Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

Don’t forget your ID or passport if you are visiting the Kruger National Park from September.

As part of the tougher security clamps to curb rhino poaching in the country’s most popular big-five wildlife reserve, South African National Parks (SANParks) will introduce a new gate-access and scanning system to monitor the movement of local and foreign visitors from September 1. About 1.8-million people visit the park each year.

More than 1,000 rhinos have been killed annually by poachers nationwide for four consecutive years, most of them in the Kruger park.

Initially, the new access control scanners will be installed in the busiest, southern section of the park.

SANParks said the new measures required all visitors to produce valid identity documents to get into the park. All local visitors over 18 would be required to carry a green ID card (or South African driving licence). Foreigners would have to carry passports.

Kruger National Park managing executive Glenn Phillips said: "The system will apply to everybody, including SANParks staff members, suppliers and other residents of the park and is expected to improve on our proactive surveillance, early warning and detection.

"In our quest to continue to enhance security for both wildlife and visitors, we will continue to make use of appropriate security technology."

Visitors will still be required to go through their normal check-in or check-out at the gate receptions before proceeding to the security scanning process. Training for the security personnel on the upgraded system is under way to minimise possible delays as soon as the new operation kicks in. Tour operators and ground handlers have been asked to communicate the new requirements.

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