Kruger road safety: Visitors warned to be cautious as four injured in H3 accident

2017-12-20 11:30 - Kavitha Pillay
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Cape Town - A vehicle accident causing injury to 4 locals in Kruger National Park (KNP) proves why it is vital to follow the Park's rules to ensure safety of humans and wildlife.

According to KNP, a car driven by a local tourist, carrying four passengers, veered off the road and hit a tree just off the H3 tourist road, about 7 km away from Afsaal Picnic Spot towards Malelane Gate on Tuesday morning, 19 December. The visitors arrived in the Park using Numbi Gate and were on their way out of the Park through Malelane Gate when the accident occurred.

"The driver and three of the passengers sustained various injuries, none of which appeared to be life-threatening at the time they were attended to at the scene by the local Skukuza doctor," says KNP, adding that the four visitors were taken by ambulance to a medical facility in Nelspruit for further treatment.

MUST-SEE: Respect our Parks: Kruger rules visitors need to know

Acting Managing Executive at KNP, Nicholus Funda says that the exact cause of the accident is not yet known, "but possible indications are that the driver could have taken her eyes off the road for a second when the accident occurred".

While wishing the injured visitors a speedy recovery, Funda appeals to tourists who visit the Park to "remain alert at all times and not to lose concentration whilst driving, especially with the current warm prevailing conditions in the Park”.

Responsible Kruger visits

The silly season brings more mishaps that can be avoided if people take responsibility, pay attention and respect rules.

To assist with enhancing the visitor experience and ensuring all goes smoothly at KNP during the festive season and beyond, the Park will be operating four new vehicles which will be used to provide information to guests, help with visibility on the roads and ensure law enforcement in the Park.

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

Funda says that KNP receives feedback from concerned tourists about rule-breakers who speed on the roads in the Park, which leads to road kills. KNP has also been made aware that some visitors continue to "protrude or climb out of their vehicles" despite warnings presented by the Park.

Funda adds that the new vehicles "are an extension to those of our traffic officials, rangers and security staff, and we are certain they will assist in this regard.”

Kruger rules visitors must follow

Some of the rules to follow when driving through the Park include:

  • 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.
  • Vehicles of a carrying capacity exceeding 4 000 kg, buses or any vehicles with more than 25 seats, are restricted to the tar roads.

Click here to see all KNP's rules.

To learn more about the rules of the National Parks in South Africa, check out this video:

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