last October it was unkempt and the hanger was a storage place.

    People that I know of or heard of that need emergency help like the lady that was mauled and scorpion bite victims have all been safely moved by vehicle during the night if needed to TR or Askam to meet an ambulance from Upington. Both happy endings.

    Africa is a tough place but not that bad that air rescue has to be top of the list. I may be wrong but have been to some wild isolated places and am still here.

    As the thread mentioned, get the basics right, a good medical kit, know how to use it. basic mechanical knowledge plus the standard spares needed. Hoses etc. The big thing is know how to use those things. My top of the list is a fully charged Sat phone, may seem like a waste of money but a good worry-free waste of money.

    Flying at night in Africa is not advised, I know am an ex pilot. Remote places have no landing facilities and even a road may not be suitable because of condition, lights etc.
    Last edited by pwgg; 2020/01/11 at 07:51 AM. Reason: spelling
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    Default Re: Air rescue Kgalagadi national park.

    Just a note from personal experience. Air evacuation WILL NOT take off for a rescue unless the patient has been confirmed as critical by medical staff. Not only is it about being sufficiently critical, it is also about survivability. If the medical staff on the ground conclude that the patient will probably not survive even if air rescue is sent, they will also not take off.In the case of which I had personal experience, we agreed to pay for the flight up front, arranged a hasty payment of about R50k, and when we called them half an hour later to tell them that the patient did not survive and they can cancel, the pilot had not even arrived at the airport yet.C
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    Default Re: Air rescue Kgalagadi national park.

    Quote Originally Posted by C Africa View Post
    .. and when we called them half an hour later to tell them that the patient did not survive and they can cancel, the pilot had not even arrived at the airport yet.C
    And that is perhaps a harsh reality that people don't realise.

    Getting anything in the air, is not like starting your car to get the kids to school.
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    Default Re: Air rescue Kgalagadi national park.

    Quote Originally Posted by biltong View Post
    And that is perhaps a harsh reality that people don't realise.

    Getting anything in the air, is not like starting your car to get the kids to school.
    Not just the pilot, medical staff, clearances, flight plans and the worst of all can you actually fly there.

    This is Africa, not the USA. The Cessna handbook says in the event of engine failure land at the nearest airport. In the USA you can just about take off at of airport and see another 4 close by.
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    Default Re: Air rescue Kgalagadi national park.

    So the short answer to your question is that there is no dedicated Kgalagadi air rescue service. All the travel insurance packages include an air rescue option if medically justified - we use EuropAssist and they are as good or as bad as most of the others. The only time we have ever had to activate it, I was hospitalised in a private hospital in Mombasa for a week in five star comfort, and all we had to pay was something like $50, they covered the rest.
    A satphone is your first line of defence, and second an insurance policy with a 24/7 hotline.
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    Default Re: Air rescue Kgalagadi national park.

    It really is not easy to persuade any air evac company to come and fetch you as others have said. Fortunately for ourselves, with my experience in trauma surgery, they would find it legally difficult to explain any delay if I am calling for an air evac for ourselves or any medical emergency we happen upon, where insured.
    I suppose they trust that trained folk will not abuse the system.
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    Default Re: Air rescue Kgalagadi national park.

    Quote Originally Posted by pwgg View Post
    I am not sure if the Nossob airstrip is still functioning, last October it was unkempt and the hanger was a storage place.

    People that I know of or heard of that need emergency help like the lady that was mauled and scorpion bite victims have all been safely moved by vehicle during the night if needed to TR or Askam to meet an ambulance from Upington. Both happy endings.

    Africa is a tough place but not that bad that air rescue has to be top of the list. I may be wrong but have been to some wild isolated places and am still here.

    As the thread mentioned, get the basics right, a good medical kit, know how to use it. basic mechanical knowledge plus the standard spares needed. Hoses etc. The big thing is know how to use those things. My top of the list is a fully charged Sat phone, may seem like a waste of money but a good worry-free waste of money.

