SANParks to open accommodation under strict Covid-19 rules

SANParks CEO Fundisile Mketeni. Picture: Refilwe Modise

Tour operators will be allowed to conduct guided tours, while self-drive guests are still restricted to a 70% vehicle capacity as per the department of transport’s regulations.

The South African National Parks has announced that accommodation in the majority parks will be open as from August 14, 2020, and guided overland safari vehicles will be permitted as soon as their operations have been gazetted.

The Addo, Camdeboo, and Karoo National Parks will open on August 17, 2020, while the Mountain Zebra National Park will open on August 20, 2020.

SANParks said the opening of most places would fall in line with Minister of Tourism Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane’s response measures for Level 3.

As per the minister’s announcement, overnight accommodation will only be permissible for residents of the various provinces that the respective National Parks are located in. Interprovincial visitors will be prohibited entry into the parks.

SANParks CEO Fundisile Mketeni said the opening of most accommodation would be done under the strictest health protocols to safeguard staff and guests.

“Accommodation will not run at full capacity as we will employ a phased-in approach to opening. Therefore our loyal guests can expect limited availability of accommodation in some parks at these beginning stages of our reopening, with a gradual increase in availability in the next few weeks.

“Overnight guests will be required to provide proof of residence [municipal account or similar legally accepted form of verification of primary residence] at the time of booking accommodation and again when checking in. No more than two people will be allowed per accommodation unit except for parents and children.”

As more information will be is expected to be gazetted, Mketeni said protocols would be amended while guests are constantly informed.

Tour operators will be allowed to conduct guided tours, while self-drive guests are still restricted to a 70% vehicle capacity as per the department of transport’s regulations.

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