South African National Parks (SANParks) has urged tourists to use other entrance gates into the Kruger National Park (KNP) following the recent attack on a group of four German tourists – and fatal killing of one of them – who were on their way to Numbi Gate on Monday afternoon.
SANParks Acting CEO Ms Hapiloe Sello said the organisation is “deeply saddened” by the recent spate of attacks on visitors en-route to the iconic national park, particularly on the road leading to Numbi Gate south of the park… “and urges tourists with active and future bookings to use other entrance gates to the park”.
On behalf of the staff and Board of SANParks, she again sent her heartfelt condolences and prayers to the family and friends of the deceased, and thanked the government and all South Africans for the outpouring of support following this tragic incident.
“We fully appreciate that this incident has brought a lot of apprehension to many of our loyal local and international visitors which could result in cancellations for planned visits to the park and surrounding areas. It is thus important for us to remind our loyal visitors that Kruger has a total of 10 gates which tourists can safely enter from.”
Safer alternative gates to use to enter the Kruger National Park:
In the south of the park there are five other entrances:
- Paul Kruger,
- Phabeni and
- Orpen Gates through the R40 from White River; as well as
- Malelane and
- Crocodile Bridge through the N4 toll road towards Komatipoort in Mpumalanga province.
In the north of the Park, visitors can enter through:
- Punda Maria or
- Pafuri and lastly,
- Giriyondo Border Post allows access directly from Mozambique.”
Sello said with the tourism industry currently in the midst of a post Covid-19 recovery plan, such incidents undermine the marketing efforts of tourism stakeholders. She called on the law enforcement agencies to leave nothing to chance in bringing the perpetrators to book.
“We also urge members of the adjacent communities to the Kruger National Park to assist with any information that could lead to the arrests of the suspects,” said Ms Sello.
The 67-year-old German male tourist was driving to the Kruger from the Drakensberg with his wife and two friends when they an armed gang attempted to hijack their vehicle.