A Muslim man is taking off his shoes and about to go into the prayer room. Picture: Brenda Masilela/ANA

Mpumalanga - The South African National Parks (SANParks) has opened its first Muslim prayer facility for men and women at the Skukuza camp in the Kruger National Park on Monday.

The proposal to open wudhu and salaah facilities in the Kruger National Park was received in 2009.

Managing Executive of the Kruger National Park Glenn Phillips said funds to a tune of R850 000 was raised by the Muslim community to construct the facilities.

Construction was already under way at  Lower Sabi and will continue to Satara Rest Camp, Afsaal and Tshokwane Picnic sites. There are also plans to build these facilities in other national parks.

"This project was facilitated by the SANParks Honorary Rangers Johannesburg South, who within a very short space of time raised the funds required for the development," Phillips said.

The facility includes an ablution area which is known as a Wudhu facility for both males and females. 

Muslim guests will have to provide their own prayer mats knows as Musallas.

Yusuf Dockrat Chairperson of the SANParks Honorary Rangers Johannesburg South Branch cautioned Muslim members to take care of the facilities.

"Please utilise these facilities for the purpose that they have been built, which is to perform salaah only. This is a place of worship and should be treated as such," he said.

African News Agency (ANA)