Skukuza — Visitors to the Kruger National Park have been advised to book early this festive season.
Day visitors are also encouraged to book their visits to ensure they're not turned away if gate quotas are exceeded.
"We encourage anyone who is planning to visit the park to either come early or make a pre-booking to secure entry. Pre-bookings can be made via SANParks Central Reservations," said Kruger spokesman William Mabasa.
Mabasa said the daily entry quotas would be strictly enforced throughout the festive season period.
He assured that the quota will however not affect overnight visitors.
Day visitors who make a booking before arrival are expected to pay a non-refundable deposit that will secure their entry into the park.
"We appeal to people who made pre-bookings to arrive at the gates before 1pm, because after that, the booking lapses," he said.
Mabasa added that pre-booked visitors will still be expected to queue at the gates and pay conservation fees.
He reminded visitors to bring along their identity documents or alternative forms of identity.
According to Mabasa's colleague, Stephens Ledwaba, each gate has its own limited number of visitors who will be allowed to the park on a daily basis.
"The Phalaborwa Gate can allow 550 people at a time but once that number has been reached, people will have to wait in a queue for others to come out of the park before they may enter.
"In addition to that we can accommodate another 50 or so and in the end we would have accommodated more than the daily quota of 550 day visitors," said Ledwaba.
Ledwaba also said that during the year, excluding the festive season, all the gates are able to accommodate 4 930 day visitors at once.
"This number excludes the overnight guests," Ledwaba said.
Visitors have also been warned not to bring alcohol to the park.
Field and honorary rangers will be assisting gate staff with managing the queues and providing other services at the gates.
The Kruger has 10 entrance gates, including Pafuri, Punda Maria, Phalaborwa, Giriyondo, Orpen, Paul Kruger, Phabeni, Numbi, Crocodile Bridge and Malalane.