A Wildlife Safari into the Kruger National Park

MPUMALANGA SOUTH AFRICA

The Kruger National Park must be the most famous, and well known, National Park in the whole of Africa if not in the whole world.

Kruger National Park is one of the largest game reserves in Africa. It covers an area of 19,485 square kilometres (7,523 sq mi), and extends 360 kilometres (220 mi) from north to south and 65 kilometres (40 mi) from east to west. Way back in 1884 President Paul Kruger, the then president of the Transvaal Republic proposed in the “Volksraad (Parliament) that the area between the Crocodile River in the south and the Sabi River in the north be proclaimed a “wildlife sanctuary,” and it “legally” became the Sabi Game Reserve on March 26, 1898. (4 600 sq. km / 1 800 sq. miles.) The first civilised human settlements were noted by Francis de Kuiper in 1727. De Kuiper was one of 31 Dutchmen en route from Fort Lagoa (Maputo) to the interior in search of gold.

On the 31st of May 1926, it was declared a National Park by the South African Government, who added thousands of hectares of land, north of the Sabi River, and called it the Kruger National Park in honour of President Paul Kruger.

To the west and south of the Kruger National Park are the two South African provinces of Limpopo and Mpumalanga. In the north is Zimbabwe, and to the east is Mozambique. The Kruger National Park is now part of the Great Limpopo Trans-Frontier Park, a peace park that links Kruger National Park with the Gonarezhou National Park in Zimbabwe, and with the Limpopo National Park in Mozambique.

The park is part of the Kruger to Canyons Biosphere, an area designated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as an International Man and Biosphere Reserve (the “Biosphere”).

The Greater Kruger National Park (GKNP) refers to the over twenty private reserves to the west of the Kruger National Park (KNP) which when added together add 180 000 hectares to the reserve. In total, the whole area covers 20 000 000 hectares of unfenced, wild reserve with free movement of animals across this spectacular land.

The Kruger National Park has nine main gates allowing entrance to the different camps.

The Kruger National Park has 12-main Rest camps, 2-Bush Lodges, 5-Bush Camps and 4-“Small” Camps.

From an international tourist point of view, and the only camps that Dive The Big 5 would recommend to any of its clients are one of the 12-Main Camps, being Berg-en-Dal Camp; Crocodile Bridge Camp; Letaba Camp; Lower Sabie Camp; Mopani Camp; Olifants Camp; Orpen Gate Camp; Pretoriuskop Camp; Punda Maria Camp; Satara Camp; Shingwedzi Camp and Skukuza Camp. This is because all 12 of these camps have facilities that cater for the average international visitor, whereas the other Bush Lodges, Bush Camps and “Smaller Camps” cater for the camper, caravaner, and are very basic camps with no electricity, no restaurant, no fast food outlet, and extremely basic ablution facilities.

The 12-main camps, Berg-en-Dal Camp; Crocodile Bridge Camp; Letaba Camp; Lower Sabie Camp; Mopani Camp; Olifants Camp; Orpen Gate Camp; Pretoriuskop Camp; Punda Maria Camp; Satara Camp; Shingwedzi Camp and Skukuza Camp all offer; from the basic two-bedded “Rondawel” (hut) with a basin and two beds, with communal catering and ablution facilities, to “safari tents, en-suite with catering facilities, to air-conditioned, two-bedded, en-suite, chalets with a fridge, and a communal kitchen, to two-bedded, en-suite, chalets with a fridge, stove, kettle, microwave oven, crockery and cutlery, to family units sleeping up to 10 people, in 5 x double / twin bedrooms with lounge area and with all facilities. Each of the above has a “braai” / BBQ area. These are the only accommodation units that we would recommend to our, “Dive The Big 5” clients.

All 12-main camps offer a well-stocked convenience store, for those daily necessities, for cool drinks, snacks, ice and beer/wine and groceries for those who wish to self-cater. There is a fast-food outlet, as well as a sit-down a la carte restaurant at each camp.

All 12-camps offer guided morning game drives (safaris); afternoon game drives (safaris); morning and afternoon guided “bush walks, under the guidance of an armed ranger and tracker. This activity is limited to 8-trialists only. Plus 3-night Wilderness Trails and mountain biking.

