South Africa

SANParks reopens for self-drive day excursions after two months

SANParks reopens for self-drive day excursions after two months

SA National Parks (SANParks) has announced that self-drive excursions for day visitors will be permitted from Monday in parks that cater for self-drives.

SANParks CEO Fundisile Mketeni said SANParks used this week to prepare for the expected arrivals of guests to parks.Coronavirus by Tiso Blackstar Group - Infogram

“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. We are obligated to ensure that the opening of our national parks for self-drive excursions is done under the strictest health protocols to safeguard both our staff and guests.”

Mketeni said SANParks was limiting face-to-face contact between staff and guests by encouraging online and telephonic day visit bookings and full payment of conservation fees prior to arrival where possible.

He said Namaqua National Park as well as Boulders and Cape Point in Table Mountain National Park remain closed for the meantime and the majority of gates at Kruger National Park will 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. 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 06:00 to 08:00, Slot 2 from 08:00 to 10:00 and Slot 3 from 10:00 onwards. Hides and picnic spots at all parks remain closed; braaiing at picnic sites will also not be allowed during this period. Ablutions will be open in camps, at gates and at some picnic spots. A limited number of shops and petrol stations will open in some parks during the course of the week and will be operated in accordance with relevant level 3 lockdown regulations,” SANParks said.

The national lockdown regulations relating to movement between provinces must be observed within the parks.

“This means interprovincial 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.”

SANParks requested 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. 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.”