Grand Traverse Permits

26 Nov 2008 15:41 #239 by 1/2pint
Hi Guys

Could anybody please help me with organising permits and park fees for a grand traverse? This seemingly simple task has got me pulling my hair out:angry: It seems the three parks you traverse are all operated independently, and KZN Wildlife isn't even aware that you are able to walk from one side of the Berg to the other!

Does anybody know what the adventure racing guys did in this regard earlier this month?

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26 Nov 2008 22:05 #240 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Grand Traverse Permits
Currently there is not much of a permit system. Technically most of the traverse is right on the border, or in Lesotho, so even though the managing authorities are aware of the GT, they currently don't and can't regulate it.

You can expect to pay in the region of R75 or a little more at Sentinel Car Park, which is what they charge for GT's, mini-traverses to Cathedral Peak / Monk's Cowl, or if you head north towards Golden Gate. The money collected at Sentinel currently goes to a local chief. This is a bit of an issue since the top of the Amphitheatre is managed by KZN Wildlife and anyone needing rescue there is not refused it, even though none of the permit money currently goes towards this.

The guys who did the race did not tie up with KZN Wildlife, as far as I know. KZN Wildlife only got to hear about them as a result of all the phone calls that went around when people started dropping out.

I can suggest that you submit a mountain rescue register to KZN Wildlife just before you do it. A good person to speak to would be Eduard Goosen (036-4386423), who manages the northern Berg. If you are really troubled about the permit issue you could bounce it off him too.

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.

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27 Nov 2008 12:58 #241 by Stijn
Replied by Stijn on topic Grand Traverse Permits
As far as I know, the participants of the recent race sent Gary (who lives nearby) to go pay their R30pppn to KZN Wildlife at Giant's Castle Main Camp so that they would officially be covered in the case of rescue.

However, I believe the staff there were not very flexible with the payment and would not grant permits to hikers who weren't starting their hikes at Giant's Castle Main Camp.

Thanks for that contact - will come in handy for future traverses... I've always just paid my R75 at the Sentinel, blissfully unaware that my money was not going towards the rescue fund :blush:

1/2pint - please let us know what you manage to arrange.

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27 Nov 2008 14:14 - 27 Nov 2008 14:30 #242 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Grand Traverse Permits
Oh, I must have missed that in the blog, Stijn. At least it was an honest attempt to contribute to the rescue fund. In a way I can understand why the staff didn't know what to do with it. The GT is not regulated in any way. And with a lot of it being in Lesotho it's not a straightforward issue.

I think the channel through which this may one day be addressed would be the Maloti-Drakensberg Transfrontier Project, as it would involve both countries.

From what I understand, between KZN Wildlife and Mountain Rescue, there will always be some kind of assistance offered, even if you are "in" Lesotho, on a GT, and where you've only paid the guys at Sentinel.

It's always good to leave the rescue register with someone other than the guys at Sentinel. I once finished a GT and tried to phone but couldn't get through. No-one ever tried to get hold of me. The guys change shifts and after a week or two the register easily gets buried among the others.

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.
Last edit: 27 Nov 2008 14:30 by intrepid.

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27 Nov 2008 15:42 #243 by 1/2pint
Replied by 1/2pint on topic Grand Traverse Permits
Thanks guys that explains alot. Intrepid I will definately give that number a call. I will also give KZN wildlife a call and see what i can organise for my back up crew at the other two entrances. Will keep you posted.B)

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13 Mar 2014 10:02 #59855 by Herman
Replied by Herman on topic Grand Traverse Permits
Intrepid is right, the rescue register at Sentinel car park is just there to make you feel better, but no-one ever checks it for overnight hikers. I've had the same experience with trying to phone them - doesn't work. The safest is actually to give it to the ranger station at the end of the traverse - if you plan to go past such an office on your route. And to keep in contact with folks at home.

It's just a matter of time before the rescue register system for the car park fails during an emergency. @intrepid, don't you think there should be a more reliable official system that we could recommend or put help put in place? Eg. faxing the register (downloadable from this site) through to a specific number further South?

The best way to give money to MSAR if you would like to, is to donate it directly to them through KZN or JHB MCSA. They do good work and spend the money wisely.

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13 Mar 2014 12:57 #59857 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Grand Traverse Permits

Herman wrote: @intrepid, don't you think there should be a more reliable official system that we could recommend or put help put in place? Eg. faxing the register (downloadable from this site) through to a specific number further South?

I will take this up with the relevant parties and see what can be done.

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.

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13 Mar 2014 19:10 - 13 Mar 2014 19:14 #59865 by Richard Hunt
Replied by Richard Hunt on topic Grand Traverse Permits
Hi Guys. The way we did it was to write out a detailed route description/plan as well as fill in the mountain register. Then you email copies to the intended start which for us was Royal N Park..... This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and then more copies to the end which for us was B Nek........ This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. but no EFT payments can be made for hiking fees so somehow you must pay your overnight hiking fees to one of the Berg Resorts. We did at hike at Cobham before the GT so we told the Manager there our plan and paid for 2 nights, one payment/slip for R N Park and the other for B Nek. These 2 slips were also copied and emailed together with the route plan and mountain register which of course activates the rescue services if necessary.
I also discussed the GT Hike with the man in charge of hikes at Queen Elizabeth Park (KZN Wildlife Headquarters) and they are now aware and will put something in place to cater for the GT.
Last edit: 13 Mar 2014 19:14 by Richard Hunt.

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13 Mar 2014 19:29 #59866 by Richard Hunt
Replied by Richard Hunt on topic Grand Traverse Permits
Hi Guys, to add to the last post, also include 2 cell phone no's of GT members on your route plan and if you are going to be late for arrival phone 033-7011823/0839623934 so no one panics! The payment at the Sentinel Car Park is a separate issue and must be paid. We will show them the KZN Wildlife payment slip and mountain register and hopefully get a reduced rate!

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14 Mar 2014 08:04 #59868 by diverian
Replied by diverian on topic Grand Traverse Permits

Richard Hunt wrote: The payment at the Sentinel Car Park is a separate issue and must be paid. We will show them the KZN Wildlife payment slip and mountain register and hopefully get a reduced rate!


Personally i wouldn't pay for more than 1 night at Sentinel, as you are only hiking in their "controlled" area for less than a day.

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