    Flying at night in Africa is not advised, I know am an ex pilot. Remote places have no landing facilities and even a road may not be suitable because of condition, lights etc.
    Nossob airstrip is operational ..Part of the Management of the Park ..The Hangar was used as a hangar until the late 1980s when a plane was actually kept there which was used by the then Nossob Section Ranger

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    Default Re: Air rescue Kgalagadi national park.

    Quote Originally Posted by lekhubu943 View Post
    What Stan said.

    I can also add, make sure your wife or travel partner can drive off road for in case you are incapacitated. Take a Satphone and if something goes seriously wrong, even in the middle of the night, start driving.

    Our medical aid has an international travel option which we had to activate by a simple e-mail in the past. But since the last 2 years it is always active. So my first port call will be your current medical aid to make sure they cover you for emergency transport and hospitilasation across the border. Edit: I only saw your location after I posted this, so might not be applicable to you.
    This needs to be highlighted!
    Take her/him/them along to the training. And let them actually also drive in the "wild". No time for practice and more mishaps during an emergency.
    And they must also know the intricacies of tacking down camp and packing, for situations where there is time to do so but you may not be able to lead/assist.



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    Default Re: Air rescue Kgalagadi national park.

    One more thing. There aren't any rescue helicopters stationed close enough to have the range to fly to the park. So if it is going to be an air rescue, it will have to be fixed wing. Doubt very much if Twee Rivieren has night landing facilities, so they can only come in daylight. C
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    Default Re: Air rescue Kgalagadi national park.

    Thank you all for the time in responding.


    The satphone and medical kit I always bring on my trip as it would be Russian roulette to go without it, and I did need to use it once when I had a rollover with my rental car in Botswana in 2015.


    The proper health insurance is in place as always.


    After summarizing your comments I think that the best way forward is to jump in the car and drive from Botswana area to the airfield at two rivers were also the best support is available to give first aid and further advises.


    Fortunately we never experienced anything negative with scorpions or snakes and in the evening we always wear proper protected shoes and never flip-flops.

    Pretty sure we will be without emergencies again this time but I always like to go prepared

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Air rescue Kgalagadi national park.

    Quote Originally Posted by paparata View Post
    I obtained the attached emergency numbers for a trip to Botswana in 2018. They were compiled by Tara at Botswana Footprints before she sold the business. Perhaps they are still useful.

    we took out insurance with Okavango Rescue but I recall that they did not cover the Kgalagadi. Our plan there was to utilise any assistance that could be provided by the camps or SanParks staff. Not long before we started our trip a lady was badly mauled by a Leopard at Motopi 1 while transmitting between Kgalagadi and Mabua. Her travel mates ended up driving to Upington to get assistance for her.

    Anyway hope this helps

    Thanks for the list that is useful

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Air rescue Kgalagadi national park.

    Quote Originally Posted by jpseekles View Post
    Thank you all for the time in responding.


    The satphone and medical kit I always bring on my trip as it would be Russian roulette to go without it, and I did need to use it once when I had a rollover with my rental car in Botswana in 2015.


    The proper health insurance is in place as always.


    After summarizing your comments I think that the best way forward is to jump in the car and drive from Botswana area to the airfield at two rivers were also the best support is available to give first aid and further advises.


    Fortunately we never experienced anything negative with scorpions or snakes and in the evening we always wear proper protected shoes and never flip-flops.

    Pretty sure we will be without emergencies again this time but I always like to go prepared
    I have been going to Kgalagadi Park since 1961 and Kruger 1951 and have never ever needed a Cellphone let alone think about being evacuated by air ..If I did my holiday would be spoiled by not concentrating on the Wilderness experience. Sure take a Medical Kit but leave it like that is my take
    Last edited by Peter Betts; 2020/01/12 at 06:12 AM.

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    Default Re: Air rescue Kgalagadi national park.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Betts View Post
    I have been going to Kgalagadi Park since 1961 and Kruger 1951 and have never ever needed a Cellphone let alone think about being evacuated by air ..If I did my holiday would be spoiled by not concentrating on the Wilderness experience. Sure take a Medical Kit but leave it like that is my take
    haha ya I remember you are the guy that leaves the phone home in the bush Just kidding

    This thread is useful as many people have been wondering about this exact topic. Lots of good info
    Ezzac

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