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News - Date: 23 December 2017
Written by: Andries van Zyl / Viewed: 717
Kruger National Park (KNP) management received four new vehicles from Toyota South Africa on Monday, 18 December, which will be used for providing information to guests, visibility on the roads and law enforcement in the park.
The vehicles will begin to be operational during this festive season when the volume of visitors to the park will be high. The park receives more than 1.7 million visitors per annum and to provide wildlife experiences to these visitors, KNP developed a visitor management plan and these new vehicles form part of the plan. The vehicles will, among others, assist in the patrols of various vulnerable areas, spot checks at strategic points such as gates with emphasis on adherence to the rules and regulations and general patrolling wherein 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,” said KNP acting managing executive Nicholus Funda in a press release.
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 rules and regulations of the KNP, which are well 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 recognized driver’s licence or under the influence of alcohol.
* Adhere to the gate times. 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 is 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 are 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 radios 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 routes might be closed. You are not allowed to drive “off-road” or on roads with a “no entry” sign.
In conclusion, the KNP warned that rules and regulations are enforced under the National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Act, 2003 (Act no. 57 of 2003) and transgression can result in a spot fine of up to R1 500 and subjection to court. The amount of the fine issued to a rule breaker depends on the nature and severity of the offence committed.
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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 etc. Photo supplied.
Andries joined the Zoutpansberger and Limpopo Mirror in April 1993 as a darkroom assistant. Within a couple of months he moved over to the production side of the newspaper and eventually doubled as a reporter. In 1995 he left the newspaper group and travelled overseas for a couple of months. In 1996, Andries rejoined the Zoutpansberger as a reporter. In August 2002, he was appointed as News Editor of the Zoutpansberger, a position he holds until today.