Milestone Systems is the IP video management software being used by South Africa's Kruger National Park to ensure greater safety for wildlife and tourists. The open platform system is easy to upgrade and scale over time and geography.
Poachers and speeding cars hitting animals in the park are the number one security challenges for the leading national park of South Africa. The tourism supports maintenance and conservation of this natural gem, so management of the park's camps is of major importance. Yet cash handling by staff and unemployment in local areas foster temptations that must be monitored and controlled.
"Poaching is our main focus. We have communities on the boundaries with low employment so they look to the park for ways to sustain themselves. They go for game to sell anything from warthog to impala or bigger bucks, kudu, even buffalo and giraffe. This is more of a problem than rhino and elephant ivory," said Mr. Mbongeni M. Tukela, Acting Regional Manager, SANParks.
Milestone certified partner Camsecure has implemented XProtect IP video software to manage Axis network cameras at Kruger Park gates and camps that are spread out at different borders of the widespread territory. Park management can access the surveillance centrally from the Skukuza headquarters, while local access is also available at the gates.
Park managers monitor vehicles entering and leaving gates to the park and are able to track those related to animals found hit on the roads or to track poachers. Regarding internal operations, employees handling money in the reception areas of the camps are controlled better and problems with collusion or theft have been minimized. There has been a marked improvement in the ability to deliver and audit better customer service. Cameras have also been set up to monitor the ATM machines in the camps, so tourist security is well managed.
"Where we use the software to control entries through the gates, we register everyone who comes and goes in the Park and we can check it visually with video evidence, tracking people and cars. If there are any suspicions, we use the surveillance to see the number plates and track them through the camps or check against known registrations. Also if there are any complaints, we can track them," said David Nethononda, who checks the video every day as part of his job as Security Auditor.
Kruger National Park is the largest wildlife reserve in South Africa, covering almost 19,000 square kilometers (over 7,000 square miles). Kruger Park has eight main gates for entering the region. Skukuza is the biggest camp in the park and generates more income than all of the other 20 camps in the park. Kruger's income in turn supports all the other parks in South Africa. The Kruger Park camps offer 1,500 beds, and there are annually an estimated 2 million tourists as day visitors alone.