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Kruger National Park beefs up security ahead of festive season

By Nothando Makhubela

As the holiday season approaches, the Kruger National Park in Mpumalanga has tightened security as local and international tourists head to the province to enjoy South Africa’s wildlife.

Security upgrades include increased spot checks of vehicles inside the park and tighter security at the entrance gates.

Speaking to Scrolla.Africa, KNP spokesperson Isaac Phaahla says the annual security upgrades during the festive season are aimed at keeping poachers away from the park, safeguarding the country’s natural assets and ensuring a peaceful holiday for visitors.

“We will not be hiring extra people. Financially it’s going to impact us, but that is negligible given what is at stake,” says Phaahla.

The KNP has long struggled with rhino poaching. Since smart camera technology systems were installed at most hotspots, it has reported a reduction in occurrences of this.

“Technologies being implemented include vehicle number plate recognition, remote vehicle monitoring, radar surveillance as well as night flying with specialised infrared cameras,” says KNP Acting Managing Executive, Dr Danny Govender.

The park has introduced smart camera technology systems at most hotspots. So far, smart cameras in the park have helped in the apprehension of suspected poachers and the confiscation of high-calibre hunting rifles and ammunition.

Govender says the park plans to enhance its ranger and security services patrols as well as the dedicated dog units with tracking hounds that will be deployed on poacher tracks.

The park has joined forces with villages in the area to reduce smuggling.

“Our dedicated Rangers are also motivated and encouraged by the recent successful arrests and convictions of poachers. We will not let our guard down, as the battle to safeguard our natural heritage is far from over,” adds Govender.

Pictured above: Kruger National Park rangers

Image source: Supplied

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