Day Visitor Numbers to Kruger On the Rise

The Kruger National Park visitor numbers are rising by more than 100 000 in the past year.

The Department of Environmental Affairs announced in a statement that both local and international visitor numbers have grown, with a particular spike in visitors from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.

Interestingly, the park is attracting more day visitors in particular.

A total number of 1 659 793 guests passed through Kruger's gates in the 2014/2015 financial year, compared to 1 556 916 the previous financial year, SANParks and the Department of Environmental Affairs said.

Of this number 1 277 397 were day visitors and 382 396 were overnight guests. Between the 2012/2013 and 2014/15 financial years, the number of day visitors entering the Kruger National Park grew by an additional 239 817.

Day visitor volumes picked up noticeably in December, with 148 138 entering the park. The majority of SADC visitors entered from the Punda Maria Gate (10 378) and the majority of 'other international' visitors entered from the Phabeni Gate (76 920).

A total of 382 396 guests spent a night or more inside the national park, generating R321 million in accommodation fees for SANParks.

Of the 25 SANParks operated camping facilities inside the park, the majority overnighted at the popular Skukuza camp.

"These figures are pleasing not just for SANParks but for the country in general: evidence that our abundant wildlife continues to attract our citizens and foreign visitors, and in particular, more visitors from the continent" says SANParks.

Visitor numbers for the 2015/2016 financial year look similarly promising. The sub-total of day visitor numbers through April 2015 are 108 284 and 35 093 overnight guests.