If you are in your own rental car, you are able to self-drive within the park, but you can only depart the Camp where you are overnighting at the Camps Gate opening time, which differs from month to month, depending on sun-rise time, and you must be back at the camp, where you are overnighting, at Camp gate closing time, which differs from month to month, depending on sunset time. You are not allowed to drive in the Park, on your own, between Camp gate opening time and Camp gate closing time.

In Kruger, there are about 900 km’s of tar road and about 1 500 kms of tourist dirt/gravel roads. Visitors to Kruger must at all times stick to these designated tourist roads. It is also strictly forbidden to venture off any of the tar or dirt/gravel roads, or to venture down any demarked “No Entry” road.

The speed limit on all tar roads is 50 km/h and on all dirt/gravel roads, it’s 40 km/h. These speed limits are strictly policed and enforced.

It is also forbidden to drive off-road, for any reason what-so-ever. This rule is also strictly enforced.

Above, in a nutshell, is Kruger, and the do’s and don’t’ s when visiting Kruger.

But please bear in mind, The Kruger National Park is South Africa’s most visited tourist attraction, both for locals, and for overseas visitors.

You need to book well in advance, and bookings open one calendar year in advance. I.e. bookings for December 01, 2020 open on November 30, 2019. The busiest time in Kruger is over school holidays, public holidays, and long weekends. Local South Africans love Kruger and spend any free time they may have, in Kruger. It’s always nearly full!!

Basically there are 3 options open to you when
considering going on a Kruger National Park Safari:

Option # 1. Staying at one of the 12-main Camps in Kruger, on a self-drive basis, with all safari’s and meals – own arrangements.

Example itinerary

Day 01.
Arrive Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport – Nelspruit (MQP) or Skukuza Airport (SKZ) in the Kruger National Park . Own arrangements. On arrival you will pick-up your Bidvest Rental Car and self-drive to your camp in Kruger. Rest of the day spent on your own, game viewing / animal spotting, in the Kruger National Park. Overnight at one of the main rest camps in Kruger on a bed only basis.

Included:

Bidvest Rental Car
Bidvest Contract fee
2nd driver option
Daily hire of a GPS
Kruger National Park daily conservation Levy
Overnight accommodation at a main rest camp in Kruger on a bed only basis

Excluded:

Domestic air into Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport – Nelspruit (MQP)
Fuel for the rental car
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Bar
Items of a personal nature
Gratuities

Days 02 on………….
Full day touring / safari / animal viewing in Kruger, on your own, in your Bidvest rental car. Rest of the evening free. Overnight at one of the main rest camps in Kruger on a bed only basis.

Included:

Bidvest Rental Car
Bidvest Contract fee
2nd driver option
Daily hire of a GPS
Kruger National Park daily conservation Levy
Overnight accommodation at a main rest camp in Kruger on a bed only basis

Excluded:

Fuel for the rental car
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Bar
Items of a personal nature
Gratuities

Day # …….. Last day:
At a time, dependant on your flight out of either Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport – Nelspruit (MQP), or Skukuza Airport (SKZ), you will drop off your Bidvest rental car and board your return flight to OR Tambo International Airport – Johannesburg (JNB) or to Cape Town International Airport (CPT). Check-in for all domestic flights is 1-hour before the flights scheduled departure time. Please allow enough time to hand-in your rental car before checking in. End of services.

Included:

Bidvest Rental Car
Bidvest Contract fee
2nd driver option
Daily hire of a GPS

Excluded:

Fuel for the rental car
Additional tours, touring and entry fees
Bidvest re-fuelling charge
Accommodation
Onward domestic flight out of Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport – Nelspruit / Skukuza Airport – Kruger National Park
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Bar
Items of a personal nature
Gratuities

Option # 2: Transfers; accommodation and all safari activities conducted by South African National Parks.

Dive the Big 5 will “Meet & Greet” you on your arrival at Skukuza Airport (SKZ) in the Kruger National Park or at Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport – Nelspruit (MQP), and transfer you to one of the 12-Main Camps in Kruger, that we have booked on your behalf, for you. We also pre-pay all your Park daily Conservation Levy’s. We pre-book and pre-pay all your safari activitie, for the time you are in Kruger. At the end of your stay we pick you up from the chalet at your camp and transfer you back to either Skukuza Airport (SKZ) in the Kruger National Park or to Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport – Nelspruit (MQP).
The second cheapest option, where all Dive The Big 5 does your transfers, books your accommodation, at one of the 12-main Rest Camps in Kruger, pre-pay’s your daily Conservation Levy, and books all your “nature activities”, safaris, nature walks, bike rides in the Kruger National Park. These “nature activities” are all conducted by Rangers employed by SANParks (South African National Parks.) All you have to do is either self-cater, or use the restaurant / fast food facility that is available at the Camp, for your meals.

