What Happens if My Car is Damaged in a Nature Reserve?
If you are planning on driving in a nature reserve, your first defence against mishaps is to be well-prepared. How will you get a message out if something goes wrong – not all cell phones will work in remote areas and there may not be a lot of people coming and going.
Breaking down or damaging your car in a nature reserve is not ideal. In this post we will look at what you can do if that happens.
Nature Reserve – Can Your Car Handle the Drive?
So, you drove all the way from Jo’burg and now you are going to be driving around on a dirt track. Now, granted, some of these are in better states than our municipal roads, but not all of them are.
Will your car get stuck? Will it be able to handle the sandy parts and the dips and ruts in the road? What about the temperatures? Driving in Hluhluwe in summer is not for the faint-hearted, especially when you are out in the bush with little cover.
With temperatures that start in the thirties, you don’t want to take the chance of your car overheating.
Nature Reserve – Find Out the Procedures When Going In
Ask the staff at the gate about emergency procedures. What happens if you need help on the drive? What happens if your car is damaged and cannot complete the drive?
Nature Reserve – Let Someone Know Your Itinerary
Let the staff at the gate know which route you plan to take, or let someone else know. You want someone to be able to sound the alarm and come and look for you if you are running late.
Your best bet in an emergency situation is to stay put, if at all possible and wait for help to arrive. If you go wondering off into the park, you could get lost and make it harder for help to find you.
Certainly, if you are able to, call for help. If not, someone should notice that you are missing and come looking.
Nature Reserve – Should I Get Out of the Car?
That is going to depend on the game reserve and the type of animals that it has. You obviously don’t want to get out of your car when there is a pride of lions around, but a buffalo can be just as dangerous.
You are probably safest in the car, especially if there are predators in the park.
Nature Reserve – If Your Car is Damaged
Can you move it to the side safely? Move as far to the left as possible, without going off the actual road. When help arrives, you will have to find out what the options are.
The reserve staff may be able to help get the car out, but you are probably better off phoning your insurance company to find out what your options are. If they give you the go-ahead, then get the staff to help.
Of course, if the vehicle is creating a safety hazard, or is not in a safe place, let safety be your first priority and get it out of the way.
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