Day visitors to the Kruger National Park will again be able to book ahead of time to secure their entrance to South Africa’s most well known national park. The South African National Parks (SANParks) decided to suspend the previous advanced day-visitor booking system due to the high rate of abuse of this facility by visitors. The system was since revised and is operational as at Tuesday, 17 June 2008.
Members of the public as well as the travel trade will be accommodated by the new advanced booking system, within stipulated rules. The Kruger National Park, which is celebrating its 110th birthday this year, is a destination of choice for both local and international visitors and sees an average of about 1,3 million visitors a year. Many visitors, local and international, prefer booking their holidays in advance and this facility will ensure that they will gain entry on arrival at the gate.
“The previous system was abused by visitors who would book and not arrive and this caused problems when waiting guests could also not gain entry to the park. Knowing the high volumes of visitors we experience at Kruger National Park during the busy times, many guests would like some kind of guarantee that they will be able to access Kruger. We at SANParks have therefore revised the system to avoid the same kind of problems and to accommodate our visitors who look forward to a truly memorable Kruger experience,” says Joep Stevens, general manager of tourism operations at SANParks.
Visitors who wish to use this facility should be advised that advanced bookings can be made through any of the booking offices no less than one day prior to date of arrival at the Kruger National Park and that using this facility will come at a minimal and non-refundable cost per person of R20 per adult and R10 per child entering the park. This fee will be payable (in advance) by all who wish to make a day visitor booking in advance.
Guests with day visitor bookings will also be expected to arrive at the booked gate by not later than 13h00 on the date of booking, after which time the booking lapses. Advanced day-visitor bookings will only constitute 60 percent of the gate’s day-visitor quota, with 40 percent being kept open for visitors to enter on a first-come first-served basis.
The gate quotas are limits per gate on the number of day-visitors that the area and infrastructure adjacent to each gate is able to support to ensure a good visitor experience. “We at SANParks are constantly working to improve our service to our visitors in the interest of making the SANParks experience easily accessible and memorable,” added Stevens.