Roxanne

New camps for Kgalagadi despite poor infrastructure

10 posts in this topic

Do you know about the developments that are in the wind at the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in the Northern Cape, South Africa? If you love that place as much as I do, you need to know about them so you can make your voice heard in the public participation process currently under way.

 

What’s at issue:


  •  
  • proposed development of 10 new accommodation units, 10 new luxury camping sites, a new access road, upgrading of services infrastructure and a landing strip at Nossob camp in the east
  • a luxury camp site at Gharagab north of Nossob and
  • a luxury camp site at Craig Lockhart south of Mata Mata on the Auob riverbed in the west of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.

 

I have seen over the years how this arid park struggles with roads, water, sanitation and maintenance in general, so I have to ask: if maintenance of existing facilities is already problematic, how will this be managed if even more facilities and up to 56 cars cars and 158 more tourists per day have to be catered for?

 

To my mind, obvious concerns are:


  1.  
  2. the sub-par and limited road structure
  3. water, which is already in short supply and of seriously dubious quality
  4. sewage
  5. extra rubbish and where it will be dumped/disposed of.

 

Please read my piece on this issue at http://roxannereid.weebly.com/1/post/2012/03/kgalagadi-developments-have-your-say.html for more info:


  •  
  • why people who love this park should be concerned
  • a link to the Environmental Assessment Public Participation notice
  • contact details of where to send your comments by 15 March 2012
     
     

Then I look forward to hearing comments and reactions from others either on my blog or on this forum.

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Thanks for the post, Roxanne.

 

Question - if luxury camps pop up, would they not be responsible for eco friendly ways of operating there? Isn't that the new wave of the Luxury camp segment? some of them emphasize this point of eco friendly concepts in their marketing -

 

I plan to read the blog over the weekend when time permits. Thanks for sharing!!!

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for the post, Roxanne.

 

Question - if luxury camps pop up, would they not be responsible for eco friendly ways of operating there? Isn't that the new wave of the Luxury camp segment? some of them emphasize this point of eco friendly concepts in their marketing -

 

I plan to read the blog over the weekend when time permits. Thanks for sharing!!!

 

 

Thanks for the comment. I think we have to qualify what "luxury campsite" means. We're not talking about Chobe Lodge type of luxury camps; we're talking about bog-standard camping sites for people with tents or trailers, with the additional "luxury" of a private ablution/kitchen for each camp site. As far as I know, these luxury camps will be managed by the same people who are currently managing the camps that are already experiencing maintenance problems as a result of the harshness of the environment and the distance from "civilisation". In addition, there's only one road in the west and one in the east of KTP, so whoever is managing the camps,the poor road infrastructure will remain problematic.

 

I'd be interested to hear your thoughts once you find time to read the full blog and the EIA notice.

Edited by Roxanne

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oops .... my bad!!! Thought it was the luxury lodge thing ......

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No sweat, madaboutcheetah, it's an easy mistake to make ... luxury camping site / luxury camp aren't so far apart in words as they are in fact!

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Do you know about the developments that are in the wind at the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in the Northern Cape, South Africa? If you love that place as much as I do, you need to know about them so you can make your voice heard in the public participation process currently under way.

 

What’s at issue:


  •  
  • proposed development of 10 new accommodation units, 10 new luxury camping sites, a new access road, upgrading of services infrastructure and a landing strip at Nossob camp in the east
  • a luxury camp site at Gharagab north of Nossob and
  • a luxury camp site at Craig Lockhart south of Mata Mata on the Auob riverbed in the west of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.

 

I have seen over the years how this arid park struggles with roads, water, sanitation and maintenance in general, so I have to ask: if maintenance of existing facilities is already problematic, how will this be managed if even more facilities and up to 56 cars cars and 158 more tourists per day have to be catered for?

 

To my mind, obvious concerns are:


  1.  
  2. the sub-par and limited road structure
  3. water, which is already in short supply and of seriously dubious quality
  4. sewage
  5. extra rubbish and where it will be dumped/disposed of.

 

Please read my piece on this issue at http://roxannereid.weebly.com/1/post/2012/03/kgalagadi-developments-have-your-say.html for more info:


  •  
  • why people who love this park should be concerned
  • a link to the Environmental Assessment Public Participation notice
  • contact details of where to send your comments by 15 March 2012
     
     

Then I look forward to hearing comments and reactions from others either on my blog or on this forum.

 

Unless they plan to upgrade all the roads and provide new routes, it will be a disaster. The current drives can handle only a limited number of tourists. I prefer it as is. Even one additional vehicle at a lion sighting will dramatically reduce the quality of the experience. Cars already block the road completely at such a sighting! I recently camped at the new luxury camp in the Mokala National Park. Wonderful facilities, but one month after the camp was opened they struggled to get one of the toilets working. They had to visit several times to repair it. It constantly leaked water. The camp is only a few km from the offices. What will they do in such a case in Kgalagadi? The new camp will constantly be without water as they cannot visit every day.

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You make good points, Grobler du Preez. Hope those carrying out the EIA will take all this into account.

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A saddening trend if (when) this development takes place - just as are the proposed hotels in KNP (which fall under the same Sanparks umbrella) .

 

Creating income at the expense of a shrinking wilderness by providing for more people with inadequate facilities ...

 

Is it indicative of a lack of understanding of the wilderness ethos by Sanparks maqnagement ?

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To my mind, wildernessman, these KTP developments are even more worrying than those at Kruger. The enviroment of the Kgalagadi is fragile enough without putting it under more stress. Unfortunately, I think the need to generate further income may eventually triumph over environmental considerations, sad though that would be. I'd be only too happy to be proved wrong.

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The Draft Basic Assessment Report is now out for comment till 14 August. To my mind, the issues still haven't been dealt with adequately, but it looks like the development is going ahead regardless because leaving things as they are currently is clearly stated as a "no-go alternative".

 

For those who have an interest in this topic, you can read my update at http://roxannereid.weebly.com/1/post/2012/08/kgalagadi-development-update.html

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