'People must remember animals have right of way' - SANParks' appeal to drivers after Kruger accident

2019-11-11 14:45 - Marisa Crous
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SANParks has issued a statement saying that a combi with 13 Day Visitors on their way to Letaba was involved in an accident North of Mopani in the Kruger National Park (KNP) yesterday, 10 November 2019. Preliminary reports indicate that a giraffe stepped into the road, with the combi hitting it before it dropped on top of a rental safari vehicle, travelling in the opposite direction with two occupants.

READ: Tourist critically injured after giraffe falls onto safari vehicle at Kruger National Park 

The driver of the rental vehicle, a Swiss national was seriously injured and the passenger suffered minor injuries.

“The medical personnel who rushed to the scene of the accident stabilised the Swiss driver, before airlifting him to a medical facility; he is in a critical condition and we wish him a speedy recovery. The accident resulted in the death of the giraffe; whilst two occupants from the combi were also treated for minor injuries; said the General Manager: Communications and Marketing, Isaac Phaahla. 

WATCH: Is this Kruger Park's biggest IDIOT?   

The South African Police Service are investigating the incident and circumstances around it; therefore South African National Parks (SANParks) is appealing for people to desist from speculating and allow the investigation process to run its course. SANParks would also like to appeal to the public to always be watchful of all kinds of species while driving on the roads in the Park as they are a general site; therefore people must remember that these animals have a right of way.

“We are approaching the festive season in a month’s time and encourage visitors to plan their trips between gates and camps so as to eliminate the need to hurry, please also exercise caution as the wildlife has no concept of traffic rules” concluded Phaahla. 

In this tweet, SANParks appeals to visitors to keep to the speed limit of the park: 

Here are some general rules when driving in the Kruger National Park:

- Driving a vehicle in a manner that constitutes a nuisance, disturbance, inconvenience or danger to any other person is not allowed. 

- Driving or operating any vehicle in a reckless or negligent manner or in a deliberate disregard for the safety of a person, animal or property is not allowed. 

-  Behaving in an offensive, improper, indecent or disorderly manner including the playing of any radio, compact disc player, music system, musical system or instrument, or in anyway cause of any noise in any manner likely to disturb any species or specimen or other person is strictly prohibited. 

- Stick to the speed limit! All general rules of the road apply within the Kruger National Park. The speed limit is 50 km/h on tar roads and 40 km/h on gravel roads.

- Visitors must remain in their vehicles unless in a designated area. 

- No part of a person's body may protrude from a window or sunroof or any other part of the vehicle. Vehicle doors should be closed at all times. 

- You must be inside the camp or out of the gate before these times. No travelling before or after these times are allowed. Gate times must be strictly adhered to and late comers may be subject to a fine.

- You are not allowed to drive “off-road” or on roads with a “no entry” sign. 

- The feeding or disturbing of animals is a serious offence. Remember, animals see litter as food!

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

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