PICS: Kruger's new vehicles set to enhance visitor experience

2017-12-19 19:00 - Kavitha Pillay
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Kruger's visitor management vehicles

Cape Town - Just in time for the festive season influx of visitors at Kruger National Park (KNP), South Africa's popular wildlife Park will be operating new vehicles that are set to enhance its visitors' experience.

The Park's Management received four new vehicles from Toyota South Africa Motors on Monday, 18 December, which will be used to provide information to guests, visibility on the roads and law enforcement in the Park.

Kruger receives more than 1.7 million visitors annually, so to provide a wildlife experience to visitors, the Park developed a Visitor Management plan which the new vehicles form part of.

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According to Kruger, the vehicles will assist in the patrols of various vulnerable areas, as well as do spot checks at strategic points such as gates - with emphasis on adherence to the rules and regulations and general patrolling where relevant information will be given to guests.

“Now and then especially during busy periods, we receive feedback from concerned tourists about rule-breakers who speed on the roads in the park – which leads to road kills, whilst some protrude or climb out of their vehicles. These vehicles are an extension to those of our traffic officials, rangers and security staff, and we are certain they will assist in this regard”, says the KNP Acting Managing Executive, Nicholus Funda.

The vehicles will complement those of traffic officials, rangers and security staff and will be equipped with all the necessities such as dash cams, first aid and more. (Photo: Supplied)

KNP’s Acting Managing Executive, Nicholus Funda is about to test drive one of the vehicles, whilst Toyota South Africa Motors’ Senior Manager for Dealer Sales, Leane Thompson, looks on. (Photo: Supplied)

Kruger rules visitors must follow

Visitors are advised to plan their journey properly and to adhere to the gate times as recorded on maps, permits and signs at the camps.

Some of the Kruger rules and regulations, which are communicated on entrance permits, signage and pamphlets, include the following:

  • Visitors must remain in their vehicles unless in a designated area. Remember that no part of the body may protrude from a window or sunroof or any other part of the vehicle. Vehicle doors should be closed at all times.
  • The maximum speed limit is 50 km/h on tar roads and 40 km/h on gravel roads. Speed checks are done throughout the Park. All speeding culprits will be fined.
  • General rules of the road apply within the KNP; it is an offence to drive on South African roads without a recognised driver’s licence or under the influence of alcohol.
  • Gate times must strictly be adhered to. You must be inside your allocated overnight camp or exit the Park before entrance gate closing time. No travelling before or after these times are allowed. In December and January, KNP gates open at 05:30 and close at 18:30. Gate times must be strictly adhered to and latecomers may be subject to a fine.
  • No killing of animals – poaching and killing of animals is strictly prohibited and severely punishable by law
  • The feeding or disturbing of animals is a serious offence. Also remember, animals see litter as food!
  • No pets may be brought into KNP.
  • Declare all firearms/ weapons of any sort at the entrance gate.
  • Overnight visitors are only allowed to stay at a booked and recognised overnight facility and must report to reception before occupying accommodation or camping.
  • Vehicles of a carrying capacity exceeding 4 000 kg, buses or any vehicles with more than 25 seats, are restricted to the tar roads.
  • A stringent noise restriction is enforced between 21:30 and 06:00. Loud car stereo cause a disturbance to animals and other guests; volume levels should be kept to minimum. The use of cell phones is permitted only in camps, gates and in cases of emergency.
  • The use of roller skates, skateboards, bicycles, motorbikes and quad bikes is prohibited. Drones are also prohibited in a National Park.
  • Note that not all roads are accessible to caravans and, in case of high rainfall, certain roads might be closed. You are not allowed to drive “off-road” or on roads with a “no entry” sign.

Rules and regulations are enforced under the National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Act, and "transgression can result in a spot fine of up to R1 500 and subjection to court," warns Kruger. "The amount of fine issued to a rule breaker depends on the nature and severity of offence committed."

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