South African National Parks (SANParks) has opened parks for day visitors to parks that cater for self-drives.
CEO, Fundisile Mketeni, said SANParks used last week to prepare for the expected arrival of guests. “We appreciate that after two months of confinement, the public is keen to engage with nature, and the excitement as shown by enquiries from our loyal visitors is encouraging.”
Face-to-face contact between staff and visitors will be limited and visitors are encouraged to book online or telephonically. Bookings can be made at 012 428 9111 or www.sanparks.org.
Visitors are also encouraged to make full payment of conservation fees prior to arrival where possible. Wild Card members will have to ensure that their membership is valid prior to arrival.
Mketeni said Namaqua National Park in the Northern Cape and Boulders and Cape Point in Table Mountain National Park would remain closed but the majority of gates at the Kruger National Park would be open with the exception of Pafuri and Numbi gates.
“Gate quotas for Kruger have been revised to approximately one-third of what they were prior to COVID-19,” explained Mketeni. “Inter-provincial travel within parks that stretch between two provinces will not be permitted. Guests, therefore, must exit into the province from which they entered the park.”
Three time slots for arrival will be introduced with the understanding that booked day visitors must arrive at the gate within that time span. Slot 1 is from 06h00 to 08h00, Slot 2 from 08h00 to 10h00 and Slot 3 from 10h00 onwards.
Hides and picnic spots at all parks remain closed as well braaing at picnic sites during this period. A limited number of shops and petrol stations will open in some parks during the course of the week and will operate in accordance with relevant Level 3 lockdown regulations.
“Everything as we knew it has fundamentally changed by COVID-19, therefore we are requesting guests to adhere to all official alert level 3 regulations when inside the parks, including wearing masks, keeping social distance, and following transport capacity directives,” said Mketeni.
“We also implore guests not to deposit their litter inside the bins within the parks but to leave with as much of it as hygienically possible.”