Example itinerary

Option # 2. Staying at one of the 12-main Camps in Kruger, on a bed only bases with Early Morning Sunrise Safari (from 04h00 till 07h00) and Late Afternoon Sunset Safari (from 16h30 till 19h30) conducted by South African National Parks.

Day 01.
Arrive Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport – Nelspruit (MQP) / Skukuza Airport – Kruger National Park (SKZ), own arrangements, on a flight, and at a time to be advised. On arrival at Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport – Nelspruit / Skukuza Airport – Kruger National Park you will be met by Dive The Big 5 for the short road transfer to your camp in the Kruger National Park. At 16h30, you will report to the camps reception area to join the Sunset Safari which departs Camp @ 16h30, depending on the time of year, and returns to Camp at about 19h30, depending on animal activity and time of year. Rest of the evening free. Overnight at one of the 12-main camps in Kruger, on a bed only basis. Please be advised that if you don’t wish to “self-cater,” these camps do have a restaurant that offers an a la carte menu, a fast-food outlet, as well as a convenience store that sells basic groceries.”

Included:

Transfer from Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport – Nelspruit (MQP) / Skukuza Airport – Kruger National Park (SKZ) to a main camp in the Kruger National Park
South African National Parks daily Conservation Levy
Sunset Safari conducted by a ranger employed by South African National Parks (SANParks)
Overnight accommodation at a Camp in Kruger on a bed only basis.

Excluded:

Domestic air into Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport – Nelspruit (MQP) ‘ Skukuza Airport – Kruger National Park (SKZ)
Lunch, Dinner, Bar
Items of a personal nature
Gratuities

Days 02 on………….
Early wake up to report at the camps reception at 03h30 to join SANParks 04h00 early morning- Sunrise Safari. Depending on animal activity, you will return to Camp at about 07h00. The rest of that day is free until about 16h00, when you will again report to reception in order to join the afternoon / evening Sunset Safari. Both these safaris are conducted by a ranger employed by SANParks. The afternoon / evening safari depart the camp’s reception at 16h30, and returns again at about 19h30, depending on animal activity. All departure times are dependent on sun rise and sunset times which differ from month to month. Rest of the evening free. Overnight at a large main camp in Kruger on a bed only basis.

Included:

Early morning Sunrise Safari
Afternoon / Evening Sunset Safari
South African National Parks daily Conservation Levy
Overnight accommodation at a large main camp in Kruger on a bed only basis.

Excluded:

Additional nature activities
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Bar
Items of a personal nature
Gratuities

Aliwal Shoal Rhino Post tour

Day # …….. Last day:
Another early wake up, to report at the camps reception at 03h30 to join SANParks 04h00 early morning- Sunrise Safari. Depending on animal activity, you will return to Camp at about 07h00. The rest of the day is free until you are collected by Dive The Big 5, at a time to be advised, for your return road transfer back to either Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport – Nelspruit (MQP) to connect with your return flight to OR Tambo International Airport – Johannesburg (JNB), or to Skukuza Airport – Kruger National Park to connect with a direct flight to either OR Tambo International Airport – Johannesburg (JNB) or with the direct flight to Cape Town International Airport (CPT), own arrangements. Please remember, check-in for all domestic flights are 1-hour before the flights scheduled departure time out of Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport – Nelspruit / Skukuza Airport. End of services.

Included:

Early morning Sunrise safari
Return road transfer from the Camp in Kruger to Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport – Nelspruit or Skukuza Airport – Kruger National Park.

Excluded:

Additional tours, touring and entry fees
Accommodation
Onward domestic flight out of Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport – Nelspruit / Skukuza Airport – Kruger National Park
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Bar
Items of a personal nature
Gratuities

Option # 3: Transfers; accommodation and all safari activities which we arrange, and these activities are exclusively for your own use. No other people in your dedicated safari vehicle.

