File picture: Renee Graham/AP

One of the most popular tourist attractions in the country, the Kruger National Park has announced that from September 1 2017, guests that are 18 and older will be required to produce proof of identity to gain access to the the park.

According to a statement released on the park's site recently, the park is currently implementing these measures in order to keep track of who comes and goes in and out of the park.  

"Kruger National Park (KNP) is currently implementing additional gate access control systems at its entrance gates in the Southern part of the Park, which will require that as from 1 September 2017, all visitors who are 18 years old and above must produce a positive identity document for scanning in order to gain access. For non-South African visitors, they must produce passports but a South African driver’s licence will also be acceptable."

The park's managing executive Glenn Philips said the system would apply to all, including SANParks staff members. 

“The system will apply to everybody including SANParks staff members, suppliers and other residents of the Park and is expected to improve on our proactive surveillance, early warning and detection. In our quest to continue to enhance security for both wildlife and visitors, we will continue to make use of appropriate security technology”; said Phillips.

Visitors will still be required to go through their normal check-in or check-out at the gate receptions before proceeding to the security scanning process. Training for the security personnel on the upgraded system is underway in order to minimize possible delays as soon as the new operation kicks-in.

We request that tour operators and ground handlers communicate this requirement with their guests.

“We recognise that we have to keep a very fine balance between imposing potentially anti-tourist friendly security apparatus whilst also ensuring the protection of both Tourists and Wildlife. We request the public to be patient during these very necessary security processes,” concluded Phillips.