The South African National Parks (SANParks) has welcomed the announcement by the Tourism Minister on the relaxation of travel and leisure regulations.
"We appreciate that after four months of confinement, the public is keen to engage with nature. However, we are obligated to ensure that the opening of our national parks for accommodation is done under the strictest health protocols to safeguard both our staff and guests,” said SANParks CEO Mketeni.
Mketeni added that SANParks will likely implement additional visitor management procedures to ease entry into the parks and further reduce the risk of the spread of Coronavirus.
He said that SANParks will make further announcements regarding the opening dates of accommodation in individual parks as and when they are comfortable with their state of preparedness to welcome visitors back.
“We, therefore, beg your indulgence as the opening needs to be done in a responsible manner for the safety and enjoyment of all our guests,” Mketeni said.
As per the Minister’s announcement, overnight accommodation is only allowed for residents of the various provinces that the respective National Parks are located in.
As a result, guests will be required to provide proof of residence at the time of booking accommodation and again when checking in. Inter-provincial visitors will be prohibited entry into the parks.
Tour operators will be allowed to conduct guided tours in open safari vehicles, subject to directives that are still to be communicated and gazetted.
Self-drive guests are restricted to a 70% vehicle capacity, as per the Department of Transport’s regulations published on 2 April.
Further details for overnight accommodation protocols will be available on www.sanparks.org.