Mbombela - Three suspected poachers were shot and killed in the Kruger National Park at the weekend, SANParks said on Sunday.
A fourth poacher was critically wounded during an exchange of gunfire on Saturday night, said SANParks spokesperson Reynold Thakhuli.
The fifth man escaped.
Thakhuli said two park rangers were patrolling when they were confronted by the group.
A shoot-out ensued and three armed men were killed.
Two hunting rifles, an AK47, a pistol and an assortment of ammunition were found in their possession and confiscated.
A rhino horn and other poaching equipment was also found.
In a separate incident on Saturday, four suspected poachers were arrested at the KNP after they were found in possession of a hunting rifle, ammunition and poaching equipment.