Code of Conduct
Your safety and enjoyment of the Kruger National Park are very important to us. To ensure a pleasant and successful trip, it is essential that you adhere strictly to the regulations which are intended for your protection and enjoyment.
Please read the green gate permit you will receive on entry and stick to the rules.
Rules and Regulations
To ensure a safe and joyful trip through our parks, kindly adhere to the Rules & Regulations as stipulated by South African National Parks.
- Travelling to and from Mozambique through Kruger National Park
- 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.
- 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. Please note that not all roads are accessible to caravans.
- Look at the gate times in your green gate permit. 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!
- Overnight visitors are only allowed to stay at a booked and recognised overnight facility and must report to reception before occupying accommodation or camping.
- All accommodation and camping sites may be occupied from 14:00 on the day of arrival and must be vacated by 10:00 on the day of departure.
- Vehicles of a carrying capacity exceeding 4 000kg, 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. The use of cell phones is permitted only in camps, gates and in cases of emergency.
- The use of roller skates, skateboards, bicycles and motorbikes is prohibited.
- The use of drones inside (and over) our national parks is strictly prohibited.
- The Kruger National Park is a malaria zone – we advise that all visitors adhere to their doctor’s instructions.
- Roadside assistance, toll free number 0800 030 666 (Vuswa).
- 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 fine.
- To ensure that you see all the animals you want, have a look at the spotting board in the various receptions to track the latest game spotting.
The Kruger National Park is also home to the Office of the State Veterinarian. Please assist them by obeying these rules:
- No live animal (domestic or wild) may be brought into, or removed from the Kruger National Park. That is why NO PETS ARE ALLOWED here.
- No raw, wild-animal derived products such as meat, bones, organs and hides may be brought into or removed from the Kruger National Park.
- Raw meat and dairy products may be brought into the Kruger National Park for your own consumption. However, no raw products from cloven hoofed animals (milk or meat) will be allowed to leave the Kruger National Park through any of the official South African entrance gates unless it is still packaged in a sealed container identifiably market to confirm its South African origin, source or distributor.
- Commercially packaged fish and poultry are exempt from these restrictions.
- Fully processed curios are exempt from these restrictions.
Should you be unclear on any of these regulations or want more information, please contact the office of the State Veterinarian at PO Box 12, Skukuza, 1350.
You can also phone +27 (0)13 735 5641 or fax +27 (0)13 735 5155 during office hours.
On the day of arrival occupation can be expected by 14:00 but not guaranteed, on the day of departure accommodation must be vacated by 10:00.
Late arrivals are only allowed in cases of emergency (proof and valid reason required) until 21:00 for guests with pre-booked accommodation at certain camps within 10km distance from the relevant gate. An extra late arrival fee will be charged which is payable at the gate. No late arrivals are allowed at Pafuri, Phalaborwa or Phabeni Gates or any other gates for camps more than 10km away.
The late arrival fee for Skukuza camp is R500, valid from 1 November 2013.
This enormous and magnificent park is one of the most popular public-entry game parks in the world. Its density of permanent game is unrivaled with hundreds of different species; 507 birds, 336 trees, 147 mammals, 114 reptiles, 49 fish and 34 amphibians!
Few visitors leave South Africa without visiting the Kruger National Park or one of the private reserves along its borders but it is also frequented by locals in their own vehicles, as you can drive yourself around and stay overnight in one of the many public rest camps. There are also a few exclusive private lodges that have been granted concessions within the Kruger National Park.
The far north of the park is the wildest and most difficult area to access and because of this, it has alluring qualities for the real adventurer.
With greater ecological co-operation across African borders, several countries bordering South Africa have agreed to take down some fences, and those between Kruger and Mozambique’s Limpopo National Park and Zimbabwe’s Gonarezhou, have been demolished to create the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Park. This unique political innovation is creating a colossal wilderness area.
Animals You May Encounter
Rats, mice, bats and insects, snakes and other small mammals have been around in all the rest camps of the Kruger National Park (KNP) for many decades.
