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Media Release: KNP day visitors urged to book early to avoid disappointment

Date: 2004-12-08

In order to avoid the disappointment of arriving at a KNP Entrance Gate only to be turned away, KNP Executive Director Dr Bandile Mkhize has urged people to book, even if they are only coming to the Kruger National Park (KNP) for a day.

During long weekends and public holidays, Entrance Gate quotas are often reached as people take the opportunity to visit the KNP on their day off. The periods December 16 - 19, December 24 - 31 and January 1 - 2, 2005 will probably be very busy and KNP management urges guests to book their day visits to avoid the disappointment of being turned away.

If the daily gate quotas, which vary between 350 and 750 people per gate (depending on the size and strategic importance of that gate), are reached, the gate is effectively closed and only those guests who hold bookings will be allowed in.

Entrance Gate quotas are enforced for three reasons: firstly, so that the Park is not so full of people that it becomes unpleasant for everyone, secondly, to minimize any possible environmental damage that might be caused by the increased traffic and lastly for safety and security reasons.

These gate quotas apply to all day visitors to the KNP, including Wild Card holders, but they do not affect overnight visitors.

On December 16, 2004 “Day of Reconciliation”, bookings are still open for all of the KNP’s nine entrance gates, with Crocodile Bridge and Numbi Entrance Gates being the most popular so far. However, most gates are well below quota levels and guests are urged to book without delay to secure their trip.

On December 17, 2004, bookings are still open for all KNP gates. Again Crocodile Bridge Entrance Gate has received the most bookings but there are plenty of places still open for those guests who would like to secure their day visit to the KNP.

Over the Christmas weekend (December 25 - 27, 2004), there are still openings at most of the Entrance Gates around the KNP. Kruger, Phalaborwa and Punda Maria Entrance Gates seem to be the most popular and, to secure bookings for these Entrance Gates, guests are asked to make bookings as soon as possible.

The New Year weekend (January 1 - 2, 2004) still has plenty of space left but visitors shouldn’t delay booking their entrance as this weekend is bound to be popular.

In order to avoid disappointment as a day visitor, it is suggested that visitors book their day visit at a specific gate in advance. This can be done by contacting Central Reservations on telephone number 012 428 9111 (first option), by contacting the gate you wish to enter (second option) or the camp nearest the gate of your choice (third option).

If you have made a day visitor’s booking, when you arrive at your chosen entrance gate, and this has been closed, do not worry as your name has already been included in that day’s quota and you will be allowed in.

Park your vehicle in the queue - we ask that you do this to avoid other guests becoming frustrated when they see you “jumping the queue” - and walk towards the security guard. When you get to him, state that you have a booking and quote your booking number. He will then let you in where you can proceed to that gate’s reception area where the normal procedure will be followed.

“We would like to urge our day visitors to book rather than risk arriving at the gate, only to be disappointed. The gate quotas are there for good reason and we have to maintain them in order to safeguard the natural beauty of the Kruger National Park.

“We also urge all visitors to also take note of the rules and regulations of the Park as they are there so that everyone can enjoy the KNP,” said KNP Executive Director, Dr Bandile Mkhize.

… Ends

Issued by:
Raymond Travers, Media Relations Practitioner, Kruger National Park. Contact: Tel: 013 735 4116, cell: 082 908 2677.

William Mabasa, HOD: Public Relations and Communications, Kruger National Park. Contact: Tel: 013 735 4363, cell: 082 807 3919.