In 2020, the Kruger National Park is set to experience a few changes relating to tourism and the ways in which people get their information about animal sightings. As the popularity of the park continues to sore, and guests use technology to share information about the animals they see and where they see them, park officials are faced with a new problem.
This instant access to sighting information is being linked to speeding in the park, which is putting animals and park visitors at risk.
In the past year, the Kruger welcomed a staggering 1.8 million tourists and while these figures are phenomenal for park growth and conservation efforts, the downside of this is that the park is now faced with lack of traffic control. The parks rules relating to speed has always been most important for safety, and although in the past guests were very respectful of the speed rules, today it’s very different. Tourists, and in some cases safari companies, are eager to see the best sightings before the animals move on, and this eagerness naturally leads to speeding.
The issue came to a head last year, when news of a tourist and a giraffe killed in a speeding related accident made international headlines. Park officials decided that it was time to deal with the speeding problem before more harm was done.
Technology and the Kruger
Latest Sightings is one of the most popular park apps for visitors to share what they have seen. And while the app has been accused of encouraging speeding, creators have denied that their app is a part of the problem. For one, the location and time of the sightings is not shared, to discourage speeding, and for another, the app makes a point of constantly reminding app users to reduce their speed and not be in a hurry. Besides, there is a good chance that once people arrive at the sighting, the animal is long gone. And it has to be said that the creators are not in control of how users behave and they are also not responsible for the way people drive.
The app is certainly not the only issue being discussed with regards to to speeding. Taxis using the park as a short cut have gained a bit of reputation for allegedly breaking traffic laws. Last year’s accident led to social media users calling for a complete ban on taxis, although park officials said this would not be fair.
At the moment, nothing has been decided on regarding technology and officials are still in deciding how technology should be handled. There have been talks of banning apps and removing cell signal from the park completely, so the future looks set for a shakeup.
Stay at the Best Safari Lodge
Although Toroyaka is situated in Balule, many of our guests like to take a trip into the Kruger while staying with us, so staying in the know is important. You can book your accommodation at our luxury safari lodge online or by getting in contact with us.
Because of poaching elephant numbers have dropped considerably and aren’t found as prominently in South Africa. Their numbers have been steadily increasing but are mostly found in the Kruger National Park, which can be seen during Kruger Park Safaris, and the Addo Elephant Park