German Tourist

3 Questioned Over German Tourist Murder Near Kruger

The latest developments in the murder investigation of a German tourist, shot and killed close to the Kruger National Park, have been optimistically welcomed by the Police Ministry.


  • This attack happened as the South African tourism sector is poised for a tremendous bounce back and positive growth after the first half of the year (2022) showing a notable increase in arrivals.
  • Tourism is at the heart of South Africa’s economic growth strategy contributing 3,7% to South Africa’s GDP, more than agriculture, utilities and construction.
  • Tourism safety in South Africa has been identified across a number of studies, media and crime reports as a challenge which threatens tourism growth.
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German and international news outlets are reporting on the murder of a German tourist who was traveling to the Kruger National Park this week, together with his wife and another couple. The 67-year-old German national was shot and killed this week, on Numbi Road near the Numbi Gate of the Kruger National Park in Mpumalanga. Police in the province have identified and taken in three people for questioning regarding the murder of the German tourist. The trio who are in police custody are said to be cooperating with investigators.

The tourism sector is highly contested and is the bread and butter of millions of households in this province and other parts of the country, this is why it must be guarded jealously by all of us including communities and we simply cannot let such callous acts go unpunished. This is why it is highly encouraging to see police in this province move with agility to find those responsible for this crime.

// South African Minister of Police, General Bheki Cele


Cele also added that a long term solution is needed to safeguard communities and tourists alike, and has committed to engaging his cabinet colleagues responsible for tourism and transport to put in place a joint coordinated response. The response should be both reactive and proactive and bring together national and local government along with public and private tourism role players to urgently combine resources and efforts to deal with the causative factors of these crimes taking place in and around the Masoyi policing area.


Mpumalanga recorded eleven common robbery incidents involving tourists, from April to June 2022. Police have arrested two people for their alleged involvement in some of the crimes and the suspects are currently going through court processes.

Police have a duty towards all inhabitants of this country and must make arrests, as part of crime prevention, the tourism sector also has a responsibility to empower their clients with information and knowledge about their surroundings, so they are not easily targeted for their valuables. We have no doubt if this approach is widely adopted, it will go a long way in ensuring the space for these criminals targeting visitors to our shores is squeezed and ultimately shut.

// South African Minister of Police, General Bheki Cele


While police continue to follow up closely on strong leads in the murder investigation, the Ministry calls on the South African Police Service (SAPS) to speedily make arrests in order to restore public confidence and ensure the law takes its course.


German Tourist
Photos indicate, the four German visitors were driving a Hyundai STARIA to the Numbi Gate at the Mdluli Safari Lodge, when they were attacked. Image: South African Police Service (SAPS)

No words can ease this shock and tragedy. We are appalled and devastated by the latest senseless killing of a tourist en route to the Kruger National Park. We extend our sincerest condolences to the familv and friends traveling together. We are doing everything possible to assist the victims during this traumatic time.

// Mdluli Safari Lodge Executive Manager, Chris Schalkwyk


South African National Parks (SANParks) also extended condolences to the family and friends of the German tourist.

Our thoughts are with the family as they process this senseless and tragic loss. We are deeply saddened by the escalation of crime and violence to this terrible end, which not only threatens the lives of our visitors, but also the livelihoods of the people living around our Parks. This is a huge setback for the tourism sector, and the country.

// Spokesperson of the Kruger National Park (KNP), Ike Phaahla


Numbi road has been identified as a crime hot spot by the Tourism Sector and efforts are supposedly ongoing to counter the criminality in the area and on the road with increased security patrols and vehicle recognition cameras. SANParks is involved in those deliberations and working with the responsible authorities to try and ensure the safety of tourists on all roads leading to the Kruger National Park and other tourist destinations in the area.

We have been working with the Lowveld Business chamber and the National Department of Tourism to promote and market tourism products to our overseas customers and this latest criminal act undermines our efforts to restore the sector to pre-COVID days. Tourism is a huge employer in a region with some of the highest unemployment rates in the country. We are confident that the law enforcement agencies will apprehend these heinous criminals and bring them to book.

// Spokesperson of the Kruger National Park (KNP), Ike Phaahla


Tourists are advised to plan their trips carefully, only make stops at designated areas such as garages and service stations, try to travel in convoys, and where possible use alternative gates. Paul Kruger and Phabeni Gates are fully operational and signposted and can be used as a gateway to other lodges around the Kruger National Park.


Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu expressed outrage following the attack on four German tourists and she met with the family members, before their departure to Germany to express her deepest condolences.

The tourism industry has rallied around the family to give the assurance that all measures are being taken to prevent such an incident from happening again. The Kruger Lowveld Chamber of Business and Tourism has also issued a R50’000 reward to anyone who may come up with information that will lead to the arrest of the perpetrators.

// South African Tourism Minister, Lindiwe Sisulu


According to South African Tourism, cumulatively, arrivals for the January to July period of 2022 surpassed the full year arrivals of 2021 by 23.8% to reach 2.8 million. The first seven months of 2022 saw domestic tourism reaching 18.5 million trips, 137.2% over the same period of 2021.


Worthy to note from the statistics, are forward bookings. Overall forward bookings to South Africa for January – July 2022 were up by 281,3%, compared to the same period of last year – an indication that people are looking forward to visiting South Africa and they are actually booking their travel well ahead of time.


According to the Ministry of Tourism, tourism safety is identified across a number of studies, media and crime reports as a challenge that threatens sector growth, foreign direct investment, visitor spend and employment in South Africa. It significantly influences the decisions made by tourists regarding their preferred holiday destination.


Coming out of Tourism Month in September, the Ministry of Tourism rallied industry players to enforce proactive and preventative practices to promote vigilance and awareness on safety among tourists and local communities to curb incidences of crime at tourist destinations.


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