Kruger National Park sets new festive season day-visitor entry system

Cape Town - In an effort to tackle visitor access management and to dodge festive season congestion over this holiday period, Kruger National Park Management is implementing a new system to streamline day visitor access at gates during the busy period. 

Day visitors can choose and book a time slot prior to arrival from one of three-time slots through the SANParks online reservations system:

Time slot 1: Arrive 0 to 2 Hours after gate opening time. (Summer months 05:30 to 07:30)

Time slot 2: Arrive 2 to 4 Hours after gate opening time. (Summer months 07:30 to 09:30)

Time slot 3: Arrive 4+ Hours after gate opening time. (Summer months 09:30 onwards).

The new system for the park is a management tool to maintain the number of visitors the park can manage, with up to 80% of Day Visitor Quota per gate bookable via the SANParks Reservations offices online.

PICS: Winners of the 2015 SANParks Photo Competition 

The pre-booked visitors will have preference over non-booked day visitors at the gate. 

SANParks wishes to better manage their volumes that are expected on busy days - but most importantly manage visitor expectations of what you imagine your Kruger experience to be - which does not include a day spent waiting to enter the park and enjoy a safari experience.

Busy days are expected to be Saturdays and Sundays, particularly 25, 26 and 27 December 2015 - as well as 1, 2 and 3 January 2016. 

The new scheme will improve the spread of vehicles, park traffic and unnecessary waiting periods at the gates, says KNP Managing Executive, Glenn Phillips. 

READ: SANParks: 10 tips for exploring the Western Cape parks

If you are a pre-booked day visitor make sure you arrive within the time slots as per your reservation. If you arrive outside the booked time slot you will be regarded as non-booked and no longer a preferential visitor.

Visitors who have made reservations prior to this new system will automatically be allocated to Time slot 1. Visitors are being advised to change and manage their bookings through SANParks online reservations system

What you need to know:

Day visitor bookings are subject to a non-refundable booking fee of R36 per adult and R18 per child. 

Day Visitors who have booked are still required to pay Conservations Fees or use their Wild Cards to enter the park. 

In order to make the admission process flow on busy days - SANParks asks day visitors to pay for Conservations Fees in advance or make sure they have Wild Card memberships. 

READ: SANParks announces drastic measures to combat drought

If you plan to use your wild card, make sure your membership is valid before arrival at www.sanparks.org/wild_new/. You will be requested to identify yourself upon admission with an SA drivers license, identity document or your passport. 

Due to existing contractual arrangements with Open Safari Vehicles, their vehicles are regarded as booked for all day visitor admissions. 

Open Safari Vehicles entering Phabeni Gate are allowed entry 30 minutes before external gate opening time during summer. 

Gate Quotas will be applied and unbooked guests could possibly be refused admission. To make your wait in the gate queue is more enjoyable, SANParks is providing serviced toilets at points on the road during peak time.

Additionally a community initiative, selling hot and cold beverages to visitors waiting for entry, will also be available. SANParks kindly urges guests to remain patient and understanding of the new changes. 

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