The third cheapest option, where Dive The Big 5 does all your transfers, books your accommodation at one of the 12-main Rest Camps in Kruger, pre-pay’s your daily Conservation Levy, and we also do all your safaris in a dedicated 10-seater “open” 4×4 safaris vehicle, with your very own Kruger National Park Registered Guide. You will be picked up from your chalet one hour after the Kruger National Park Gate opens in the morning, and we will drop you off again, at your chalet, one hour before the Kruger National Parks Gates close for the night. Or earlier, if you’ve had enough being out on safari. You have exclusive use of the vehicle and guide for the whole day. All you have to do is either self-cater, or use the restaurant / fast food facility that is available at the camp for breakfast and dinner. Your guide will stop at a rest camp / picnic spot conveniently situated for lunch. A truly great way to maximise your safari time in Kruger.

Example itinerary

Option # 3.

Day 01.
Arrive Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport – Nelspruit (MQP) / Skukuza Airport – Kruger National Park (SKZ), own arrangements, on a flight, and at a time to be advised. On arrival at Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport – Nelspruit / Skukuza Airport – Kruger National Park you will be met by Dive The Big 5 for the short road transfer to your camp in the Kruger National Park. At 16h30, you will report to the camps reception to join the Sunset Safari which departs the camps reception and which returns to camp at about 19h30, depending on animal activity. Rest of the evening free. Overnight at one of the 12 large main camps in the Kruger National Park. Please be advised that if you don’t wish to “self-cater,” these camps all have a restaurant that offers an a la carte menu, a fast-food outlet, as well as a convenience store that sells basic groceries.”

Included:

Transfer from Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport – Nelspruit (MQP) / Skukuza Airport – Kruger National Park to one of the 12 main camps in Kruger
South African National Parks daily Conservation Levy
Sunset Safari conducted by a ranger employed by South African National Parks (SANParks)
Overnight accommodation at a Camp in Kruger on a bed only basis.

Excluded:

Domestic air into Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport – Nelspruit (MQP) ‘ Skukuza Airport – Kruger National Park (SKZ)
Lunch, Dinner, Bar
Items of a personal nature
Gratuities

Days 02 on………….
At 06h30 you will be collected from your chalet by your driver / ranger, in a 10-seater “open” 4×4 safari vehicle for your full days guided Kruger National Park “private” safari. The ranger and safari vehicle will be at your private disposal for the entire day. At about 17h00, or at any time you wish, you will be dropped off back at your chalet. Rest of the afternoon / evening free. Overnight at a main camp in Kruger on a bed only basis.

Included:

Services of a dedicated, private, 4×4 “open” safari vehicle, plus services of a registered Kruger Park driver / guide
South African National Parks daily Conservation Levy
Overnight accommodation at a large main camp in Kruger on a bed only basis.

Excluded:

Additional nature activities
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Bar
Items of a personal nature
Gratuities

Day # …….. Last day:
Another early wake up, to report at the camps reception at 03h30 to join SANParks 04h00 early morning- Sunrise Safari. Depending on animal activity, you will return to Camp at about 07h00. The rest of the day is free until you are collected, by Dive The Big 5, at a time to be advised, for your return road transfer back to either Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport – Nelspruit (MQP) to connect with your return flight to OR Tambo International Airport – Johannesburg (JNB), or to Skukuza Airport – Nelspruit – Kruger National Park to connect with a direct flight to either OR Tambo International Airport – Johannesburg (JNB) or with the direct flight to Cape Town International Airport (CPT), own arrangements. Please remember, check-in for all domestic flights are 1-hour before the flights scheduled departure time out of Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport – Nelspruit / Skukuza Airport. End of services.

Included:

Early morning Sunrise safari
Return road transfer from the Camp in Kruger to Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport – Nelspruit or Skukuza Airport – Kruger National Park.

