Cave Reservations Etiquette

20 Nov 2018 09:42 - 20 Nov 2018 09:53 #74241 by Douglas de Jager
Thanks for your replies.

I have experience of not being able to book caves because I was told there was already a booking.

Thanks for the links to the other threads. There is a lot of talk of having the "receipt" to prove your booking of the cave. Any idea how one can get a receipt when bookings are made over the phone? I am not aware of another system of booking. I asked KZN Wildlife 2 months ago if there was any way I could get proof of my booking - their answer was "no".

Kind regards
Last edit: 20 Nov 2018 09:53 by Douglas de Jager.

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20 Nov 2018 15:25 #74249 by tonymarshall
When you pay for the hike at reception just before you leave, you get a receipt. Ask them to note on this that you have booked the cave.

If you pay in full in advance, they can make a note on the piece of the register you tear off to take with you, and put the stamp on it to make it official.

It is normal practice once someone has booked a cave, no matter how small the group and how big the cave, that you have booked that cave, and no one else can book the cave because as has been noted above, you just get told that the cave is already booked.

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20 Nov 2018 18:54 #74251 by Papa Dragon
Agree with Tony et al..

We were the "loggers" at Stable Cave on Friday night. VE Pine Project/Pine Busters/MCSA  volunteer pine eradication group.
The cave had been booked for Friday and Saturday night..
Got to Stable on Friday morning, dropped most of our kit, and went out to the work site. When we came back on the path on the hill above Stable, we saw 4 hikers on the bottom path on the way to Stable Cave. When we got there, I asked the guides if they had booked, and the main guy said yes, but I am sure they had not.

We didn't have a problem sharing with them however, our splinter group was away in Eagle Cave, and they stayed up at the top at the Stable part..
As Macc said, the American tourists came down and had a chat with us, which was very pleasant. Quite later in the evening, the 2 guides were talking very loudly amongst themselves in Zulu, didn't really bug me, and I don't think any of the others. If it bugged the clients, that's for them to sort out with their hosts.

Bottom line, if they had tried to book the cave, they would have been told that it was already booked out. Makes me wonder if they even paid their overnight hiking fee..
The following user(s) said Thank You: Rhinoandhedgehog

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27 Apr 2020 00:30 #75818 by Oneye
Replied by Oneye on topic Cave Reservations Etiquette
I am a strange beast.  I am anti-social in the city, and mr. social in the wilderness.  My joke is that it's PEOPLE who make me anti-social.  i think my berg days may be over.  but some of my best friends were met in caves in the berg.  never met a friend in any city.

Can everyone agree that if a party is clearly in trouble, or says that they are in trouble, that they be welcomed, and maybe even cared for, no matter the other circumstances?  This rule ought to have a name.  The emergency rule?

I am always welcoming of company in the wilderness.  Others, I understand, are not.  Absent emergency, still be pleasant, politely present your objections, and discuss alternatives.

In Colorado, I was once turned away from a ski hut during mid-Winter's week at 5pm (sunset) with temperatures at -20C.  we had not eaten or drunk for 24 hours (our water was frozen), and yes we were a day late.  we were even denied water.  we were given no choice but to ski through the night.  i had to rescue my ski buddy who later became ill.  We made the car at 1am.   The people in the hut reported us to the newspaper, who published an article about two monsters who threatened the ten of them with violence.  They described me as huge and well over 2m tall with a full beard.  I am 1.6m, was quite slight back then, and my stubble was 2 days old.  my friend was under 2m, very thin, and beardless.  the mountain community and the forest service came out on their side. Neither one of us ever back-country skied again.  The lack of decency ruined the sport for both of us.

that having been said, i self-question as to how i would treat Basothos who enter my cave and begin a fire, or worse, bring in sheep.  English is useless.  Shouting and pointing may result in an incident.  I'm sure i'll not sleep. I'd seriously consider leaving.  What happened to my camaraderie?  I'm sure I'd put up with French people, even if we had no common words.  I'm sure i'd be relaxed in the presence of Zulus.  There is a very wide culture gap between me and Basothos.  I have so far managed to get along with them.  They have been quite two-faced behind my back, and I am aware of it.  They have robbed me a number of times.  Nothing serious, but the undertow is there.

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