This year's festive season is expected to be a busy one for the Kruger National Park, and Dr Bandile Mkhize, executive director, has asked visitors to make bookings to avoid being turned away at the gate.
All KNP entrance gates have a daily quota of guests that can be allowed in, and once a gate's quota has been reached, the gate is closed to further guests. Gate quotas range from 350 to 750 people per gate.
The gate quotas are based on the size and importance of a gate, and are enforced so that the park does not become overcrowded, as well as to minimise possible environmental damage and for safety reasons. Overnight visitors are not affected by the quotas, but day visitors may be turned away.
Reconciliation Day (December 16) bookings are currently still open for all gates, with Crocodile Bridge and Numbi Gate being the most popular entrance points so far. Over the Christmas weekend, bookings have been coming in thick and fast for Kruger, Phalaborwa and Punda Maria gates, and guests are asked to make bookings as soon as possible. New Year still has plenty of space, but bookings should also be made to avoid disappointment.
A booking is best made through Central Reservations on (012) 428 9111, but can also be made by contacting the specific gate or the camp nearest to that gate. Bookings will be given a number, which can be quoted to the gate guard to ensure entrance in the event of the gate being closed prior to your arrival.
Guests are encouraged to park their vehicle in the queue if the entrance gate is closed, and approach the gate guard on foot, to avoid giving the impression of "jumping the queue" and frustrating other waiting visitors.
Dr Mkhize said, "We also urge all visitors to take note of the rules and regulations of the Park as they are there so that everyone can enjoy the KNP."