Excluded:

Additional tours, touring and entry fees
Accommodation
Onward domestic flight out of Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport – Nelspruit / Skukuza Airport – Kruger National Park
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Bar
Items of a personal nature
Gratuities

Kruger National Park Gate Times

Gate Times Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Entrance Gate Open 05:30 05:30 05:30 06:00 06:00 06:00 06:00 06:00 06:00 05:30 05:30 05:30
Camp Gate Open 04:30 05:30 05:30 06:00 06:00 06:00 06:00 06:00 05:30 05:30 04:30 04:30
All Gates Close 18:30 18:30 18:00 18:00 17:30 17:30 17:30 17:30 18:00 18:00 18:30 18:30

There are also 7-“Private” Camps situated throughout Kruger. These are all 99-year lease Concessions that Kruger have granted to private accommodation establishments. These Private Concessions vary in size from 12 000 hectares to 15 000 hectares. Guests staying at any of the “Private Concession Lodges, such as Rhino Post Sarai Lodge https://www.rhinopost.co.za/ are not restricted by most rules that apply to guests staying at any of Kruger’s main 12-lodges. Please follow this link for more information on what these Private Concession Lodges” offer.

Wildlife Safari Options

Camps and Key Locations of the Kruger National Park

Kruger National Park Facts

The Kruger National Park is one of the largest game reserves in Africa. It covers an area of 19,633 square kilometres (7,580 sq mi) in the provinces of Limpopo and Mpumalanga in northeastern South Africa, and extends 360 kilometres (220 mi) from north to south and 65 kilometres (40 mi) from east to west. The administrative headquarters are in Skukuza. Areas of the park were first protected by the government of the South African Republic in 1898, and it became South Africa’s first national park in 1926.

To the west and south of the Kruger National Park are the two South African provinces of Limpopo and Mpumalanga. In the north is Zimbabwe, and to the east is Mozambique. It is now part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park, a peace park that links Kruger National Park with the Gonarezhou National Park in Zimbabwe, and with the Limpopo National Park in Mozambique.

The park is part of the Kruger to Canyons Biosphere an area designated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as an International Man and Biosphere Reserve (the “Biosphere”).

The park has nine main gates allowing entrance to the different camps.

Kruger National Park is one of the largest game reserves in Africa. It covers an area of 19,633 square kilometres (7,580 sq mi) in the provinces of Limpopo and Mpumalanga in northeastern South Africa, and extends 360 kilometres (220 mi) from north to south and 65 kilometres (40 mi) from east to west. The administrative headquarters are in Skukuza. Areas of the park were first protected by the government of the South African Republic in 1898, and it became South Africa’s first national park in 1926.

The park lies in the north-east of South Africa, in the eastern parts of Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces. Phalaborwa, Limpopo is the only town in South Africa that borders the Kruger National Park.

It is one of the largest national parks in the world, with an area of 19,485 square kilometres (7,523 sq mi) The park is approximately 360 kilometres (220 mi) long, and has an average width of 65 kilometres (40 mi). At its widest point, the park is 90 kilometres (56 mi) wide from east to west.To the north and south of the park two rivers, the Limpopo and the Crocodile respectively, act as its natural boundaries. To the east the Lebombo Mountains separate it from Mozambique. Its western boundary runs parallel with this range, roughly 65 kilometres (40 mi) distant. The park varies in altitude between 200 metres (660 ft) in the east and 840 metres (2,760 ft) in the south-west near Berg-en-Dal. The highest point in the park is here, a hill called Khandzalive. Several rivers run through the park from west to east, including the Sabie, Olifants, Crocodile, Letaba, Luvuvhu and Limpopo Rivers.

Kruger National Park

The climate of the Kruger National Park and Lowveld is subtropical. Summer days are humid and hot with temperatures often soaring to above 38 °C (100 °F). The rainy season is from September until May. The Kruger National Park website lists September and October as the driest periods, culminating in rains late in October. The dry winter season is the ideal time to visit this region for various reasons. There is less chance of contracting malaria and the days are milder. Viewing wildlife is more rewarding as the vegetation is more sparse and animals are drawn to the waterholes to drink every morning and evening.

Kruger National Park

Plants life in the park consists of four main areas:

Thorn trees and Red bush-willow veld

This area lies between the western boundary and roughly the centre of the park south of the Olifants River.
Combretums, such as the red bush-willow (Combretum apiculatum), and Acacia species predominate while there are a great number of marula trees (Sclerocarya caffra). The Acacias are dominant along the rivers and streams, the very dense Nwatimhiri bush along the Sabie River between Skukuza and Lower Sabie being a very good example.

Knob-thorn and Marula veld

South of the Olifants River in the eastern half of the park, this area provides the most important grazing-land.
Species such as red grass (Themeda triandra) and buffalo grass (Panicum maximum) predominate while the knob-thorn (Acacia nigrescens), leadwood (Combretum imberbe) and marula (Sclerocarya caffra) are the main tree species.