This is due to the artificial nesting and roosting sites created for them by the buildings, as well as vast sources of food brought about by visitors leaving foodstuff outside and all the insects attracted to the lights in the camps. Even in camps where special bat-houses are installed, bats still use the buildings as well. It is almost impossible to keep the rodents and bats out of buildings as they originate from the surrounding natural bush and are able to crawl through the tiniest of holes.
Fortunately the vast majority of visitors to the KNP realise that rodents, bats and other insects, reptiles and mammals are an integral part of the KNP ecosystem and accept them as such. Kruger Park boasts an impressive diversity of rodents: 25 species of rodents (mice and rats), 9 species of shrews, 3 species of elephant shrews and 43 species of bats.
Most people also accept that a visit to the Park may inevitably lead to some sort of a close experience with some ‘creepy crawly’, be it a bat, mouse, spider, scorpion or insect.
Bats and Insects
Light draws many flying insects and with these insects come their predators. These predators could take on the form of bats and frogs. Please remember to keep your screen doors closed as this will prevent these unwanted creatures from entering your room. Should you forget and a bat enters the room by mistake, please do not panic! Calmly place a towel over the bat and release it outside or call for assistance.They are some of the most interesting small mammals with some of the most extraordinary adaptations to find food and survive. Bats, for example, use ecolocation in flight to zoom in on insects and this is one of the wonders of the world in my view. An African night will never be complete without their feint but sharp sounds in the background.
Spiders, Snakes and Scorpions
Yes, these creatures are part of our environment but will most probably not harm you if not threatened. If you must walk around at night please DO NOT DO SO WITHOUT A TORCH. If you do come across a snake please do not try to catch it! Rather report this to the Manager on duty or to reception.
Monkeys, Baboons and Bushbuck
Monkeys, baboons and bushbuck can be entertaining for young and old, BUT PLEASE DO NOT FEED THEM. Remember that by feeding them, you are signing their death warrant, as they become aggressive and may have to be destroyed. By feeding these animals you do not only aggravate the situation but you also make these animals lazy and they become dependant on this food supply. The same applies to animals you may encounter along the fences of the camps in KNP, including Hyena. Do not throw food to them or attempt to touch or tease them.
Before going out in the morning in search of animals please make sure that you have put all foodstuffs securely away. Remember that these monkeys and baboons have learnt to open up fridge doors and cupboards.
Bushfires are very common in African Savannas, especially during the dry season between May and October. Fires in Kruger are managed using the patch mosaic fire philosophy whereby fires are ignited at selected localities and left to burn creating a natural patch mosaic of burnt and unburned patches. The extent of all fires in the Kruger National Park is mapped on a monthly basis using satellite imagery and information gathered by Rangers.
These patch fires, although randomly ignited, are closely monitored by the Section Rangers and only ignited under favourable conditions when the Fire Danger Indices (FDI’s) are low to moderate. Patch fires are selectively used to reduce the amount of fuel and to create patches of burnt and unburnt areas. This generally prevent the hot, high intensity uncontrolled fires from becoming unmanageable later in the season. Rangers will generally stop setting fires when the FDI’s become too high and conditions too dangerous. This usually happens during August and September when hot berg wind conditions can easily cause fires to runaway and turn into disaster fires. Once the rainy season starts lightning fires may occur and such fires are allowed to burn freely to allow lightning a chance to contribute as one of the natural sources of fire.
During a fire, the grass layer is often burnt completely. However, only the dead leaves are burnt, whilst the roots are still healthy. The early burns may sometimes resprout and this green flush during the dry season will benefit certain antelope species. Research also indicates that bush encroachment tree species, such as sicklebush, may be knocked back by these burns, giving improved game viewing pleasure as positive spin-off.
Animals can hear, feel and smell a fire when it is still very far away and most mammals normally have enough time to escape. Snakes and many kinds of insects, escape into holes in the ground, where they are safe, because the heat from the fire front seldom penetrates the soil below 5cm depth.
For those interested in more scientific detail about fires, please feel free to contact Navashni Govender at Scientific Services, Skukuza.