Visitors to the Kruger National Park have been urged to slow down following the latest incident in the South African park, where three impalas were knocked down by a speeding vehicle.
The South African National Parks (SANParks) expressed its “shock” at the tragic incident which took place near Tshokwane on Thursday 27 December.
The Park called on any witnesses to please come forward with information, and said: “We continue to urge visitors to observe the rules of the park and keep to the speed limit at all times.”
SANParks said that witnesses said a ranger spoke to the driver of the vehicle at the picnic site and took photographs of the vehicle involved. “He will investigate,” said SANParks.
In a statement on Friday afternoon, SANParks said it has “noted with concern the abuse of technology mostly by some independent Open Safari Vehicle guides to communicate sightings to each other and speed to those sightings.
“This is causing congestion and could lead to unnecessary confrontations with other tourists,” said SANParks.
Speeding is a huge problem in the Kruger which has seen some deadly collisions with animals in the past year, including one in which a taxi hit and killed a giraffe, which then fell onto a tourist’s car. The Swiss tourist was hospitalised but sadly passed away a few days later.
SANParks said “we have seen terrible incidents in the past year which could have been avoided. Animals have the right of way anywhere in the park and drivers need to be extra cautious in the bush.
“Our officials can’t be everywhere to do law enforcement and we implore members of the public who notice any wrongdoing, to report it to our nearest gate or official with clear details for SANParks to follow up.”
SANParks advise that visitors to the safari park plan their trips carefully, considering closing times and distance so as to arrive alive and in time.
“Fines will be administered to those arriving late for exit or entry. Drivers and tourists should be held accountable for their actions,” said SANParks.
“Kindly go through the guidance on your entry permit to enjoy your holiday.Those who have been behaving, thank you for making our task easy. If you are counted among the rule breakers, be careful because the consequences of your actions might catch up with you sooner or later.”
Regular tourists to the Kruger National Park agreed that speeding has become a massive problem. One tourist said it has become worse over the past five years and it’s time for heavy fines to avoid the national park becoming like a theme park or zoo.
Another said: “We were driving down the road and the next thing several safari vehicles came racing past us, even a few in reverse as they didn’t have the space or time to turn around. It was madness, all for 3 rhinos that were about to cross the road 50 metres behind us.”
Please slow down. As SANParks says: “One animal killed is one too many.”