Self-drive tours now open in Tshwane's Dinokeng Game Reserve
Pretoria - Lockdown level 3 has brought some slight relief to Tshwane's Dinokeng Game Reserve in the form of permitted self-drive tours.
The reserve has been struggling to make ends meet since the Covid-19 pandemic forced the government to prohibit non-essential movement of people.
To make matters worse, while the park was struggling to pay staff who protect and care for its wild animals, it acknowledged an increase in bush meat hunting, leaving one of it’s lions trapped and mutilated.
A proud general manager of the reserve David Boshoff yesterday said a few people have already started using the self-drive routes to give themselves something different to enjoy and hopefully get a glance of the Big Five animals.
“The announcement by the government that we can use self-drive routes was some good news we haven’t had in a long time.
“People jumped at the opportunity to come to the park because they’ve been stuck in their homes for two straight months. That must have made them longing for some fresh air.
“Although people cannot visit from abroad or outside Gauteng, we are hopeful that this weekend there’ll be a lot of people in the reserve driving their own cars to look for the free roaming big five animals,” said Boshoff.
Although he celebrated that the reserve would start offering some services and have a stream of income, he said the battle ahead was still big.
The reserve is a source of employment and income to surrounding communities who’ve for many years depended on it’s business to survive and make some money.
Subsequently, today, through its website, it will launch two campaigns to collect donations. The funds will be used to buy food parcels for the neighbouring communities, and to cover the operation costs of the reserve.
“This is a great start. We still need a lot of support but we are confident we’re going to fight through as long as we have the support of the public and the private sector that want to make sure this globally respected reserve keeps shining.”
He said accommodation places are still closed, but some restaurants and the petrol station have opened to assist people come this weekend when many will be seeking to use this opportunity.
“I would like to encourage all the people who’ve been following us during the pandemic to visit our website for more details on how they can help us.
"We’ll also be providing information about our projects to help our communities and the reserve on www.dinokenggamereserve.co.za”