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Blind & Visually Impaired

Guide Dogs

Apart from the obvious danger to pets by wild animals, domestic dogs and cats may carry certain pathogens that pose a serious disease risk to wild canids, felids, viverids and mustelids. For this reason, pets may not accompany visitors into National Parks and the official policy of SANParks has been to deny entrance of all pets into National Parks.

Resident dogs belonging to staff in National Parks require compulsory vaccination and deworming annually, and must be confined to the owners’ premises, or must be accompanied by the owner on any excursion outside of these confines.

No domestic cats are allowed as pets in National Parks. Cats are notorious roamers and will interbreed with the indigenous African Wild Cat and Black footed Cats.


Blind and severely visually impaired persons frequently rely intensively on guide dogs for companionship and independence of movement, and very strong bonds develop in this relationship. SANParks management has sympathy with visually handicapped persons, and in order to accommodate and facilitate their visitation and enjoyment of National Parks, application for permission for guide dogs to accompany blind persons into National Parks will be favourably considered.

The entry and exit of the guide dog into/out of most National Parks, will be covered by a permit issued by SANParks or Veterinary Wildlife Unit. For guide dogs entering the Kruger National Park, however, the permit should be obtained from the State Veterinarian:

  • Telephone: +27 (0)13 735 5641
  • Fax: +27 (0)13 735 5155
  • Postal Address: PO Box 12, Skukuza, 1350

Applications for other parks should be directed to the respective park manager.


  • The guide dogs must be vaccinated against all the major canine infectious diseases such as rabies, canine distemper, canine parvo-virus, canine hepatitis, canine para-influenza virus and leptospirosis. Vaccination boosters must be current and up to date, and the vaccination booklet with vaccination history must accompany the dog.
  • The guide dog must also have a regular deworming history, and must be dewormed within 30 days prior to entering a National Park.
  • The guide dog must always be under the control of its handler or an accompanying person.
  • The handler or accompanying persons must be equipped with a faecal removal device (poop scooper or plastic gloves / bags) to remove faecal contamination in rest camps or picnic sites.
  • Timeous application for permission to bring a guide dog into a National Park must be made in order facilitate the issue of permits. Please note that access for guide dogs at Park entrance gates will be denied if there is no permit accompanying the dog.
  • No guide dogs will be permitted at unfenced Wilderness Camps.

Braille Brochures

A braille brochure has been published for the Northern Region (includes Mapungubwe, Marakele and Golden Gate Highlands National Parks) to assist visually impaired visitors. This brochure is available on request.


Sam Mudramuthoo
Regional Manager: Marketing