Berg Alert 2016

03 May 2016 13:06 - 03 May 2016 13:09 #68154 by kbresler
Replied by kbresler on topic Berg Alert 2016
This is a big call and I applaud you for making it. Thanks for the honest chat this morning as well Stephen. As mentioned to you, I take "duty of care" very seriously and everyone needs to figure out for themselves what they regard as duty. You cannot deny this and at some stage we all need to make these decisions.

Adventure Works Africa stopped running guided hikes to the Drakensberg about a year ago already and one of the main reasons was client safety. Environmental issues are fine and we can deal with those but other life-threatening situations beyond our control is a different matter. Until we have more clarity on the way our authorities want to proceed with these matters I cannot leave my business vulnerable. I know many other guiding outfits will continue and that is fine, but ask yourself how you and your business will be affected if involved in an international incident. I am not prepared to take that risk and it is upsetting because this is in my own country. I certainly look forward to see what parks and other authorities ultimately decide, and I cannot wait to return to the Berg with international clients. We have had to be creative in finding ways to make up for this lost revenue and have succeeded to some extent, but outside our borders.

When I do a trip to the Simien Mountains we do many stretches with an armed guard. This is because their government takes the safety of international visitors seriously and does not want to lose the revenue stream from that type of tourism.
When I do a trip to Mount Ararat we can climb the mountain safely without getting our heads chopped off, despite it being a full blown war zone.
There are numerous other examples and in reality none of these are as beautiful as the Drakensberg.

I look forward to the ongoing debate and hoping to be around for the upcoming stakeholder's meeting. Good luck to Stephen and the other conservation managers and stakeholders in addressing these issues. Hopefully we can all play an active role in improving the safety in our own mountains.

Kobus Bresler
Last edit: 03 May 2016 13:09 by kbresler.
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03 May 2016 13:18 #68155 by mayake
Replied by mayake on topic Berg Alert 2016

We have unfortunately have had to make the decision to close the Amphitheatre region to all persons, until the security situation stabilises.

Does an approximate date can be given ? the next quarter, next year, forever ?

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03 May 2016 13:20 #68156 by Ranger
Replied by Ranger on topic Berg Alert 2016
@KBresler

Thank you for your response and your support. It is deeply concerning to hear that your business (and no doubt many others) have been affected in this way. We are looking to all stakeholders to involve themselves in providing a long term solution to this problem.

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03 May 2016 13:25 #68157 by Ranger
Replied by Ranger on topic Berg Alert 2016

kbresler wrote:
When I do a trip to the Simien Mountains we do many stretches with an armed guard. This is because their government takes the safety of international visitors seriously and does not want to lose the revenue stream from that type of tourism.
.


Interestingly we have a sister park in Ethiopia encompassing the Simien Mountains. How does it feel having an armed guard with you?

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03 May 2016 14:19 - 03 May 2016 14:43 #68161 by mayake
Replied by mayake on topic Berg Alert 2016

Ranger wrote:

kbresler wrote: When I do a trip to the Simien Mountains we do many stretches with an armed guard. This is because their government takes the safety of international visitors seriously and does not want to lose the revenue stream from that type of tourism.
.

Interestingly we have a sister park in Ethiopia encompassing the Simien Mountains. How does it feel having an armed guard with you?


I have been in Simien Too, the main purpose of a Scout there is to give a job to some male guys of the muslim community which is living just in the middle of a Christian Area. Then : entries, permit, fees etc are very well managed by the Park Authority in Debark. At last there are some wild animals which can be dangerous if you camp outside the reserved places. And you know oftenly the guards have very very old rifle, for instance Enfield N°1, which is not very new you know and they don't have many cartridges for them, even no cartridges at all. Sociological and Psychological matter only I guess.
And the Simien Escarpment is not wild at all B)

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Last edit: 03 May 2016 14:43 by mayake.
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03 May 2016 15:01 #68163 by kbresler
Replied by kbresler on topic Re:RE: Berg Alert 2016

Ranger wrote:

kbresler wrote:
When I do a trip to the Simien Mountains we do many stretches with an armed guard. This is because their government takes the safety of international visitors seriously and does not want to lose the revenue stream from that type of tourism.
.


Interestingly we have a sister park in Ethiopia encompassing the Simien Mountains. How does it feel having an armed guard with you?

I don't like it but I am happy to stick to the rules, which allows me access. And if it improves overall safety that is a massive bonus.

Sent from my SM-G900F using Tapatalk

Kobus Bresler
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03 May 2016 20:26 #68175 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Berg Alert 2016
@Ranger: thank you for your efforts in this and for making a tough decision, which is ultimately in the interest of hikers and the integrity and reputation of the Berg.

Though crime statistics involving hikers in the Berg may be low compared to other areas, every single security incident is keenly felt among the hiking community, this being sacred ground to many of us. I'm sure most of us had a knot in our stomachs after hearing about this latest incident, and we do not want to live with another incident of this nature.

We have a chance to make something good out of this incident if we can finally find a way of properly addressing the issues, and this would be a major mile-stone in Berg history. I encourage everyone to cooperate and work together on this, even if you may have preferred to keep the Amphitheatre open.

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.
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05 May 2016 11:10 #68214 by Beard
HI Team,

Not sure if this has been spoken about - see the link and appreciate any comments (that are constructive and helpful) This is not an opportunity for social media barrage.

southcoastherald.co.za/140117/terror-for-berg-hikers/

Thanks

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05 May 2016 18:51 #68241 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Berg Alert 2016
Discussions for the way forward for the Amphitheatre have been forked to a new thread:
www.vertical-endeavour.com/forum/2-drakensberg-security/56080-solutions-for-the-amphitheatre.html

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

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06 May 2016 16:34 #68285 by AdrianT
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