Mbombela shutdown: No way in or out of Kruger National Park due to closed roads

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Roads to Kruger National Park are closed due to protesting.
Roads to Kruger National Park are closed due to protesting.
Hoberman Collection/UIG via Getty Images
  • The Mbombela shutdown is impacting tourism in the town.
  • Major roads leading in and out of the area remain barricaded.
  • Taxi operators, who are protesting against escalating fuel prices, started the shutdown.

The Mbombela shutdown has affected visitors leaving and entering the Kruger National Park.

As a result, visitors have been urged to use alternative routes and exercise caution as many roads in Mpumalanga remain closed.

SANParks spokesperson Ike Phaahla asked visitors to remain vigilant.

Many parts of Mpumalanga, including roads leading in and out of the capital city, Mbombela, were barricaded by taxi drivers, who were allegedly protesting against escalating fuel prices. 

"Tourists planning to enter and exit the Phabeni, Numbi and Paul Kruger Gates are advised to use alternative gates. Routes leading to the park around Mbombela and surroundings remain closed.

"We urge visitors to use the Malelane or Orpen Gates. We earlier received reports about the road closures around Mbombela and the surrounding area," said Phaahla.

Gates operational

Phaahla said none of the park's gates had been affected by the shutdown.

"All our gates in Mpumalanga are operational. It is only the routes that lead to our gates that are affected. We suggest that our tourists use the Malelane or Orpen Gate to access and exit the park.

"They should be careful. If they are late, they should call the reservation contact number to make arrangements," Phaahla said.

Mpumalanga police spokesperson Brigadier Selvy Mohlala said the protesters were mainly taxi operators.

"It is alleged that, in the early hours on Wednesday, taxi drivers instructed truck drivers to blockade the road leading to Nelspruit CBD. We have cleared some streets in the CBD by removing trucks parked on the road.

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"The situation is changing. As we cleared some roads, protesters barricaded other roads. Roads from Barberton to Badplaas, Barberton to Nelspruit, and the Hazyview Road to the Kruger National Park remain blockaded. The Nkomazi toll plaza experienced heavy traffic."

Mohlala urged motorists to reschedule their journeys. 

"Our members are monitoring the situation and clearing the affected roads," said Mohlala.

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