Grand Traverse Permits

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

@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

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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14 Mar 2014 09:05 #59873 by relevitt
Replied by relevitt on topic Grand Traverse Permits
Diverian, that's what we did last Easter, paid just for the day we'd be in their area (having already paid at Didima for 6 days on top). They did try at Sentinel Carpark to get us to pay for longer, because we had tents etc, but they accepted what we said.

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14 Mar 2014 20:35 #59877 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Grand Traverse Permits

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.

Thanks Richard, I will wait for feedback this first then. Could you please keep us updated of further developments, and of any further input needed at this stage?

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

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15 Mar 2014 13:48 #59880 by Richard Hunt
Replied by Richard Hunt on topic Grand Traverse Permits
Hi Chris,I will visit Q E Park again next week and follow up on this!
The following user(s) said Thank You: ghaznavid

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17 Mar 2014 15:36 #59893 by Herman
Replied by Herman on topic Grand Traverse Permits
Please tell me if I'm missing something, but I don't feel the need to pay Parks Board for hiking along the escarpment, mostly in Lesotho? I support them as much as I can, and I pay any time I'm on their property (using a pass, as well as the days on top). I think they do a great job most of the time. But the GT is different - they don't own it or maintain it, and they probably won't come fetch you if you're in trouble - MSAR does that. If anyone is paid, it should be Lesotho / communities on the highlands? I'm just worried that once these authorities realise what's going on, they start charging large amounts of money just to be 'in on the action'. Like the way the 'toll fee' at Sentinel goes up when they hear that you'll be doing a traverse, even though where you hike to makes no difference to the chief in charge of the parking lot.

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17 Mar 2014 19:21 - 17 Mar 2014 19:31 #59894 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Grand Traverse Permits
Firstly, the GT isn't a new concept for EKZNW - they know that hikers do it and have been doing it for a long time. The EKZNW people that I have spoken to about the GT always first and foremost expressed concern for the safety of hikers, and have always been willing to assist in handling a rescue register. Some time ago I did bring up the topic of fees with one of them, and their response was that parties should decide amongst themselves how many days/nights they have spent within the MDP-WHS, because technically the Park is crossed and is slept in at several points - and pay this on an honesty basis to them. This discussion was actually oriented around S&R, not on how they could make money off hikers doing the GT. As I understand it, it is often EKZNW that will pay for costs of the rescue anyway. I disagree with you that they won't come and fetch you if you are in trouble. By paying some money to EKZNW for doing the GT, a portion is going towards the S&R fund, and that is first and foremost the concern and interest in this topic, for me anyway, and I think also for several others.

I will make a point of raising the issue of the guards at Sentinel Car Park charging a "traverse fee" when technically you are only crossing their "turf" on the first day. It is my understanding that this money is not going towards any S&R costs currently and it would be nice if agreement can be reached on what should fairly be paid by hikers doing a mini or full traverse.

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.
Last edit: 17 Mar 2014 19:31 by intrepid.

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18 Mar 2014 16:51 #59910 by Herman
Replied by Herman on topic Grand Traverse Permits
I agree, and that has been my experience with park rangers like Eduard as well. I can only hope that it is that way all the way up the bureaucratic chain to that place where someone decides on fees. I know people who try to dodge park fees as much as possible, which is sad. But if you want to contribute to MSAR, the best way to do that is to contribute to MSAR - or better yet, volunteer your time. The MSAR volunteers pay their own way, and are proud of it.

I asked around, and the way the rescue money is allocated, is the following:

R1 of the entry fee into any KZN park goes into the Emergency Services Fund. For Type 1 rescues, where the heli can land next to you and shut down engines, the private helis from Cathedral or Dragon Peaks are used, and your R1 pays for this. Quick, easy, low altitude stuff. For Type 2 rescues where rope work is needed, or the engines aren't switched off, a SAAF Oryx is usually deployed and MSAR volunteers do their thing. At ~R40k/hour for the Oryx, your taxes would then be working for you. Although SAAF can claim from Parks Board, they rarely do. It is the SAAF's responsibility to look after citizens, and so it is part of their (limited) budget. Sometimes a SAPS Squirrel is used for searches and even Type 2 rescues. This doesn't come out of the ESF either, although the ESF sometimes covers minor expenses like meals for the rescuers, head torches for the rangers, lost gear, etc. Still a worthy cause. For MSAR GP (who do N-Berg rescues, sometimes) gear is partly sponsored by the MCSA, the bakkie by Fleet Africa, fuel for the bakkie by certain petrol stations, radios by Vodacom, etc.
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