South African National Parks (SANParks) has been experiencing a surge in bookings since President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Saturday that the ban on interprovincial travel was lifted, allowing citizens to move between provinces under lockdown Level 2.
Travellers are so eager to return to the country’s game parks that the organisation’s website actually crashed over the weekend.
SANParks confirmed on Twitter that thousands of people rushed to make online bookings and urged customers to be patient.
“We are experiencing an unprecedented upsurge in traffic to our online booking system following the announcement of the lifting of the interprovincial travel ban.
“This is creating major technical challenges and our technicians are busy attempting to resolve the problem. We urge you to be patient as we address this challenge.”
As of this morning, it appears that people are still experiencing difficulties when trying to book on the site.
The system is still jammed. I tried to get a booking in Shingwedzi to no avail. Didn’t you guys anticipate that the system would be clogged
— Langutani N’wamba (@Languta) August 17, 2020
In a statement, SANParks said it welcomed the lifting of restrictions on interprovincial travel and affirmed that it had introduced stringent hygiene protocols in an effort to curb the spread of Covid-19.
According to CEO Fundisile Mketeni, new management procedures would be introduced to manage visitor volumes in the parks.
He added that the facilities are already well equipped to welcome interprovincial guests since overnight accommodation opened to intraprovincial guests on 14 August 2020.
Visitors to the park are encouraged to prebook online as walk-ins will not be permitted.
“While we understand the frustration that this will cause to those who are impatient to spend time in nature, it is important for all to appreciate the intent behind this decision,” said Mketeni.
SANParks is offering a 40% discount on accommodation at selected parks throughout South Africa if booked online before 31 August 2020.
It’s time to #LiveYourWild again! We are offering a 40% discount on new online bookings for accommodation at coastal campsites in Namaqua National Park, valid until 31 August 2020 for intra-provincial travel only – T&Cs apply. Book now: https://t.co/Jn4jjpU5Ne pic.twitter.com/62gjki0aLQ
— SANParks (@SANParks) August 16, 2020
For more information, visit www.sanparks.org.