SANParks new Accommodation update
In a media statement released on Saturday, South African National Parks (SANParks) provided more information on the reopening of its parks countrywide.
SANParks welcomed the lifting of travel bans and accommodation occupancy limitations with open arms. However, these changes will require the implication of a “new normal” which is governed by strict health and safety protocols to keep employees and guests safe.
Fundisile Mketeni, SANPark’s CEO stated that they were facing some logistical challenges with regards to their readiness to resume full operation in some parks.
“In addition to planned maintenance work, it has emerged that bulk of units that were unoccupied during the lockdown were damaged mainly by primates, squirrels, and bats, however, we are moving with speed to repair them” Mketeni said.
The CEO also stated that the recall of staff and their induction on new protocols could only be undertaken over a period of days, further adding to the delays. He did however emphasise that this is to ensure the health and safety of both staff and guests.
“We had an option of staying closed for all businesses until we were 100 percent ready, however with the understanding that our loyal guests are yearning to spend time in nature, the compromise was to introduce a phased reopening of our guest facilities” the CEO added.
The statement announced that the head office reservation call centre in Pretoria is now operating at full capacity. As well as the online booking system, with all the technical disruptions resolved. The accommodation in the majority of the parks is also now fully operational with the exception of the Kruger National Park which is impacted the most by continuing maintenance work.
Most Kruger camps have reopened and are fully operating, except for Skukuza and Lower Sabie that are operating at minimum capacity until October 1 and December 15. Biyamiti remains closed until estimated reopening date, 15 October. Maroela and Orpen are also to remain closed till November 1 and November 7.
“We are aware that trips were planned and paid for a long time ago and others are family traditions, however, due to the real challenges that we face, we urge for patience and tolerance from all guests” Mketeni concluded.