vehicles / traffic, Kruger National Park
Don't be an idiot driver!
It is amazing how often you see other drivers that get intimidated by the wildlife and decide that they are going to cause traffic mayhem by doing a 3 (5,7 or 9) point turn in front of the animals. This scares the animals who then behave in an eratic manner and they in turn scatter to all points of the compass, leaving behind a traffic problem of their own!
Just wait for the animals to cross and continue on their way and don't do a u-turn!
There is a speed limit on all the roads in Kruger Park – 50kph on the tar roads and 30kph on the dirt roads. Adhere to the speed limit – there are speed cops in attendance! (Believe it or not!) Most people tend to speed up as they reach the exit of the park, and that is where you can get caught!
Animals are often on the roads so drive carefully. I was devastated one year to see some photographs in the reception of a camp that showed animals that had been hit by cars. It was a dreadful thing to see. It made me all the more cautious to keep to the speed limit and take care when rounding corners or speeding up when on the tar roads...
A very basic and seemingly obvious warning is that of remembering where you are and how Kruger National Park is very different from most other national parks. If you suddenly realise that you have left your camera in the boot or trunk, DO NOT GET OUT. Like I say SEEMINGLY obvious however many people do get out. Apart from putting yourself at risk of animal attack you could also receive a hefty fine.
(work in progress)
Vistors are not allowed to drive off road is allowed in any of South Africa's national or provincial game reserves. In private reserves, game rangers may take vehicles off road - for example, to view animal kills - but this is the exception rather than the rule and is only allowed with the permission of the reserve management (a privelege that is very unlikely to be extended to visitors).
The logic behind this is twofold and eminently sensible. Firstly driving off road leads to soil compaction and/or erosion, which not only scars the landscape - often permanently, especially in arid environments, which are particularly sensitive. In addition, off road traffic destroys grazing and habitat, and smaller animals seeking refuge in long grass may also be run over.
Secondly it is a safety consideration. Roads in reserves - even if they are dirt roads - are regularly maintained to provide driving conditions which allow visitors to remove themselves from situations of potential danger in a swift and safe manner. Off road conditions are very different, and getting stuck in the mud or soft sand when a bull elephant in musht is charging you is not a situation you want to find youself in!
If you need yet more persuasion to abide by this very sensible rule, bear in mind that driving off road in reserves where this is prohibited is a sure fire way to invalidate the expensive holiday and car insurance you bought for your dream safari ... assuming that the bull elephant has left you in a condition to lodge a claim in the first place!
Be very careful stopping at the Shell Ultra City on the N4 highway at Middelburg which is the route from Johannesburg and Pretoria to the Kruger National Park .Thieves are using car lock jamming devices to block the signal to auto lock your cars . Myself and three other friends of mine have been robbed recently of our personal effects left in our cars on 4 different occasions leaving our cars for a couple of minutes to use the toilet facilities at these 2 Shell Ultra City Petrol stations at Middelburg N4 highway.Incidents have been reported to the police.
Read more: http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/p/m/218555/#2#ixzz1eZ9XOPK0
It's advisable to stay inside your vehicle. This sounds like a "common sense" thing to do, but too many people don't understand the dangers they put themselves in when they decide to leave their cars or get close to a "wild animal." Most animals will run away from fear, but if you happen to come near certain animals during musth, like elephants, buffalo (they have killed more people then elephants), hippos or rhino, please keep your distance. Respect the animals space.
There are rest areas where you are allowed to leave your car, but while you are driving around the park you must reamin inside your car. Don't get too close to the animals either. Recently in December 2013 two tourist were severly hurt when they approached a bull elephant in musth. The elephant rammed the car, flipped it over and the two tourist had to be lifted to the hospital. Sadly the elephant was killed. This makes me so upset that two indiviudals were so irresponsible and didn't respect the wild life or their lives enough to respect the rules of the park.
Injury due to wanting to get the "perfect" shot isn't worth it. Respect the wild life, keep your distance and you will be safe.
Rivers can get flooded in rainy season, so careful of crossing a bridge which may be flooded to prevent your return, if this happens call the number on your entrance booklet.
Do not get out of your car at any time unless its allowed, some bridges allow you to get out within yellow lines...