Warning - Theft on Safari

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Oct 3rd, 2005, 07:07 PM
  #1
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Warning - Theft on Safari

I wanted to post this as a warning to all of those heading out on safari. Although theft in Safari camps might be rare, it does happen. I had my camera stolen from me last month at Matetsi Water Lodge. I left it in the room while we went to breakfast. I thought it would be fine, since the rooms at Matetsi all have locks on the doors, so you need a key to get in. I made sure the doors were all locked and headed down to breakfast. Upon return the camera was gone. I guess I felt my things were secure since no guests would be able to get in. For some reason I was trusting of the porters, butlers, and housekeeping staff that all had keys to that room. (the room had been cleaned while we were gone) Although it has not yet been proven, I am quite sure my camera was stolen by staff at the lodge. Now that I have had time to think about it, I should have been more worried about the staff then the guests. Guests all have their own fancy camera gear for the most part and really donít need or have room to lug around more camera gear. The housekeeping staff are probably very poor and looking for something that they could sell easily. Please, donít be as trusting as I was, if you donít want to lose it- bring it with you. Even though my camera was stolen, I feel very lucky. I had removed my almost full memory card from my camera that morning and had it tucked safely away in my money belt. I can easily replace the camera, but if the pictures were lost as well I would have been heartbroken.
beept is offline  
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Oct 3rd, 2005, 07:20 PM
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sorry to hear about your camera, but thankfully you had the memory card! Will remember this when I leave in 14 days! Thanks for the warning.
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Oct 3rd, 2005, 07:39 PM
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I'm also sorry to hear about this--thank goodness you had the memory card. I looked at your photos, by the way, and they are excellent!

Thanks for the reminder; I'm glad this didn't ruin your experience.
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Oct 4th, 2005, 12:35 AM
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I am sorry to hear about the theft... must have been so disappointing. Was it near the end of your trip at least?

Thanks for sharing this and reminding us to be vigilante.

When one has so little and sees people who have so much temptations must be high. I'm not saying for a moment that this justifies the theft, just that it's a good thing to remember when considering security for one's belongings.
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Oct 4th, 2005, 04:10 AM
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Hi Kavey ,
Thanks for your comments, luckily it happened on the last day of our trip. I agree, the temptation must be very high for these people.
beept is offline  
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Oct 4th, 2005, 09:23 AM
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Thanks for the unfortunate reminder. Sorry this happened to you.

A rarity indeed, I am sure. Do you think keeping the memory card on your person is a good solution so the irreplaceable photos are not taken?
I must admit, I never hesitate to leave

If I hid the memory card separately from the camera, I know I'd forget it.
my gear in my tent. Sometimes there are not even locks.
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Oct 4th, 2005, 01:40 PM
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beept:

Sorry to hear about the theft of your camera. Guess it points out that when we leave something valuable like this in our rooms we should be sure to put it in locked luggage.

What was the response of the Lodge mananger? I would think it would be fairy easy for him to figure out who had keys and access to the room and he could check that individual's room in an attempt to find it. If that didn't work he might have threatened the employees who had access with expulsion if the camera weren't found. I think if employees were told they would be fired if the camera weren't found, it might turn up quickly.

Jan
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Oct 4th, 2005, 07:44 PM
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Thank you for the reminder to us all. I always say that most theft happens when tempetation is there but I also usually get to the point during a trip when I jsut want to leave everthing in the room or tent or wherever but my husband is more cautious so I take the camera with me. Your posting has helped me remember why we probabaly should do this. Photography is a really important part of things for my hubby so he would be very sad if somthing like this happened, especially early in the trip. So once again thanks for reminding me. This is somehting we need to remember wherever we are, and I am very glad you had your memory card.

J
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Oct 5th, 2005, 02:23 AM
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Beept,

I'm so sorry to hear that this happened to you, particularly in Zimbabwe where more tourists are desperately needed by both the people and wildlife.

Please do get in touch with the lodge manager and CCAfrica about this -- they do take these problems very seriously, and I'm sure they would do everything possible to find your camera for you.

Cheers,
Julian
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Oct 6th, 2005, 07:39 AM
  #10
 
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Sorry, beept, you were so smart to remove the memory card however!

Your warning applies to pretty much any camp anywhere. I don't care how safe a place seems. Of course camps and lodges don't like to talk about this, or even warn tourists too extensively for the obvious reasons...but I can tell you that this kind of thing happens all over Africa, in all countries and qualities of places, just as it happens in EVERY country in the world. Small valuable things are just too great a "temptation". This is like the old joke: "Why do you rob banks?" "That's where the money is." In these countries, the tourist facilities are where the money is...
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Oct 6th, 2005, 03:06 PM
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Keeping my camera safe is something I always think about on a trip. Now that I have a new digital camera that I have never traveled with, I was wondering about how to keep the memory cards safe. I didn't know if they could be damaged by body heat if put in a money belt. That was my first impulse to keep them safe. I suppose yours was not harmed in your money belt. It does get tiresome having to keep a camera in your possession at all times. I have certainly left mine in a room lots of times!
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Oct 7th, 2005, 04:08 AM
  #12
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No harm was done to my memory cards at all, they do just fine in a money belt. Good luck with your new digital camera!
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Oct 11th, 2005, 12:08 AM
  #13
gclotter
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Dear 'Beept'. On behalf of CC Africa our sincere apologies for the incident which occured at Matetsi Water Lodge.

We where mortified to hear that this had happened to you during your stay at the lodge, and any detailed feedback you can provide which can assist us in preventing this from happening in the future would be most valuable.

We would like to know if there is anything we can do to assist you with regards to resolving any outstanding issues with regard to this theft, such as any documentation or reports you might need for insurance claims, if so please contact me directly on [email protected]. Sincerely. Gary Lotter. Director. CC Africa
 
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