Decrease in festive season Kruger visitors - SANParks shares December stats

2016-01-18 16:00 - Louzel Lombard
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Cape Town – South Africa’s iconic Kruger National Park received a total of 3 021 visitors less that last year December, while all 19 of SA's National Park saw a collective 6.2% increase in visitors compared to the same time last year. 

During the month of December, 739 972 guests visited South Africa’s 19 National Parks. This is a major increase from the 696 981 people who visited the Parks during the same time last year.  

Table Mountain National Park saw an increase of 10.1%, with a total of 358 652 visitors in the park this year, up from last year's 325 620 visitors. 

The Kruger National Park experienced a 1.6% decrease from December 2014. Last year 184 256 visitors entered the park, while 2015 saw only 181 235 visitors. 

In May 2015, Traveller24 reported that day visitors to the Kruger were increasing. During the 2014/2015 financial year, a total number of 1 659 793 guests passed through Kruger's gates, compared to 1 556 916 the previous financial year. 

READ:Day visitor numbers to Kruger on the rise

Mapungubwe National Park, located in the very northern part of SA in Limpopo, saw the biggest increase in visitors. 37.1% more people visited the Park in December this year – a total of 4 397 people, 1 189 more than last year's 3 208. 

The increase in visitors occurred during one of the driest summer seasons SA has experienced, in a province that was listed as a disaster area due to the drought. 

READ: SA summer heat breaks 21 records: What's going on with the weather?

The Limpopo River, which creates the northern border for the Park, ran dry and only started flowing again after much-needed rain fell over the weekend of 15 and 16 January. 

Divhani Maremba for SANParks Northern Region said “the 60mm of rain recorded has brought much needed relief to the water sources in the area, Limpopo River being the biggest”. 

This is what the river looked like on 4 January 2016: 



This is what the river looked like on 16 January: 


(Photo: Supplied by Mapungubwe National Park)



Fayroush Ludick for the Frontier National Parks (Addo Elephant, Camdeboo, Karoo and Mountain Zebra National Parks) says an increase in tourist numbers, as well as an increase in tourist activities sold within the park was noted throughout the festive season.  

10 of the 19 parks reported increased tourists numbers coming through their gates, while the remaining nine Parks saw minor decreases in visitors. 

Parks which showed an increase in visitors in December 2015 are:

ADDO ELEPHANT - 28 815 for December 2015. 4.4% increase from previous year - 27 601.         
AGULHAS - 6 226. 9.2% increase from previous year - 5 700.              
BONTEBOK - 3 087. 16.5% increase from previous year - 2 649.         
CAMDEBOO - 6 643. 19.1% increase from previous year - 5 578.       
GARDEN ROUTE - 70 382. 9.1% increase from previous year - 64 530.              
KAROO - 6 246. 8.5% increase from previous year - 5 759.   
KGALAGADI - 3 574. 12.4% increase from previous year - 3 179.      
MAPUNGUBWE - 4 397. 37.1% increase from previous year - 3 208.
TABLE MOUNTAIN - 358 652. 10.1% increase from previous year - 325 620. 
WEST COAST - 41 370. 13.0% increase from previous year - 36 598. 


Parks which showed a decrease in visitors in December 2015 are:

AUGRABIES - 10 970. -10.4% decrease from previous year - 12 238.
GOLDEN GATE - 7 947. -5.7% decrease from previous year - 8 423.  
KRUGER - 181 235. -1.6% decrease from previous year - 184 256.     
MARAKELE - 2 387. -16.5% decrease from previous year - 2 857.      
MOKALA - 1 797. -17.3% decrease from previous year - 2 172.          
MOUNTAIN ZEBRA - 3 418. -1.7% decrease from previous year - 3 476.         
NAMAQUA - 1 644. -1.9% decrease from previous year - 1 675.        
RICHTERSVELD - 537.  -10.6% decrease from previous year - 601.     
TANKWA KAROO - 645. -25.1% decrease from previous year - 861.


Marakele National Park

A photo posted by Ricardo Lecaro (@rlecaman) on






Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park




Garden Route National Park 

SEE: 
21+ Family-fun things to do on a budget in the Garden Route

Nature's valley magic. #forest #braai #sanparks #southafrica

A photo posted by Dirkie van der Merwe (@dirkievdm) on





West Coast National Park 

A photo posted by @humaneben on




Table Mountain National Park 

READ: 
Table Mountain National Park: Safety, specials and hints to having a smooth summer


A photo posted by Raynard Sims (@raynardsims) on


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