Red bush-willow and Mopane veld

This area lies in the western half of the park, north of the Olifants River.
The two most prominent species here are the red bush-willow (Combretum apiculatum) and the mopane tree (Colophospernum mopane).

Shrub mopane veld

Shrub mopane covers almost the entire north-eastern part of the park.
There are a number of smaller areas in the park which carry distinctive vegetation such as Pretoriuskop where the sickle bush and the silver cluster-leaf (Terminalia sericae) are prominent. The sandveld communities near Punda Maria are equally definitive, with a wide variety of unique species.

Out of the 517 species of birds found at Kruger, 253 are residents, 117 non-breeding migrants, and 147 nomads. Some of the larger birds require large territories or are sensitive to habitat degradation. Six of these species, which are by and large restricted to Kruger and other extensive conservation areas, have been assigned to a fanciful grouping called the ‘Big Six Birds’. They are the Lappet-faced Vulture, Martial Eagle, Saddle-billed Stork, Kori Bustard, Ground Hornbill and the reclusive Pel’s Fishing Owl, which is localized and seldom seen. There are between 25 and 30 breeding pairs of Saddle-billed Storks in the park, besides a handful of non-breeding individuals. In 2012 178 family groups of Ground Hornbills roamed the park and 78 nests were known, of which 50% were active.

All the Big Five game animals are found at Kruger National Park, which has more species of large mammals than any other African Game Reserve (at 147 species). There are webcams set up to observe the wildlife.

The park stopped culling elephants in 1994 and tried translocating them, but by 2004 the population had increased to 11,670 elephants, by 2006 to approximately 13,500 and by 2009 to 11,672. The park’s habitats can only sustain about 8,000 elephants. The park started using annual contraception in 1995, but has stopped that due to problems with delivering the contraceptives and upsetting the herds.

Kruger supports packs of the endangered African Wild Dog, of which there are thought to be only about 400 in the whole of South Africa.

Wildlife Population As of 2009
Species Count Species Count
African Buffalo 27,000 African Wild Dog 150
Black Rhinoceros 350 White Rhinoceros 7,000 to 12,000
Burchell’s Zebra 17,797 Bushbuck 500
Cheetah 120 Common Eland over 300
Giraffe 5,114 Greater Kudu 5,798
Hippopotamus 3,000 Lion 2,800
Leopard 2,000 Spotted Hyena 2,000
Elephant 11,672 Waterbuck 5,000
Blue Wildebeest 9,612 Impala 150,000
Wildlife Safari

Kruger houses 114 species of reptile, including black mamba and 3000 crocodiles.

Thirty-three species of amphibians are found in the Park, as well as 50 fish species. A Zambesi shark, Carcharhinus leucas, also known as the bull shark, was caught at the confluence of the Limpopo and Luvuvhu Rivers in July 1950. Zambezi sharks tolerate fresh water and can travel far up rivers like the Limpopo.

KNP Upgrades Gate Access Control Kruger National Park (KNP) is currently implementing additional gate access control systems at its entrance gates in the Southern part of the Park, which will require that as from 1 September 2017, all visitors who are 18 years old and above must produce positive identity document for scanning in order to gain access. For non-South African visitors, they must produce passports but South African driver’s licence will also be acceptable.

The new system will assist with monitoring of people’s movement who enter and exit the Park, and will ensure that information related to any persons entering the park is centrally recorded and monitored. “The system will apply to everybody including SANParks staff members, suppliers and other residents of the Park and is expected to improve on our proactive surveillance, early warning and detection.

In our quest to continue to enhance security for both wildlife and visitors, we will continue to make use of appropriate security technology”; said the KNP’s Managing Executive, Glenn Phillips.

Visitors will still be required to go through their normal check-in or check-out at the gate receptions before proceeding to the security scanning process. Training for the security personnel on the upgraded system is underway in order to minimize the possible delays as soon as the new operation kicks-in.

We request that tour operators and ground handlers communicate this requirement with their guests. “We recognise that we have to keep a very fine balance between imposing potentially anti-tourist friendly security apparatus whilst also ensuring the protection of both Tourists and Wildlife. We request the public to be patient during these very necessary security processes,” concluded Phillips.